Caerhays Estate

In Brief

Type: Historical attraction
Suitable for: History buffs
Address: Gorran, near St Michael Caerhays village, near Mevagissey and between St Austell and Falmouth
Price: Combined garden and castle: adults £20, children £8 and under-fives go for free
Dog friendly?: Yes

The castles of Cornwall all make for an awe-inspiring sight. This includes the dramatic Caerhays Castle, which sits on the Caerhays Estate. Actually a semi-castellated manor house, this attraction, open between February and June, has to be seen and toured to be truly appreciated.

The Caerhays Estate is just outside the village of St Michael Caerhays, which is near the beautiful Mevagissey and is also between St Austell and Falmouth. In the Early Middle Ages, it was owned by the influential Arundell family and then it passed by marriage to the Trevanion family. In 1703, John Trevanion inherited the estate and he made many improvements to the manor house while also developing the stunning gardens. From 1807 to 1810, John Bettesworth-Trevanion built the castle we see today near the former manor house and in 1854, Michael Williams II bought the estate and the Williams family repaired, restored and reinvigorated the castle and the grounds over the following years. The Williams clan has worked hard for more than 160 years to maintain this stunning piece of Cornish history and beauty.

Visitors to Caerhays won’t just be blown away by the Grade 1 listed castle building. The gardens are home to the largest collection of magnolias in the UK and there’s also a gorgeous beach attached to the estate. Guided tours in the castle and the gardens take place throughout the spring and tourists can even stay on the estate in one of 10 unique holiday cottages, some of them inside the castle itself. And this ancient manor house is truly worth a tour as there are Victorian jugs, 19th century crockery, items from an Edwardian billiard room and many paintings and objets d’art from a bygone era littering its rooms.

In the gardens, see 100-year-old magnolia trees, colourful camellias, rare rhododendrons and amazing azaleas. A National Magnolia Collection is within these grounds alongside 120 acres of woodland gardens and a truly wonderful feast for the senses when it’s all in bloom during the springtime. So, what are you waiting for? Book a tour in the spring or early summer and see an elegant slice of history on the south Cornish coast, whether you’re inside the castle or out there wandering some of the most beautiful gardens you’ll see in the South West.