Take a cold, windy day, 5 children, a dose of whinging, an outdoor picnic in the cold, bickering children, a shouting parent (me): recipe for disaster? Well actually, despite a few numb toes (mine) and minor tantrums (mine) we had a good day out. Although I’m not sure my pictures are up to much today, too cold and occupied with children.

Lanhydrock is managed by the National Trust.  The bike trails, bike hire, cafe and play park are a fairly recent addition to the house and gardens.

We met friends and headed off to the bike trails. There are a whole variety of trails around the parkland with descriptions about the terrain and who they are suitable for. There is a bike hire centre with trailers and tag-alongs for little ones. I hope we can make more use of these in the future. Watch out for the road crossing a short way into the first trail, cars can come past quickly here.

The cafe has inside and outside seating, a log burning fire and all the usual delicious things on offer.Helpfully, it overlooks the playpark. We had a good play here and then headed down the path to the house and garden, partly in an attempt to get out of the wind. There’s a restaurant and another, smaller cafe down here in the courtyard. The house is fascinating and well worth a visit. It was completely refurbished in the 1880s following a fire. The Agar-Robartes family made it their family home and that is how you see it now. The kitchens and the children’s nursery rooms are highlights for me, perhaps I relate particularly to those! Our 5 and 3 year old can just about get around the full tour; there are the usual trails to hold the children’s interest and on a previous occasion we enjoyed dressing up Victorian style. If you want a quick look in, you can do the kitchens tour and then out again.

Eldest got on well on his bike today. Youngest preferred 4 wheels and then promptly fell asleep after lunch as we sat in the courtyard. The 4 friends played (scarecrow tig, what’s the time Mr Wolf,  Grandmother’s footsteps) in the courtyard and a few other children came to join in.

What you need to know

Cost: You can access the bike trails, play park, cafe and parkland for free. Entrance fee applies for the house and gardens, follow the link and click on ‘prices’.
Parking:  Free on site for National Trust members. Pay and display otherwise. Disabled parking available
Toilets: Yes, near the cafe and others near the house
Cafe: Yes, two
Pushchair suitable? Yes
Time: As long as you like.


Photo from the National Trust website (on a sunnier day!)




  1. Yes, depends on the child and how many hands you have! I remember once carrying a screaming, kicking child out of an historic house. And often there’s no quick way out! I was a little flustered let’s say.


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