National Trust Sites in Cornwall

From exotic gardens to ancient houses along this beloved coastline

Posted on 25-06-24, updated on 05-07-24By: Claire S. | 7 minute read

Godrevy Sunset

Godrevy at sunset

The National Trust journey began in 1895 when three deeply passionate individuals—Octavia Hill, Robert Hunter, and Hardwicke Rawnsley—came together with a shared belief: that the beauty of nature and the richness of history should be preserved for everyone to enjoy. They founded the National Trust with the mission to protect these precious places for future generations.

As the 19th century drew to a close, our country's cherished heritage and precious natural landscapes were in grave danger due to rapid industrialisation. Recognising this impending loss, the National Trust founders took a stand. They campaigned to protect these invaluable treasures, raising awareness and gathering support from like-minded individuals. Their tireless efforts laid the groundwork for an organisation dedicated to preserving special places for everyone, forever.

Because of their visionary thinking, the NT has flourished. Today, over 125 years later, they proudly steward more than 250,000 hectares of farmland, care for 780 miles of breathtaking coastline, and maintain 500 historic sites, gardens, and nature reserves. A testament to the legacy of three forward thinking inviduals.

In this blog we'll delve into the national treasures to visit along this beloved coastline. Join us on this journey to discover the beauty and wonder these special places hold.

A view of the house at Trerice in summertime | © Hilary Daniel

A view of the house at Trerice in summertime | © Hilary Daniel

Trerice

Kestle Mill, near Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4PG

Step into the charm of Trerice, a cherished Elizabethan manor and Cornish treasure. This enchanting estate has stood the test of time, maintaining its historic allure thanks to centuries of careful stewardship by absentee owners.

The magic extends beyond the walls of Trerice house, where a delightful garden awaits your discovery. Picture yourself relaxing in the Elizabethan knot garden among apple trees or enjoying a spirited game of kayling on the lawn with friends. Don't forget to take in the breathtaking views from the scenic parade ground—nature's perfect backdrop. Trerice is a sanctuary away from life's hustle and bustle.

  • Assistance dogs only
  • Book shop
  • Shop
  • Cafe
  • Toilet
  • Car park

Looking for a holiday cottage in Newquay, we've got all your needs covered.

Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock, Bodmin

Lanhydrock

Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 4AB

Experience the magic of Lanhydrock, where quintessential country house charm meets the warm ambience of a welcoming family home! After a devastating fire in 1881, this stunning Jacobean estate emerged even more spectacularly in high-Victorian style. Think top-tier country house design and the latest conveniences of the era, beautifully refurbished.

Step back into Victorian times and explore two fascinating worlds: Delight in the bustling kitchen that unveils life 'below stairs', then marvel at the opulent family areas from elegant dining rooms to spacious bedrooms reflecting 'upstairs' comforts.

Don't miss out on a leisurely stroll through the expansive gardens bursting with year-round colour. From charming herbaceous borders and formal parterres to vibrant higher gardens filled with camellias, magnolias, and rhododendrons—there's always something blooming. Venture beyond to explore ancient woodlands and serene riverside paths across the estate. For those seeking adventure on wheels, enjoy off-road cycle trails suitable for families and beginners alike.

  • Assistance dogs only

Assistance dogs only in the house, garden and shop

  • Dogs

Dogs allowed in the parkland and wider countryside, courtyard area and cafés

  • Book shop
  • Plant shop
  • Cafe
  • Shop
  • Car park
  • Toilet

Looking for a holiday cottage in Bodmin, we've got all your needs covered.

Glendurgan

Glendurgan

Glendurgan Garden

Mawnan Smith, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 5JZ

Glendurgan Garden, lovingly crafted by Quakers Alfred and Sarah Fox, is often hailed as a "small piece of heaven on earth." This serene escape boasts three enchanting valleys, each brimming with remarkable plants. On the upper banks, sun-loving flora flourish, while the lower valley's subtropical climate nurtures lush foliage and exotic blooms. Come springtime, vibrant wildflowers blanket the slopes in a breathtaking display.

As you meander through these tranquil gardens, you'll find yourself descending into the untouched hamlet of Durgan along the picturesque Helford River. The journey from Durgan back up to Glendurgan reveals delightful surprises – a charming boat seat for moments of reflection, an impressive tulip tree that stands tall with grandeur, and ponds bursting with life. Along this path lies also the rich history of the Fox family who brought this valley to life.

Don't miss out on navigating Glendurgan's famous maze—over 200 years young! Who will be first to unravel its leafy enigma?

  • Assistance dogs only
  • Tea room
  • Book shop
  • Toilet
  • Car park

Looking for a holiday cottage in Falmouth, we've got all your needs covered.

