“ Address: Heartlands / Robinson's Shaft / Dudnance Lane / Pool Redruth / Cornwall / TR15 3QY „
I was lucky enough to get free tickets to Cbeebies Mr Bloom's get set grow tour that took place in the summer last year. If you are an avid watcher of Cbeebies you'll notice that it's been aired on TV since the new year (I've kept a look out to see if you can see us in any of the episodes but you can't!). The only problem with getting these tickets was that the tour was taking place at Heartlands, a place I'd never been before and I wasn't very keen on driving to new places but since we've been we've actually returned a number of times as it is a lovely place for a day out.
Heartlands is situated a stone's throw from the A30 near Pool, Redruth and is clearly signposted from the A30 so you know exactly where to go, it's literally a couple of corners and you're there so there's no chance getting lost, even for me! Parking wise, there is a relatively small car park right next to the attraction and it's a Cornwall council owned car park so you do have to pay but as Heartlands is totally free to visit I'm not too put off by having to pay to park as that is really all you have to pay for. It's worth noting that there are different tariffs depending on what day you go, you have to pay more if you visit Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays than normal days of the week.
I didn't really know what Heartlands was when I first heard about it through Mr Blooms tour but after a bit of digging, found out that the lottery played a big part in making Heartlands happen as part of their Living Landmarks scheme, granted £22.3 million of the £35 million project. Heartlands is located at Robinsons Shaft an ex tin mine which officially stopped work in 1998, the location needed redeveloping and it's now a lovely place to visit for a day out and still holds its mining history.
On any normal day at Heartlands there is a lot to do, from the adventure playground, artist studios, to gardens and vast open spaces. Heartlands is also the home to a variety of different events too, from the Mr Bloom tour we seen last year, to open mic nights and such.
The site boasts that it covers 19 acres of land and it caters for people of all ages. My three year old daughters favourite parts of the site are the adventure playground and manmade stream. The playground is situated right near the entrance so it isn't far too walk if you've got little ones, it features a variety of different activities from the normal slide and seesaw to a wooden train to explore and discover. There is a large bit of field right next to the playground so we often take a picnic blanket and some food and sit next to the playground so my daughter can sit with us or go and play if she wishes. The stream seems to be a favourite with children of all ages in the hotter months, being a place to kick off sandals and dip your feet to cool down; the water is only around an inch deep so it isn't much of a danger. Once my daughter starts to paddle in there it's hard to get her out again!
Near to the entrance is the main hub of Heartlands and this features the Red River Café where you can stop for refreshments and a bite to eat, I haven't been inside and prefer to take my own food so I'm unsure on the prices or service, but I would imagine it's good. There is also a visitor centre which is also home to the shop, Heartlands prides itself on not being another one of those 'tourist traps' and ensures that every penny of profit goes back into the charity. Around this area are the artist studios, at the moment these feature a lot of different arts from a florist to a jeweller. Of course, being an ex-tin mine, there are exhibitions about the whole mining industry and bit and pieces of the history surrounding the site and such. This has never interested me personally, but again, it caters for different people so I would imagine it would be a huge interest to others.
Heartlands has a lot to offer and as it is totally free to enjoy, I definitely think this is a place to visit if you are after a cheap but great day out. I've taken my daughter on numerous occasions and we still spend hours and hours there every time we visit. We've been with her scooter and bike so it gives her some more things to do without having to travel to a different location on the same day. I genuinely think the majority of people will enjoy time there as there are a lot of different things to do, whether it is wandering around the art studios, sitting in the gardens or just having a play in the adventure playground. It's definitely worth a look if nothing else but I promise it won't be a wasted journey.
Dundance Lane, Pool