St Just is a granite town in a granite peninsula, Britain’s most westerly town and the former centre of mining in West Penwith. About the parish are the remains of the area’s former mining history, particularly on the coast and especially the part between Cape Cornwall and Levant. In recognition of this mining tradition the area has now been designated as a World Heritage Site.
Mining, however, is just one of the younger marks on a landscape which includes the works of Medieval, Iron Age, Bronze Age and late Stone Age inhabitants. Although with its roots deep in the past, St Just is also a town of the present and has much to offer the tourist. There are several hotels and guesthouses within the area as well as campsites and a Youth Hostel. Good food is on offer at the tea rooms, cafes and restaurants and the town is blessed with several pubs. Many of these are situated around the town’s triangular ‘square’. The large public car park is free to use. There is also a free car park at Pendeen, from which several circular walks can be made.
The countryside of St Just, and that of West Penwith, is some of the best that Britain has to offer. Due west of the town is Cape Cornwall, while the cliff scenery to the north and south is dramatic. The presence of the Gulf Stream on the coast has produced an abundant and exotic flora and fauna.
While St Just is an area for exploration and fascination, there are also places to sit and contemplate, for example the two sandy beaches of Gwynver and Portherras, at the north and south of the parish respectively. In addition there are small rocky beaches around Cape Cornwall – the one on the south has a swimming pool built into the rocks. On many parts of the coast it is possible to settle down in the grass and watch the world speed by.