This may be Cornwall's "Forgotten Corner" but there's plenty to keep the whole family entertained for an unforgettable holiday.
This list is by no means exhaustive of places to eat but are all within a 10 minute drive from The Lodge.
If you have the time to venture a little further, The Royal William Yard, Stonehouse, Plymouth has a good selection of cafes, restaurants and bars. There are a couple of ways of getting to The Royal William Yard: why not park the car and take the ferry as a foot passenger directly to RWY or, alternatively take the car on the Torpoint Ferry and drive the 6 or 7 minutes to the RWY.
Devonport Inn – Kingsand (highly recommended gastro pub, but you'll need to book well in advance)
Halfway House – Kingsand
The Rising Sun - Kingsand
☏ 01752 822840 📍The Green, Kingsand, Torpoint PL10 1NH
St John Inn – St John
Devon and Cornwall – Millbrook
The Edgcumbe Arms - Cremyll
The Finygook Inn - Crafthole
☏ 01503 230338 📍 Dawney Terrace, Torpoint PL11 3BN
The Wilcove Inn - Wilcove
The Canteen – Maker Heights (One I would highly recommend, serves exceptional food)
The Old Bakery – Kingsand
The Salty Dog Cafe – top road between Millbrook and Tregantle
☏ 01752 823361 📍PL11 3AX
Cliff Top Café – Military Road (coast road Whitsand Bay)
The Honey Room – Millbrook
Ben's Plaice – Millbrook (fish and chip shop)
The Orangery – Mount Edgcumbe
The View – Military Road (coast road Whitsand Bay) (Excellent food) TEMPORARILY CLOSED
The Bay – Cawsand Beach
☏ 01752 823777 📍The Bound, Cawsand, Torpoint PL10 1PG
Namaste Indian – Torpoint
☏ 01752 816611 📍23 Fore St, Torpoint PL11 2AD
The Liscawn - Crafthole
The Cornish Pod (Cornish pasties)
Ben's Plaice – fish and chips – Millbrook
Wongs Chinese take away - Torpoint
☏ 01752 813748 📍10 Tamar St, Torpoint PL11 2AW
Namaste Nepalese Indian - Torpoint
☏ 01752 816611 📍23 Fore St, Torpoint PL11 2AD
The Shop in the Square – Cawsand (sandwiches etc) and the BEST ice cream
☏ 01752 822505 📍2 The Square, Cawsand, Torpoint PL10 1PF
Good Grazey - Amazing "grazing boxes" filled with delicious artisan cheeses and charcuterie meats and delivered free of charge
Visit @goodgrazey on Instagram
We are lucky enough in South East Cornwall to have a wide selection of stunning gardens which are open to the public. It’s always wise to check the website or by phoning for opening times before setting off on your journey.
For a full list of gardens, see Visit Cornwall
Mount Edgcumbe House and Gardens - Cremyll
Home to the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe for 400 years.
With wide ranging parkland, formal gardens and ever changing coastal views. The Mt Edgcumbe Country Park covers over 860 acres, stretching from Millbrook Lake around the Rame Head and Whitsand Bay, and taking in the villages of Cawsand and Kingsand.
In the heart of the park are the colourful 18th Century formal gardens in the Italian, French and English styles, complimented by the newly established American plantation and New Zealand garden. Exploring out into the landscaped park, there are any number of woodland and coastal walks giving marvellous views and access to unusual follies and the chance to see deer that roam freely in the park.
One of only three Grade I Listed gardens in Cornwall, the park includes the National Camellia Collection and has some stunning examples of rhododendrons, and magnolias in the spring time.
The country park is open all year round, daily from 8am til dusk and is free to the public.
Antony House and Gardens - Antony
Overlooking the beautiful tidal Lynher River this grand house is nestled in parkland and stunning gardens. Antony is a beautiful early 18th-century mansion and the home of the Carew Pole family with a fine collection of paintings, furniture and textiles. The grounds, landscaped by Repton, sweep down towards the Lynher estuary and include formal gardens with topiary, a knot garden, modern sculptures and the National Collection of Daylilies.
The Woodland Garden has rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias.
There is a family museum to visit where you are able to follow the fascinating history of the Carews back to Domesday when they lived nearby in a 15th Century manor.
National Trust Members may visit the adjacent Antony Woodland Garden for no extra charge on days when Antony House is open.
For six weeks from September 2008 Antony House turned into a film set as crew from London and America flocked to the site to film important scenes for Disney’s remake of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inside the eighteenth century house, and within the confines of its atmospheric grounds.