Antony House

The north front of Antony House, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Antony House

Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 2QA

Journey through the lives of a family ensnared by the extraordinary tides of the English Civil War. Nestled within this beautiful home, their history comes alive—a home that still embraces the Carew Pole family to this day.

Crafted from silver-grey stone, Antony presents a fascinating blend of formality and charm. Esteemed as one of the finest surviving examples of Queen Anne architecture in the West Country, it stands as a testament to timeless elegance.

As you wander through its storied halls, you'll encounter an impressive collection of portraits featuring masterpieces by Sir Joshua Reynolds and an iconic painting capturing Charles I during his trial. The house also boasts exquisite period furniture, rich textiles, and elaborate tapestries. Outside, discover formal topiaries, contemporary sculptures, and an age-old collection of daylilies that add bursts of colour throughout. Antony's magic even charmed director Tim Burton who chose it as a film location for his renowned production, Alice in Wonderland.

  • Assistance dogs only
  • Car park
  • Book shop
  • Toilet
  • Cafe

Looking for a holiday cottage in Saltash, we've got all your needs covered.

Levant Mine and Beam Engine

Levant Mine and Beam Engine

Levant Mine and Beam Engine

Trewellard, Pendeen, near St Just, Cornwall, TR19 7SX

For generations, copper and tin were diligently mined at Levant, earning it the esteemed title of a 'champion mine' due to its remarkable abundance. However, along with these valuable metals came hazardous arsenic as an unavoidable by-product of tin ore extraction.

The reaches of Levant's mining operations are awe-inspiring, extending nearly a mile beneath the seabed and plunging over 600 meters below sea level. The advent of steam technology in the 19th century empowered miners to venture further and deeper under the ocean's expanse. Levant is home to an extraordinary piece of industrial heritage—the oldest Cornish steam winding engine still operating in its original location. Created by Harvey's of Hayle in 1840, this enduring beam engine resides within its authentic Engine House, where for 90 years it tirelessly elevated mined ore from deep underground.

  • Assistance dogs only

Assistance dogs only are welcome as part of a pre-booked tour. All dogs on leads are welcome on the wider site

  • Guided tour

Levant Mine and Beam Engine is open by guided tour only. To avoid disappointment please book in advance. If you do not book cannot guarantee admission

  • Car park

Parking for Levant is at Geevor Mine, parking is free.

  • Toilet

Looking for a holiday cottage in St Just, we've got all your needs covered.

Cotehele

Cotehele

Cotehele

St Dominick, near Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6TA

For generations, Cotehele has been a cherished family home for the Edgcumbes. This beautiful Tudor house, nestled high above the River Tamar, is adorned with rich tapestries, gleaming arms and armour, pewter pieces, brass items, and timeworn oak furniture. Though the interiors have seen little change over the years, each piece of furnishing reflects the love and inspiration it has given its owners.

Step outside to find yourself in meticulously planted terraces or wander through the enchanting Valley Garden. Here you'll discover a medieval stewpond and dovecote as you make your way down to the tranquil riverbank. The Upper Garden offers peace and solitude while two orchards showcase an array of local apple and cherry trees.

Cotehele's gardens delight throughout all seasons—from early spring blooms to lush summer borders; autumnal orchard harvests to delicate winter snowdrops—there's always a touch of nature's wonder waiting for you.

In the 19th century, bustling industries brought new life to Cotehele Quay. It was alive with vessels coming in and out as paddle steamers sailed up-river just to admire Tamar Valley's famed blooming orchards. Small boats carried fresh produce back downriver for sale at Devonport Market.

Today, visit 'Shamrock,' their lovingly restored sailing barge moored at the quay. Treat yourself to an authentic Cornish 'jam-first' cream tea at Edgcumbe Tea-room by stepping into history itself—the Discovery Centre brings you stories of Tamar Valley while opening doors to explore even more around this stunning estate.

  • Assistance dogs only
  • Book shop
  • Plant shop
  • Cafe
  • Shop
  • Car park
  • Toilet
  • Dogs

Dogs welcome on estate walks, within restaurant and The Edgcumbe. Assistance dogs only in house, garden and orchard.

Looking for a holiday cottage in Saltash, we've got all your needs covered.

Crowns Engine Houses at Botallack

Crowns Engine Houses at Botallack

Looking for more inspiration?

Cornwall is home to some of the most stunning National Trust properties in the country, each offering a unique glimpse into the region's rich history and natural beauty. Our blog posts are filled with recommendations and insights on these incredible places, providing you with a wealth of information to enhance your visit. Take a look and uncover all the wonderful things to see and do in Cornwall through our blog posts; from things to do in Cornwall to free and affordable days out in Cornwall.

If you're looking for an affordable holiday cottage in Cornwall we've got you covered, from dog-friendly to family-friendly.

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