St Austell is a lively market town on the Cornish coast, where china clay was discovered in the mid-18th century. It’s home to a historic brewery and fascinating mining museum and is near the famous Eden Project.
Things to do in St. Austell
Tour the 19th-century clay works at the Wheal Martyn China Clay Heritage Centre, which details the historic extraction of china clay for porcelain. Explore the audio-visual exhibits that bring Cornwall’s industrial heritage to life and admire the Victorian machinery and working water wheels.
Beer lovers should visit the St Austell Brewery, which was established in 1851 and stands as one of Cornwall’s oldest businesses. Learn about the brewery’s rich history on the interactive Walter’s Walk tour and enjoy a beer sampling session to learn about St Austell’s unique brews.
Visit the region’s highlight attraction, the Eden Project, where a reclaimed kaolinite pit has been transformed with two giant biomes housing thousands of plant species from across the globe. Wander through the Tropical Biome where giant bamboo, coffee and bananas are grown. Afterwards, admire the olive trees and grape vines in the Mediterranean Biome, then learn about native Cornish species in the Outdoor Gardens.
Another draw for nature lovers is the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which surround the 17th-century Jacobean mansion of Heligan House. Venture into “The Jungle”, where subtropical ferns grow, and admire the colourful rhododendron displays, then photograph the famous plant-made figures of the Mud Maid and the Giant’s Head.
Getting around St. Austell
St Austell is a 30-minute drive from Newquay Cornwall Airport and around four hours by train from London. The town is small enough to explore on foot, but having your own vehicle is best for visiting the surrounding sights.