Best Family friendly National Trust properties in Cornwall
Lanhydrock is a beautiful place to visit with huge and beautiful grounds, a favourite with cyclists, walkers and families. My children love the excellent outdoor play area and great gardens.
There is a place to hire bikes, a flower nursery and a cafe, all quite a distance from the main house but there are electric buggies to ride to the house on for free - my nine year old girl loves to sit on the back facing backwards.
The garden in front of the house contains some impressive topiary which my children love to hide behind as they play hide and seek and inside the huge 19th Century house there are loads of rooms to visit as you learn the history of the Clifden family.
The displays at Lanhydrock particularly focus on the impact of the First World War on the family. My seven year old girl is fascinated with World War One and the displays here really bring this period of history alive for her.
Antony is a beautiful mansion near the Tamar, a river which separates Cornwall and Devon. It takes a bit of finding but it’s worth it when you get there. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was filmed here and on our first visit we watched the film beforehand so we could all pretend to play in Wonderland with the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter.
The huge 18th Century mansion is incredibly impressive and looks out onto magnificent formal gardens. The landscaped gardens are everything you’d expect from a National Trust property but there is also a separate woodland garden which runs alongside the river.
These gardens are my family’s favourite part of the estate. They not actually owned by the National Trust but they are free to Trust members. There is loads of room for exploring and tree climbing and great views across the Lynher River, a tributary of the Tamar.
The grounds of Cotehele stretch over a vast area. As you drive in you can head to the house or to the waterside, the latter including a small play area, a boat to clamber on, a pub and a discovery centre.
My children love to play pirates on the restored Tamar sailing barge ‘The Shamrock’ and they also love the discovery centre with its recreation of a harbour master’s office - my five year old boy particularly loves listening to the headphones and pretending he’s a harbour master.
There is plenty of space by the waterside for exploring, picnicking and playing. As well as the waterside it is worth visiting both the mill and the house. The house contains an extensive display of weapons, including a collection of swords which can be handled with supervision.
In common with many National Trust properties, Cotehele has a croquet lawn where the equipment can be borrowed for free. As well as the formal terraced gardens there are some wild valley gardens which my children love to explore.