20 Best Things to Do in St Austell

20 Best Things to Do in St Austell

A gem of Cornwall, St Austell is ab old market town located just a few miles away from the city of Bodmin.

Until the 18th century, St Austell was only a small mining town; however, after the fine china clay was discovered in the region, St Austell became an essential and influential market town.

The china clay or kaolin shaped the city and its economy for centuries.

The impact of the kaolin can be seen in the landscape and history of St Austell.

The town is also home to The Eden Project that is famous all around the world for its environmental and educational impact.

Not only the Eden Project, but the town is also very renowned for its venerable and breathtakingly incredible beaches, and that is why St Austell is also dubbed as the Cornish Riveria.

St Austell offers sweeping views along with history and culture in the form of museums, castles, art galleries, and much more.

You will definitely find something for you in this town.

Here are the 20 best things to do in the gorgeous and lovely town of St Austell, Cornwall.

Take A Stroll

St Austell Cliff
Charlesy / Shutterstock.com

Walking is one of the best ways to explore any city. St Austell is a small city making it perfect for exploring by foot.

You can stroll around the town and the beaches to take in the scenic glory and beautiful architecture of the picturesque city and discover what the city has to offer.

You can find the town's little secrets that you wouldn't have known if you were exploring the city in any other way like every other tourist.

Long walks with clean air and beautiful streets of St Austell will refresh your mind and body.

The World Famous Eden Project

Eden Project
Anna Jastrzebska / Shutterstock.com

Located just 10 minutes away from St Austell, Eden Project is often nicknamed as the eighth wonder of the world.

It is an award-winning attraction; people around the globe come to Cornwall to see this wonder.

Located in a disused China clay quarry, the 'biomes' have a garden containing a variety of plant life from various climates and environments.

Inside View of  Eden Project
Francesco Carucci / Shutterstock.com

The biomes are the world's largest greenhouses and provide an experience of a rainforest in a true sense with the smell and sights of an original one.

The second-largest biome contains the plant life of the Mediterranean environment.

Other biomes have plants from South Africa, California, and other many regions.

Inside View of  Eden Project
BrianScantlebury / Shutterstock.com

The site also has a beautiful botanical garden outside the biomes.

The purpose of the project is not only for aesthetics; its mission is "to promote the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources leading to a sustainable future for all."

Visit this beautiful place to know about the relationship between humans and nature.

Visit The Stunning Restormel Castle

Restormel Castle
Samot / Shutterstock.com

Located in the stunning countryside just outside of St Austell, Restormel Castle is one of the only four chief Norman castles of Cornwall.

It is located near the village of Lostwithiel and overlooks River Fowey.

The castle is famous for its perfectly circular design.

It has been in ruin since the 16th century. However, it still holds the signature circular shell.

Beautiful View of  Restormel Castle
Tomas Marek / Shutterstock.com

The castle is a haven for beautiful birds and has greenery all year round. The fee to enter the castle is £4.70.

The Restormel Castle is only opened in summers from April, and the timings are from 10 am to 5 pm, and 10 am to 6 pm in July and August.

It is a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day while enjoying the incredibly pleasing view of the countryside and the River Fowey.

Stunning View of  Restormel Castle
Dr. Juergen Bochynek / Shutterstock.com

Surround Yourself With Nature At King's Wood

Running south from St Austell to Pentewan, King's Wood is a woodland dating back to the 17th century. Woodland Trust manages it.

The stunning woodland offers breathtakingly incredible views of the rich flora in the area.

Gorgeous butterflies and rare moths can also be found in the King's Wood.

It is a perfect place to walk and clear your mind and body while surrounding yourself with incredible natural beauty.

The Magnificent Tregrehan Garden

Magnificent View of Tregrehan Garden
Tim Knight / Shutterstock.com

Dating back to the 18th century, the Tregrehan Garden is a woodland garden with a country house tucked in the garden.

Tregrehan Garden is a lovely hidden garden with pons, walled gardens, huge trees, winding paths, and much more.

The garden has several are and exotic plants with other traditional plants and trees.

A PAth in Tregrehan Garden
Tim Knight / Shutterstock.com

The estate is breathtakingly beautiful, and the stunning Victorian Glass House adds to the charm and timelessness of the garden.

The lovely and peaceful Tregrehan Garden is perfect to just walk amidst the beautiful plants and trees while admiring their beauty.

Pay A Visit To The Charlestown Shipwreck Centre

Charlestown Shipwreck Centre
Chris Jenner / Shutterstock.com

Charlestown Shipwreck Centre consists of Europe's most extensive collection of artefacts with over 8000 artefacts from over 150 shipwrecks.

The centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The estate is dog-friendly, so you can bring your pooch inside the centre but only with a leash.

