Coast & countryside

A sea view

The dramatic landscape of Cornish coastal mining at Levant in West Penwith © NTPL/David Noton

The dramatic landscape of Cornish coastal mining at Levant in West Penwith

We have the Atlantic Ocean knocking at our doorstep so grab your walking shoes and come and enjoy the sea view. Habitats are diverse and range from the open ocean and steep cliffs to heathland and a patchwork of small ancient granite-walled fields. Cape Cornwall and the headlands of Botallack and Kenidjack are good lookouts for basking sharks and sociable family groups of dolphins.

Look a little higher

Fulmars can live up to 50 years old © Cliff Henry / National Trust

Fulmars can live up to 50 years old

The cliffs offer isolation and shelter for breeding seabirds and the shoals of mackerel and herring make the offshore a feeding ground for seabirds such as gannets, fulmars and kittiwakes.

We're also home to several Cornish choughs, the symbolic bird of Cornwall which, until recently, had been absent from our shores for many years.

Across the cliffs

Detail of Western gorse and common heather. © Andrew Tuddenham

Detail of Western gorse and common heather.

From the beginning of spring and throughout summer the clifftops become alive with vibrant colour. Hedgerows are transformed by the colours of flowering sea campion, thrift, thyme, scabious and centaury, attracting many butterflies and moths.

Even the mine waste provides micro-habitats for animals and specialised plants and lichen.

Well choughed

A chough feeding on the grazed cliffs near Lizard Point © George Rogers

A chough feeding on the grazed cliffs near Lizard Point

A county wide effort has seen the gradual reappearance of the Cornish chough, the symbolic bird of Cornwall. This rare and beautiful bird left our shores over 50 years ago but careful conservation of their habitats is now seeing their return.

Let's get creative

Make some wild art

Making wild art © NTPL/National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Keep an eye on our events listing as this year we will be running some wild art sessions, or simply try it yourself. All you need is leaves, sticks, maybe some seed pods and feathers, glue, paper and plenty of imagination.

Be inspired

Making wild art © NTPL/Photography by Ward

Levant is not just about greasy nuts and bolts; many artists have come to St Just for inspiration and it’s not hard to see why. This ever changing landscape is an artistic treasure trove, why not bring your sketchbook and have a go yourself?

Botallack workshop

Making wild art © NTPL/Rosie Brigham

If you need extra inspiration drop into Botallack workshop where you'll often find contemporary photography or art exhibitions.

Painting on the edge

Many artists have drawn inspiration from the dramatic landscape around Levant, find out how artist Nicola Tilley uses the countryside in her work.

Try our explorer packs

  • Taking a closer look at wildlife © John Miller

    Bug hunting

    Use the bug pot to examine creepy crawlies around the site, be sure to put them back though.

  • 'x' marks the spot © Chris Tapley

    Treasure map

    Draw and colour your own treasure map and use the compass to find which way is north.

  • What can you see? © Nick Holden

    Sea and sky chart

    What can you see out to sea and in the sky? Use the mini binoculars to spot animals.

  • Different surface produce different results © Bill Alloway

    Rock rubbings

    Make a rock rubbing, find an interesting rock and get creative with crayons.


Geocaching is a great way to get children exploring the outdoors

Geocaching is a great way to get children exploring the outdoors

Do you like a treasure hunt with a breath of fresh air? We have the perfect setting for a high tech hunt.

Come and try your hand at geocaching. Geocaching is an exciting outdoor adventure for the whole family. It’s a treasure hunt for the digital generation, where you can enjoy the freedom of being outside and discovering new places. At reception we have several GPS devices which you can use to set off on a trail around the site on the search of minerals, bugs and buildings.