The estate at Cotehele covers some 1,300 acres and I’m assuming that time will preclude you from seeing everything, and so it’s worth explaining what’s here.
The gardens are an obvious thing to include. They’re not as old or as extensive as some other National Trust properties, but worth taking a look at all the same. The nearest ones to the house are the terraces below the East Range, and the Upper Garden with its lily pond.
Behind the Upper Garden is an area which is used to grow the flowers that are specifically cut and used for the Christmas Garland, and behind that again are a couple of orchards which continue the tradition of growing different varieties of apples for the production of cider.
Beyond the gardens the estate opens out into fields and woods with way marked trails and views up through the valley towards Calstock and beyond. Try to find enough time, if you can, to walk across the fields above the Upper Garden to the Prospect Tower which, as its name suggests, has some of the best views of all.
It’s not until you get up close to the tower that you realise that it only has three sides.
On the opposite side of the house a footpath leads from the Quay to Cotehele Mill, which is well worth the walk, especially during the season when the mill is working.
The gardens and estate are open every day of the year, but as always, check the website for the latest information.