Family summer fun at Cotehele

Three children playing swords and shields on the grass circle at Cotehele, Cornwall

If you’re looking for some fun things to do now that school is out, we’ve organised some special activities to keep you busy this summer.

All activities are free with entry. They’re drop-in with no need to book so you can stay flexible during the busy holidays.

Get creative

On weekdays from Monday 1 August until Friday 2 September from 12.30 until 3.00pm, we'll be having fun under the marquee behind the house and we'd love for you to join in:

  • Mondays – paper making
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays – wild art
  • Wednesdays – catch-cup games
  • Fridays – swords and shields

‘CSI’ trails in the house

Light, dust, pests, humidity, and wear and tear are five agents of deterioration that wreak havoc in historic houses. The ‘Conservation Scene Investigation’ trail is a fun, interactive way to wander through the house and learn about these threats. You'll even get a sticker at the end.

Conservation Scene Investigation (CSI) trail in Cotehele House
Two girls examining the house by torchlight at Cotehele, Cornwall
Conservation Scene Investigation (CSI) trail in Cotehele House

Costume Sundays at Cotehele Mill

On Sundays, from 31 July until 4 September, you can step back in time at Cotehele Mill. Staff and volunteers will be dressed in Victorian costume and they’ll be demonstrating how to mill the flour (provided there’s been enough rain).

Milling at Cotehele Mill
Miller Sally milling flour at Cotehele Mill, Cornwall
Milling at Cotehele Mill

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 and tapestry-inspired meals in the Barn Restaurant.

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 a 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.

Other fun stuff to do

‘Tracker packs’ filled with a variety of activities, a family quiz trail around the mill with a prize at the end, the under 18s-only room in the house, croquet and Jenga games on the bowling green, and the jungle gym play area in the picnic meadow are always available for you to try. Stay fuelled up with a picnic lunch box in the Barn Restaurant at the house or the Edgcumbe tea-room on Cotehele Quay.

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