A Bucket List Adventure
On a late summers Sunday Nathan and I decided to finally go to the National Trust property Lanhydrock which is located in Bodmin, Cornwall. Visiting here has been on my Cornwall Bucket List for while and so I was glad when we eventually found the time to go and visit.
We parked up easily in the huge car park amongst many other cars and walked to the entrance cabin. There is a separate entrance for National Trust Members meaning we beat a bit of a queue. After being given a map of the house and gardens we made our way down the long, slightly downhill walk-way to the imposing gated entrance to the country house and estate.
Lanhydrock was home to the Agar-Robartes family and is now a grade I listed building which dates back to the Victorian era. History tells us that a major fire in 1881 destroyed a large part of the house and led to new sections being rebuilt – still to the same grandiour.
Making Quite the Entrance
We enjoyed taking lots of photos as we approached the mansion and gardens – just the gates and walls around the estate were grand and gave a very impressive feel. We entered through the gates and were greeted by glorious lawns and trees lining the walkway up to the entrance to the house. Like many other National Trust properties we have visited recently, including Cotehele and Buckland Abbey, the building was grandiose and intricately detailed giving ample opportunities for Nathan to get his camera out!
We decided to tour around the inside of the Jacobean house first and entered the grand Victorian decorated house. Those with large bags or pushchairs are told to store them at the entrance. We took our time exploring the house, going from room to room admiring all of the artefacts and grand furniture on show. There were guides in most rooms who were ready with a wealth of information on the room and house would you wish to hear it. There were also some information boards detailing important heirlooms and points of interest. The majority of the grand dining, drawing and living rooms were full of large painted portraits and walls that were lined with tapestries.
Information and the guides will tell you how the Agar – Robartes family were affected during the First World War as heir Thomas Agar-Robartes was killed during the Battle of Loos in France.
A lot of the downstairs of the house is taken up by the kitchens. There were so many rooms related to cooking – the dairy, bread making room and a large main kitchen full of ovens. There was real edible food being used as part of the displays including fruit and cheese. I did have to resist taking a slice of the brie! Here you can also see the servants’ quarters and imagine what it might have been liked to have worked in the imposing house.
Upstairs you are able to explore the posh living quarters which include various bedrooms, bathrooms and the children’s nursery. I particularly enjoyed seeing how there were separate bathrooms for the Lord and Lady of the house. This seems like a great idea to me – never having to moan about Nathan not putting the toilet seat down would be nice!
As it was a sunny summers day there were quite a lot of other people looking around the house and this, combined with the heat of the day, made it feel a little busy and stuffy in the house.
Time for Ice Cream
After exploring the countless number of rooms we felt we needed some fresh air and took ourselves outside to the courtyard area. Here there is a restaurant with outdoor seating. We quickly spotted the ice cream counter selling Callestick ice cream – my favourite. After getting ourselves a double scooped cone with chocolate flake we walked back to the front of the house and sat within the gardens. We admired the views whilst sitting in the sun devouring our ice creams. By this time it was lunchtime and there were various families sitting around us enjoying their picnics.
We had a BBQ to go to at a friend’s house in the afternoon and so needed to make tracks. This meant we didn’t explore Lanhydrock’s large surrounding gardens anymore but I feel we saw enough for us to be tempted back another time for a longer visit. Apparently the extensive gardens include a variety of flowers, woodland trails and also off-road cycle paths for those wishing to bring their bikes.
I would be interested to see how the estate feels in the Autumn and Winter months and how the seasons affect the gardens and luscious greens of the place. It would also be nice to visit again when there aren’t quite so many other people around too! Luckily with our membership we can go back anytime to explore what else beautiful Lanhydrock has to offer!
Ever visited Lanhydrock? What did you think? Let me know below.