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Secrets of England: Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall

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Back when I attended the University of Plymouth, I discovered Mount Edgcumbe. I’d been looking for somewhere different to go, a simple day trip from Plymouth, ideally to somewhere pretty and relaxing.

In other words, I was looking to escape the city. I found all this and more at Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall, and now I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about visiting Mount Edgcumbe yourself.

Mount Edgcumbe Path

About Mount Edgcumbe | The History

Mount Edgcumbe Country Park can be found on the Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall, which is often nicknamed as ‘The Forgotten Corner of Cornwall’.

The 865 acres of parklands are Grade I listed and home to Mount Edgcumbe House, extensive formal gardens, a deer park, private beaches, lakes and various walking trails.

Mount Edgcumbe House is the former home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe and was built between 1547 and 1553, making it an exquisite and rather grand Tudor mansion.

Back in 1515, King Henry VIII issued a license to impark Mount Edgcumbe (which means to enclose the land within a wall or hedgebank), so he could establish a captive herd of deer within the walls and have exclusive hunting rights.

But what’s even more interesting is that over 500 years later, descendants of the original herds of fallow deer can still be seen roaming the deer park today.

Both the house and surrounding park were bought from the 7th Earl of Mount Edgcumbe in 1971 by the Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council – and it’s been one of the best day trips from Plymouth ever since.

Mount Edgcumbe ruins

Things To Do in Mount Edgcumbe

Given how large the park is, and how popular it is, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of awesome things to do in Mount Edgcumbe.

1. Visit Mount Edgcumbe House and the formal gardens

As mentioned above, Mount Edgcumbe House and the accompanying formal gardens are the biggest draws to the park.

Open Sunday to Thursday each week throughout the spring and summer months (April to September), this is your chance to see inside the grand mansion and marvel at the impressive formal gardens, which cover an impressive 7 acres and are made up of over a dozen themed gardens.

Mount Edgcumbe flowers

Mount Edgcumbe flowered plants

2. Explore the 865 acre park

For those of you on a budget, walking dogs or less interested in formal gardens and mansions, then the rest of the 865 acre park is open to the public free of charge every day of the year.

During the summer months, you’re welcome to explore the park from 8am-8pm, while in winter, opening hours are 8am-6pm.

Dogs are of course also welcome but they must be kept under control at all times due to the roaming deer.

There are a number of recommended walking trails to follow or you can simply see where your feet take you. Either way, it’s a fantastic day out and escape into nature!

3. Go shopping at the independent shopping village

If you love a bit of independent shopping, then you’ll definitely love a visit to the onsite shopping village in Mount Edgcumbe.

From homemade gifts and beautiful home furnishings to artwork and even old fashioned sweets, you can easily spend a few hours mooching about the various independent boutiques here.

Mount Edgcumbe Lake

4. Enjoy a cream tea at The Farrier’s Café 

Housed within a converted stable block, The Farrier’s Café is where you can head to if you fancy some breakfast, lunch, drinks or even better, a traditional cream tea.

Dogs are welcome inside the café (on leads) and there are tables both inside and out that they can join you at.

5. Try something adventurous!

In case you fancy something a little bit different during your visit to Mount Edgcumbe, it’s recommended that you try something adventurous.

From segway tours and archery to wilderness and survival courses and even attending a circus, you’ve got plenty of choice!

6. Stay overnight in a beautiful holiday home or try glamping

Within the huge 865 acres, there are also a few options if you want to stay overnight.

There are beautiful holiday homes you can rent out as well as charming glamping retreats in vintage-inspired shepherd’s huts.

Staying at Mount Edgcumbe doesn’t come cheap but it’s worth it if you’re celebrating something special like a wedding anniversary or milestone birthday.

Mount Edgcumbe daffodils

Top Things To Look Out For in Mount Edgcumbe

When exploring Mount Edgcumbe, it’s a must to look out for:

  • The free roaming fallow deer
  • Bronze Age burial mound turned viewing platform
  • St Julian’s Well & Fountain
  • The traditional folly (aka ornamental building)

Where is Mount Edgcumbe?

Even though Mount Edgcumbe is the ideal day trip from Plymouth, it’s actually situated in Cornwall, not Devon.

It can be found just across the Plymouth Sound from Stonehouse in Plymouth. If you know about Brownsea Island in Poole, then it’s about the same sort of distance.

NB: Mount Edgcumbe Country Park in Cornwall is not to be confused with the National Trust holiday home called Edgcumbe, which is in St Austell in Cornwall. It’s an easy mistake to make!

Mount Edgcumbe map
Plymouth Sound

How To Get To Mount Edgcumbe

If you’re travelling from Plymouth then the easiest way to get to Mount Edgcumbe is to hop on the Mount Edgcumbe ferry aka the Cremyll Ferry, which takes just ten minutes.

The ferry operates year-round (except on Christmas Day) and costs just £2 per adult each way. Well behaved dogs are also allowed on the ferry for which there is no charge. You’ll pay in cash upon boarding so make sure you have some spare change. Find out more here.

It is possible to drive to Mount Edgcumbe as well, but as this takes about 50 minutes from Plymouth, it’s not really recommended. Of course, if you’re travelling from somewhere in Cornwall then hopping into the car is your best option.

Cremyll Ferry

Mount Edgcumbe Travel Tips

Ahead of your visit to Mount Edgcumbe, here is a reminder of the travel tips you should know:

  • The house and formal gardens are only open during the summer and not on Fridays or Saturdays. They’re open Sunday to Thursday each week from April to the end of September.
  • The large country park itself is open all year from 8am-8pm in summer and 8am-6pm in winter… and is totally free to visit!
  • Dogs are welcome throughout the country park and in the Stables Café but they must be kept under control at all times due to the roaming deer.
  • From Plymouth, the easiest way to get to Mount Edgcumbe is by using the Cremyll Ferry, which costs £2 per adult each way (prices correct as of April 2020). Well behaved dogs are also welcome on the ferry for which there is no charge.
  • The Cremyll Ferry only accepts cash payments and it’s also recommended that you have the exact change if possible.
Mount Edgcumbe pebble beach

If you’re planning to go to Mount Edgcumbe, we hope you enjoy your visit and that this guide was useful. And if you’ve never heard of Mount Edgcumbe before then we hope this blog post inspires you to visit! We’d love to know what you think so please feel free to jot some comments down below…

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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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