Clay Trails

Explore the scenic clay county through mid-Cornwall on a network of off-road cycle, foot and horse-riding trails. The trails offer access to areas of great beauty including Cornwall’s coastline, heathland, woodland, mining villages and much more.

Discover Cornwall’s mining heritage through the Clay Trails, the trails offer a great insight into Cornwall’s mining industry and showcases how the past and present has shaped the area. See the stunning turquoise dams, towering clay tips, historical listed buildings, nature reserves and a range of wildlife. A series of sculptures can be discovered throughout the Clay Trails which celebrate the rich mining history. You can set off from Wheal Martyn and explore three of the Clay Trails, please note that cycle racks are available for use in Wheal Martyn’s car park.

If you want to explore the Clay Trials by bike, bike hire is available from Pave Velo and they will drop the bikes to you – St Austell 01726 64950

clay trails, cornwall. Wheal Martyn Musuem walks and trails.
clay trails, cornwall. Wheal Martyn Musuem walks and trails.
clay trails, cornwall. Wheal Martyn Musuem walks and trails.

A 5-mile trail with an accessible wide gravel path, there is some short inclines and the trail does cross a main road. On this trail you can see views of St. Austell bay, Carn Grey rock tors and discover the post-mining landscape.
Wheelchair users and their helpers may struggle in places.
Download this trail here.


Only 1.9 miles in distance the Clay Trails from Wheal Martyn to St. Austell are mostly flat with no major inclines. The paved trail does have some gravel sections. On this trail you can discover the industrial heritage of St. Austell including a kiln drier and railway line.
Download this trail here.


This trail is 2 miles in distance and includes some long inclines. The path is mainly graveled but some areas will muddy dependent on the season. On this trail you will see the stunning views from Sky Spur and discover the bright green micra dam.
Download this trail here.

Clay Tales – sharing the stories of the clay

The Sensory Trust has created a new app and sensory guides to immerse people in the stories and experiences of the clay area, an extraordinary post-mining landscape in the heart of Cornwall

The Clay Tales app is a story walk based on the trails that criss cross the china clay landscape around St Austell, Cornwall, England. The app explores the landscape, community and industrial heritage of the area using the stories of local people and the poems of Jack Clemo. We have gathered tales from people who have lived and worked in the area and who have kindly shared what life has been like and what the clay industry has meant to them.

A Braille version of this guide can be found at Wheal Martyn China Clay museum.

cornwall's china lay trails

Visit the Clay Trails website and explore Cornwall’s Clay Trails by bike, horse or foot. The trails can be found through mid-Cornwall and showcases an area of great contrast and beauty.