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Five Stately Homes to Visit in Cornwall

Five Stately Homes

As the temperatures begin to rise, the days get longer, and the flowers start to bloom, it’s time to book a holiday at a cottage in Cornwall and explore the county’s stunning stately homes.

Downton Abbey might have come to an end, but you don’t have to live in a stately home to enjoy its history, architectural delights, and natural surroundings.

Cornwall is home to many mansions and stately homes that once belonged to the rich and privileged, but now their doors are open to everyone, and there’s no better time to visit than during the spring and summer months.

Here’s a round-up of five beautiful stately homes in Cornwall that you can visit during your cottage holiday.

Prideaux Place, Padstow

Open: Easter 27th – 31st March, 8th May to 6th October

Prideaux Place

This beautiful mansion is located on the hill above Padstow’s bustling harbour, and it is one of the oldest house in Cornwall. With fourteen generations of the Prideaux family residing at the home since it was built in 1592, it still remains a family home, and is full of historic trinkets, paintings, and furniture that date back centuries. The gardens have undergone extensive work, and you can wander around the Victorian Formal Garden with its cascading fountains and manicured lawns, stroll through the cleared woodlands, or watch deer being fed by the deerkeeper in the historic Deer Park. There’s a tea room that serves Cornish cream teas and delicious snacks.

Antony House and Garden, Torpoint

Open: Easter to end of September

Antony House and Garden

This 18th-century mansion is situated in Torpoint above the Lynher estuary which remains today as the home of the Carew Pole family and is part of the National Trust. The house boasts a collection of portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds and you can learn about the history of the family and the land. You might recognise the house and gardens from the film Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton, which went onto be a Hollywood blockbuster.

You can walk around the Woodland Garden and admire the magnolias and camellias, head to the unique knot garden with its intricate plants and patterns, or sit in the summer garden and breathe in the floral fragrances.

There’s a cafe where you can enjoy light refreshments including ice creams and cream teas, or you can buy a plant from the gift shop.

Pencarrow, Bodmin

Open: March to October

Pencarrow, Bodmin

Pencarrow has been the family home of the Molesworths and their descendants for more than 500 years, and the family continues to manage the Georgina mansion and the estate.

Located in a vast valley between Bodmin and Wadebridge, Pencarrow is home to paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, porcelain Meissen figurines, and carved furniture.

The gardens are magnificent with more than 600 varieties of camellias and rhododendrons. There’s an Italian Garden with a quatrefoil fountain, the Memorial Garden with hydrangeas and fuchsias, and the woodland with bluebells and wild garlic.

You can grab lunch at the Peacock Cafe with homemade food, and indoor and outdoor seating, and there’s an outdoor children’s play area with a Wendy House.

Lanhydrock, Bodmin

Open – all year round. Times vary

Lanhydrock, Bodmin

This Victorian house is set in 1,000 acres of woodland near Bodmin. The country house features several servant quarters, giving you a glimpse into the lives of the “downstairs”.

There are 50 rooms to explore and learn the history of the Agar-Robartes family and their beautiful home, which was rebuilt following a fire in 1881. Encircled by gardens, the house is great for families due to the riverside walks, old woodlands, and cycle paths.

Owned by the National Trust, Lanhydrock often hosts events and fairs, and there’s a restaurant, cafe, plant centre, and gift shop.

Port Eliot

Open: End of February to end of June

Port Eliot

The unique property and grounds at Port Eliot are Grade I listed and the house is thought to have been a home for more than 1,000 years, with the site being used as a monastery from the year 937.

The house was redesigned in the 18th Century and the gardens and park were created. Located near St Germans, the estate is home to woodland areas that are full of daffodils in the spring; the 100-year-old Rhododendron Garden; the Port Eliot Gardens with fountains and summer house, ponds, and secret maze; the Orangery; and the thatched-roof boathouse which used to be a working dock.

The estate hosts the Port Eliot Festival every summer, as well as several other events between Easter and autumn.

There’s a cafe with plenty of fresh cakes, light lunches, and drinks.