Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum


Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum

Wheal Martyn in St Austell is Cornwall’s only China Clay mining museum, in fact it is the UK’s only china clay mining museum. The museum tells the story of the mining industry, which is still alive today. 

Set in 26 acres of grounds, Wheal Martyn incorporates a preserved Victorian clay works and gives insight into this important industry which shaped the lives, landscape and economy of the Clay Country which surrounds St Austell and beyond.

The museum provides opportunities for everyone to learn, be inspired and engage. During your visit you can interact with their vast collection of artefacts, archives, built heritage and environment within their unique and special grounds.

Wheal Martyn is located in the village of Carthew, between St. Austell and Bugle on the B3274, 2 miles north of St. Austell and 6 miles from the Innis Downs junction on the A30 dual carriageway. Open daily from 10am to 5pm,Click here to visit their website for full details.

Clay Trails Network


Clay Trails Network

A glimpse into the China Clay industry of St Austell

The clay trails are a network of short walking, cycling and horse riding trails through mid-Cornwall’s China Clay Country. Winding their way through the unique landscape of the china clay mining area, offering an insight into both the past and present of an industry which has shaped St Austell and surrounding areas.

9 trails offer a glimpse into the China Clay industry of St Austell and indeed Cornwall and provide a mostly traffic free route through: farmland; wooded valleys, fishing villages and mining villages

The trails are set on a variety of flat and smooth surfaces, to steeper, uneven terrain and are suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders, mobility scooters, wheelchair users and buggies.

How to get there

There are a many ways to get you to the coast and clay trails:

By rail – catch the train to Par Station or St Austell train station which are on the main line.  From Par station you can then catch the train to Bugle station or Luxulyan train station.

By car –  view the maps section of the Clay Trails website to find out how to get there by car. There are a number of council car parks located along the trails, view the map below to find out where these are located.

By bus – buses run to many of the nearby towns and villages. You can find information about timetables and tickets on the Traveline South West website.

Facilities and parking

You can find full details about the nearby facilities, attractions and parking along each of the trails on the clay trails website.

Dog Friendly Attractions


Dog Friendly Attractions

Our four legged friends love living here as much as we do and love the chance to explore.

There are a number of dog friendly attractions across the area, here are just some of them waiting to welcome you and your dog.

Eden Project

Dogs are free to enjoy the miles of outdoor paths at Eden, but aren’t allowed in the Biomes or other undercover areas, apart from the Visitor Centre. If visiting with your dog, you should ensure they are kept on a lead at all times, remain with their owners and kept away from children’s play areas. Eden has dedicated dog waste bins, water for dogs available, undercover dining areas for dogs on the terrace outside the Eden Bakery and sheltered parking shelters.

Wheal Martyn

Dogs on leads are welcome throughout the site at Wheal Martyn. They even have tables available close to the café, especially for those with dogs. A visit to Wheal Martyn is for all the family, with the chance to find out more about Cornwall’s rich China Clay mining heritage, discover the Victorian clay works, walk through their nature trails or see modern mining in action at Pit View. There is also plenty of play opportunities for children to enjoy.

Restormel Castle

Dogs on leads are welcome to discover this 13th Century castle with the rest of the family. Open from April until the end of October, Restormel Castle saw action during the Civil War in 1644 and was even visited twice by the Black Prince. Once you’ve done exploring this historic attraction, there are plenty of opportunities to sit and enjoy a picnic in good weather.

Lost Gardens Of Heligan

Dogs are welcome at Heligan all year round. With miles of pathways and routes to explore, the Lost Gardens of Heligan offer up plenty of walks both you and your dog will enjoy. Owners are asked that dogs are kept on leads at all times as they have a variety of rare livestock and poultry around the site. There are a number of dog waste bins located across the gardens, but dogs are not allowed in the Heligan Tearoom or Stewardry.

Eden Project To Wheal Martyn


Eden Project To Wheal Martyn

This five-mile trail crosses woodland, heathland and passes by working mines and clay pits. Car parking is available at the Eden Project and Wheal Martyn, where visitors are invited to make a small donation towards the museum’s charitable work. There is also an informal car park to the side of the A391 at Scredda.

Access to this trail starts from behind the Plum Car Park at the Eden Project; look out for the blue Clay Trail signs or granite way markers with black arrows.

Once on the trail, follow the path through a small field. At the T-junction a granite way marker points the direction to the left. After a short distance you’ll come to a small cross roads you need cross the road and the trail continues straight ahead through the wooden posts. Follow the path as it gently winds downhill. Listen and look for a stream that flows past on your left.

After three quarters of a mile you’ll pass through a gate and reach the village of Trethurgy. Turn right onto the road and walk uphill for 20 feet. At the top of the road take a left and then first right following the blue Clay Trail signs. Exit this road and re-join the trail on the left (signposted on the right).

Follow the trail for three miles, then go through a metal gate shortly followed by a wooden gate, which brings you out onto an open, wide-sloped section. At the top of the slope you’ll come to a T junction, where you should turn left.

Look ahead and to the left and you will see the granite tors of Carn Grey rocks and, beyond this, St Austell Bay. As you round the corner of the path you’ll be able to see into Baal Pit, a disused china clay pit, whose surreal landscape has featured in Dr Who.

Follow the trail around the perimeter of the pit, passing a shelter on your left. Carry on past the shelter and head towards the buildings ahead, keeping them on your left side.

At the end of the path take a left, following the blue sign, which will bring you out onto the A391. Cross the busy road with care – or preferably walk to the bridge and cross safely there.

Once across the road, turn right up a small hill keep the A391 on your right whilst you cross the small informal car-park. The trail continues to your left (look out for the dog bins). Continue for a quarter of a mile, then take a left fork on the path (the trail ahead takes you onto Sky Spur.

Follow the path as it gently winds and bends downhill for half a mile. Once you pass a metal gate and set of granite boulders, veer left and cross the road following the path, and look out for blue signs to Wheal Martyn.

Continue along the path, crossing the William Cookworthy bridge – named after the man who ‘discovered’ china clay in the 18th century. Then follow the trail as it runs parallel to the river and then through Ruddlemoor village green.

The final part of the trail is a slight incline up to Wheal Martyn. As you head towards Wheal Martyn you may notice ancient chimneys partially hidden by the undergrowth, reminders of the clay driers of the 19th century. Further on in the distance you can see today’s working mines where powerful hoses are used to wash out the clay from the pit.

Wheal Martyn to St Austell


Wheal Martyn to St Austell

Join the Wheal Martyn to St Austell trail at the bottom of Wheal Martyn car park. After a few metres you’ll pass a metal chimney sculpture, created as part of a collection of art to celebrate the rich mining history of the area.

The trail runs for half a mile along wooded paths and through the small village of Ruddlemoor parallel to the road.  As you leave the village the trail runs alongside the river.

Once you have crossed the William Cookworthy Bridge you’ll round a corner marked with carved granite boulders. At the boulders head right along the path. Continue following this path for the rest of the trail.

After a small bridge you’ll spot the towering chimneys of an old clay drier on the left side of the path. Now overgrown with vegetation, Carlyon Farm Kilns were once the largest coal-fired china clay drying kilns. Look out for remnants of the internal narrow gauge railway system, which served the drier running along the loading platform edge.

The trail continues on to run parallel to the modern day railway. Behind you there are pleasant views over the railway viaduct and of the clay hills on the skyline. The trail finishes in Tremena Gardens, a short walk from the centre of St Austell.

Car parking is available at Wheal Martyn, where visitors are invited to make a small donation towards the museum’s charitable work. St Austell town centre has some on-street parking as well as pay and display car parks.

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