Light and Clay Event: 5 - 7 December


China clay mining has transformed St Austell’s landscape dramatically over time. Immerse yourself in our Cornish china clay heritage and explore this transformative effect as the Wheal Martyn clay pit, woodlands and trails undergo a very special transformation of their own.

Follow a beautiful light trail, exploring the changing landscape by torchlight. Encounter natural and industrial features adorned by light in fascinating ways, and look out for four iconic exhibits along the way. See how the latest LED technology, vivid colours and patterned displays create stunning effects on the iconic elements of Wheal Martyn, such as the waterwheel and flat rod tunnel.

Once you reach Pit View, get ready for an awe-inspiring laser light performance, projected onto the unique canvas of Wheal Martyn’s working clay pit.

Follow the path down to an immersive Woodland Wonderland UV experience. Draw with light on glow frames, or sit for a moment on a UV sofa, hung with lights, and consider how ‘black light’ creates the colour around you. See the ethereal glow of UV bubbles floating in the air, and gasp as colours burst and scatter in vibrant displays. Treat yourself to some festive food and drink too!

Since this event is taking place outside, please ensure you wrap up warm, wear gloves and hardy outdoor shoes/walking footwear and if it is wet, rain coats. Please also bring a torch to help guide yourself around the woodlands.

The event will go ahead in wet weather but in the event of extreme weather conditions and high winds may be cancelled or continue in a revised format – should this happen you will be advised by email.

Dates and times

There will be various bookable slots – please note that you must book onto one of these time slots: (Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th December): 4.00pm, 4.30pm, 5.00pm, 5.30pm, 6.00pm

The event will last approximately 2.5 to 3 hours, including one 10 minute laser light performance and time to explore our immersive Woodland Wonderland UV area.

Please ensure you arrive to board the coach at least 10 minutes before departure, to ensure you do not miss your time slot to view the laser light performance. Return shuttle buses will be running every 15 minutes from 6.30pm.

Getting here

There will be no parking at Wheal Martyn, except for disabled visitors (please request a space in advance). For all other visitors, parking will be in the Priory Road Car Park (PL25 5AB), just two miles away in St Austell and a free shuttle bus will be running to and from Wheal Martyn. Parking will be free of charge in Priory car park after 4.00pm.  Please ensure you arrive at least 10 minutes before the coach leaves, to ensure a prompt departure.  A member of the Wheal Martyn team will be present to welcome you onto the shuttle bus and guide you through your visit.


Entry to the event will cost the usual museum admission price (£9.75 per adult, £5.50 for children aged 5 – 16). Admission will also provide 12 months return admission to Wheal Martyn!

Cornwall Residents’ Pass holders get in free, but must reserve a space directly with the museum, on 01726 850362.

Tickets are non-refundable.  If the event is cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, your ticket will remain valid for 12 months admission to Wheal Martyn.

Booking essential: Please book through the CRBO booking website by clicking here or by clicking the button to the right. Alternatively, call CRBO on 01726 879500 or pop into the Tourist Offices in Truro, St Austell, Bodmin and Liskeard.

If you have a Cornwall Residents’ Pass, please call us on 01726 850362 to reserve your space for free.

Disabled Access:

Due to the historic nature of Wheal Martyn’s grounds, access to view the laser light performance is not possible for wheelchair users and those with less mobility. We will be livestreaming the laser show performances in our café and on social media, to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the show. If you have any other access requirements, please contact the museum so we can advise you, on 01726 850362.

Please reserve your disabled parking space in advance with the museum directly.