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Botallack Coast and Levant Mine

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Botallack Coast and Levant Mine
Author: Claire, Published: 18 Jul 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Botallack Coast and Levant Mine Walking Guidestar0 Botallack Coast and Levant Mine Walking Guidestar0 Botallack Coast and Levant Mine Walking Guidestar0 Botallack Coast and Levant Mine Walking Guidestar0 Botallack Coast and Levant Mine Walking Guide
Cornwall, St Just
Walk Type: Coastal
Botallack Coast and Levant Mine
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Botallack Coast and Levant Mine Walking Guide boot Botallack Coast and Levant Mine Walking Guide
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A 2 mile circular walk along the stretch of coast at Botallack, near St Just on the western tip of Cornwall. This iconic stretch of coast is rich with heritage of the tin mining industry and is littered with beautiful stone remains of the engine houses, winding houses and chimneys, adding more drama to an already dramatic coastline. In fact, this stretch of coast is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and has also been used to film many scenes for the popular TV series Poldark.

The walk follows a mixture of stone tracks and stone paths through the coastal heathland. There are some short steep slopes, some narrow sections and you will need to take care of the loose stones underfoot. At some points there are steep cliff drops to the side of the path, so take care with children and dogs. There are no stiles or gates on the route and any livestock is held away from the heathland by fences and stone walls, so they will not be sharing your paths. If you wish to visit Levant Mine (rather than just view the exterior) this is managed by the National Trust, so entrance fees apply and please check opening times. Allow 1 hour for the walk plus extra time to visit the mine.

In terms of local facilities, the starting car park sits alongside the Count House Workshop, a restored mining office that today houses a small cafe, an information centre, museum and toilets, all managed by the National Trust. You can also hire a Tramper all-terrain mobility scooter from the Count House (pre-booking required) which will give access to the main stone track which runs all the way to Levant Mine (this is used only for the return leg on our walk, but you can use it for both directions if needed).

The walk starts and finishes at the National Trust Botallack car park, alongside the Count House. This car park does not have its own exact post code as it is on the coast at the end of a stone access track. The post code TR19 7QQ will take you close-by, in the village of Botallack. Arriving from St Just on the B3306, turn left immediately before the first Botallack village sign (signed to the Queen’s Head) and pass this pub on your right. Where the road bends right, do NOT follow it, instead go straight ahead onto the side access road. Follow this road as it swings left and then right (becoming a stone track). Pass the large restored Count House (now a holiday cottage, cafe and visitor centre) on your right and you will find the car park just beyond this on your right. The car park is free for National Trust members and pay-and-display for everyone else. Two hours costs £2 (correct Summer 2018).

Walk Sections

Start to Coast Viewpoint
Start to Coast Viewpoint

Start point: 50.1408 lat, -5.6893 long
End point: 50.1412 lat, -5.6909 long

The walk begins in the Count House car park, at the heart of the old Botallack Mine. Botallack produced 14,500 tonnes of tin, 20,000 tonnes of copper ore and 1,500 tonnes of refined arsenic during its working life. It was a submarine mine, and its shafts reach 570m deep and extend nearly half a mile out to sea. Before or after your walk, you might wish to explore the Count House that sits alongside the car park. The Count House was originally built as a mine office and was deliberately grander in style than other local buildings to promote confidence in the mine amongst prospective shareholders. Nearby were other buildings including a sawmill, carpenters' shop and smithy. A restored section of the former stables now houses an information centre, cafe and toilets.

From the car park, return to the stone access track (with the sea ahead) and turn right along this. Follow the track down the first short slope, to draw level with the tall metal winding house on your right. At this point, turn left through a gap (next to a wide metal gate) and then bear right to follow the stone path through the stone building remains. You will reach a T-junction, with a set of steps up to your right. We will take these steps in a moment, but first turn left (heading back on yourself) to reach the front of the stone building remains with the sea on your right.

At this point it is worth pausing to take in your surroundings. This is the most famous viewpoint at Botallack, on this wild Tin Coast. If you look down to your right, you will see the famed Crown engine houses clinging to the foot of the cliffs – a photographer’s dream. This wild stretch of coast is certainly photogenic, one of the reasons it has been used to film many scenes for the TV drama Poldark.

