St Austell Bay, at the centre of the Cornish Riviera, is a mecca for water sports enthusiasts and beach lovers. The climate is warm and inviting all year round and there are some amazing beaches located at intervals around the sweeping bay. You can explore the bay on foot or on a bicycle. There are lots of woodland trails and coastal footpaths, including one that runs from St Austell town, along an old tram route all the way to the Eden Project.
However you travel, make sure you check out the following attractions and activities.
St Austell Town
The town of St Austell is located a couple of miles away from the sea. It is a pretty little market town that dates back to 1189. In the early days, the settlement was a hub for the local agricultural community, but once china clay, tin and copper were discovered, St Austell was transformed into an important, and prosperous, centre for local industry.
Fore Street has changed very little from the 17th and 18th centuries and many of the properties still retain many of their original features. Look out for the Holy Trinity Parish Church with its fine architecture and the wonderful Italian façade of the Market House.
Visit the Eden Project
The Eden Project is only seven miles away from St Austell town centre. This amazing place is one of the most famous attractions in St Austell Bay and you can’t visit the area without spending a few hours exploring the tropical biomes. The site is out of this world. There is a rainforest biome, outdoor gardens, a rainforest canopy walkway, sculptures, outdoor activities for kids, a juice bar and a coffee shop. It is a great place to take children. As well as having fun, they can also learn a bit more about the natural world.
For best prices, buy your tickets online before you go. You can also buy combined tickets to visit the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan and enjoy an extra saving.
Learn More about the Cornish China Clay Industry
The Wheal Martyn Museum and Country Park is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the history of Cornwall’s china clay industry. The discovery of china clay brought huge prosperity to the region and changed the world in the process. It is a fascinating – and very important – industry, and this museum tells you all about china clay and its many uses. The museum is set in 26 acres of woodland walks and nature trails, so it is a great day out for the whole family.
St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre
Cornwall is an important centre in the brewing industry and the family owned St Austell Brewery has been making cask ales since 1851. A visit to the St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre gives you the opportunity to find out more about the Victorian brewing process and the secret spring that helps to create the brewery’s unique tasting beers.
St Austell Bay is a great holiday destination, but try to remember that it gets very busy during the summer, so book your accommodation nice and early.