Found down a quiet country lane in Egloshayle, we first visited for a walk a few years ago – it’s dog friendly. The house is immediately surrounded by a formal sunken Italian garden, roaming peacocks, huge flushes of Rhododendrons, ice and palm houses, before winding off into wild tropical paths that travel right the way up to a huge Iron Age fort. The very first Monkey Puzzle tree was brought here and is where it got the name, when Charles Austin remarked upon touching its prickly leaves, “It would be a puzzle for a monkey”.
Dogs need to be on the lead, or at least ‘under control’ in the formal gardens, but once you head up in the wilder area they can roam free – the black dog (predictably) took a few dips in some of the ponds.
Admission is via an ‘honesty box’ – something that always seems to tickle/stun city visitors, plus there’s a little plant nursery and every summer the rather brilliant Miracle Theatre stage one of their outdoor performances.