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Warm winters and hot summers, palm trees and a laidback atmosphere make this part of the South West a dream to visit...
St Austell itself is a busy little town with a compact centre with shops and local services. Fore Street is the main street to explore and you can visit the Holy Trinity Parish Church at its top end. Dating back to the 15th century, there is also a Norman font inside as well as beautiful stained glass windows to admire.
St Austell Market House is also worth dropping in on. Previously the police station, it has had a historic past and is now home to the St Austell Town Museum as well as local stall holders selling handicrafts.
On the outskirts of town are Charlestown and the Luxulyan Valley. The Georgian harbour village was a major port for the export of copper and china clay in the 18th century and is today home to sailing boats and the Shipwreck Rescue and Heritage Centre. There are beaches on either side of the harbour entrance to enjoy.
Beaches are what many people come to the area for and the sandy expanses of Porthpean, Pentewan, Carlyon Bay and Par Sands are within a few minutes' drive of the town.
Newquay (NQY) is the nearest airport to the town, around an hour's drive to the north across the county. You can pick up a hire car here, or at various downtown locations in St Austell. To find the best price on car rental in St Austell, use TravelSupermarket's search tool to the left.
It's well worth opting for car hire; St Austell and its surroundings have plenty to discover and you will have the freedom to come and go as you please...
The biggest draw in the area is the spectacular Eden Project. Opened in 2001 it has a series of bio domes built into a disused and reclaimed china clay pit containing plant species from across the globe. It is in fact the largest conservatory in the world and attracts thousands of visitors each year to its astonishing architecture and attractions. One moment you are in the dry climate of the Med, the next in a rainforest with waterfalls and exotic plants.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan were reclaimed in the 1990s after years of going to waste and are now a very busy place to visit and explore. Enjoy sumptuous cream teas in the café as well as buying plants from the on-site garden centre.
Along the coast there are many places to take in. Mevagissey is a nearby picture-postcard fishing village, famous for its fish pie and sea shanties. In fact, it was the first village to have electric lighting which was powered by pilchard oil, the fish on which the harbour was built. It is also home to a wonderful model railway and aquarium as well as the Folk Museum.
Looe is a traditional working harbour with plenty of shops and cafes to delve into. Or simply buy an ice cream and sit on the front admiring the views out to sea. You can also visit Portmellon, Par, Bodmin Moor or the cathedral city of Truro with its fine Georgian architecture.