Top choice ruins in St Just-in-Penwith

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.