Top choice in West Cornwall

Clinging to the cliffs near Levant, this dramatic complex of mine-workings is one of the most atmospheric sights from Cornwall's industrial past. The main mine stack, properly known as the Crowns, teeters picturesquely on the cliff edge above a cauldron of boiling surf. It's famously photogenic and a frequent filming location, most recently used by the BBC's latest version of Poldark. It's a steep walk down, but well worth the trek; an audio guide can be downloaded from the NT website.

During its 19th-century heyday, the mine was one of the county's richest and deepest, producing 14,500 tonnes of tin and 20,000 tonnes of copper ore from shafts that snaked out nearly half a mile out to sea. You can explore the site's history at the Count House workshop, which once contained the stables that housed the mine's pit ponies.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby West Cornwall attractions

1. Levant Mine & Beam Engine

0.74 MILES

At this clifftop site, one of the world's only working beam engines is still in thunderous action. Built in 1840, these great engines were the powerhouses…

2. Geevor Tin Mine

1.05 MILES

Just north of St Just near Pendeen, this historic mine closed in 1990 and now provides a powerful insight into the dark, dingy and dangerous conditions in…

3. Cape Cornwall

1.28 MILES

Jutting out from the cliffs near St Just is Cornwall's only cape, a craggy outcrop of land topped by an abandoned mine stack. Below the cape is the rocky…

4. Portheras Cove

2.17 MILES

Half a mile north of Pendeen lies Portheras Cove, a lovely slash of sheltered sand that can only be reached via a 20-minute walk along the cliff path. The…

5. Chûn Quoit

2.52 MILES

A well-preserved dolmen that probably marks the site of a burial tomb, and is likely to be associated with the original settlement that later developed…

6. Chûn Castle

2.69 MILES

Little now remains of this Iron Age hillfort, but in its day, this man-made stronghold would have been one of the best fortified redoubts in Penwith. As…

7. Gwenver Beach


The northern end of Sennen's sands is the prettiest, a 150m curve of soft yellow sand. It's joined with the main beach at low tide, but it's a bit more…

8. Tanglewood Wild Garden

3.74 MILES

This secret garden is the very definition of a labour of love. When the owners bought it in 2001, it was little more than a tangle of brambles and…