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, and now I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about visiting yourself.
Mount Edgcumbe: Pretty Day Trip from Plymouth
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 Edgecumbe 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 style mansion.
Back in 1515, King Henry VIII issued a license to empark Mount Edgcumbe, which means to enclose the land with a wall or hedgebank and to establish a captive herd of deer within, with 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.
Both the house and surrounding park was bought from the 7th Earl of Mount Edgcumbe in 1971 by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council and it’s been one of the best day trips from Plymouth ever since.
Things to do at 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 at Mount Edgcumbe.
Visit Mount Edgcumbe House & the formal gardens
As mentioned above, Mount Edgcumbe House and 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 for just £7.20 per adult (prices correct as of September 2018). The formal gardens cover an impressive 7 acres of the land and are made up of over a dozen themed gardens.
Explore the 865 acre park
For those of you on a budget, walking dogs or less interested in formal gardens and mansions, 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 wander in nature!
Go shopping at the independent shopping village
If you love a bit of independent shopping, then you’ll definitely love a visit to the on-site shopping village. From homemade gifts, to beautiful home furnishings, artwork and even old fashioned sweets, you can easily spend a few hours mooching about the various independent boutiques.
Enjoy a cream tea at the Stables Cafe
Housed in a converted stable block, Stables Cafe 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 cafe (on leads) and there are tables both inside and out that they can join you at.
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, to wilderness and survival courses, to archery and even attending a circus, you’ve got plenty of choice!
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. As with most places in the UK, 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.
Top things to look out for at 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!
How to get to Mount Edgcumbe
If you’re travelling from Plymouth, the easiest way to get to Mount Edgcumbe is to hop onto the Mount Edgcumbe ferry, aka the Cremyll Ferry, which takes just 10 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.
Mount Edgcumbe things to know
Ahead of your day trip to Mount Edgcumbe, here is a round up of a few things 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 Cafe 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 September 2018). 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.
If you’re planning to go to Mount Edgcumbe, I hope you enjoy your visit and that this guide was useful. And if you’ve never heard of Mount Edgcumbe before, I hope this blog post inspires you to visit! I’d love to know what you think, so please feel free to jot some comments down below…
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