Visiting National Trust’s Trerice Manor in Newquay, Cornwall, with kids

In the summer we visited Trerice Manor which is in Newquay, Cornwall. It’s managed by National Trust of which we are members, so we had free entry with our passes. We took our children, aged 7 and 10 years old at the time. Read on as I explain more about what to expect at Trerice Manor in Newquay and whether it’s a suitable day out if you’re looking for things to do in Newquay Cornwall that aren’t a day at the beach!

What is Trerice Manor?

Trerice Manor in Newquay, Cornwall. It is a National Trust property, and a 16th-century manor house that is set in attractive gardens. The house is known for its well-preserved Elizabethan interiors, which feature Jacobean-style oak furniture and panelling, as well as a collection of period textiles and ceramics.

The gardens at Trerice include a formal knot garden, an orchard, and a number of outdoor seating areas where visitors can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. In addition to touring the house and gardens, visitors can also take part in a range of activities and events that are held at Trerice throughout the year, including guided tours, craft workshops, and outdoor theatre performances.

There are also outdoor games and mazes to keep the kids happy, as well as a secondhand book shop, gift shop and cafe with many vegan-friendly options in Newquay.

Trerice Manor Newquay
Trerice Manor is a stunning 16th-century manor house located in the heart of Cornwall. Set in beautiful gardens, the property is managed by the National Trust and is a popular destination for families visiting Newquay. With its well-preserved Elizabethan interiors and a range of activities and events throughout the year, Trerice Manor offers something for everyone to enjoy.

What to see and do at Trerice Manor

We visited on a warm overcast summer’s day. While there is a museum inside, and a cafe, if you have young children then I’d definitely recommend visiting on a day you can enjoy the outdoors so the children can run around and play. They have outdoor games set up outside such as a version of bowling with wooden skittles and balls and hoopla which the kids enjoyed.

To the other side of the manor are some mazes to explore, but nothing quite as impressive as the maze at Glendurgan Garden!

Inside the house is a museum, but we didn’t fully go in as our daughter found the portraits on the walls too creepy (!) so we didn’t make it in. However, there is a museum with artefacts from the house through the years to see. Obviously if you have younger children they may not find this very exciting, which is why I’d recommend it for a dry day when you can explore the gardens and let the kids run free!

There is also a cafe on site in the barn, called Barn Cafe, which is a lovely setting with huge ceilings and wooden beams. We are a vegan family so we weren’t sure they’d have anything for us, but there was soup, pasties and ciabatta sandwiches, all vegan-friendly. They even had plant-based ice-cream which the kids enjoyed. I’d definitely return for the cafe again!

If the weather is fair, then there are several benches dotted around the gardens so you could bring a picnic instead. There are also many grassy areas suitable for a picnic rug.

There’s a small secondhand bookshop which our children loved to explore, our eldest in particular is a bookworm! My son actually found a book to purchase and there is an honesty box for the money.

And finally, there is a gift shop! The place our kids can’t wait to get to! I think my son purchased a wooden archery set and my daughter a notebook and pen. They always love to get something, even if small, for a souvenir.

To roundup, here are the activities at Trerice Manor:

  • Garden games
  • Garden orchard
  • Garden mazes
  • Barn Cafe (with lots of vegan options)
  • Secondhand bookshop
  • Gift shop
  • Museum

Christmas at Trerice

As well as being a great destination to visit in the summer to get away from the crowds of Newquay, they are also perfect to visit for festive activities in the winter. They offer family-friendly Christmas themed activities and events such as storytelling with Father Christmas, choir performances, Christmas decorations and festive treats in the cafe and gift shop.

Trerice Manor gardens
Beautiful lavender gardens at Trerice Manor in August 2022.

Trerice house history

Trerice Manor was originally built between 1572 and 1573 by the Arundell family, who were a prosperous local family. The Tudor manor house remained in the hands of the Arundell family for over 200 years, until it was inherited by the Aclands of Killerton. At this time, major restoration work was carried out on the house, including renovations and expansions.

In 1953, Trerice Manor was gifted to the National Trust, and it was later opened to the public. The National Trust has since carried out a number of restoration projects to preserve the property and its gardens, making it a popular destination for visitors interested in the history of the house and the surrounding area.

Trerice Manor Cornwall
We really liked the lavender gardens at Trerice National Trust!

Trerice collection

The manor house still has many original features and well-preserved interiors, as well as a fine collection of historic items including:

  • 17th – 19th century furniture
  • a collection of clocks
  • paintings (including a self portrait by John Opie, the Cornish child prodigy)
  • a collection of 17th century embroidered pictures
Trerice Manor Lions Impression
Lion statue, Trerice National Trust

The story of the Lion Statues at Trerice National Trust

While looking at the strange looking lion statues at Trerice Manor, a member of staff spotted us and came out from the manor house to tell us all about them. Apparently when they were carved, the people carving them and I suppose the owners of the house, had never actually seen a lion before! They had only heard stories about them and relied on these descriptions to carve the lions. This is why they look a little odd and more like a cuddly, friendly lion!

Trerice Manor National Trust
Trerice Manor is great for a peaceful day out away from the hustle and bustle of Newquay town centre and beaches in the summer season. It’s a great spot to bring a book and relax and read, as some of our friends in Newquay have told us they like to do each summer to get away from the crowds.

Trerice Manor visitor information

Kestle Mill,
near Newquay,
Telephone:01637 875404
Prices:Vary. Free entry for National Trust members.
Standard example prices 2022:Adult £11, Child £5.50
Opening times:Seasonal:
National Trust Trerice Manor Maze
There are lots of mazes in the garden. We had fun doing this one. While kind of embedded in the ground as you can see in the photo above, it’s not a maze you get totally lost in, but it’s surprising how long it takes to find the middle!

Holidaying in Newquay and looking for an alternative day out?

With its well-preserved Elizabethan interiors, stunning gardens, and a range of activities and events throughout the year, Trerice Manor is a must-visit destination for families holidaying in Newquay looking for a day away from the beaches or a quiet spot to reflect.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax, Trerice Manor has something to offer everyone. So why not add it to your list of things to do when visiting Newquay and discover all that this unique property has to offer?

More great things to do in Newquay

Visiting Newquay and looking for more things to do? Here are some more inspirational posts and ideas:

How to save money on a National Trust membership

We love our National Trust membership, especially living in Cornwall as there are so many beach car parks near to our home which are National Trust car parks, so we definitely get our money’s worth!

They have numerous attractions such as historic houses and gardens which you can visit around the UK. If you love the outdoors and exploring, then visiting at least one location per month should mean you get your money’s worth, particularly for the places with a chargeable entry which you’ll get free by being a National Trust member.

To get a discount on your National Trust annual membership when you first sign up, check out TopCashback as they often have a great deal. Use my link to sign up to TopCashback for free and see the latest saving at National Trust here:

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