For Nick’s 50th his Mum had given us family National Trust Membership for the year. Football was cancelled for the boys so it felt like a golden opportunity for a family day out to one of Cornwall’s National Trust estates.
Cotehele is under an hour from Coombe Mill towards the Devon border. We arrived as the morning rain dried up which was just as well since we were a day too early for the house opening. The children had visited with school and were rather disappointed not to be able to show us the gun room in the old Tudor house! However the grounds more than occupied our time.
Apparently this is still a working watermill, there was no evidence of it working when we visited although the children were quick to spot the old mill stone just like our one at Coombe Mill.
The courtyards and gardens had the most impressive archways each of which drew you in to see what lay beyond.
Guy impressed me with his knowledge from his previous visit. He showed me a crack in the wall and told me these were found all around and deliberate for defending by bow and arrow, I could only think of how drafty it must have made the house!
The temperature crept up in the sunshine and I felt like the plants were opening up even while we were there, I love the way spring unfolds around you at this time of year. Another month and I think it will be really stunning here.
Woodland paths are well marked out through the valley gardens and planted to offer beautiful views, the children had all ran on ahead while I stopped to admire and photograph all that I saw.
I did feel slightly sad that my children no longer wanted to visit the play area. This natural wooden equipment was crying out for some children but mine rarely indulge these days.
However they weren’t beyond a bit of larking around leaping over the flower beds, running and even stopping to pet a brass hare.
The house is set up the hill and it is a short walk from here down to the quayside where the creek boasts some wonderful views.
Water brings out the child in my kids still and the boys dared each other down the steps hovering over the sinking mud while I shouted at them to come back fearing the worst!
The shamrock boat takes harbour tours in the summer, it was very much grounded now but it didn’t prevent the kids ignoring the signs and hopping aboard for a good explore.
I can thoroughly recommend Cotehele if you are staying at Coombe Mill, with a lovely looking pub and cafe on the water’s edge or picnic tables by the play area it would make a lovely family day out. I rather fancy returning when the house it open and they have a Victorian dressing up day going on.
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“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.