Mount Edgcumbe

Image: courtesy of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park and Trevor Burrows

In Brief

Type: Historic and parkland attraction
Suitable for: All the family
Address: Cremyll, Torpoint, next to Plymouth and near Looe
Price: Free for the estate but admission to the house: adults are £8, children are £4
Dog friendly?: Yes

Of all the attractions in Cornwall, this is the closest you’ll get to seeing Plymouth over in Devon. This does offer some impressive views but the real draw to Mount Edgcumbe Country Park is, well, its country park. Oh, and that beautiful house that stands majestically on this fine Westcountry estate.

Mount Edgcumbe in Cremyll, Torpoint, near Plymouth and Looe, was home to the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe for more than 400 years. They left behind them one of Cornwall’s finest country estates that boasts 865 acres of parkland, formal gardens and a house that’s deserving of a tour by all visitors. The formal gardens were made in French, English and Italian styles and date back to the 18th century. They are vibrantly colourful but two other gardens also need to be explored: the American and New Zealand plots, which are equally marvellous. In fact, a National Camellia Collection is on the grounds alongside pretty rhododendrons and magnolias.

The Tudor-style house itself was built between 1547 and 1550 and it still stands at the top of an ancient double avenue of trees. This was the ancestral home of the Earls of Edgcumbe, built outwards to take in those glorious views, and it’s still decorated in a classical style and sports incredible works of art by a range of famous talents like Sir Joshua Reynolds. Bouille furniture, 16th century tapestries, Irish Bronze Age horns, elegant silverware and even fine examples of Plymouth porcelain are on display around the mansion.

After exploring the idyllic gardens, magnificent house and, we might add, the estate’s buzzing Cornish black bee apiary – all of which may or may not be open, so do check ahead – there are wonderful walks to embark on all over the parkland, from the woodlands to the coast. Deer can be spotted on your hikes and there are a menagerie of follies to take in along the way. For food and drink, there’s the house’s Orangery Garden Café, which serves up exquisite gourmet burgers and sandwiches, and Aunty Em’s Gatehouse down at the Cremyll Gate entrance which sells old-fashioned sweets and homemade cakes.

This is all before we take you through the other activities you can participate in on the estate, which are just too many to mention. Here’s a flavour: a Segway assault course, a ride-on miniature railway, team archery assault games and frisbee golf. That’s all you’re getting. Check the venue’s website for more and prepare to make your own assault on one of the most beautiful, historical and dramatic estates in the entire South West of England.