St Just coastal walk
St Just, West Cornwall TR19 7QQRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
This circular walk lies within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and gives you a real insight into what makes the St Just area so special. It takes you past historical and industrial sites set in coastal heathland with their rare wild flowers, where you can hear the distinctive ‘cheow’ of passing choughs or catch a glimpse of basking sharks.
- Bus stop
Start: Car park beside Botallack Count House workshop, grid ref: SW365332
Start at the Botallack Count House workshop, where there's information about local mining and natural history. The Workshop is open 10am until 4pm, all year round. From the Count House, turn right along the track.
Industrial archaeology: The Botallack Cliffs were once world famous for their industry, in particular the Crowns engine houses perched on the cliff edge; the mine workings stretch far out under the sea. Botallack Mine was worked for tin and copper for over 500 years its sites include the early 20th-century arsenic works with its labyrinth of tunnels, the Victorian Count House (mine office) nearby and the steel headgear on Allens Shaft.
Just past the headgear on the right, turn left by the Coast Path sign following the path through the tin dressing floor and past the chimney. Continue past West Wheal Owles and Wheal Edward engine houses.
Savour the rugged coastal landscape of the World Heritage Site. In the foreground is Wheal Edward engine house, whilst behind can be seen the Crowns engine houses and the tall calciner chimney.
Following the Coast Path turn right, way-marked to Cape Cornwall and out to Kenidjack headland. Here, you can explore the Iron Age cliff castle to the north of the rifle butts.
We've reintroduced rare breed cattle to Kenidjack Headland to encourage a diversity of wild flowers and produce habitat suitable for feeding choughs. Cape Cornwall can be seen in the background.
From the rifle butts, the Coast Path leads down the hillside. Go over the stile where a way-mark states 'mine shaft, danger of death'. Turn left onto the old quarry track, then take the path on the right which runs diagonally down the valley side.
A tranquil scene in the Kenidjack valley, formerly a hive of industrial activity. The restored Catchers Pool provides a wetland habitat which attracts insects such as the beautiful Demoiselle, as well as feeding bats and otters. The conserved arsenic works can be seen in the background.
Follow the track inland, and past the Kenidjack arsenic works with its tall chimney, on the other side of the stream. At the National Trust sign for Kenidjack, turn right again and continue on to Kenidjack hamlet.
Where the rough track ends and the metalled road starts, turn left and go up through the hamlet to a stone stile straight ahead. Beyond this, cross the field to another stile, and follow a narrow track between hedges.
To the left of the house straight ahead is Wheal Owles, a ruined engine house. Take the track beside the engine house on its right, cross the stile and head through the fields toward the coast. Cross the next stile back to the track above Wheal Edward.
At the junction, turn right along this ancient trackway with partial remains of the original cobbles. Turn left at the junction, which will lead back to the Counthouse track which will be clearly visible in front of you.
End: Botallack Count House workshop, grid ref: SW365332
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6km)
- Time: 2 hours
- OS Map: Explorer 102
Clifftops and farmland. Some slopes and stiles. Parts of the coastal walk include steps, stiles, fairly steep descents and stony cliff top paths Dogs welcome, but please keep on leads through farmland and where cattle graze.
- How to get here:
By foot: The Count House is just off the Coast Path at Botallack
By bus: Service 10a, St Just to Penzance, all year; service 300, Penzance to Land’s End, in summer. Alight Botallack village by Queens Arms then head north through village to road junction and follow track past Botallack Manor to the Count House
By car or bike: Take B3306 from St Ives or St Just to Botallack, take either turn into village and where the two roads meet, take track out to coast. Parking in area just beyond the ruins near the Count House. Bike stand outside the Count House
- Telephone: 01736 788588
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/st-just-and-cape-cornwall/