My day out: Caerhays Castle and Porthlunney Beach
We visited Caerhays Catle and Porthlunney Beach, as I have never been before and I love visiting old houses and gardens with my family throughout the year.
I was looking forward to seeing the mature gardens full of trees and flowers, and first impressions upon arrival certainly didn’t disappoint. We were instantly taken aback with the beauty and the stature of the castle and stunning array of colour from the surrounding flora and fauna. This really is the hidden jewel in the crown of Cornwall.
Once entering the grounds there are routes colour coded so you could choose how much of the grounds you wish to see. The sweet smell in the air of blossoms hits you as soon as you begin the steady climb up. We had plenty of opportunities to take photos of the grounds which are packed full of mature magnolia trees, azaleas and camellias in full bloom. This is a flower lovers paradise. The groundsmen even gave us a full lowdown on planting, maintaining the grounds, and the early blossoming of the magnolias.
We spent a good half an hour following the blue route past the outer edge of the grounds with more breath taking views down to the castle and beyond the sea. Everywhere you look is picture perfect with little benches dotted around to take in those views. Most of the plants and specimens are clearly labelled for those not familiar. As we made our way back down a good 45 minutes later, the pathway becomes steep but there is an alternative route clearly marked for less abled.
The castle is now in full view in all its glory. It has been maintained beautifully. You can take photos from all around the outside and follow the path round to the magnolia tea rooms and courtyard café. The courtyard itself is a sun trap laid neatly with tables, chairs, menus, and water bowls for dogs. We chose to sit outside and have lattes as the weather was so fine, but there were also two seating areas inside decorated pleasantly.
Just to the side of the café there is an exhibition room featuring lots of information on the castle, its history and the families which have occupied it. The castle itself doesn’t open until mid-March. We then decided to meander back down to Porthlunney Beach, a short five minute walk and have our picnic. You can see clearly the surrounding castle walls from here, and Porthlunney beach itself was peaceful and very picturesque. The shoreline is filled with pretty shells - a magnet for any young children.
Everyone will enjoy a visit here - from families to couples, and dog walkers. Even if you don’t see inside the castle, the grounds, café and location make for a perfect day out.
Top tips for visiting Caerhays Castle:
- There are two car parks; one with access directly to Porthlunney Beach, and the second is situated directly next to the castle allowing easy access for the elderly, wheelchair and buggy users.
- Dogs must be kept on a lead when entering the gardens.
About the author: Natalie is a customer experience advisor, and visited Caerhays Castle in February 2019.