Lo­ca­tion guide

Ex­plore the dra­matic remains of Corn­wall’s once great tin and cop­per mines along the cliff tops, says Jeremy Walker

Amateur Photographer - - 7days -

Jeremy Walker takes us through the remains of corn­wall’s mines

THE VIL­LAGE of Bo­tal­lack on Corn­wall’s North At­lantic coast is not pretty or pho­to­genic, but thank­fully this is not the rea­son to visit. The main rea­son is to ex­plore and shoot the rem­nants of Corn­wall’s once thriv­ing tin and cop­per min­ing in­dus­tries, the dra­matic remains of which are scat­tered across the clifftops through­out the Bo­tal­lack area.

Since 2006 the area has be­come a wor­thy in­clu­sion within UNESCO World Her­itage site Corn­wall and West Devon Min­ing Land­scape – and will no doubt be fa­mil­iar to some from the TV se­ries Poldark.

The cen­tre­piece of the mine work­ings at Bo­tal­lack are the remains of the Crown en­gine houses perched pre­car­i­ously on the cliffs just above the sea. There is an of­fi­cial path lead­ing down to the en­gine houses, but they can be viewed from all around the clifftops. There is also an unof­fi­cial path lead­ing across a nar­row cause­way and onto a rocky promon­tory, which has su­perb views; it’s not for the faint-hearted and one should ex­er­cise ex­treme care here.

As an al­ter­na­tive to the Crown mines you can take a short walk along the clifftop path to the Wheal Owles mines and en­gine houses. Here there are ex­cel­lent van­tage points to pho­to­graph the en­gine houses and wide- open views along the cliffs to­ward the Crown mine ru­ins. A 500-me­tre walk fur­ther along the cliffs will bring you to more ru­ins and views to­wards Cape Corn­wall.

One of the great ad­van­tages of shoot­ing at Bo­tal­lack is that it is a west-fac­ing coast, and hence, great for catch­ing warm evening sun­light on the ru­ins or for shoot­ing at sun­set with colour­ful skies and sil­hou­ettes. If the weather turns grey and stormy, this is still a suit­able lo­ca­tion for dra­matic and moody pic­tures.

This part of Corn­wall has many scenic lo­ca­tions and it’s worth spend­ing a few days ex­plor­ing. Apart from the mines of Bo­tal­lack, the Le­vant mine just a mile or two along the road has more dra­matic ru­ins and en­gine houses. Porth Nan­ven is well worth a visit and so is Cape Corn­wall. And only a 30-minute drive away is Pen­zance and, of course, St Michael’s Mount. I would prob­a­bly give Land’s End a miss though.

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