Wheal Owles near Botallack is not only the stand in for Wheal Leisure, Ross Poldark’s mine, and therefore a key mining location, but a truly beautiful part of the Cornish section of the South West Coast Path.
Find Botallack by heading to St Just-in-Penwith from Penzance and following signs in the village to Botallack. There is a car parking area near the coast path.
Start at the Count House, Botallack. Built around 1861 as the residence and offices for the Captain and staff of the Botallack Mine, it was also the place where miners came to be paid.
The beautiful old engine house is set against the backdrop of the sea here and is filled with actors and crew when filming of Poldark is taking place. At the engine house, take the right hand junction east along the coast path. Continue along the footpath and head through the remains of the old tin mining works.
Take care here as there are lots of old mine workings — stick to the path and it is a good idea to keep your dog on a lead. Turn right onto the track and head back to the car park.
You may see some of the much-loved Cornish choughs in this area. They are easily distinguished by their red bills and legs. The chough became extinct in England when the last bird died in the 1970s. They have been helped by the reintroduction of grazing to coastal grasslands and heaths whcih has improved the availability of the short, open vegetation that they need for feeding. This return of a breeding pair to Lizard Point in 2002 was a special moment, and legend had it that King Arthur would return when the choughs came back.
If you’d prefer a different walk, you can continue along the South West Coast Path towards Levant mine near Pendeen, the location of the other Poldark family mine. It is very beautiful, but the cliffs are steep and of course, there are mine works here, so you may wish to keep your dog on a lead and take extra care. Nearby dog friendly pubs are The Gurnard’s Head near Zennor, The Tinner’s Arms in Zennor and we think! The Queens Arms in Botallack.
Click here for the National Trust circular route around this area This walk is about one mile and takes 30 minutes.