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Lanhydrock Close Up is a garden trail for half term visitors

If you are wondering how to keep the kids amused during the February half-term holiday, the Lanhydrock Close Up event is just the thing.
Known as the grandest house in Cornwall, the National Trust property of is a real gem to visit, even in the depths of winter. During half term, the third week in February, there is an extra family fun event known as the Lanhydrock Close Up.

Although the Victorian house is closed for winter cleaning and conservation work, the 1000 acre grounds and beautiful formal gardens are ideal for walks and the shop and café are open.

What is the Lanhydrock Close Up?

If you visit when the Lanhydrock Close Up takes place you can join in the extra fun. Tickets are £2 per trail, available from the gatehouse, but families can share. However, only one prize per trail is provided, so you may need to pay for one trail per child to avoid a quarrel later!

The trail is open from 10am to 4pm and sharp-eyed visitors have to explore the gardens and grounds looking to match the photographs on the sheet with the real things. It’s a great way to enjoy this beautiful property without youngsters getting bored, and it’s also a cheap way to fill one of the days of half-term.

Exploring the Lanhydrock Estate in February

The grand entrance to the Lanhydrock estate is the amazing gatehouse. It is impossible to miss as it is on a sharp right-angle bend on the A30 just south of Bodmin. The delightful Parish Church dedicated to St Hydrock stands in the grounds, as it has since the late 1400s.

The Grade I listed building is built in a C-shape around an open courtyard and I particularly love the tiny paned windows of the Jacobean style building. It looks older than it actually is as much of the house was rebuilt after a fire in 1881. The surviving parts date back to the 1620s, although the estate is even older. It was once part of the Augustinian priory of St Petroc until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s.

During the Lanhydrock Close Up event most of your time will be spent in the extensive grounds of around 890 acres. Located above the River Fowey, the green parkland is truly beautiful for long walks and ambles. The hill behind the house is planted with a fine selection of rare trees and shrubs. The gardens are a real show of colour in spring with patches of daffodils and bulbs beneath magnificent pink flowering camellias and white magnolia trees.

Later in the season, the showy azaleas and rhododendrons are worth a return visit as they won’t be blooming during the Lanhydrock Close Up event. In summer, the herbaceous flower borders are English country gardens at their best with stunning perennial colour from penstemons, red hot pokers, achillea and other vibrant flowering plants.

Dogs and kids welcome to the Lanhydrock Close Up event

Dogs are welcome in the grounds of Lanhydrock. The Stable Bar also welcomes visitors with pets, even providing dog biscuits as a treat to four-legged friends.

Once you have completed your Lanhydrock Close Up Trail, reward yourself with refreshments and lunch in the Servant’s Hall Restaurant or the Stable Café. They serve hearty soup, hot and cold drinks and delicious Cornish cream teas in a charming setting with wood panelled walls, old clocks and even an antlered stag’s head. There’s a special children’s menu available, making this the perfect event for all the family during the February half-term holiday.

Are you planning to visit Lanhydrock this spring, perhaps for the Lanhydrock Close Up event? Visitors and tourists are sure to appreciate any local tips you can give about visiting this beautiful estate. Do share…

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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