May half-term fun at Cotehele

Six children playing by the pond at Cotehele, Cornwall

This May half-term there will be lots of things to keep the family entertained. We've got lots planned on the theme of bees and other pollinators and we also have 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ guides ready to help you become an explorer, a tracker and an adventurer.

A busy bee drinking nectar
A bee on a hydrangea bloom at Lanhydrock, Cornwall
A busy bee drinking nectar

Bees and butterflies

We're celebrating pollinators this half term. These wonderful insects pick up pollen on their bodies, for example while drinking nectar from flowers, and spread it around to other parts of the plant. This fertilises the plant and enables it to produce fruit and seeds. They are vital to agriculture and in parts of the world where they have become very scarce people have to carry out pollination themselves by hand.

Pollinator guide

You can find out more about pollinators in Cotehele garden and the plants they are attracted to. The free guide will also help you to tell the difference between some common bee types - you'll be buzzing from all your new knowledge by the end.

Flowers feed many insects like this bee
Bee on a flower in the garden
Flowers feed many insects like this bee

Bee homes

On weekdays in half term you can also have a go at making a bee home. These are used by solitary bees, which don't live in a collective hive. This is one of the 50 things activities - number 36. Make a home for wildlife - so you can have fun and collect a sticker too.

We're fundraising for a new sculpture to sit in the Mother Orchard through our raffle this year which, as well as looking beautiful, will also be made up from a number of bee boxes for these loner species too. 

50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ at Cotehele

Every day, all day

Create some wild art using twigs, buds and leaves, head up to the play area for hours of fun building a den, and if the sun doesn't shine pull on your wellies and run around in the rain – there are 22 different ‘things’ on the national explorer list you can do at Cotehele. Pick up a free flyer from reception and start earning your stickers today, or you can purchase a special '50 things' handbook in the shop. (Normal admission charges apply)

Other things for families and children to do at Cotehele throughout the week include a quiz trail at the mill, a tapestry quiz trail in the house, a wooden climbing structure play area and playing Pooh sticks near the mill.


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.

Children playing croquet on the lawn in front of Cotehele house

For families 

There's lots of fun to be had in the fresh air at Cotehele, whether you're stopping by for an hour after a long day at school or have all day to play, you'll find adventure areas, games, trails and loads of space to run around and let off steam.