Situated in Cornwall in southwest England, St Austell has the largest population in the county, and is one of the most significant tourist destinations. The town had humble beginnings dating back to the time of Henry the VIII, when it was little more than a small village with a central church. However, later from the mid- 19th to early 20th century, it became one of England’s biggest clay producing areas.
The China Clay Museum is among St Austell’s most popular visitor attractions; the story of the growth of the china industry in the town from the 18th century onward is chronicled in a range of displays housed in the facility’s 26-acre site. The museum includes the spectacular Pit View where visitors can observe the workings of a modern day clay pit.
Other local interests worthy of mention include The Eden Project, a nature-based attraction set in a large crater which houses two giant greenhouses. Visitors of the project have the opportunity to learn about man’s relationship and dependency on the planet’s plant life. The Tropical Biome mimics the environment of the rainforests and is home to a variety of tropical tree and plant life, while the Warm Temperate Biome mimics the natural environments of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California.
For children, Ben’s Play World is a giant indoor play center that offers a multi-sensory experience with the Mega-slides, Giant tubes, Gi-normous Ballpond, Death Slide Crushers and the Fireman’s Pole. Meanwhile, visitors of all backgrounds will be drawn to the area’s sandy beaches known to be among the best in the country.
Since tourism is an essential part of the town, visitors will find St. Austell well-equipped with amenities including a good selection of traditional Cornish guest houses and B&Bs. The town center has good shopping facilities with popular high street names as well as small independent retailers.