The National Trust’s Lanhydrock in Cornwall is a beautiful Victorian family home nestled within 900 acres of gardens and wooded estate. Less than 10 minutes from Bodmin and just minutes from the A30, it is really easy to get to, and the sort of place you can easily spend a whole day exploring.
We made our way to the main house, walking along the north drive under the shade of the tree-lined avenue.
As we walked down the hill, the house started to emerge from the trees. The impressive gatehouse is instantly recognisable.
The garden wall had a real ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feel about it, and I half expected the Queen of Hearts to come marching around the corner.
The gardens, with their bold topiary, pretty flowerbeds and immaculate lawns, were an excellent place to relax after the stroll down the hill.
The inside of the house is fascinating. One of the first things you see when you enter through the great door is beautiful William Morris ‘seaweed’ wallpaper in the Inner Hall.
I am quite obsessed with ceilings and spend a lot of time looking up in old houses; you never know what surprises you will find, like this elegant plasterwork.
The dining table, set for a feast.
The kitchens are incredible and you can easily imagine Mrs Patmore in here cooking up a banquet.
Rather envious of this dresser!
There is a whole complex of rooms downstairs, each with its own purpose, from the baking bread to butchering meat.
The detail is wonderful, and you can just imagine the Victorian family living here.
I thought I had a lot of suitcases, but the luggage room at Lanhydrock House is really a sight to behold for travellers!
More wonderful ceilings, this time in the library.
Lanhydrock is the National Trust’s oldest large library and many of its books belonged to Hannibal Gamon. The son of a London goldsmith, Hanny bought many interesting secondhand books, one of which was recently discovered to have come from Henry VIII’s library.
Make sure you explore the gatehouse; when we visited there was lots of information in there about the family that lived at Lanhydrock.
Cycling and walking at Lanhydrock
Once you have looked around the house, there is still the wider estate to explore. If you are feeling energetic, you can hire bikes and try out one of the cycle trails, or pull on your trainers for a two hour walk or 5km run.
Lanhydrock Gardens in Spring
The gardens are perfect for a more sedate wander, and are particularly lovely when the magnolias are in bloom. There’s also a beautiful bluebell wood to see in Spring.
Lanhydrock cafe, tearoom and restaurant
The Park Café is next to the visitor car park and cycle hire. I discovered this is a splendid place to relax on the veranda with a slice of something nice, while my children let off steam on the adventure playground next to the cafe. The Stables tearoom is by the main house and has a sunny courtyard to enjoy a quick bite. There’s also a restaurant in the old servants’ hall, housekeeper’s room and housemaids’ room where you can have lunch or afternoon tea.
Picnic spots in and around Lanhydrock
Is there anything better than lying down in the shade of the trees on a warm summer’s day? We rolled out our picnic blanket and had a break in the gardens, and there are plenty of places to relax in the grounds. But if you fancy somewhere a little more peaceful to have a picnic, head for nearby Respryn Bridge, a five arched medieval bridge spanning the River Fowey. From A30 or A38, follow the signs to Lanhydrock House. Turn left where you see the brown sign for the car park. Drive past the entrance gates, follow the road down the hill and bear right. You will see the car park on your left. There is a nice meadow by Respryn Bridge and the river for a picnic.
Practical details about Lanhydrock
Opening times: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lanhydrock#Opening times
Address: Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 5AD
Child friendly? Yes. My 6 and 3 year olds loved it. There’s a playground, plenty of grounds to run around in, and two trails to do in the house. There are also baby-changing and feeding facilities, and front-carrying baby slings and hip-carrying infant seats to borrow.
Dog friendly? Lots of dog friendly walks in the estate, assistance dogs only in the house and garden. You can sit with your pet on the verandah at the Park Cafe – you’ll find drinking bowls and dog biscuits (for a donation) to keep you pet happy here. Dogs are also welcome in the Stables tea-room.
Accessible? There’s a shuttle service from the car park to the house, and wheelchairs and a motorised scooter available to borrow. Adapted toilets can be found in the car park and near the house, and there is wheelchair access to the building. A map of accessible routes is available. More information here >
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Categorised in: Things to do