I’ve fond memories of the National Trust’s Lanhydrock House and Gardens. As a child it was a regular hotspot for school trips, and as a family we made good use of the still popular cycles paths.
Fast forward a few decades and here I am again, taking my own son to explore the impressive gardens and estate. There’s loads to do at Lanhydrock, near Bodmin, and it makes for an ideal day out in Cornwall. Aside from the house and gardens, there’s a wonderful play area built conveniently outside one of the two cafes. There’s cycle trails circling Lanhydrock too. If you wish, you could park up and venture on your bikes to Respryn.
Lanhydrock is also home to the most challenging Parkrun in the UK. I’ve yet to complete it myself but having visited recently, I can confirm there are a few hills and gradients to tackle!
Lanhydrock Grounds and Gardens.
Me and my son, Henry visited Lanhydrock in late Spring, early Summer. Bright bluebells greeted us as we made our way to the ticket office. They were out in abundance, offering a bright contrast against the greenery of the woodland. With tickets in hand, we walked downhill towards Lanhydrock House. The grounds are vast, immaculate, and simply stunning. Grazing cattle make the most of the space on offer and are content minding their own business.
As you approach Lanhydrock House, you’ll be forgiven for having delusions of grandeur. The size of the house and the meticulously manicured gardens are a worthy sight alone (there’s not a daisy in sight). It was great to see visitors lying on the grass in the sun, enjoying a picnic, and seeing children happily running around on the lawn.
Approaching the entrance of Lanhydrock House, I was struck by its sheer expanse and amazing architecture. I took loads of photos of the big, imposing doors, framed by pretty camellia or wisteria. Everything’s just so pretty.
Inside Lanhydrock House.
Inside the house is a real treat. I love looking around houses and stately homes, getting a glimpse of how people used to live. I find history fascinating and exploring Lanhydrock was no exception. We were offered an activity sheet to find different items and markings around the house – and yes being the competitive souls we are, we accepted the challenge.
Lanhydrock House has about 50 rooms to nose around; it takes at least an hour. I won’t describe every room here, but we particularly liked the kitchens. It’s fair to say there’s many of them, one for every food group! There was even a cheese room, how great is that? I could easily fill one of them up and live off the contents. That would make me happy.
As you make your way around the rooms, you learn about the Agar-Robartes family who once lived at Lanhydrock. I admit to not reading everything but had I been on my own, I would’ve soaked up all the information. The staff who worked at Lanhydrock House are given attention too. Some stories are quite sad: families who’d lost children, husbands or wives. I read with interest why or how some people came to work at Lanhydrock; these stories are naturally embedded in Lanhydrock’s history.
Other Parts of the Estate and Gardens
Outside the house, you can find the stables showing off the bright red carts, in fine condition. My son thought these looked like old fire engines. In the courtyard there’s a second hand bookshop (love this) and another tearoom for you to rest your legs.
As we left, we realised you can explore the Gatehouse (that’s the tower-like building you go through before you get to the house). We climbed the stairs wondering what we would find. At the top you enter a room offering lots of information about each member of the Age-Robartes family and how they served their country in WW1. It’s quite a sad read (is it ever anything else?) but being someone who likes reading about both World Wars, I wanted to take it all in.
Other features of Lanhydrock include the thatched cottage, the magnolia tunnel and the church. We didn’t explore these as we needed to leave. We’ll be back though because we totally enjoyed it!
What a fabulous day out we had too. I would recommend it. Take a picnic, take the bikes and spend the day ambling, exploring, learning, and most of all, having fun.