It’s been months since I’ve been to any National Trust properties and I’ve missed them. But with Britain’s recent heat wave, the lure of shady gardens and a meander around a cool ancestral home was irresistible.

“What about Trelissick?” Mr Word Loft suggested, after flicking through the Summer NT Magazine. “It’s between Truro and Falmouth.”

It’s not a very long drive from home, so the next morning we set off. We weren’t the only ones to have the same idea as parking spaces were scarce, but found a place by some unique holiday cottages. The round towers rising above high walls on the way to reception reminded me of the fairy-tale Rapunzel but had a more practical use in the Victorian era for storing water.

The main entrance leading through to the gardens looked magical with pretty lighting and an unusual circular floral arrangement with flowers floating on water, which I plan to do a similar version of one day.

The house is magnificent and a design from the 1700s. Several families have resided there and are responsible for architectural additions. Most impressive is the radiant Grecian portico which overlooks the River Fal. In I955 the house and estate were given to the National Trust by Ida Copeland, although the family carried on living there until 2013.

Rooms on the ground floor are open to visitors. Full of antiquities, most fascinating are the books in two libraries, and the china collection. The latter started and expanded because the Copelands were primarily co-owners of the Stoke-On-Trent ceramic company, Spode.

Recently, the Art Deco solarium, and other rooms have been reinvented with tables and chairs grouped in them for patrons of the Kitchen Café, preparing and serving food from the original one.

Hydrangeas are much-loved shrubs, so after admiring the spectacular parkland and river panorama from the terraces and lawns, it’s a pleasure seeing the many varieties on the Hydrangea Walk. It always fascinates me that the hues of the petals can be influenced by soil or what is buried beside the roots, such as rusty nails and copper.

We stopped at a large rustic hut, Jack’s Summerhouse named after an old head gardener on the path down to King Harry Ferry. Its chain mechanism chugging can be heard as it crosses the water to the rich green St Mawes side. The floating bridge has been running for five hundred years. I pondered about what its namesake King Henry VI would think of the motor vehicles travelling on it, and other speedy boats sailing to and fro.

Further to the right, there is some sort of fishery, and I wondered whether the netted pots laid out in rows were for oysters as we wandered along.

Trelissick’s café closes at 4 0’ Clock, so back uphill we trudged, pleased with the trees’ cool canopy and frequent benches for rest and contemplation. Especially to think about our treat at the top. Homemade cake. Coffee and walnut. Delicious!

Until next time,
Sue. X