Fun for families at Cotehele

Children playing giant jenga in front of Cotehele house

Cotehele is a great place to come and have some fun whether you've got a whole day to play or just an hour or two after a long day at school.

Adventuring in the playground

Children can climb, swing, jump and let off steam in the adventure playground. There's a special area here for den building, and kids can balance on trunks and climb and clamber the timber play structure in the shelter of the trees on the meadow near the carpark.

As well as being near to the car park, the adventure playground is next to the picnic benches and not far from the Barn Restaurant. So you could enjoy a relaxing sit down with a takeaway coffee and a slice of cake while the little ones play away right in view.

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

Games on the lawn

On the lawn in front of the house you’ll find a croquet set to play with when the weather is dry. Aiming the mallet so that the ball passes through the hoops is great for developing gross motor skills and even for learning about angles. There’s giant jenga here too, which you could always use for building tall structures as well as playing by the rules.

Cotehele house

The house is definitely worth an explore if you've got time. The house closes at 4pm at the moment. You'll step back into the world of the Edgcumbe family and their servants. There's a free trail for children and they can get hands on with history in the kitchens, trying to work the mechanical arm. 

Burn off some energy before bed

If the kids are feeling energetic, there are lots of walks around Cotehele. You could walk to the quayside and see Shamrock being repaired or take a stroll along the path to the mill looking for Cornish Pisky doors as you go.

The path through the woods past the Chapel-in-the-Wood is well worth an explore and of course, the gardens are beautiful to walk around and there are always lots of colours, smells and creatures to discover to awaken the senses. You might even find Rubeus, Cotehele’s resident cat, who’s always happy to be made a fuss of (and loves to pose for photos, as you can see on our Instagram feed).

A summer's day in the Upper Garden at Cotehele
Family with two adults and three children next to the pond at Cotehele, Cornwall
A summer's day in the Upper Garden at Cotehele

What else is there for families to do?

At the mill on Thursdays and Sundays you can see the team make flour and have a go at the hand querns in the mill building. You can even try out some of the baking if our volunteer bakers are in when you're here. Last admission here is 4.30pm.

Having fun on the estate at Cotehele
Children playing on a fallen tree at Cotehele
Having fun on the estate at Cotehele

Don't miss the Discovery Centre on the quay, which has got lots of hands on activities for children to find out about nature, have a go at tying nautical knots and work out how old a tree is. You'll also find out more about Shamrock – the Tamar sailing barge we’re currently conserving - in here.


Build a den at Cotehele

You'll find a pile of branches, leaves and twigs on the picnic meadow where you can build a private woodland hideaway just right for you and your friends.