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Redruth Mining Walk - the route. Image: woman sat with back to the camera looking out at the view from Carn Marth, Cornwall, UK

Carn Brea: A Walk In Cornwall’s Historic Heartland

Carn Brea: A Walk In Cornwall’s Historic Heartland is a glorious walk through mining country and was updated in October 2021. All the planning details are correct, including the all-important transport.

Pinterest Collage: Discover Cornwall's Historic Heartland: 8 Mile Circular Walk from Redruth, Cornwall, UK

Explore Carn Brea In This Easy 8 Mile Circular Walk

Carn Brea Castle, an old hunting lodge (now a restaurant) on top of Carn Brea Hill on a bright summer's day with foxgloves growing through bracken and boulders

Once upon a time Carn Brea Castle was a hunting lodge but is now a quirky restaurant

Carn Brea, Carn Marth and Gwennap Pit are the highlights of this fascinating walk in Cornwall’s industrial heartland on the outskirts of Redruth.

This walk takes you through some of the most fascinating rough and ready landscapes that make up part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. You’ll see countless remains of tin mines, an 18th-century hunting lodge, two amphitheatres (always open) and spectacular 360° views out to the coast from two prominent hills. It’s one of my favourite Cornish walks away from the coast!

 

 

Carn Brea Hill, Castle And Monument

The route starts at Redruth Railway Station (with a car park) and heads out of Redruth up the prominent hill of Carn Brea, which is a distinctive landmark on the horizon that can be seen for miles around. There’s archaeological evidence of Neolithic enclosures as well as the 27 metre high Basset Monument (1863) and Carn Brea Castle to explore. (The Castle was an old hunting lodge built by the Basset family in the 18th century on the remains of a 14th-century chapel.)

 

Carn Brea Monument on the top of a hill with a rocky outcrop in the foreground.

Carn Brea Monument can be seen on the horizon for miles around

 

 

From Carn Brea To Carn Marth Hill And Amphitheatre

From Carn Brea the walk heads across to Carn Marth hill along old mining trails where you’ll see the remains of intensive tin mining, from chimneys to engine houses.

 

A track beside the pond in an old quarry on top of Carn Brea on a bright sunny day

Views for miles on Carn Marth

 

A quarry pool on Carn Marth with foxgloves in the foreground, Cornwall UK

Quarry pools

As you head up Carn Marth there’s an amphitheatre built into the hollow of an old quarry (where outdoor events are regularly held) and at the top are two flooded quarries that create large natural ponds, and of course there are spectacular views. You can see the sea on the north coast looking back across Carn Brea to Portreath, and out to Falmouth Bay on the south coast. Make your way around to the trig point for impressive 360° views across the countryside littered with the remains of tin and copper mining.

 

Looking across green countryside on a clear summer's day to Falmouth Bay on the far horizon.

Far-reaching views to Falmouth Bay from Carn Marth

From Carn Marth To Gwennap Pit

The route then heads downhill and along narrow country lanes, between Cornish hedges filled with wildflowers to Gwennap Pit.

Gwennap Pit is renowned as the place where the founder of Methodism John Wesley preached to miners and their families from 1762, and is now part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

The Pit is a depression in the ground that’s thought to be caused by mine workings below, but the amphitheatre as it’s seen today was built to the memory of Wesley by local miners in 1806. It can hold up to 1500 people in its 12 concentric rings and it’s worth checking out the information boards to see old black and white photos of the Pit filled to the brim with miners – an incredible sight!

 

Carn Brea, a walk in Cornwall's historic heartland. This is Gwennap Pit, towards the end of the route. It's a grassed Methodist amphitheatre with concentric rings and steps cut into a bowl in the landscape.

Exploring Gwennap Pit

From here the route heads back across fields and farmland to Redruth.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think of this fascinating walk! You can find more of my favourite Cornish walks here:

 

Happy hiking

Stephie x

Plan Your Walk

Carn Brea: A Walk In Cornwall’s Historic Heartland

Updated April 2021

  • Start and Finish: Redruth Railway Station SW 700 420
  • Distance: 8 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: Half Day
  • Terrain: Mostly off-road on footpaths, tracks (some rocky) and quiet country lanes. Several main roads to cross including the B3300 and the A393.
  • Points of Interest: Carn Brea hill, Castle and monument, The Great Flat Lode mining trail, Carn Marth hill and amphitheatre, plus Gwennap Pit amphitheatre.

Travel

Map and GPX

See the route and download my fully waymarked GPX file on OS Maps (free to download):

Amenities

Pin Me And Share Me

Let your friends and followers know about this awesome walk!

 

Short Walks – 10 Mile Hike

Where next?

Why not explore more of my short walks? There are day walks from 8 miles to 20 miles to explore. And if you fancy a short hike, try this 30 Mile Walk in Cornwall: Saints’ Way Cornwall, a glorious coast to coast walk from Padstow to Fowey. And it’s easily broken into 2 days.

 

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