Great Flat Lode Trail
The Great Flat Lode Trail is a 7.5-mile circular walk around Carn Brea. The route’s popular with walkers, runners, riders and cyclists because it takes you through breathtaking countryside and past some of Cornwall’s most famous, historic mines.
‘Lode’ is a Cornish mining word for a mineral vein and the trail takes its name from the tin ore that was discovered here in the 1860s. The Great Flat Lode was two miles long and sat at an unusually low gradient – 30 degrees instead of the normal 70 – so the area saw a huge number of mines.
The discovery of the Great Flat Lode breathed new life into the Cornish Mining industry and the mines here were some of the most successful in the late 19th Century. The area is well preserved, so you can still see some excellent examples of engine houses, tin dressing floors and other mining structures along the way.
The trail is mostly flat with some gentle inclines, leading you through farmland and heathland as well as part of the Basset Mine Tramway. This line was built to carry tin ore from the mines, and you can still visit the remains of Cornwall’s last tin smelter near Carnkie.
We recommend a slight deviation to Carn Brea – the views are nothing short of spectacular. You can also join up with other trails along the Mineral Tramways network if you’d like to extend your journey.
“Beautiful trails taking you through wonderful countryside. Well signposted, easy to follow. Amazing historical engine houses everywhere!”