Things not to miss on your visit:
Spot the locations used in Disney's Alice in Wonderland movie.
Soak up the unique atmosphere of a family home.
Hunt for the modern sculpture installed throughout the gardens.
Port Eliot House and Gardens - St Germans
Port Eliot Estate is a Grade 1 listed house and Grade 1 listed park and garden. It is one of the most fascinating and historic places in Cornwall with the house and gardens offering a great day out for all the family. There are many reasons to visit whether your passion be architecture, history, art, gardening or simply stunningly tranquil walks. The grade 1 listed house dates back as far as the 6th century and was substantially altered by Sir John Soane at the turn of the 19th century. An outstanding country house, there are 11 staircases, 15 back doors and 82 chimneys not to mention half an acre of roof!
The park and more than 100 acres of gardens include a vast rhododendron garden, maze, bowling green, orangery, boat house, arboretum and magnificent views of the estuary and the Brunel viaduct. The house has a vast number of paintings by Reynolds and other works of art by Romney, Ramsey, Van Dyck and many of the Dutch Old Masters. The family has a history of commissioning artworks, and the house also features the work of Robert Lenkiewicz, whose mural covers the wall of the magnificent Round Room, designed by Sir John Soane. There is a tea room, and Norman church to visit, the Long Gallery and each Wednesday the basement is open for guided tours so visitors can explore life below stairs.
Lanhydrock House and Gardens - Bodmin
This is a house with the feel of wealth but unpretentious. The kitchens, nurseries and servants' quarters offer a thrilling glimpse into life 'below stairs', while the spacious dining room and bedrooms are truly and deeply elegant.
The house is set in wooded parkland of 1,000 acres and encircled by a garden of rare shrubs and trees.
Follow in the footsteps of generations of the Robartes family, walking in the 17th-century Long Gallery among the rare book collection under the remarkable plasterwork ceiling. After a devastating fire in 1881 the house was refurbished in the high-Victorian style, with the latest mod cons.
The historical garden with its 30-acres of woodland was laid out back in 1857, but its present format was actually established later on in the Victorian period, and many of the plants are no more than 70 years old. However, a grand atmosphere permeates the entire setting and compliments the brilliant planting of more modern times.
Explore formal parterres of dazzling bedding plants and paths that wind through a woodland landscape planted in a semi-formal Cornish fashion - rhododendrons and Himalayan magnolias of great heights.
Take-in the sweeping views over the gardens and the valley landscape, and it's pretty obvious that this is prime garden for walkers. Not only is there 30-acres of formal and informal woodland to explore, but the garden opens onto an extensive network of footpaths zig-zagging through 900-acres of beautiful countryside.
And with so much space to roam, Lanhydrock makes a very family friendly day out. Whilst the fresh air and colourful surroundings will captivate the kids' imaginations and wear them out, the restaurant has a fantastic children's menu and there are excellent baby-changing facilities on-site.
Things not to miss on your visit:
50 rooms to explore
Play the Steinway piano in the Long Gallery
Look out for the museum and second-hand bookshop
Cotehele – St Dominick
One of the best Tudor houses in the country, at the heart of this riverside estate the house at Cotehele was mainly built between 1485 and 1627 and was a home of the Edgcumbe family for centuries. Outside, there are formal gardens which overlook the valley garden, with medieval dovecote, stewpond and Victorian summer house, and 18th-century tower. At the Quay there are interesting old buildings housing an art and craft gallery and an outstation of the National Maritime Museum. The restored Tamar sailing barge Shamrock is moored alongside.
Note: there is no electric light in the house so it is recommended to avoid dull days early and late in the season.
Boconnoc Gardens - Lostwithiel
Three miles east of Lostwithiel, Boconnoc can trace its history back to the Normans. Eventually, the estate was bequeathed to the Fortescue family, who still own it.The most prominent monument is the Obelisk, which is 123 feet high and was erected in 1771 by Thomas Pitt, the First Lord Camelford, in memory of his wife’s uncle and benefactor, Sir Richard Lyttelton. There are approximately 100 head of deer in the Deer Park contained within the grounds and also a garden of 20 acres, which is open in the spring for various charities. Boconnoc House and Park have been used for numerous film locations including the BBC ‘Poldark‘ series and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘My Cousin Rachel‘.
Ince Castle- Saltash
Three miles south west of Saltash. A five acre garden taking in woodlands, borders, orchard, bulbs and shell house, with lovely views of River Lynher.
