Tin Mining Country
As one heads north towards the towns of Camborne and Redruth, there are yet more dramatic changes to the surrounding landscape. North of Helston lies a chequerboard of fields, footpaths, shady country lanes and farmlands dotted with pretty hamlets, each one a cluster of granite cottages around a fine church. Discover 15th century wall paintings at Breage, tour an early Tudor mansion at Godolphin or retrace the steps of John Wesley with a visit to Gwennap Pit. Birdwatchers, fishing enthusiasts and watersports fans need look no further than Stithians Lake, which offers a full range of facilities and special events. This truly is the best of both worlds - rural splendour yet only minutes away from the sea, to the north and south.
This is Tin Mining Country and relics of the area's rich industrial past are all around. Cornwall's thriving mining activities of the 18th and 19th centuries are distant memories now, but the ivy covered engine houses with their tall chimneys still preside over this landscape and serve as a permanent reminder of times past.
The neighbouring towns of Camborne and Redruth were once the hub of the most intensively mined area in the world. Today, they are bustling centres offering full amenities and plenty to occupy the family on days away from the beach.
Camborne's proud heritage is celebrated annually through Trevithick Day which will be even more significant than usual this year when, on 28th April, the town celebrates the bicentenary of Richard Trevithick's invention of the steam road carriage - the first automobile! There will be a full programme of events leading up to the day, when Camborne's streets bustle with stalls, entertainers, exhibits and steam engines. On 29th April a full size replica of Trevithick's road locomotive will lead an impressive parade of steam engines and veteran cars on a commemorative run 'up Camborne Hill'.
Redruth too will be celebrating its heritage through the Murdoch weekend on 16th and 17th June. Looming high above Camborne and Redruth is the spectacular granite tor of Carn Brea, crowned by its stark memorial to the mine owner Francis Basset and offering panoramic views across Tin Mining Country to the north cliffs, Portreath and St Ives Bay.
The seductive Atlantic coastline, studded with remnants of our rich industrial heritage, was once the muse and setting for Pow an Balow Stean Auls Noor Tin Mining country & North Coast Winston Graham's romantic Poldark novels. From the summit of St Agnes Beacon, the view stretches across both north and south coasts, and at night the beams from twelve lighthouses can be glimpsed. Swept by thousands of miles of ocean winds, sometimes visited by turtles and dolphins, this Heritage Coast, home to seals and seabirds, is sometimes grand, always wild and highly romantic.
The popular seaside resort of Portreath nestles on the shoreline in the green fold of a valley. As with all of the beaches along the north coast, this secluded sandy expanse is ideal for swimming and surfing. Its 18th century harbour once served the copper and tin mines of Camborne and Redruth and walkers can retrace the inland route that the ore once took by following the Portreath Tramroad, part of the Mineral Tramways network. Take the coastal footpath west from Portreath towards St Ives Bay and you will pass spectacular scenery - evocative names like Deadman's Cove, Ralph's Cupboard and Hell's Mouth bearing testament to ancient tales of shipwrecks and smuggling. Head inland from the north cliffs and enjoy the contrasting tranquillity of Tehidy Country Park, with its 250 acres of woodland, lakes, footpaths and cycle trails as well as an impressive golf course.
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