Summer fun at Cotehele

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

There are plenty of adventures to be had at Cotehele this summer. Join us for antique sword holding, pond dipping, making swords and shields, trails, milling and games as well as the adventure playground, estate and quayside to explore.

Plan your day

We’ve lined up some organised activities for you on weekdays from July 30 to August 31, 12noon to 3pm.  All activities are free with entry. There's no need to book, they’re all just drop-in events, so you can stay flexible during the busy holidays.

  • Mondays: Swords and shields on the bowling green
  • Tuesdays: Pond-dipping in the Upper Garden
  • Wednesdays: #CutflowersforCotehele in the education room
  • Thursdays: Look sharp! antique sword holding in the house
  • Fridays: #CutflowersforCotehele in the education room
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

Cotehele house

The house is definitely worth exploring if you've got time. 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. 

Full of energy?

A family playing croquet at Cotehele
Children playing croquet on the lawn in front of Cotehele house
A family playing croquet at Cotehele

You could have a fun game of croquet with the family on the lawn in front of the house or play giant jenga here instead.

If you're 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.

Have a go at some of the ‘50 things’ as you explore

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. Pick up your ‘50 things’ scrapbook and award sticker for free at Cotehele reception.

What else is there for families to do?

Pick up a free trail sheet and head off through the garden to the quay. In the Discover Centre on the quay there's an activity which will use the information you've found out on the trail too.

Also in the Discovery Centre are 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 the sailing barge, Shamrock, in here.

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 (depending on water levels in the Morden stream. You can even try out some of the baking if our volunteer bakers are in when you're here and on Sundays throughout the holidays the team will be dressed in traditional Victorian costume, and you can dress up too.

Adventuring in the playground

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

The adventure playground is a great place for children to climb, swing, jump and let off steam. It's near to the car park, so it's just right for stretching out those limbs and letting off steam after a car journey.

Children can build a den from branches, balance on trunks and climb and clamber the timber play structure in the shelter of the trees on the meadow in front of Cotehele.

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

Nice things to eat

Stay fuelled up with a picnic lunch box from the Edgcumbe tea-room on Cotehele Quay. Plus, don’t hesitate to scream for ice cream -- the Piggery by the house and kiosk on the quay have you covered. We’ve got dairy-free options too.

Volunteer room guides greet visitors at Cotehele
Children arriving at the house at Cotehele, Cornwall
Volunteer room guides greet visitors at Cotehele