Ken Caro Gardens - Bicton, Nr Liskeard
Located in the village of Pensilva, 5 miles north east of Liskeard. Two acres of gardens which were mostly planted in 1970, with a further two acre extension in 1993. There’s a well-designed and labelled plantsman’s garden filled with rhododendrons, flowering shrubs, conifers and other trees. Panoramic views, a collection of aviary birds and plants for sale.
Moyclare Garden - Liskeard
Moyclare’s one acre garden contains rare and unusual plants and shrubs, many of which are variegated, some are no longer available commercially. The Moyclare Pink broom and the astrantia Moyra Reid originated in the garden, which is open regularly to the public and which has been televised in the past. Worth a visit early in the year – the camellias begin to bloom as early as January in a mild winter and azaleas often last until June.
Open by appointment only.
Mary Newman’s Cottage - Saltash.
A quarter of a mile from Saltash town centre, near the Waterside, allegedly the childhood home of Mary Newman, the first wife of Sir Francis Drake. The grade II listed cottage is a perfect example of 15th century domestic architecture and very little has been altered over the centuries.There is a reconstructed Tudor herb garden.
The Eden Project – Bodelva, St Austell
I'm sure this now world-renowned destination needs no introduction - The Eden Project. An amazing array of gardens, including an indoor rainforest and Mediterranean garden inside biomes, but also incredible buildings, sculpture, art and architecture. Just go and see! Only closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Not only a wonderful historic house with fabulous gardens but Mount Edgcumbe also has a variety of activities available to entertain the whole family. More information about each activity can be found on their website.
Blue Dart Adventure - SUP/kayak/canoe
Whitsand Bay - Portwrinkle
St Mellion - Saltash (additionally floodlit driving range)
Lanhydrock - Bodmin
Outdoor High Octane Activities
If the thrill of Paintball, Archery tag, Air Soft or Axe throwing appeal to your adventurous nature then visit:
For those seeking thrill and adventure try Adrenalin Quarry: Cornwall’s latests aqua-park, karting, a 500m zip line, giant swing 150 feet up and axe throwing
Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB. Tamar Trails has the thrills of : Tree surfing, archery, bushcraft and zip line together with a host of other outdoor activities. Visit their website to find out more.
Cornwall has the luxury of having an abundance of wonderful cycle trails Visit Cornwall is a great starting place to decide which one will suit you best. However, I've attached links to other great websites which you could also try.
The Rame Peninsula is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a landscape of tidal creeks, sandy beaches, lush farmland and country parks. It has magnificent scenery with quiet secluded beaches which are all amazing explored on foot.
The best way to explore the Rame Peninsula is through the spectacular walks that the area has to offer. Following the South West Coast Path you can take a circular route from Kingsand along a high path over coastal heathland, giving breathtaking views out across the English Channel as you pass by Cawsand and Penlee Point. Another fantastic walk is the one out to Rame Head Chapel. It is a high headland with a 360 degree panorama view stretching towards Plymouth Sound and the South Hams and west to Dodman Point, the Roseland and on a clear day, even The Lizard.
But if you wish to “have it all” and walk through formal gardens, open parkland and coastal woodland then Mount Edgcumbe Country Park is the one for you. In the spring rhododendrons tower over landscaped pools and daffodils surround follies.
The Lodge has a pack with a selection of different local walks catering for the novice through to the experienced walker.
With over 25km of walking trails along paths and through woods you will be taken aback by the breathtaking views of the Tamar Valley. Not a problem if you have young children who need a buggy, as the route from Tamar Trails is perfect for a woodland stroll. To help get children interested in walking there is a series of Woodland Adventure Club worksheets and treasure maps so that the trails become a lively and fun adventure for every member of the family.
There are some very good indoor climbing facilities within easy reach of The Lodge. Great for the not-so-sunny day, and catering for all levels of ability, from total novices to seasoned pros.
The Climbing Hangar – Burrington Business Park, Plymouth – A climbing centre which covers climbing problems from V0 to V14, suitable for any ability of climber. They specialise in rope-free climbing, known as bouldering, which takes minutes to pick up and a lifetime to master. Climbing problems are set with rookies and hardcore climbers in mind, so you’re guaranteed to find something fun to get to grips with.
Clip n Climb, Plymouth – With 44 individual climbing challenges (including ValoClimb, an interactive climbing challenge), and has something for all the family. They even have designated toddler slots, but the usual age requirement is 4+ years. There is also a soft play area to keep toddlers entertained.
There is a purpose built karting track about a 30 minute drive away on the A38 just after Menheniot near Liskeard. Very well organised. . They have junior karts of 100cc for 8-15 year olds and 200cc karts with a minimum age limit of 16 years.
