Enjoy easy access to stunning beaches, bluebell woods and the coastal path when you take a…
The old Cornish town of Redruth gained its name from mineral mining. In medieval times, the process of separating tin and copper from waste materials turned a local river blood-red with iron oxide. The Cornish name for a nearby ford was Rhyd Druth, the 'red ford' and the village that grew around it became Redruth. The innovative engineering that developed in tandem with mining turned Redruth and its adjoining town of Camborne into centres of Cornish industry and brought prosperity to the area, especially during the 19th century.
Into the often bleak world of 18th-century mineral mining came brothers John and Charles Wesley, burning with religious zeal; it's apt that one of the most revered locations in Methodism is Gwennap Pit, near Redruth. Here the grassy hollow of a caved-in mine shaft was first used for secular gatherings and events. However, it wasn't long before the pit was commandeered as a venue for preaching. John Wesley preached here between 1762 and 1789.
The first part of this walk leads from the heart of Redruth past such significant mining relics as the great chimney stack of the Pednandrea Mine, just off Sea View Terrace. Once the stack towered eight storeys high; it's now reduced to four, but is still impressive. From here you soon climb to the high ground of Gwennap and Carn Marth. The field path that takes you to Gwennap Pit was once a 'highway' of people heading to this 'cathedral of the moor'. Today there is a visitor centre at the Pit, alongside the peaceful little Busveal Chapel of 1836. From Gwennap Pit the walk leads on to the summit of Carn Marth and to one of the finest viewpoints in Cornwall; unexpectedly so because of the hill's modest profile. From above the flooded quarry on the summit you look north to the sea and to the hill of St Agnes Beacon. Northeast lies the St Austell clay country, southwest is the rocky summit of Carn Brea with its distinctive granite cross; southeast you can even see the cranes on Falmouth dockside. From the top of Carn Marth, the return route is all downhill along rough tracks and quiet country lanes that lead back to the heart of Redruth.
From any of the car parks, make your way to Fore Street, the main street of Redruth. Walk up to a junction (the railway station is down to the right) and take the middle branch, to the left of the Wesley Centenary Memorial Building and signposted 'To Victoria Park'. This is Wesley Street. In just a few paces turn right on Sea View Terrace; the chimney stack of the Pednandrea Mine is up to the left a few paces along the road. Pass Basset Street on the right and, where streets cross, go left, all the way up Raymond Road to a T-junction with Sandy Lane.
Cross the road with care, then follow the track opposite, signposted 'Public Bridleway' and 'Grambler Farm'. Go through a wooden gate by the farm and continue to an open area. Bear left here and follow a path between hedges. Shortly join a track and head onwards to a clearing. Bear left here to take the path on the left. At a junction with a track turn left.
Look to your right for a field gateway with breeze block gateposts and go through it. Cross a stile at the next gate and then keep straight ahead across the next field. Cross two more stiles and continue between wire fences by a house to a final stile. Walk down a lane to a junction of surfaced roads and follow the road opposite for 100yds (91m) to 'Gwennap Pit'.
Follow the road away from Gwennap Pit. Ignore the first few turn-offs and in about 300yds (274m), just after some barns on the left, turn right along a broad track, signposted 'Public Bridleway'. Where the track swings sharply to the right, head straight up a path between hedges. Head on over a crossing then, at a second crossing beside a ruined building, turn right along a stony track to the prominent summit of Carn Marth.
Pass a flooded quarry on your left, then follow a rocky path round to the right of a trig point and on along the fenced-in rim of a deep quarry. Keep left at a fork and go down a track to reach a surfaced road. Turn left and in 30yds (27m) turn left along a track by two large tanks. Follow the track to a T-junction with the main road at a house called Tara. Cross the road with great care, turn right and continue for 300yds (180m).
Ignore the first public bridleway, after about 150yds (137m), and then go left down a path between houses, signposted 'Public Bridleway'. Continue past a lane on the right to reach a junction with Trefusis Road. Turn right and then left into Raymond Road. Turn right at the next crossroads into Sea View Terrace. Turn left down Wesley Street and on into Fore Street.
Field paths, rough tracks and surfaced lanes; may be muddy; several stiles
Small fields and open heathland with quarry and mine remains
On lead through grazed areas
OS Explorer 104 Redruth & St Agnes
Several car parks in Redruth
Redruth car parks; Gwennap Pit Visitor Centre, when open
WALKING IN SAFETY
Read our tips to look after yourself and the environment when following this walk.
Also in the area
About the area
Discover Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
Cornwall has just about everything – wild moorland landscapes, glorious river valley scenery, picturesque villages and miles of breathtaking coastline. With more than 80 surfing spots, there are plenty of sporting enthusiasts who also make their way here to enjoy wave-surfing, kite surfing and blokarting.
In recent years, new or restored visitor attractions have attracted even more visitors to the region; the Eden Project is famous for its giant geodesic domes housing exotic plants from different parts of the globe, while nearby the Lost Gardens of Heligan has impressive kitchen gardens and a wildlife hide.
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