Mineral Tramways: Mining Trails

Footpath sign for the Great Flat Lode
Criss-crossing the World Heritage Site, the Mineral Tramways and Mining Trails comprise a 60km network of pathways which provide a must-do activity for walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike. Take in breathtaking views of the coast from St Ives to Perranporth, and inland across the wild hills of West Cornwall. Discover the old engine houses, and see how many mine chimneys you can count from the Neolithic site at Carn Brea – 250 metres (740ft) above sea level. For a real treat, or for early birds, get out just after dawn and absorb the atmosphere of the dramatic landscape. It is easy to imagine the mines working – the chimneys smoking – and Cornishmen toiling. Connect with the land and sense the history of the area that has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The trails follow the tramways and railway lines that were used to transport ore and vital supplies to and from all the tin and copper mines to local ports.

Great Flat Lode

For a picnic to remember, explore the circular Great Flat Lode trail and sit amongst the old buildings looking out over Godrevy lighthouse. Discover the awe-inspiring cathedral-like structures at South Wheal Frances. This centres on Marriot's Shaft and Grade II listed Pascoe's shaft, which worked until the closure of Basset Mines Ltd 1918.

Tolgus

Travel from Portreath towards Redruth on the Tolgus Trail, and make time for a stop off at the Cornwall Gold – a favourite with kids and adults alike. Here you will find one of only two tin streaming works remaining in Cornwall. Carry on your journey into Redruth Town Centre to catch a movie at the Regal Cinema or go for a meal. There is also a regular bus between Portreath and Redruth – see more for Public Transport.

People riding horses along the mineral tramways

Tehidy

There’s plenty to experience for nature lovers and history buffs too. Absorb the history and heritage with the help of interpretation panels dotted along the Tramways, and thanks to the almost completely vehicle-free network, you can get up-close and personal with Cornwall’s unique climate, wildlife and flora. Along the Tehidy Trail you will find Tehidy Country Park– a 250 acre recreational space which until 1916 was part of the estate owned by the wealthy Bassett mining family. Lose yourself in the three miles of woodland trails and bridleways and enjoy the tranquility of rural Cornwall.

Coast-to-Coast

Boast to your friends, or impress classmates, by sharing tales of your epic bike ride from the Atlantic coast in the north to the Channel in the south… actually made possible in just a couple of hours on the Portreath to Devoran Coast-to-Coast trail! The Cornish Way – or national cycle route 3 – runs through the World Heritage Site heartland, and skirts Redruth town centre alongside Bond Street and the Murdoch Quarter. Follow the Cornish Way east out of Redruth and within a mile you’ll arrive at Gwennap Pit - an open air amphitheatre used prominently by the Methodist movement in the 18th century. The popular route links Redruth and the Mineral Tramways with the Camel Trail in the east, and the First and Last Trail in the west, taking in St Michaels Mount, Mousehole and Land’s End.
Find out more about Cycle Hire and Horse Riding services. There are also online maps and public transport information.