Laser Quest (also indoor karting)
If you fancy shooting each other with no nasty after-effects, then pop down to Laser Fighters battle arena in Ernesettle, Plymouth, where you can run through darkened fog-filled corridors of the “ravaged city” stalking your prey… See website for more details and prices. In addition there is an indoor karting track.
Surf lessons and coasteering
Whitsand Bay is the home of Adventure Bay Surf School. The staff are all qualified lifeguards and surf instructors.
Cawsand beach has a variety of kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards for hire at reasonable rates. All hire includes the use of their lifejackets. Just head on down to the beach where you can arrange hire on the day.
Experience a canoe trip down the Tamar between Morwellham and Cotehele with a short break at the village of Calstock. These trips are in large, stable Canadian canoes and are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. You do not need to be able to swim.
If diving is your thing then South East Cornwall offers a wide range of opportunities, from easy first dives to deepwater dives for the most experienced. Whitsand Bay is home to Europe’s first artificial diving reef, HMS Scylla. In 2004 the Scylla was decommissioned and deliberately sunk by the National Marine Aquarium to create a new underwater attraction for divers with funding from the South West Rural Development Agency.
Tregonhawke Farmhouse – Millbrook
Still water coarse fishing with 1 acre water in sheltered, wooded valley. Stocked with a variety of fish. Fishing all year. Phone for prices and fishing methods.
☏ 01752 823210
Bake Fishing Lakes - Saltash
Still water trout and coarse fishing with nine lakes totalling more than 14 acres stocked with rainbow and brown trout. Also good range of coarse fish. Fishing all year. Phone Tony Lister for prices and fishing methods.
Shillamill Lakes – Lanreath, Looe.
Still water coarse fishing with three lakes totalling 5 acres stocked with a variety of coarse fish. Fishing all year. Phone for prices and fishing methods.
☏ 01503 220886 📍 PL13 2PE
Siblyback (140 acres), some 11 miles away, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, has an excellent reputation. Rainbow Trout averaging 2lb are stocked at regular intervals. Boats are bookable with the ranger. Best flies Viva, Black & Peacock, Montana and Hoppers.
Colliford Lake – At 900 acres, the lake (26 miles away) offers traditional fly fishing for natural brown trout and is regarded as Cornwall’s premier brown trout fishery. Open 15 March – 12 October.
Deep Sea Fishing
Available in Looe - the shark fishing capital of the UK, and also the place that holds the UK record for shark fishing! There is a vast amount of fishing trips available
Dave Bond is highly recommended
Others to try:
Mackerel fishing on the Emma Louise
Activities for Children
Set in the historic Barbican area of Plymouth this is the largest aquarium in the UK which hosts over 4,000 animals. The aquarium will take you on a journey around different zones of the world’s oceans from the local waters of Plymouth to the far away Barrier Reef in Australia and everywhere in-between.
This is the largest theme park in Devon with plenty of water rides, a zoo farm and a huge indoor play area. Great fun for all the family.
The Monkey Sanctuary near Looe is home to over 40 monkeys which have a specially designed territory of interlinked enclosures set in beautiful woodlands. The sanctuary has a forest garden where food for the monkeys is grown, a Victorian herbalist garden and a bat cave complete with bat colony.
Tamar Valley Donkey Park St Ann’s chapel between Callington and Gunnislake. Home to 25 donkeys and winner of the 2004 and 2007 Best Group of Working Donkeys in the Southwest award. Fun for all the family with goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits and guinea pigs to feed and stroke.
Carnglaze Caverns – St Neots, Nr Liskeard
A former slate mine where you can learn about the miners’ ingenuity and skills. Underground tours are self guided but maybe guided in high season. Because this is an underground attraction it’s advisable to take warm clothing and sensible shoes (the ambient temperature in the caves is 10 degrees centigrade and the floor can be slippy). Outside there are magical woodland walks including the Enchanted Dell, which has fairies, fountains, mushrooms, tree-houses and even a dragon! A popular venue for concerts where the acoustics are said to be sensational.
Dartmoor Zoo – Plympton just 3 miles from Plymouth.
A big cat conservation centre together with many other types of animal. There are flying displays at the falconry area and they also offer falconry courses. Watch the otters being fed, or have a “paws on” experience with a variety of animals – from Tarantulas to Tiger cubs in the all-weather Talk, Touch and Learn facility.
What else can I say.... the photos speak for themselves. The Rame Peninsula is blessed with some of the most amazing beaches.