You can see why Ela of Salisbury chose this spot for her abbey in 1232: nestled alongside the River Avon in a rolling Wiltshire landscape, Lacock invites you to stay.
A tragic fire in 1881 meant that the Agar-Robartes family had to rebuild most of their 17th-century home. Out of the ashes came the country house you see today, presented as if time has stood still with the family having just popped out to tea. There are more than 50 rooms to discover – from the extensive kitchens, which reveal the servants’ daily lives, to the elegant Victorian luxury of the family rooms. Outside is a garden, full of colour all year round and famed for its magnolias, and ancient woodlands with miles of footpaths to explore. The off-road cycle trails have different routes to suit all levels of experience, and you can even hire a bike when you get here.
Eat, shop, stay: the Park Café offers homemade dishes all year. At the house, there’s the Stables tea-room, plus waitress service in the Victorian restaurant. Shop sells local food and gifts. Second-hand bookshop. A holiday cottage
on the estate sleeps six.
Things to see and do:
There’s a remarkable early 17th-century ceiling in the gallery which survived the fire and is the oldest room in the house. As you explore you will experience everyday life in both the upstairs and downstairs worlds. Free children’s trail daily. At Christmas, there’s a traditional Victorian atmosphere.
Guided tours (telephone for availability) help you discover one of the great Cornish gardens, as well as the more remote corners of the parkland and riverside woods. There are waymarked routes for exploring alone, as well as family-friendly cycle trails and a popular adventure playground. Dogs: dog- friendly walks throughout the estate (assistance dogs only in house and garden).
Lanhydrock, Bodmin, Cornwall, UK