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Charlestown Shipwreck & Heritage Centre, St Austell

4.3
#3 of 68 in Museums in Cornwall
History Museum Museum
Filled to the gills with information, Charlestown Shipwreck & Heritage Centre dives into the maritime history of the British Isles. The museum features the artifacts of over 150 shipwrecks dating from 1715, a large collection of underwater diving equipment, and a small mining display. The displays are interactive and kid-friendly. The theater shows a movie about Charleston harbor and its once thriving clay industry. If you’re hungry, stop on the top floor for a typically British afternoon tea. The museum parking is an affordable and convenient place to leave your car while you visit the rest of the city. Plan your visit to Charlestown Shipwreck & Heritage Centre and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our St Austell family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
984 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Visited the shipwreck & heritage centre when we visited Charlestown and spent a couple of hours here. Lots of information, along with film shows and displays that anyone could find interesting. Displa...  more »
  • A group of children from St Nicholas’ School in Fleet visited the museum last week. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, we were extremely well looked after. The weather had let us down b...  more »
  • The museum is very interesting. Tells you how Charlestone came into being, and then goes onto Shipwrecks. Cost is £5.95, less one pound for OAPs, but most of the guide books have £1 off coupons. Reall...  more »
Google
  • This was the main reason we visited Charlestown. The entire exhibition was gripping. During the visit round the site there were items dealing with the history of Charlestown itself, the china clay industry, RNLI and diving gear (technology) over the past years There was also fascinating cases with coins, plates, trivial items recovered by local divers from shipwrecks around Cornwall and donated or loaned to the museum. You could easily spend a very pleasant wet afternoon here. The entry fees are quite reasnable. There is a nifty souvenir shop at the end of the tour. I particularly liked the audio visual stuff. Good day well spent
  • Didn't actually go in as we were at the end of our holiday and money too tight for all of us. We read the blurb on the external walls and looked at the outside decor which was good enough for an easily bored grandchild. In the nearby vicinity there is the most amazing ice cream shop with its sister cafe serving authentic Cornish pasties and awesome homemade cakes.
  • Lot of information, almost too much. Most interesting for us was about Charlestown itself and the workings of the china clay industry and the harbour.
  • Enjoyed visiting Charlestown Shipwreck museum. It's a fascinating place full of discovered findings from sunken ships. There is a large section devoted to the RNLI which although completely relevant, it was a large space to be playing a promo video. Only real criticism is that if anything, there's almost too much to look at and maybe not enough story. It was hard to take it all in. That said, it's a great visit and well worth spending a few hours at.
  • Ramshackle and bewildering load of vaguely sea-related stuff in no particular order. Enjoyably bad!

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Where to stay in St Austell

Unless you want to use St. Austell as a base for exploring the area, consider staying in the picturesque Charlestown or a nearby beach town that boasts better views. St. Austell doesn't offer much to visitors beyond its proximity to nearby attractions and day-trip destinations. If you choose to stay here, there are a few local accommodations, including independent apartment or room rentals. However, the best options are in the harbor area of Charlestown. If you would prefer to stay along the Cornish Riviera, head to Carlyon Bay, Duporth, or Porthpean.
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