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Lanhydrock

approaching lanhydrock

Immerse in History at Majestic Lanhydrock House

With parts dating back to the 17th century, Cornwall’s expansive Lanhydrock estate delivers an insight into the lives of generations of upper class families against the backdrop of the impressive country mansion itself. This National Trust property offers glimpses of upstairs/downstairs life from kitchens to sumptuous dining rooms that provide a telling picture of both servants and gentry across 300 years of history.

Along with the captivating house, families can explore formal gardens or wooded trails for great walks or fun cycling. Here’s how to enjoy this majestic estate’s myriad attractions.

gatehouse

Getting There

The Lanhydrock estate covers 500 acres 2.5 miles southeast of Bodmin in Cornwall. Well signed just off the A38, it has a large pay-and-display car park. (Free for National Trust members)

By public transport, catch the train to Bodmin Parkway then bus #11 or #11A to the estate entrance.

Opening Times

The house and formal gardens open daily March to November from 11am to 5pm. The wider estate trails are accessible year-round during daylight hours.

An onsite restaurant and tearooms offer light lunches while the gift shop stocks souvenirs

It is best to plan your visit between 11 am and 2 pm for a quieter experience, as these hours tend to be busier. Expect queues during peak times.

Bags larger than A4 paper are not allowed on house routes; use self-service lockers or free paper carry bags.

Ticket Prices

Entry prices to access the house are:

  • Adults: £18
  • Children: £9
  • Children under 5 – free
  • Family: £45

Entry to the garden, grounds and courtyard attractions is around half standard ticket prices. Gift aid and annual membership available.

Pay-and-display parking in the car park is available; non-members pay £1.50/hour or £6/day starting March 1. Payment via cash, PayByPhone app, or set up an account with PayByPhone.

Tickets also sold at the Park Cafe, Plant Centre, or Cycle Hire. National Trust members can park for free; scan your membership card for a vehicle ticket.

sunset at lanhydrock

The Opulent House

The house offers visitors the opportunity to explore approximately 50 rooms, providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Agar-Robartes family and their servants.The interior of Lanhydrock House is a testament to the grandeur of the Victorian era.

Visitors can embark on two main routes to explore the house. The “Family route” allows guests to learn about the lives of the Agar-Robartes children, while the “Mansion route” offers the chance to admire the finest rooms and the impressive Long Gallery.

The Long Gallery has a barrel ceiling and relics chronicling battles against the Spanish Armada plus the sprawling kitchens, sculleries and laundries showing domestic life below stairs.

Additionally, visitors can meet costumed servants below stairs, gaining insight into the daily operations of the house and the care provided to the family.One of the most striking features of Lanhydrock House is the contrast between the opulent family rooms and the meticulously restored kitchen and servant’s quarters. This contrast provides a unique perspective on the hierarchy and daily life within the house.

The reimagined Victorian nursery offers a family-friendly experience, allowing both adults and children to explore this fascinating aspect of the house’s history.

Handheld audio guides bring tales of the house alive in every ornate room.

interior at lanhydrock

Enchanting Gardens

Counted amongst Britain’s finest, immaculate formal parterre gardens are filled with ornate topiary, fountains and clipped hedges centred around a sublime lily pond. Picnic on manicured lawns under fragrant magnolias.

Victorian hobby horses help kids discover more about pastimes of elite children who once lived at Lanhydrock while parents admire old varieties of blooms flowering prettily in the plantings.

The garden at Lanhydrock House is a testament to its long and colorful history, offering visitors a stunning and diverse landscape to explore. The garden has evolved over the centuries, with features dating back to the 17th century. The double avenue, designed by Richard Robartes in 1650, provides a grand approach to the house, while the 18th-century water gardens and Arts and Crafts landscapes add to the garden’s charm. The garden also features intimate woodland gardens, providing a tranquil retreat for visitors.

The main plant collection at Lanhydrock is young but is in keeping with the Victorian theme of the house. Magnolias, rhododendrons, and camellias adorn the gardens and hillside, creating a spectacular display in spring and early summer. The herbaceous borders and formal gardens surrounding the house burst with color in mid-summer, while the side and front gardens are planted with annuals, providing a vibrant show. Additionally, the more informal borders at the back of the house and the woodland walks among rare trees and flowering shrubs make Lanhydrock a delightful destination year-round.

spring at lanhyrdock

Countryside Trails

Wooded walking trails follow the River Fowey through the wider estate’s peaceful countryside. Kids will enjoy floating leaf boats from the bridge or playing traditional lawn games near the old lime kilns while adults appreciate centuries old oaks and beeches sheltering the meandering paths.

Lanhydrock offers a variety of countryside walking trails that allow visitors to explore the estate’s stunning natural beauty and historical landmarks. Here are some of the notable walking trails at Lanhydrock:

Lanhydrock Parkland Walk: This moderate circular walk is a great way to explore Lanhydrock’s ancient woodland, riverside paths, and open parkland. The trail offers the opportunity to spot kingfishers, otters, and traces of Cornwall’s tin mining past. It provides a beautiful view of the River Fowey and the Beech Avenue, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the estate’s natural splendor.

Lanhydrock Gardens Circular Walk: This 5km estate walk takes visitors past the Victorian-era Lanhydrock House, through its immaculate gardens, and into the surrounding forests and along the banks of the River Fowey. The trail offers a scenic adventure, exposing hikers to a stunning historical site and picturesque estate grounds. The walk features well-manicured gardens, serene woodland terrain, and a tranquil stretch along the river.