Artifacts in Charlestown Shipwreck Centre
Nilfanion, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Guided tours of the centre are also available. The entry fee is £6.00 per adult.

Charlestown Shipwreck Centre is a treasure trove of nautical facts and history.

The estate also has a gift shop at the end of your visit where you can buy gifts and souvenirs to remember the town by.

Relax In Sunshine At Porthpean Beach

Porthpean Beach
N_Finch / Shutterstock.com

Located near St Austell, Porthpean Beach is a sheltered beach with white sand and clean water.

The beach is usually packed with families. Jet skiing is not allowed in the water; however, you can swim, sail, and windsurf.

The beach is also dog-friendly, so you can walk your four-legged friend here as well.

There is a snack bar along the promenade where you can grab a quick treat if you get hungry.

Porthpean Beach is an excellent clean beach with sweeping views and plenty of golden sunshine to make your visit worthwhile.

Have Fun At Cornwall Football Golf Park

The first and the most prominent football golf park of the United Kingdom, Cornwall Football Golf Park is an 18 hole course set in 18 acres of beautiful land.

Football Golf is a fun outdoor activity which has the same rules as golf but with a slight difference.

In this, the player has to kick the football inside the holes instead of the usual golf balls.

The course is lovely as well with scenic beauty and sweeping views.

Anyone over five years can play the game, so your little ones can participate and have a fun time as well.

Cornwall Football Golf Park provides a fun and entertaining way to enjoy the outdoors and the scenic beauty of St Austell.

Stop By The Lanhydrock House

Lanhydrock House
Samot / Shutterstock.com

Located just 10 miles away from St Austell, Lanhydrock House is a splendid late Victorian country house above the River Fowey in Cornwall.

The estate was restored in 1881 following a fire, but it still has elements that date back to the 1600s.

The 890-acre house is a Grade I building and is owned and managed by the National Trust since 1953.

You can discover two different sides of Victorian life here.

The 'upstairs' living section where you can see the sophisticated dining room and spacious bedrooms that showcases the luxury of a grand family home.

And The 'below stairs' section that showcases the nurseries, victorian kitchens, and servants' quarters.

The stunning country house also has gorgeous extensive 30-acres gardens that are filled with camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons.

Besides exploring the estate, you can enjoy cycling on the off-road cycle trails here. Look out for the museum and second-hand bookshop.

Learn The History Of St Austell At Wheal Martyn museum

With some parts dating back to the 18th century, Wheal Martyn museum is a china clay museum set in 26 acres.

The museum showcases the history and science of the china clay that made St Austell a significant market town.

It has interactive displays to make history more fun and exciting to learn.

The museum houses Cornwall's largest working water wheel and also has a gift shop for you to buy gifts and souvenirs.

Along with the museum, the estate has beautiful trails and woodlands with several plants and wildflowers.

Visit this museum to learn about the significance of china clay in St Austell's history and to see the breathtakingly scenic trails and woodlands alongside it.

Contemplate At Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church is a Parish church located in St Austell. This beautiful old church is a Grade I listed building.

The church has the most stunning and intricate ceiling that will take your breath away.

The stained glass windows are also magnificent. The splendid architecture of the church will take your breath away.

This grand church is a cherished part of St Austell and is definitely worth a visit.

The Stunning Lost Gardens Of Heligan

Lost Gardens Of Heligan
Simon Bond / Shutterstock.com

Situated 7 miles away from St Austell in Pentewan, Lost Gardens Of Heligan is set in 200 acres and is one of the most mysterious sites in England.

The Heligan was restored in 1990, and it became Europe's largest garden restoration project.

The gardens are of the quintessential 19th-century gardenesque style and have different design styles and characters for every area.

Fun Fact! The word 'Heligan' in the name of the garden is taken from the Cornish word 'helygen' that translates to willow trees.

The garden has several beautiful flowers along with fruit and vegetable gardens, an area called "The Jungle", an Italian garden, and so much more.

The estate also has a small cafe that serves delicious cream teas and other treats at a reasonable price.

With beautifully tended gardens and plant life, the Lost Gardens Of Heligan is a must-visit if you're ever in St Austell.

Where To Eat

St Austell Town Centre
travellight / Shutterstock.com

St Austell has a fantastic food scene with numerous fabulous restaurants and cafes located throughout the town.

The town offers a wide variety of cuisines, including French, Indian, European along with various vegetarian and vegan options. However, the town's speciality is British food.

Some of the most amazing British eateries in the city are- Little Bay Cafe, Charlie's Coffee House, Polgooth Inn, Moustache Jacks, and The Pier House Restaurant.

You will find delectable and flavoursome food at these places to satisfy your hunger after exploring the city.

