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Poldark and Demelza get it together underground, well not quite!
Poldark Mine (Helston)
Member Name: scattyredhead
Poldark Mine (Helston)
Date: 14/10/01, updated on 14/10/01 (427 review reads)
Advantages: Free entry to site
Disadvantages: Not really a huge amount to do here
On our recent holiday to Cornwall one of the things we decided to do was visit on old Cornish tin mine.
Cornwall as you might know is famous for many things (don’t worry, I’m not going to harp on about the pasties too much in this op!) one of which is its Tin Mines.
Although we predominantly made a return visit to Cornwall because of the excellent trial biking facilities in Par, where we were, we also wanted to do a spot of sightseeing and learn a little about the county whilst we had the opportunity.
Despite what you all might think we did not go from town to town trying to find the best Cornish pasties!
Eighteenth century Cornwall was the centre of an extensive tin and copper mining industry and the western part of the county is rich in ruined buildings showing you this, and reminding you of this heritage.
Eighteenth century tin miners were often joined down in the mines by their sons, at the tender age of just 8!
One of the leaflets left for us in our caravan was all about the Poldark tin mine near Helston, which is situated on the South coast between Land’s End and The Lizard.
Although there are other mines that are open to visitors we decided to visit this one as it was a nice drive out from where we were and we also wanted to check out the ATV (Quad biking centre) not too far from Helston!
The leaflet states that this is,
“by far the best Underground experience in the South West”
How many more are there I wondered? Actually I have to confess here, I didn’t actually make it as far as underground, I woossed out!
The thought of being a considerable distance below ground level was a bit more than I could cope with. Not as terrifying a thought as a flight on The London Eye, but a damn close second!
So I sent hubby and son down with instructions for a full and comprehensive report upon their re-entry to the surface! r>
I safely sat myself down on a very nice bench and enjoyed the late summer sunshine! I guess the underground tour lasted about 30 minutes? Just enough time for me to scour the souvenir shops!
There are a few here, ranging from the usual tourist type one to craft style shops selling jewellery, candles and the like. Sadly I did not have enough time to check out the latter but I was well pleased with the goodies I acquired from the mine souvenir shop.
I hastily plonked myself back down on the bench and smiled sweetly as my men returned, hubby totally unawares that I had run amuck in the aforementioned shop! “Oh I have had a lovely time sitting here in the sun” lied I with my fingers crossed behind my back!
“It’s ok” they both reported, “But it was a good thing that you didn’t come down, you wouldn’t have liked it.” My hubby is 6’4” and he said he had to bend very low at times.
They said it was very interesting though, knowing that they were treading the same path of those 18th century miners and their sons all those years ago.
At all times they had to wear hard hats, which are supplied at the entrance to the pit and they had a guide with them for the excursion. No danger of anyone wandering off and becoming lost underground then!
Just next to the mine entrance there is a little room that shows a short film about the mine and the lives of the miners who used to work here.
It was quite interesting, and ran on and on so if you came in halfway thru you could just sit and watch up until where you came in, if you get my drift?
I have already mentioned the gift shops so I have no need to go there again, alas! The cafeteria is very basic I have to say. There are tables and chairs set outside and inside and more than enough during the height of the holiday season I would have thought.
Besides which there is plenty of nice g
rassy areas to sit on and enjoy a picnic should you so wish. We had a sandwich, your usual run of the mill pre-packed thing and a mug of tea.
The mug being a nice option. Why anyone would choose to drink tea out of a farty little cup is beyond me, the bigger the mug the better!
Hot meals are available and look like they would be cooked upon request, and there is a plastic fronted display cabinet with cream teas and…YES Cornish pasties in it!
Oh I am sorry but I just could not resist! But resist the pasty I did, and chomped on a prawn mayo sandwich instead.
The actual gardens that the mine is situated in are very nice, very well laid out and picturesque. I get the impression that this place hasn’t been open all that long.
It seems very new to me. There is much room for development, not too much I hope, as they have done at Land’s End and to my mind completely ruined it:o(. Another op, another time…
There is the usual children’s soft play area with ball pool and the like. What I want to know is when are the powers that be going to realise that us grown-ups would like a soft play area and more than anything a large ball pool to go wild in?
Anyone know of a grown-up one anywhere? There are amusements with the penny (ah those were the days!) machines.
One thing that I did like here was that you could exchange a pound coin for four old Cornish pennies that had to be used in some of the machines as opposed to ‘English money’!
I exchanged some but only to bring them home to send to my Canadian pen pal. I really don’t know if they used to be legal tender in Cornwall, if anyone else does I would be very interested to know?
So, a few bullet points to sum it all up:
·Free site admission! Yes you only pay if you want to do the mine tour!
·Fun for all the family.
·Guided underground tours
·New craft workshops
I think I covered all of the above points except to say that I did not find an all weather attraction there? Unless of course you would class the underground tour as such, which could be undertaken whatever the weather.
Poldarks mine is open 7 days a week from 9th April to 1st October.
10.00am to 6.00 pm. Last underground tour at 4.00pm
From October through to April it is open half an hour later and closes at 4.30pm, with the last tour then being at 3.00pm.
It closes during January and February for essential maintenance. So they ask you to ‘phone and check for opening times during the winter.
As you saw on the bullet points admission to the site is free and prices for the underground tour are as follows:
Child (5-15) £3.50
Family (2 adults and 2 children) £15.00
A footnote at the bottom of the leaflet states:
Admission free for under 5’s but under 4’s are at the mine guide’s discretion. For safety reasons children may not be carried underground. Regrettably the mine tour is not suitable for the Disabled.
Web site: www.poldark-mine.com
If you were going to pay a visit here I would advise you to combine it with another attraction in the area, as we did.
I think little children would get a tad bored here after a while. We had a thoroughly lovely day here and finished it off with a visit to the ATV centre I mentioned earlier so that boys could be boys!
Alas I never got it together with Poldark down the mine! Another time another place?
Demelza…oops I mean Kazzie xxx