Coast Viewpoint to Trig Point
Coast Viewpoint to Trig Point

Start point: 50.1412 lat, -5.6909 long
End point: 50.1447 lat, -5.692 long

When you have finished here, retrace your steps back to the junction and go ahead up the flight of steps to emerge back onto the main stone track. Turn left along the stone track and continue until you reach a fork (with a stone wall and wooden gate ahead). Fork left here, signed as the Coast Path (marked with a yellow arrow and acorn symbol).

Follow this narrow stone path with a stone wall running on your right and the cliffs sloping down to your left. The drops are quite steep so take care with children and dogs. Keep your eyes peeled for sea birds and peregrine falcons that nest on the cliffs – we were lucky enough to watch a peregrine falcon hunting.

Follow the path winding ahead, leading you across the remains of an old stone wall and passing the stone stump of a chimney immediately on your right. Stay with the path, now meandering through the old spoil heaps of the mines to reach a concrete trig point on your left.

Trig Point to Rocky Outcrop
Trig Point to Rocky Outcrop

Start point: 50.1447 lat, -5.692 long
End point: 50.1489 lat, -5.6904 long

Follow the main coastal path ahead, with the sea still on your left, leading you past a number of low stone circular walls which surround the old mine shafts. Immediately after passing the low stone wall remains of a square building on your right, you will reach a crossroads of paths. Turn right for a few metres to reach a fork and then take the left-hand branch.

Simply follow this stone path meandering through the low heathland – a patchwork of yellow gorse and purple heather in the summer and autumn months. The path leads you to a gap in a stone wall. Pass through this gap and keep ahead on the path which leads steeply downhill to reach a junction in a dip. Take the middle path which leads you straight ahead, steeply up the hill. The path leads you to a rocky outcrop sitting on the headland on your left.

Rocky Outcrop to Three Benches
Rocky Outcrop to Three Benches

Start point: 50.1489 lat, -5.6904 long
End point: 50.151 lat, -5.6875 long

Keep ahead on the main coastal path which leads you down through a dip and up the other side, heading the for a tall chimney in the distance. The path leads you just to the right of another stone chimney stump and, directly ahead in the distance, you will be able to see a row of old chimneys plus the white lighthouse of Pendeen Watch. You will emerge to a stone track turning circle, with three benches on your left. This makes the perfect spot to pause and enjoy the coastal views once again.

Three Benches to Levant Mine
Three Benches to Levant Mine

Start point: 50.151 lat, -5.6875 long
End point: 50.1523 lat, -5.6851 long

Turn right to follow the stone track which leads you to a T-junction with the main stone track (with the corner of a stone wall ahead). Turn left to follow the main stone track which leads you past a parking area on your right to reach a T-junction with a tarmac access lane. Turn left, heading downhill on this tarmac access lane (passing a vehicle barrier). This tarmac lane leads you down between stone ruins with several interpretation boards, to reach the restored buildings of Levant Mine on your left.

You can visit the buildings should you wish (entrance fees apply). Levant was known as the mine under the sea, with undersea levels stretching over a mile. It produced copper, tin and arsenic (a lucrative but deadly by-product of tin ore). Levant Mine first appeared on a map in 1748 and Levant Mining Company was formed in 1820. By 1836, 320 men, 44 women and 186 children were employed on the site. In Levant's first 20 years of business, £170,000 was made from mining copper. New technology was introduced to streamline production, and in 1857 the now-infamous man engine was installed. This engine carried men many fathoms up and down the mine, to and from work each day. The mine closed in 1930. The 1840 beam engine, which raised the copper and tin ore, has been restored and still runs on steam today.

Levant Mine to End
Levant Mine to End

Start point: 50.1523 lat, -5.6851 long
End point: 50.1409 lat, -5.6892 long

When you are ready to continue, head back up the tarmac access lane. Turn right immediately before the car park, to join the stone track along which you arrived earlier. As you reach the corner of the stone wall (with the three benches across to your right), take the left-hand of the three paths ahead to continue on the stone track with the stone wall running on your left.

Part way along, you will come to a major fork in the track. You can take either branch as they quickly merge together again. The track leads you through a gap in a stone wall and passes the Roscommon Cliff National Trust sign on your right. Simply follow the track meandering ahead, passing Roscommon Cottage on your left and continuing ahead to reach the car park on your left where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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Uploaded: 18 Jul 2018

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Uploaded: 18 Jul 2018

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