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Gotta Love the National Trust

Free entry and car parking to most National Trust open spaces - here's where to head in Cornwall if you want to get outdoors and breathe!

The National Trust have just announced that despite needing to close all houses, cafés and shops due to the Coronavirus, they will (where possible) be keeping as much as possible their outside spaces and coastline open, free of charge and dropping all car parking charges. (* updated – note that from midnight 21 March, all parkland and gardens are closing too).

The charity is advising us to observe the government’s social distancing policy but acknowledge that being outside in nature is good for our wellbeing and Lord knows we all need a little help with that right now!

We’re blessed in Cornwall with some great National Trust places to visit and here are a few of our Muddy favourites – just remember to pack a flask and a sandwich!

Cornish Coast

Miles and miles of gorgeous coastline with carparks nearby, so you can walk the coast path in peace (just remember not to get too close to anyone you pass).

Some of our Muddy faves include Wheal Coates (nr St Agnes) for the dramatic mining ruins, Trevose Head and lighthouse (nr Padstow) for the view for miles, Pentire (nr Polzeath) for the meadows and gorgeous coastal walk round the Rumps and Cape Cornwall and Botallack (nr St Just) for walks along the wild tin coast.

Cornish Beaches

At this time of year the beaches are still pretty quiet so you should be able to find one where you can keep your tribe to yourself.

Some of our kid-friendly faves include Carne and Pendower on the Roseland, Polly Joke (a little bit of a walk), Godrevy (you can play is it a seal or a surfer), Gunwalloe (probably without Aiden Turner, sadly) and Sandymouth (Nr Bude).

We also love Carnewas at Bedruthan (but watch for the wind/sea on the cliff staircase), Chapel Porth (below) but watch out for the tide, and Kynance Cove (can be quite breezy and a bit of scramble but very worth it).

chapelporth beach with surfer

Please note, some of Cornwall’s fave NT places have had to close, including St Michael’s Mount and Glendurgan Gardens as well as the parklands and gardens of the following. Check before you set out!

Lanhydrock, Nr Bodmin (now closed)

Magnificent late Victorian country house with garden and wooded estate. Obvs the house is closed at the mo, but the estate makes excellent woodland walking and the river at Respryn is extremely peaceful if you want somewhere inland to switch off.

Trelissik, Nr Truro (now closed)

Country house and garden set in an estate with stunning maritime views and lovely woodland walks, again, the house will be closed but the extensive gardens overlooking the Fal estuary and down to the shingle beach are just what you need if you’re over near Truro. Look out for all the varieties of daffodil in the next few weeks before the bluebells, er, spring up.

Cotehele, Nr Saltash (now closed)

Ordinarily at Cotehele you can visit the atmospheric Tudor house with Medieval roots and the working mill on a historic quay, but for now you’ll need to be content with the glorious garden with valley views and an expansive estate to explore. The daffodil festival might have had to finish early but there’s still of beauty to see and plenty of space to keep away from others in.

If you need more inspiration – check out our past walk guides including dog-friendly walks in North Cornwall and our best winter walks  – minus the pubs and cafes sadly for the time being. Remember to follow government guidance, keep your distance and stay safe!

Ps. As a charity the National Trust will see significant losses over the coming weeks too, so perhaps we could all remember their positivity and generosity next time we visit and make a small donation as way of saying thank you!

Find more ideas here

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