Lanhydrock House

Image: © National Trust Images / Faye Rason

In Brief

Type: History and gardens attraction
Suitable for: All the family
Address: Off the B3268, Trebyan, near Bodmin
Price: Adults £15, children £7.50
Dog friendly?: Yes to the grounds, no to the house

There’s so much history in Cornwall. So many attractions that tell the story of the county over the years. However, a few attractions seem to boast more than their fair share of life across the ages. Lanhydrock House is one such must-visit historical location.

Lanhydrock House, just outside the hamlet of Trebyan and not too far away from Bodmin either, is a gorgeous Victorian country house with magnificent gardens set in a wonderfully wooded estate. The house, which is built out of the local grey slate and granite around an inner courtyard, is one of Cornwall’s most impressive. It dates back to 1640, with the gatehouse, two-storey porch and gallery all still-standing remnants of that era. It was an important house in the English Civil War, with the Parliamentarian general, the Earl of Essex, using it as his command post and, later, the Royalist Sir Richard Grenville capturing it.

Following a devastating inferno inside the original Jacobean house in 1881, the property, which has no less than 50 rooms that are open to visitors, was refurbished in high-Victorian style and all the elegance that came with that is still on show to visitors. In fact, it’s a classic ‘upstairs, downstairs’ experience at this attraction as the delightful dining room and opulent bedrooms are available to see upstairs, as is the newly-dressed kitchen downstairs. Highlights include the 17th century plasterwork ceiling in the gallery that illustrates biblical scenes alongside packs of strange beasts.

After a good tour around the house, head out to the spacious gardens that boast camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons alongside herbaceous borders and a must-see parterre, which is a level formal garden with paths, symmetrical patterns and beautiful plants. It’s worth taking some time wandering through the gardens before you head out to the rest of the 900-acre estate with its ancient woodlands, riverside paths and even cycle trails. Bicycle rental for all the family is available at the house.

After all that historic sightseeing, cycling, walking and plant-spotting, a refreshment is recommended at the Park Café or inside The Stables tea-rooms, or even at the Servants’ Hall restaurant but do call ahead to make sure these hotspots are open. There’s also a plant centre and a gift shop to browse. Overall, this famous house is a historical treat and, along with the gardens and grounds, it’s so big that you need all day to fully appreciate it. It’s a National Trust property so it’s in good hands. Just make sure you’ve got good legs as there’s a lot of walking and admiring to be done at Lanhydrock.