A mile or so inland from the rugged section of coast that characterises this area of Cornwall, St. Agnes today shows little sign of its former life as a tin mining community. Nowadays, tourists rent holiday cottages there and flock to the beaches, to tread the coastal path or to follow the arts and crafts trail. The village itself has softened its harsh edge; pretty and flower-filled, attractive cottages meticulously kept connect the upper and lower sections of the town. Many also visit to take in the spectacular views from the town’s acclaimed vantage point, St. Agnes’ Beacon. From here, on a good day, the panorama extends across the peninsula to St. Michael’s Mount and inland as far as Bodmin Moor. From the Beacon a host of coastal path walks are available. Among the most popular is the route on to St. Agnes Head and the nearby beaches which flank this jut of land; Trevaunance Cove, with its fine sand and good surfing conditions, and Chapel Porth, all white sands and rock pools depending on tidal conditions, but with a renowned undertow and strong current. Some three miles or so along the coast, nearby Perranporth is another coastal village whose main draw is vast expanse of sandy beach, dotted with caves and natural rock archways, and a wide sweep of rollers that pull in the surfers.
Like many towns and villages in the region, St. Agnes has long since attracted artists and craftspeople, and a designated ‘arts and crafts trail’ has been established, beginning at St. Agnes Pottery and taking in a variety of galleries, studios and workshops, with creations as varied as weaving and watercolour, jewellery, pot making and much more. Away from the coast, the Blue Hills Tin Streams provides a connection with the town’s past, as the last remaining tin mining production centre in the region, and is open to enable visitors to experience at close quarters the mining, smelting and finishing processes for this highly sustainable local resource, now mainly used for jewellery. Homemade Cornish refreshments can be enjoyed in the museum’s garden café and are well worth sampling.
If you would like to experience St. Agnes for yourself, why not take a look at our self catering holiday cottages there?