What to do at the Weekend: Visit Lanhydrock Estate
Regular readers of our blog will know we are proud National Trust members and Lanhydrock has been on our list for some time.
We enjoy visiting the Trust’s iconic buildings, gardens and walking spots throughout our travels across the UK.
With more than 500 locations, there’s always somewhere beautiful to explore within easy reach!
What we did at the weekend:
Visited Lanhydrock Estate
Location: Bodmin, Cornwall
Our rating: 7.5/10
Lanhydrock Ticks Our Boxes
So, we love National Trust spots – check.
Another thing we love is Cornwall.
Combine the two together and it sounds like a pretty perfect day out to us!
Where is Lanhydrock?
If you’re looking to visit Lanhydrock, it’s located to the north of Cornwall in Bodmin.
Being situated in the north of the county makes it the ideal place to visit on your way to, or from, a lovely Cornish holiday.
For us, we visited on our way home and spent a few hours wandering the grounds before making the rest of the journey back to the Midlands.
What is there to see at Lanhydrock?
Lanhydrock is definitely one of the larger National Trust locations we’ve been to.
This means there is plenty to see and do while you’re there.
As we mentioned above, we only spent a few hours doing a whistlestop tour of the main house and garden.
However it would definitely be easy to make more of a day of your visit.
The Victorian house
The house itself is a pretty magnificent spectacle to behold.
Surrounded by stone walls, the house and formal gardens are accessed via an impressive, almost castle-looking gated stone archway.
Once through the archway, a graveled path lined with topiary trees leads you directly to the main courtyard where you can truly appreciate the scale of the building.
It definitely gave us Downton Abbey vibes!
Bringing History to Life
Once inside the house, there is an abundance of things to see, from large kitchens which would have been used by the wealthy owner’s staff, to luxurious family spaces including bedrooms, a living room, and dining room.
The Long Gallery at Lanhydrock
One of the most impressive spaces is the long gallery – which was all the fashion during the Elizabeathan and Jacobean times.
Here the walls are covered in paintings, with large windows the one side and an ornately plastered ceiling filled with so much pattern and detail.
It was quite the room to see!
To the outside of the house, you’ll find the formal garden which is a point of beauty all year round and filled with seasonal plants.
In particular, Lanhydrock is known for its magnolia trees which are mostly located around the higher garden.
According to the National Trust, the most impressive magnolia flower displays can be enjoyed in spring…however it is possible to see a magnolia in flower all year round.
The higher garden is also the place to learn more about the garden’s history.
Here you’ll find a thatched cottage that contains a display regarding the progression of the garden since the 17th century.
Over 1000 acres of land
Beyond the walls of the house and garden lies extensive land just waiting to be explored.
In fact, there is over 1000 acres of parkland, heathland and woodland alongside sections of the River Fowey.
Walking and Bike Riding at Lanhydrock
If, like us, you love the great outdoors, it is definitely worth donning your walking shoes and venturing further.
Or, if cycling is more your thing, the area is perfect for a bike ride with six different trails available.
These range from easy to difficult, making sure there is something for all abilities.
With Cornwall renowned for its outdoor exploration, many visitors may already have their bikes in tow.
But if not, the main visitors centre entrance at Lanhydrock actually has a cycle hire centre.
Each bike hired will set you back £19 for adults and £13.40 for children.
The History of Lanhydrock
The Lanhydrock estate dates back to the 1500s, where it originally belonged to the Augustinian priory of St Petroc at Bodmin.
It later passed into private hands in 1530s due to the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
The Robartes Family Ownership of Lanhydrock
In the 17th century, Lanhydrock was purchased by Richard Robartes before being passed onto his son John Robartes following his death in 1634.
It remained in the Robartes family for hundreds of years, with the National Trust acquiring the property back in the 1950s.
As it stands today, most of the house at Lanhydrock only dates back to Victorian times, however some sections do in fact go back to the Jacobean era of the 1600s.
This is because there was a large fire in 1881 which led to most of the house being refurbished into a high-Victorian style that was quintessential to the time period.
How much does Lanhydrock cost?
As we always say with National Trust spots, if you’re likely to visit several locations throughout the year is definitely more cost-effective to purchase an annual membership than pay for each attraction individually.
If you’re only doing a fleeting visit to the UK however, it is easy to pay a one of entrance fee when visiting Lanhydrock.
You can pay at the main entrance, with an adult ticket costing £18 and a child ticket coming in at £9.
There is also the cost of parking to consider (which again National Trust members get for free).
Parking fees at Lanydrock are £1.50 an hour, or £6 for the whole day.
Like the other National Trust sites we’ve mentioned on our blog, by the time you’ve covered off your entrance fee and parking, it is quite a high price to pay for a one-off visit.
However, as Lanhydrock is one of the larger locations we’ve visited, and with its extensive land to explore, you could easily make a day of your trip – particularly when the weather is being kind.
If you are planning to spend the day, there is one café available on site.
The Park Café is situated at the main visitors centre, and serves drinks, light meals and snacks – with indoor and outdoor seating.
If you want to save some pennies, we’d definitely recommend packing a picnic to enjoy on one of the open grassy areas and keep you fuelled for the day.
Events and Activities at Lanhydrock
Throughout the year, Lanhydrock holds a number of seasonal events which are perfect for those with children.
That being said, we unknowingly timed our visit with their Halloween ‘Penny Dreadful’ event and definitely had more fun then every child we saw!
So maybe ‘fun for all ages’ is more appropriate.
This was a walk-through experience taking you through areas of the house and meeting ‘real life’ creepy characters each with their own story to tell.
From Halloween to Easter
The event’s theming was taken from the Penny Dreadfuls themselves, which were ghost stories sold for a penny on old Victorian streets.
A nice touch to the event was giving each visitor a real Victorian penny, which they could exchange for their very own copy of the Penny Dreadful.
For 2023 so far, Lanhydrock has announced an Easter Egg Hunt running from 1st -16th April.
It is worth checking the National Trust website to see if any activities are taking place at the time of your visit.