Explorer summer fun at Cotehele

There are plenty of adventures to be had at Cotehele this summer. Join us for antique sword holding, pond dipping, making swords and shields, hobby horse jumping and so much more.

Download a schedule

Download a calendar of the fun family activities going on in August to tape to the fridge and stash in the car: August family fun at Cotehele (PDF / 0.30859375MB) download .

Plan your day

We’ve lined up some organised activities for you on weekdays from Tuesday 1 - Thursday 31 August, 12noon to 3pm.  All activities are free with entry. There's no need to book, just drop-in, so you can stay flexible during the busy holidays. Touché to that.

  • Mondays: Swords and shields on the bowling green
  • Tuesdays: Look sharp! antique sword holding in the house
  • Wednesdays: Fun on the Shamrock 1899 Tamar sailing barge
  • Thursdays: Pond-dipping in the Upper Garden
  • Fridays: Crafty Fridays in the education room
A lazy day by the pond at Cotehele
Six children playing by the pond at Cotehele, Cornwall
A lazy day by the pond at Cotehele

Stay loose

There’s plenty to do on your own every day from Tuesday 1 - Thursday 31 August, 11am to 4.30pm. Just ask in reception when you arrive and they can get you started.

  • Visit the quay and Discovery Centre
  • Summer pixie trail
  • Visit the wooden play area
  • Build a den
  • Garden games on the bowling green
  • Hobby horse jumping in the Mother Orchard
  • Explore the under 18s-only room in the house  (last entry 4pm)
  • Milling days (Thursdays and Sundays at Cotehele Mill, water dependent)
  • Family quiz at the mill
  • Visit the baker at the mill
  • Costume Sundays at the mill (Sundays from 30 July to 3 September)
  • Play Pooh sticks at the mill
  • Dam a stream at the mill
Swing, climb and play on the climbing structure in the picnic meadow at Cotehele
Children playing on climbing structure at Cotehele, Cornwall
Swing, climb and play on the climbing structure in the picnic meadow at Cotehele

Tapestries in the garden

Follow a tapestry-inspired trail around the garden. Highlights include strawberries, medlar trees, sunflowers and spiny bear’s breeches. Stylised versions of these, amongst other plants, can be seen in the tapestries in the house. The trail ties in with the ‘Just Hanging’ tapestry-themed tour in the house.

Detail of 'Verdure' tapestry in Queen Anne's Room at Cotehele
Detail of 'Verdure' tapestry in Queen Anne's Room at Cotehele, Cornwall
Detail of 'Verdure' tapestry in Queen Anne's Room at Cotehele


‘50 things’

Children can connect with nature in the National Trust ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ challenge’. This is a self-led activity for families to do together or for older children to do on their own. There are at least 20 ‘things’ on the list you can do at Cotehele. ‘50 things’ scrapbooks and award stickers are free and available at Cotehele reception.

Nice things to eat

Stay fuelled up with a picnic lunch box in the Barn Restaurant at the house or the Edgcumbe tea-room on Cotehele Quay. Plus, don’t hesitate to scream for ice cream -- the shop and kiosk have you covered.

Milling day at Cotehele Mill
Visitors watch the mill staff mill and bag flour at Cotehele Mill, Cornwall
Milling day at Cotehele Mill