Exploring the castles, manors and gardens of Cornwall in your car

“Kernow” as Cornish speakers call it, is best known for her stunning coastline and inviting beaches; however not everyone is aware that the ancient Celtic Kingdom stores a wealth of towering castles and lavish mansion house. If you’re live in Cornwall or heading there in your car hire, stop by these exciting locations. You won’t regret it.


Trelissick House

Image courtesy of Robert.Pittman on VisualHunt / CC BY-ND

Constructed by Thomas Daniell in 1824, Trelissick boasts of stunning views over the Fal Estuary and Falmouth. Build to impress; the opulent accommodation boasts of neoclassical columns, stunning period items and spectacular maritime views!

Glendurgan Garden

Image courtesy of Tim Green aka atoach on Visualhunt / CC BY

Comprising of a maze, exotic plants and blooms for every season, the sub-tropical valley garden of Glendurgan is a prime horticultural spot in the UK. The cherry laurel maze and the vast carpets of wildflower will make it an exciting visit for the kids!

St Michael’s Mount

Image courtesy of aaronjenkin on Instagram

The existing churches built by the Monks who formerly owned Mont St Michel were joined in with the military castle made by Henry La Pomeray. The castle has hosted many a royal and soldier and seen many wars waged right at its doorstep. The castle is reported to be in operation as late as the 19th century. You can reach the island by boat during high tide and by foot during the low-tide. You’ll find a restaurant within the castle walls that serves up fresh seafood!

Antony House and Garden

Image courtesy of david.perkin on Instagram

In use by the Carew family since the 15th century, this beautiful house provides stunning views of the River Lynber. The mansion houses a portrait of three that is one of the very earliest depictions of cricket in the globe. You can also view part of the buff hued coat worn by Royalist supporter Alexander Carew who was beheaded in London in 1643. You can play croquet on the house lawns too!

Tintagel Castel

Image courtesy of Allie_Caulfield on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Arguably the most famous castle in Cornwall, Tintagel castle is rumoured to have hosted King Arthur. An enticing remnant, a slab stating “Artognou, father of a descendant of Coll, has had this built” is said to be the work of Artognou or King Arthur! The Earl of Cornwall, Richard, constructed the castle, during the 13th century, however many historians believe this is not the first castle to be erected on the premises. With the unearthing of Mediterranean pottery, settlements of the area trace back to the 5th century and the castle is said to house members of the Cornish family.


Image courtesy of boconnocestate on Instagram

Dating back to the time of the Doomsday Book of 1086, Boconnoc is built in the largest park in Cornwall and possesses Elizabethan foundations. Ownership of the house passed through the hands of many politicians and noblemen until the Second World War when the house was abandoned owing to the lack of finances required for the upkeep of Boconnoc. Restored over a 12 year period by Anthony and Elizabeth Fortescue, visitors can stroll through the house on guided tours, explore the 17th-century deer park gardens or reserve the venue for special occasions.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Image courtesy of the heligangardens on Instagram

Renovated in 1992, the Lost Gardens of Heligan house several gardens within its premises including Italian and a Japanese garden plus four-walled gardens. Created over two centuries ago, stroll along the winding paths in this charming Victorian garden, walk through old woodlands or examine the exotic and subtropical plants lovingly tended to for centuries. If your strolls leave your stumbling rumbling, drop by the Heligan Tearoom for a reviving Cornish cream tea or a hot home-cooked lunch made with the produce harvested within the gardens.


Cornwall is dotted with many more captivating manors and locations and will leave you feeling like you’ve gone on a long holiday! If you’d like to see more of the world around you, check out these tips before you hire a car!