Wheal Coates to Chapel Porth coastal walk

Today we went for a short walk from the historical tin mine site Wheal Coates to Chapel Porth beach near St Agnes in Cornwall.

We parked at the National Trust car park at Wheal Coates to begin, staying in the car for a while to enjoy some vegan Rowes pasties we picked up on the way!

And to stay out of the rain for a while longer, as typically it started chucking it down just before we arrived!

Not wanting to waste our journey, we braved the elements and got pelted in the face with icey wind and rain as we walked down to see the ruins and remains of this famous UNESCO World Heritage site.

wheal coates sea view
A great sea view. Not a bad location to work in one of these mines and see this view every day, but the work was pretty gruelling for those who had to mine.
wheal coates cornwall unesco world heritage site
According to Cornish Secrets “Known as ‘wheals’ (Cornish for work/working) the instantly recognisable engine houses of the tin and copper mines sit near mine shafts, and there are over 200 of them dotted around the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. … It was hard and dirty work in the mines, which, in 1839, employed 7000 children.”
wheal coates
The kids loved exploring the building remains at Wheal Coates, near St Agnes in Cornwall. This is around a 30-minute drive from Newquay. The sea views and waves were incredible in the windy January weather we are currently experiencing.
wheal coates january
The iconic Towanroath Shaft engine house looks very picturesque, but with a dark history in reality.

National Trust says: “Wheal Coates tin mine opened in 1802 and worked until 1889. The image of the Towanroath Shaft engine house, famous on postcards, calendars, and on the telly represents for many the serene beauty of the north Cornish coast. In reality this industrial landscape holds a harsh and austere history.”
wheal coates national trust
Amazing to think these buildings are over 200 years old!
wheal coates unesco world heritage site cornwall
chapel porth
It’s a short walk from the mining buildings to Chapel Porth beach, another National Trust managed site. The views are dramatic on the way down. It’s the first place I’ve been in Cornwall that had a very mountainous feeling with the stony steep paths and a pointed hill.
chapel porth
chapel porth
It was high tide when we saw Chapel Porth beach, but we’ll have to return on a drier day at low tide as the beach suddenly appears and stretches for two miles! It’s completely covered up to the cliffs at high tide. There’s a car park right next to this cove.
chapel porth high tide
chapel porth to wheal coates
Walking back up towards Wheal Coates from Chapel Porth. Time to head home as we are all soaking wet and cold! The whole walk from Wheal Coates to Chapel Porth and back to the car park was only 2.9km.
chapel porth cliff walk
Chapel Porth is a great place for a hike!
wheal coates
More mining ruins in the distance as we walk back to Wheal Coates National Trust car park.

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Wheal Coates and Chapel Porth are National Trust locations. If you have a membership then you can park for free.

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4 thoughts on “Wheal Coates to Chapel Porth coastal walk

  1. I’d love to visit Wheal Coates, it looks fascinating, and quite haunting. The dramatic landscape is beautiful, too.

    1. It was lovely, and maybe not so easy to tell in the photos, but it was pouring with rain! We were so cold and wet! Looking forward to seeing the difference on a sunnier, warmer day 🙂

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