Pencarrow Gardens Circular Walk
- Distance:1.75 miles
- Walk grade:Easy
- Start from:Pencarrow House car park
- Recommended footwear:Walking shoes or trainers in dry weather
- Pencarrow House
- Spectacular gardens
- Iron Age hill fort
- Bluebell woodland
- Brilliantly coloured camellias and rhododendrons along the drive
The gardens are open from spring-autumn during the day - check the Pencarrow House website for the opening and closing times. Although Pencarrow House is closed on Fridays and Saturdays, you can still explore the gardens on these days (there is an honesty box in the car park to pay for visiting the gardens on these days). For more information about the gardens see the gardens page on the Pencarrow House website.
- Follow the path though the formal gardens to the lake and beyond through to the far end of the American gardens
Pencarrow House is located near Washaway on the Bodmin to Wadebridge Road. For nearly 500 years, Pencarrow has been the family home of Molesworth-St Aubyns and they still live there today but open the house and gardens to the public. The house was built in the 1760-70s extending an older house on the site, probably dating from around 100 years earlier. The house was used as the setting for a classical music concert in ITV's comedy drama series, Doc Martin.
- At the far end follow the path uphill to the right through the woods
The 50 acres of gardens at Pencarrow House were designed and laid out by the Radical politician, Sir William Molesworth. The gardens contain more than 600 varieties of rhododendron and camelia, and at one time included just about every possible species of conifer that can be grown in England.
- Follow the path along the boundary passing the meadow on your right
- Eventually the path emerges on the lane. Turn right and follow it back towards the house, passing through the Hill Fort on your way
Pencarrow Rounds is a concentric series of earth banks that the driveway to Pencarrow House passes through. The Iron Age hillfort is of a form that is typical of the later Iron Age with simple bank and ditch defences; it probably dates from the 3rd to 1st centuries BC. The central enclosure would probably have contained houses, and the spaces between the outer banks would likely have been used for livestock.