Top choice in South Cornwall

Grandly located at the head of the Fal estuary, 4 miles south of Truro, Trelissick is one of Cornwall's most beautiful aristocratic estates, with a formal garden filled with magnolias and hydrangeas, surrounded by a huge expanse of green fields and parkland criss-crossed by trails. The grand, 19th-century neo-Palladian house has been reopened to the public, and hosts exhibitions exploring the estate's history. If you just want to explore the estate grounds, parking costs £4.

The prettiest walking route is to cross the park all the way to the estate's pebble beach, and then wander upriver along the Fal's wooded banks, where big sea-going tankers are often moored up over winter.

The estate has been owned by several of Cornwall's grandest families since the original neo-Palladian house was built in the 19th century, although most recently it belonged to the Copeland family (of Copeland china fame) before being gifted to the National Trust in 1955. The interior is currently being restored; wandering around you'll be able to glimpse the lavish drawing room, solarium and world-class collection of antique china.

Outside in the old barns behind the house is a small tearoom, an art gallery and a National Trust shop, all open year-round, and you can even book a night or two in the estate's water tower, should you be so inclined.

The gardens are on a minor road off the A39 between Falmouth and Truro; look out for the turn next to the Shell Garage at Playing Place. The car park gets very busy on sunny days, as it's one of the most popular local spots for dog walking.

Just beyond the gardens, the minor B3289 road runs all the way to the river, where the King Harry Ferry shuttles across to the Roseland.

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