Head on over to Wheal Martyn China Clay Country Park.
Situated in a valley alongside the St Austell River, the China Clay Country Park is a fun day out for all the family. The museum was established in 1975 to preserve the history of China Clay in the mid Cornwall area and is located within two old China Clay works, Wheal Martyn and Gomm.
Begin your tour of the site with the museum which provides an in-depth history of the China Clay industry through both written and interactive mediums. Children can get into character by wearing one of the hard hats available and won’t be bored as they test their strength on the tug of war or put the model water wheel and plunger pump into action.
As you enter the outdoor area, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what activity to embark on next. The historic trail offers the opportunity to view the old clay works, machinery and vehicles or you can take the nature trail to see how wildlife is reclaiming the old site. Further along the tracks there is also a viewing point for the modern day working clay pit.
For the children, there is a children’s challenge trail and play area and if you fancy bringing a picnic there is plenty of space and tables nearby. If you prefer to eat indoors, the café offers warmth, space and helpful and welcoming staff. Whether you’re in need of a big fill or a light bite the menu has something for everyone, including the kids, and is reasonably priced.
The cream tea is definitely worth a mention – two freshly baked scones (warm from the oven!) complete with generous portions of jam and clotted cream and a pot of tea for one.
The park also offers a variety of goodies in the gift shop and an extensive book collection including everything from the China Clay and Cornish engineering industries to books on the Bal Maidens (females of the mines.)
Wheal Martyn, Carthew, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 8XG,
Want to see more like this?
Subscribe to myCornwall magazine here for the very best of Cornwall’s food, culture, events, art, heritage, personalities and places.