Where To Drink

St Austell Brewery
Radomir Rezny / Shutterstock.com

After a long day of exploring the impressive city of Lowestoft, you can quench your thirst by drinking tasty beers and wines from the several pubs and bars across the town.

However, the most famous place to get a drink in St Austell is St Austell Brewery.

It was found in 1851 and has been a local staple since then.

The brewery is famous for its Tribute Ale beer which contributes to almost 80 per cent of the total sales of the brewery.

You can take a guided tour of the brewery and sample all the other drinks while learning about the origin and history of the award-winning brewery.

St Austell Brewery is a perfect place to grab some beers at the end of the day after exploring the city.

Where to Stay

You will not have any trouble with the accommodation when you're in the charming and delightful town of St Austell.

The city has a wide range of hotels, from budget abiding hotels to luxurious hotels.

Some of the best and most comfortable hotels in the town are- The Carlyon Bay, The Waterwheel Inn, Travelodge, Boscundle Manor Hotel, and Rashleigh Arms.

These hotels are at convenient locations and provide many amenities to make your stay more comfortable and home-like.

The quaint and lovely city of St Austell is full of culture and history.

This historic city is full of things that you can do and explore. The stunning architecture of the town is definitely worth swooning over.

The traditional and beautiful town is going to amaze you with its quintessential English life and the beguiling landscape.

What are you waiting for? Visit this magnificent picturesque town to experience the classic English lifestyle.

Visit the Beaches at Carlyon Bay

Carlyon Bay, the mile-long seashore of St. Austell, is located on the southern coast of Cornwall.

Three beaches make up Carlyon Bay, and each one is unique in features and magnificence.

Crinnis Beach is located to the west and has a distinctive rock outcrop recognized as Crinnis Island that gradually slopes toward the sea.

The Sandy River's trickling noises may be heard trickling toward the sea from the principal beach, Shorthorn.

The lush and beautiful nature reserve of Polgaver completes this uninterrupted stretch of beach.

All beaches are open to the public all year long, are simple to find, and have adequate parking.

Explore the Displays at Shipwreck Treasure Museum

The Shipwreck Treasure Museum is a location of risk and opportunity where an unexplored seabed full of recovered stories awaits.

Explore through their unique museum, which is stuffed to the brim with thousands of objects from wrecks.

View the sole intact coin barrel ever discovered from a ship, experience the mass of a cannonball, and picture the destruction it caused during a maritime fight.

The 8000 artifacts in their unique collection range in size from the simplest treasures to the biggest cargo ships, and there are 165 shipwrecks to examine.

There is a wide variety of food and drink available, from pop-up pizzas and freshly made coffee to substantial sailor fare, to keep the air in your sleeves.

Engage in Activities at St Austell Leisure Centre

The Polkyth Leisure Center was once named the St Austell Leisure Center.

The Center provides top-notch, reasonably priced recreational opportunities and exercise facilities to support your active lifestyle.

They provide a diverse schedule of exercise courses in two professional studios, including spinning, pilates, yoga, and boxfit.

There are options for mini tennis, badminton, acrobatics, judo, and vacation activities in the three-court sports hall at the St. Austell Leisure Center.

If you like to splash about, make use of their 5-lane, 25-meter swimming pool, which offers swimming classes, fitness swims, family activities, and water exercises.

Walk Around the Pinetum Gardens

Discover Pinetum Gardens, a haven of tranquility and peace with a stunning garden landscape, in the Center of St Austell.

On this bustling day, an intimate encounter with a personal touch like this family-owned garden is uncommon.

This 30-acre estate has multiple gardens included within it, providing a lovely backdrop for more than 6000 different plant species, the majority of which are identified.

One of the county's greatest plant collections may be found in Pinetum Gardens, which has been lovingly nurtured over the past 40 years.

Ten uniquely designed garden rooms with different plant themes are located in a beautiful landscape.

Relax and Spend the Night at White Hart Hotel

A Grade 2 currently listed hotel, The White Hart Hotel is located in the heart of St Austell, Cornwall.

The White Hart has long been regarded as St Austell's premier inn.

It is a great starting point if you're visiting Cornwall for business or taking in the various gardens and sights the region has to offer.

The Heligan Gardens and the Eden Project are nearby.

The hotel's en-suite rooms each mix the uniqueness and charm of this lovely historic structure with contemporary comforts and amenities.

When requested, pets are welcome to stay at the hotel.


For a sunny get away from home, St Austell, one of the biggest towns in Cornwall, is a must-visit.

Your guide for a day packed with fun alongside friends and family will be the list of the best things to do in St Austell above.

You won't get bored when exploring the beaches, dining on seafood, learning about ancient artifacts at museums, and other exciting things to do.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.