The entrance to Pencarrow House and Gardens is a mile long drive through dense woodlands, which contain amongst other things rhododendrons, hydrangeas and one hundred species of conifer. The car park is of a fair size, but would fill up quickly on a busy day. Adjacent to the car park is a shop and an area selling plants. The shop sells the usual gifts and paintings, but also serves as the location to buy tickets for the house and gardens. Be aware though, they don't take credit cards.
The gardens are stunning, very well landscaped and looked after, and complement the impressive Pencarrow House - a perfect place for taking pictures. There are actually over 50 acres of garden, which include Italian and American gardens, however, we didn't get very far into them because of the unpredictable english weather. Guided tours take you around Pencarrow House, which take place every half an hour. For us this really brought the house to life, the guide was knowledgable about the furniture, paintings etc, adding in fascinating anecdotal stories in each room of the house. The house is still lived in to this day, and has recently recieved the license to conduct weddings ceremonies and receptions.
Alongside Pencarrow House is the Peacock Cafe, appropriately named as peacocks and chickens roam free range through the area of outside seating in the courtyard surrounding the cafe. The cafe has a compact menu of dishes like salads, sandwiches and cake. All very tasty, but a little expensive for the size of the portions. But the cafe's setting more than makes up for it though. Pencarrow is a hidden gem in Cornwall and one we thoroughly enjoyed.
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