Lanhydrock Wood & Avenue Walk: This gentle circular walk is a great introduction to the mature, mixed woodland and historic parkland of the Lanhydrock Estate. The trail allows visitors to spot different trees in the woodland and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the estate’s natural surroundings.

These walking trails provide a wonderful opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and rich history of the Lanhydrock estate. Whether exploring the ancient woodlands, meandering along the riverside paths, or admiring the well-manicured gardens, hikers are sure to find a trail that suits their interests and abilities.

long gallery at lanhydrock

Facilities at Lanhydrock House

The on-site cafe provides a welcoming space for visitors to relax and enjoy a selection of hot and cold meals, snacks, and beverages. The cafe’s menu features a variety of locally sourced and homemade options, catering to different dietary requirements. Additionally, the outdoor seating area offers a picturesque setting to savor refreshments while taking in the estate’s natural beauty.

The gift shop at Lanhydrock House offers a diverse array of souvenirs, gifts, and locally sourced products, allowing visitors to take home a memento of their experience. The shop’s offerings include books, home decor, garden accessories, and a selection of National Trust-branded items. Whether looking for a unique gift or a special treat for oneself, the shop provides a delightful shopping experience.

For visitors with dogs, Lanhydrock House offers kennels to leave their pets while exploring the house and gardens. This service allows dog owners to enjoy their visit without worrying about their pets. Additionally, the estate features dog-friendly walking trails, enabling visitors to explore the grounds with their four-legged companions.

Lanhydrock House History

The estate originally belonged to the Augustinian priory of St Petroc at Bodmin, but the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the 1530s saw it pass into private hands. In 1620, the wealthy merchant Sir Richard Robartes acquired the estate and began the construction of Lanhydrock House, designed in a four-sided layout around a central courtyard and constructed of grey granite.

The house was completed in 1651 by Sir Richard’s son, John Robartes, who was a prominent figure in English society and a staunch Parliamentarian during the Civil War. The estate remained in the Robartes family for over 300 years, until a devastating fire in 1881 caused extensive damage to the house. The fire, which started in the roof, nearly destroyed the entire building, but one part was saved by cutting it off from the rest of the house to prevent the fire from spreading.

Following the fire, the house was rebuilt with fire-resistant features, including thick concrete ceilings and fire extinguishers. During the First and Second World Wars, Lanhydrock House played various roles, including providing a home for evacuees during the Second World War.

Cycling at Lanhydrock

Cycling at Lanhydrock offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the estate’s woodlands and picturesque surroundings. With 10km of purpose-built trails, cyclists of all levels can enjoy a range of experiences, from gentle rides to more technical challenges.

The trails wind through the estate’s woodland, and there are three grades to choose from: green (easy), blue (moderate), and red (difficult).

For beginners and families, the green grade Lodge trail is a gentle 2.5km ride that takes cyclists deep into the little-explored woodland on the estate. It is wide, well-surfaced, and has no challenging technical features, making it suitable for all ages and abilities.

The blue grade trails offer a bit more challenge, with options such as Bazley’s trail, Walter’s trail, Hart trail, and Timber trail, each varying in distance and technical features.

For more experienced riders, the red grade trails, such as The Saw Pit, offer a thrilling and technical ride, packed full of features to test skills and agility.

Cyclists can also take advantage of the cycle hire shop on the estate, which offers a range of bikes for all ages and abilities. It’s recommended to book bikes in advance to ensure availability. The hire shop also provides information on the trails and can offer advice on the best routes to suit individual preferences and abilities.

Additionally, the shop provides a range of accessories and equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride, including helmets and protective gear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring my dog to Lanhydrock House and Garden? – Dogs are welcome in the parkland and on the woodland walks, but they are not allowed in the formal gardens or the house. There are kennels available to leave your dog while you explore the house and gardens.

Is the house wheelchair accessible? – Yes, Lanhydrock House is wheelchair accessible. The house provides six wheelchairs for borrowing, and two personal mobility vehicles are available for use in the gardens free of charge.

Do I need to book ahead? It is not essential to book ahead, but at busy times like weekdends on school holidays or bank holidays, it is worthwhile booking before you visit.

Other places to visit nearby

When you are in the area, spend some time at these other nearby attractions:

  • Bodmin Jail – Imposing former prison transformed into an immersive museum offering tours showcasing tales of notorious inmates along with Cornish history.
  • Jamaica Inn – Historic smugglers inn on windswept Bodmin Moor made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s novel. Museum and accommodation available.
  • Camel Valley Vineyard – Scenic vineyard near Bodmin offering educational tours explaining the winemaking process and tutored tastings of their quality sparkling wines.
  • Cardinham Woods – Secluded haven with pretty woodland trails, forest activities and peaceful walking spots surrounded by nature.
  • Restormel Castle – Picturesque medieval castle ruins above the River Fowey showcasing Norman architecture. Interesting to explore for history fans.
  • Colliford Lake – Beautiful 500 acre reservoir on Bodmin Moor, perfect for walking, cycling, fishing and watersports within wooded tranquil surrounds.
  • Golitha Falls – Idyllic riverside woodland walk leading to the stunning natural waterfall feature on the River Fowey. Perfect picnic spot.
  • Eden Project – Massive educational botanical gardens housed in biomes containing thousands of fascinating plant species from around the world.

With something for all generations, Lanhydrock stands as one of Cornwall’s most majestic heritage attractions promising days of culture and vivid history.

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