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To find out more about Cornwall''s heritage, look no further than the town of Redruth. A delightful market town which earned its wealth through mining, it''s nestled in a steep woodland valley between Carn Brea and Bullers Hill.

The town centre offers a good selection of local shops, many of which are independent and sell Cornish produce. You don''t need to venture far from Redruth to finding some of Cornwall''s best surfing beaches. To the north are the seaside villages of Portreath and Porthowan. They can easily be reached by car or along the Mining Trail heritage cycle path, which connects the north and south coasts of Cornwall via a historic mining railway.

Carn Brae has evidence of a Neolithic settlement, with the earth banks illustrating where ancient longhouses would have once stood. On top of the hill is an imposing 90-foot Celtic cross reminding visitors of the town''s ancient history.

The earliest miners were copper miners who settled by the river, but their activities turned the water red and it''s from this that Redruth gets its name. The ''red'' part of the word comes from the Cornish word ''rhyd'', meaning river. The ''ruth'' part is the Cornish word referring to the colour. Thankfully, the river is no longer red even though mining for copper and tin continued, creating the town that we know today.

So important is Redruth''s mining history that a mine site just outside the town at Pool has been made a World Heritage Site and a magnificent new educational park called ''Heartlands'', which includes a museum, restaurant and craft studios, has been set up there.

For a holiday with history in mind, try Redruth. You can discover fascinating facts from pre-history to the present day using Redruth holiday cottages as your base.

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