Top choice in East Cornwall

At the head of the Tamar Valley sits the Tudor manor of Cotehele, one of the Edgcumbe dynasty's modest country retreats. The cavernous great hall is the centrepiece, and the house has an unparalleled collection of Tudor tapestries, armour and furniture.

Outside, the gardens sweep down past the 18th-century Prospect Folly to Cotehele Quay, where there's a discovery centre exploring the history of the Tamar Valley and a vintage sailing barge, the Shamrock.

A short walk inland (or a shuttle bus) leads to the restored Cotehele Mill, where you can watch the original waterwheel grinding corn several days a week, and watch a miller and baker at work.

The house is famous for its Christmas wreath, a massive ornamental ring of foliage made from materials gathered on the estate. The house also hosts a large Christmas fair.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby East Cornwall attractions

1. Morwellham Quay

1.57 MILES

Morwellham Quay is part of the southwest's Mining World Heritage Site and offers intriguing insight into the copper boom that gripped west Devon in the…

2. Buckland Abbey

4.38 MILES

Founded as a Cistercian monastery and abbey-church in the 13th century, Buckland Abbey was one of Henry VIII’s ‘acquisitions’ during the Dissolution of…

3. Garden House

4.58 MILES

The enchanting blend of landscapes here make this garden one of the best in Devon. Its 3 hectares encompass wildflower meadows and South African planting,…

4. Tavistock Museum

5.16 MILES

Remnants from Tavistock's now vanished abbey sit in this traditional but excellent museum alongside artefacts of the town's copper-mining heyday. Look out…

5. Antony House

7.67 MILES

Owned by the National Trust and occupied by the Carew-Pole family, this house's main claim to fame is its decorative gardens, designed by the 18th-century…

6. Port Eliot

7.77 MILES

This glorious country estate is the family seat of the Earl of St Germans. The Grade I–listed house is open for three months of the year; guided tours of…

7. Merrivale Stone Rows

8.97 MILES

These two parallel stone rows are up to 260m long, with large stone slabs, or 'terminal stones' at the eastern end. In the centre, hunt out the circular…

8. City Museum & Art Gallery

9.27 MILES

Plymouth's main museum was closed for a multi-million-pound redevelopment at the time of writing. It's set to reopen in 2020, with the transformation of a…