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Holidays in Redruth and Bodmin Moor, Cornwall

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The area just north of the western tip of Cornwall is 'Mining Country'. A hundred and fifty years ago, two-thirds of the world's tin and copper was produced here. The large scale industrial activity has left behind large granite engine houses in a number of dramatic natural locations. You can take in this important heritage by car, bike or foot. For a decent walk or cycle ride which can be enjoyed by anyone of average fitness, follow the coast-to-coast trail which runs from Portreath on the north coast to Devoran in the south. This eleven-mile route follows the lines of two early horse-drawn tramroads. It's fairly flat and cuts through some striking landscapes and passes 19th century mining remains.

At Redruth you can admire grand civic architecture, and at coastal St Agnes you'll find a range of craft shops and some stunning views. In April, Cambourn hosts its annual festival in honour of locally born Richard Trevithick, who invented the world's first steam powered road engine in 1801. A particularly good one for children, the festival includes street stalls, clowns, musicians and fairground rides. A self-catering holiday in a cottage near Redruth or St Agnes is an ideal family holiday in the UK.

Many visitors to Cornwall miss Bodmin Moor as they speed along the A30 towards the Cornish coast. If you are coming through, and you enjoy wild, open landscapes, then consider stopping off for a day or two. You'll find vast heathland and craggy tors to climb, as well as ancient stone circles, prehistoric settlements as well as woodland and pretty little streams tucked away in the valleys. Legend has it that Dozmary pool, in the centre of this area, is the place where King Arthur returned Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Brown Willy, just to the north, is Cornwall's highest point. The kids might not be the only ones sniggering about the name, which comes from the Cornish word bronewhella, meaning 'highest hill'! From here you can enjoy stunning views for miles around.

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