Don't miss - Victorian swimming pool

The Victorian swimming pool at Lanhydrock

The Victorian Agar-Robartes family had great fun at Lanhydrock. They played cricket, croquet and tennis in the garden, rode horses around the estate and even had their own outdoor swimming pool to relax in on sunny days.

The pool isn't used for swimming today but it has become a fantastic habitat for wildlife, just like the ancient and interesting trees you'll pass on the way there. 

Where do you start your adventure?

Go from the gatehouse down along the beech avenue. This imposing avenue was designed to give a grand approach to the house for important visitors by John Robartes c.1650. He planted it with sycamore trees but Anna Maria Hunt replanted the avenuse with beech trees around 1820.

Storm damage and interesting trees

As you explore, look out for a hollow lime tree. This tree is over 150 years old. It was damaged in a bad storm in 1990, which destroyed over a thousand other trees across the estate. You'll also see a barkless sweet chestnut in a small copse.

We leave some damaged and dead wood lying where it falls because, although it looks untidy, it provides a habitat for all sorts of bugs and beetles and helps to keep the ecosystems at Lanhydrock healthy.

One trunk or three?

Near the buildings - which used to be the old stables and dog kennels but are now the National Trust's regional office and workshops- try to find the three-trunked sycamore tree. 

A home for rare species

The path by the swimming pool is a good place to spot oil beetles. These rare beetles grow very big so are easy to spot. Be careful if you try to touch them, not only are they rare in the UK now (several types are completely extinct) but they squirt out an oily substance when they're disturbed, which can really sting!

The swimming pool itself is home to frogs, tadpoles and newts. How many can you spot?

Beetles can be spotted on the woodland floor
Beetles can be spotted on the woodland floor
Beetles can be spotted on the woodland floor

Dogs are welcome on walks around the estate but livestock regularly graze in the parkland so please keep dogs on leads for safety.

The Victorian family enjoying the pool
Lanhydrock swimming pool Victorian photograph
The Victorian family enjoying the pool