Between the Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the Charlestown UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the birthplace of Tribute – the finest pint in all the world – you’ll never find yourself wondering what to do in St Austell. Plus, our St Austell hotel is perfectly placed for a stay in this wonderful corner of Cornwall. As one of the largest towns in the county, St Austell is packed full of great days out, not to mention some excellent pubs and places to eat. We’ve gathered together some of our favourites to give you a warm welcome.
Things to do in St Austell
Here and near St Austell, you’ll find two of the UK’s favourite gardens. Away from the beach, they are your two best days out. You can spend hours exploring, hunting down their rare species of plants. Speaking of beaches, we’ve picked our four favourites. Plus, you can hear about the local cinema, the shipwreck centre and plenty more.
The Eden Project is one of the best-loved attractions in the UK. It’s certainly one of the most iconic. Its giant biomes house an indoor rainforest and Mediterranean gardens that’ll make horticulturalists think they’ve gone to heaven. There are plants from around the world, wonderful wildlife, and you can even walk through the clouds.
Places to eat
Eden Project hosts the World Pasty Championships. In our mind, the best Cornish pasty on the planet is nearby in Charlestown. Find out where with our local guide. There’s also restaurants with sea views, a beloved local bistro, a burger bar that’ll knock your socks off, seafood shacks, and our hot spots for Cornish cream tea.
Thanks to the St Austell Brewery and its myriad affiliated taps, there’s no shortage of great pubs where you can grab the finest pint of Tribute to ever hit your lips. We’ve picked out several of our favourite pubs, which are dotted around the area. Also, read about our favourite micropub, where you’ll find some of the UK’s best beers.
If you fancy a bit of retail therapy during your stay in St Austell, the White River Place shopping centre is your main option. You’ll find popular high street names including TK Maxx, New Look and Cex. In the town centre, you can also wander along Fore Street and around Aylmer Square for other familiar retailers, including Boots and WHSmith.
If you’re planning a visit to the Eden Project, be sure to set some time aside to explore the shop. It has a fantastic selection of garden accessories, homeware, gift ideas and plants. Don’t forget to check out your other options when it comes to shopping in Cornwall; our larger county guide tells you more about popular shopping destinations such as Truro, St Ives and Falmouth.
The best way to get to and from St Austell is by road. The A30 runs from London to Land’s End and passes by the town, while you can follow the A390 to Truro in less than half an hour.
If you’re travelling by coach or rail, both will bring you to St Austell Station. It’s been open since the 19th century. However, the main buildings were rebuilt relatively recently. From here, you can catch the Eden Branchline, a bus which runs directly to and from The Eden Project. The Station is on the Cornish Main Line with services running west to Truro and Penzance, and east to Plymouth and London.