As well as the castle on Carn Brae, you will find this 90ft (approx 30mtr) high monument made of granite.
It was built in 1836, as a tribute to a local man. Lord Francis Basset was a mining entrepreneur and a member of an ancient Cornish family. They became one of the principal mine owners in the Camborne-Redruth mining district in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Above the townships of Camborne, Pool, Redruth & Illogan, Known collectively as CPRI, is a hill called Carn Brea. The Northern slope is steep with a few rutted paths to the top. One or two are shallow gullies which act as drainage during heavy rain. Access to the top from this side does require a degree of fitness. The Southern and Western sides are a more gentle slope and there is a single track road from the village of Carnkie on the Southern side. This road degenerates to a rough track over the last 150Mts or so. This terminates in a small car parking area for about 5 cars
At the top, short walks will lead to Carn Brea Castle, which, reputedly, used to be an Elizabethan hunting lodge, now a restaurant, (open evenings only) and its present form is a legacy of the then local land owner Lord Basset. There is also a monument to this man, a local landowner of yester-year, Francis Basset, Lord of Dunstaville whos family were involved in the minig industry for many hundreds of years. The monument, erected in 1836, is made of granite blocks, is hollow, stands on a 4mts plinth and is 30mts high.
A number of footpaths run around the top of the hill, meandering through heather and oddly shaped rock formations. Splendid views extend over CPRI to the sea and is one of only two places (I think) where both the North & South coasts of Cornwall can be seen at the same time.
Carn Brea is also the home of the legendary giant who, when standing, had one foot on Carn Brea and the other on St Agnes Beacon some 10 miles away. The rocks strewn across Carn Brea are said to be his petrifed bones, remaining after he lost a fight with another giant and was killed.
None of the footpaths are wheelchair friendly and many are very rough, narrow tracks. I have walked here many times and be warned that it can be very bleak in winter when the rain can be driven in on strong SW winds.
If you exit Tehidy Park via the North Cliff Car parking area (See previous tip on Tehidy) Turn right and then almost immediately left. This is a rough track of about 150 Mts which will take you to a car park area at the cliff top known locally as the Mimrose Well area. There are two options here, turning right will take you up hill and down dale to Portreath and beyond if you so wish. Allow about an hour to Porthreath and there are one or two styles to traverse. Turning left is a flatter option and the footpath winds along the coast and runs for miles. A pleasant stroll is to Gwithian some 3 miles away. Both directions offer spectacular views over the cliffs. Be aware that the path, in places, runs quite close to the clifftop where there is a 50mt drop to the rocks below. Keep a wary eye on children and pets. The scenery is spectacular and there is a cafe half way along the route to Gwithian called Hells mouth. This is a small cove which contains the remnants of a small coaster wrecked there many years ago and is reputedly haunted by the screams of a suicidal man who leapt from the cliff after finding his house burned down and his sister missing. A walk on will bring you to Gwithian Lighthouse (Not open to the public)which inspired Virginia Wolf's novel 'To the Lighthouse' There are numerous sea birds along this route and a colony of breeding seals just before the lighthouse. Beautiful beach views and views across the bay to St Ives. Allow a good 2 hours for this walk to include pauses to take in the scenery. Keep watch for te occasional broaching whale in the middle distance.
A zoomed in satelite view at the below website will give good views of the footpath route
A few miles to the NW of Redruth is St Agnes Beacon, one of the local highspots. Historically fires were lit on the beacon to warn local villages of impending attack. There are a number of parking places around the beacon with easy access to the numerous paths which lead to the top. I would recommend the National Trust car park at Wheal Coates. Exit the car park onto the road and there will be a footpath in short walking distance in either direction. Some of the footpaths are steeper than others, some wider but all are well trodden and quite manageable. On a clear day, from the top expect to see views back to Redruth and Carn brea, St Ives, Trevose Head near Padstow and the clay country around St Austell. On my last visit I saw plenty of bird life, including 2 buzzards, rabbits and pheasant. From the car park to the top and return via a different path allow one and a half hours.
Also from the car park, head towards the sea and within a few hundred yards your will find the well preserved Wheal Coates mine workings. A couple of the engine houses still stand with other work building ruins around. From here it is possible to join the coastal path heading west towards Chapel Porth. This is a small beach known for its surf and there is a cafe, lifeguards (In Season) and toilet facilities. Alternatively, from the car park head east towards St Agnes Head for terrific sea views along the cliffs. The coastal path in this area is quite hilly, but you can always pause and admire the view. The path is also sometimes close to the cliff edge, so be aware if you have a dog, they have been known to be chasing rabbits and go over.
Tehidy Woods & Illogan Woods are two areas of woodland walks close to Redruth.
Tehidy is off the road from Redruth to Portreath and is about a mile and a half from Redruth town. There are car parks around the perifery and there are numerous graded walks in the wood on generally flat, well maintained paths. There is also a cafe within the wood itself. There is plenty of birdlife here, squirrels and badger sets within the 250 acres which makes up the woods. One exit on the North side opens out onto the coastal road and a track almost opposite will lead down to the clifftop and the coastal path.
Illogan Woods is not commercialised at all. There is a rough stone track which leads from Illogan through the woods to Portreath in a steady decent. This path can get muddy after rainfall and a small stream follows the meandering path down. Bluebells and wild garlic are the predominate plants here with plenty of bird life and squirrels being common sights. Entry into the woods footpath is at Parsonage Well (See the map on the website) and exits onto Feadon Terrace on the out skirts of Portreath. A short walk from the exit point will take you to Portreath Beach. There is only one major path here and the walk from top to bottom will take about 30 minutes.
Much more information is available on the two websites below
You can get to the top of the granite hill by way of an unmade track via Carnkie Village and there are a few car parking spaces at the top. Do not attempt this unless you are confident in your car and your driving! The going can be rough and the hill is steep! However, should you attempt it, the views are wonderful and you can see right across Cornwall, on a good day
Carn Brae castle sits on a hill over looking Redruth. The last time I visited it (November 2003), it had been converted for use as a restaurant and served excellent food! (see my Restaurant tip in my Redruth page). Although named as a castle, the building was more used as a hunting lodge.