Gwennap: Educational Activities


Great cycle trails through the Copper Kingdom

  • Cost: No entry fees required for attractions

Explore the Kennall Vale Gunpowder Works – one of the largest and most complete gunpowder works to be found anywhere in Britain.

Park in the village of Ponsanooth; walk past the shop and up the steep hill. The reserve entrance is on your right.

The site, which produced explosives used to drive tunnels and remove ore, is now a tranquil woodland managed by Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Take some time to experience the disused mills lining the course of the Kennall River, once the source of power for grinding the gunpowder mixture. Perran Foundry, by the creek at Perran Wharf, was one of the world’s most important Cornish engine manufacturers and ironfounders.

Take a picnic or visit the Stag Hunt Inn in Ponsanooth for pub grub.

Travelling to Gwennap
This large area lies between Redruth and Truro and is laced with classic Cornish lanes. Road access is via the A393 between Redruth and Falmouth, which passes through Ponsanooth (for Kennall Vale); turn off this road by the Fox and Hounds pub for Carharrack, St Day, Scorrier and Chacewater.

Public transport
First bus services 14B and 18B pass through Carharrack, St Day and Chacewater. Devoran is just off the A39 between Falmouth and Truro and First bus routes 89/90 (Falmouth to Newquay via Truro) stop here. See for the latest information.

Dog friendliness
This is a rural area with lots of footpaths, and is generally great for dogs. Keep dogs on leads on farmland with grazing animals though, and refer to the signs at each site

The villages of St Day, Carharrack and Chacewater have small car parks and on-street parking. The cycle hire shop and café at Bissoe also has free parking

Public toilets
There are public toilets in Carharrack, Chacewater, St Day, and the cycle hire
shop and café at Bissoe offers public toilets

Eating & drinking
The Norway Inn at Perran Wharf and the Quay Inn at Devoran both have great menus featuring lots of local produce. The café at the Bissoe Cycle Hire centre has a warm welcome and a good selection of meals, cakes and snacks on offer. Carharrack, St Day and Chacewater all have good village pubs.  Refreshments and food are available at good pubs in Portreath, Scorrier (mid way) and Devoran.

Picnic spots
There are some nice grassy spots by the river at Devoran, and lots of good places to stop if you’re cycling along the Mineral Tramways Trail. Alternatively, find a
relaxing spot next to one of the streams in the lovely woods at Kennall Vale. 

For a local picnic provider, try



This activity includes the following locations: