Top things to do

Top Choice Nature Centre in St Austell

Eden Project

Built at the bottom of a china clay pit, the giant biomes of the Eden Project – the world's largest greenhouses – have become Cornwall's most famous landmark, and an absolutely essential visit. Looking rather like a…
Top Choice Gardens in St Austell

Lost Gardens of Heligan

This is Cornwall's real-life secret garden. Formerly the family estate of the Tremaynes, Heligan's magnificent 19th-century gardens fell into disrepair following WWI, but have been splendidly restored by the brains …
Top Choice Cafe in St Austell

Duchy of Cornwall Nursery Cafe

Based at a renowned plant nursery, this super cafe overseen by chef Richard du Pille is a local secret. You can certainly get crab sandwiches and cream teas, but it's more a venue for bouillabaisse, a seafood platte…
Castle in St Austell

Restormel Castle

High on a hilltop above Lostwithiel, 9 miles from St Austell on the A390, the ruined castle of Restormel was built by Edward the Black Prince (the first Duke of Cornwall), although he only stayed there twice during …
Ruins in St Austell

Roche Rock

Clinging to a spur of contorted rock surrounded by barren heath, the curious tumbledown chapel on top of Roche Rock looks like a forgotten set from Monty Python’s Life of Brian. The present chapel is thought to date…
Food in St Austell

Lobbs Farm Shop

This excellent farm shop – quite possibly Cornwall's best – is based at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, and sells a vast array of local goodies, from smoked fish to cheeses, jams, meat and game.
Brewery in St Austell

St Austell Brewery

Microbreweries have cropped up all over the shop in Cornwall, but in terms of sheer beer-making might, no-one's bigger than St Austell's oldest brewer. Founded in 1851, it brews the county's most popular ale (smooth…