Days out with the National Trust in Cornwall

Two children exploring the area around them, with two large plants in the background.

Chances are you’ll probably visit several places the National Trust looks after during your holiday in Cornwall. Not only do they manage many of Cornwall’s historic properties and gardens, but they also do a fantastic job protecting much of the coastline (including maintaining paths, signage and coastal car parks).


They’ve also put a huge amount of effort into making sure all the places they manage are as accessible and engaging for everyone, including setting up special events for families, children’s trails, and encouraging people to get outdoors as much as possible. With enthusiastic members of staff and volunteers on hand, they make it easy to discover the sights, sounds and stories of Cornwall.

Where to visit

The National Trust website is a fantastic resource you can use to help you make the most out of your holiday in Cornwall. There are loads of ideas for what to see and where to go, plus suggestions for walks and information about seasonal activities and events. Whether you fancy exploring the coast, strolling round beautiful gardens, or finding out more about Cornwall’s mining heritage, there’s lots to choose from – you might find a weeks’ holiday isn’t nearly long enough to explore everything you’d like to.


Historic houses

Many of the great estates in Cornwall are now looked after by the National Trust. Explore Lanhydrock, a magnificent late Victorian country house, and discover the story of the Agar-Robartes family. The Elizabethan manor house of Trerice also has plenty of secrets to uncover, and is said to be the inspiration for Trenwith in Poldark. Alternatively you could explore Antony, a magical 18th century mansion where Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010) was shot.

Spectacular places

Cornwall is a place steeped in myth and legend. Follow in the footsteps of King Arthur and explore the ruins of Tintagel Castle, or walk across the causeway to Michael’s Mount.

Explore Cornwall’s mining heritage

Traces of Cornwall’s mining heritage are visible across the landscape. Discover more about mining processes, what mining meant for Cornwall and the people who lived and worked here in the 18th and 19th centuries with a trip to Levant and Botallack mines (used in the filming for Poldark).

Glorious gardens

The National Trust gardens in Cornwall are a far cry from manicured lawns and expertly shaped topiary. Glendurgan, Trelissick and Trengwainton are full of surprises around every corner, extraordinary trees and plants and inviting spaces just waiting to be discovered…


Beautiful beaches

Did you know that the National Trust looks after 10% of the coastline of England, Wales and Northern Ireland? Cornwall has some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK – you could easily visit a different beach every day of the week.

We love the breathtaking vista of Kynance Cove, the rugged beauty of Cape Cornwall and the sweeping golden sands of Godrevy and Holywell, just to name a few…

Find out more about days out with the National Trust in Cornwall.

The National Trust for families – 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4
The National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4‘ campaign aims to encourage kids to get outdoors exploring. There are loads of fun activities on the list, from making dens to climbing trees to skimming stones. Available online, in print or as a smartphone app, it’s full of inspiration for budding explorers. Watch this short video to find out more.

National Trust Membership

Membership costs as little as £5 a month, and there as special rates available for families and couples. Members have unlimited access to everywhere looked after by the National Trust – so you can revisit all your favourite places or branch out and discover somewhere new. You also get free parking in all National Trust car parks, which is particularly useful in Cornwall, as many of the car parks on the coast are run by the National Trust.

If you’ve not already a member, it’s worth thinking about joining – you could cover the cost of a year’s membership in a single week’s holiday adventures. What’s more, your membership fees also go towards the National Trust’s efforts to protect our special places. As a charity, they don’t receive any government funding, so they rely on membership subscriptions, donations and volunteers to look after all the places in their care (over 257,000 hectares of land, over 300 historic houses and gardens, and 775 miles of coastline in total).

Find out more here about becoming a member of the National Trust.

Happy exploring!

What’s your favourite National Trust experience in Cornwall? Share your stories below, post on our Facebook page or tweet @bosinver.

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Action Nan and the rest of the team are always busy writing posts that we think you’ll like – from top tips on where to take the kids, to what’s likely to be going on in the local area when you stay – we’ve got it all in our blog!