The historic country manor Godolphin House on the Godolphin Estate at Helston, Cornwall, England, UK.

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This wonderful medieval house and garden was the family seat of the Godolphin family who, during the 17th and 18th centuries, were one of Cornwall's great mining dynasties. The main house is still undergoing restoration by the National Trust: tours of the interior run on most days (check ahead), but the wider estate can be explored on your own. With acres of woodland, riverside walks and lawns to roam, it's hard to think of a more tranquil place for a stroll.

The main house was built as a fashion statement to project the wealth and prestige of the Godolphin family – in particular, of patriarch Francis Godolphin, who was a business entrepreneur, aristocratic notable and Governor of the Isles of Scilly. No expense was spared in its construction, and it's packed with lavish detail, from ornate woodwork to handcrafted masonry.

But in many ways, Godolphin's grounds were just as important as the architecture. Francis Godolphin himself planned out the garden's scheme according to the best fashions of the day – with the use of raised walks, ornamental orchards, courtyard gardens and water features.

Elsewhere around the grounds, you can still visit the remains of the Leeds engine house and stack, the only vestiges of the family's main mine. There are also cracking views from Godolphin Hill, stretching all the way west to St Michael's Mount when the weather's fine.

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