Cotehele Garland November 2018. Photo by Steve Haywood courtesy of The National Trust.

Recent guests at Gospenheale Barn triggered some research when they told us that they planned to spend their week visiting National Trust properties. Here’s just a selection of the places that should be open and they are all easy day trips using Gospenheale Barn as a very comfortable base.

Day 1 Stop off at Knightshayes for lunch and view the Gothic revival house and glorious gardens knowing that you’re just 1¼ hours from your home for the week.

Day 2 (Sat/Sun winter opening) Stay local and visit Finch Foundry for history and Lydford Gorge for a beautiful walk to the White Lady Waterfall and maybe a Devon cream tea.

Day 3 (Sat/Sun winter opening) Two places to choose from today – Trerice near Newquay is about 40 minutes drive or Arlington Court in North Devon will take a little longer to get to but is well worth the journey.

Day 4 Lanhydrock is less than 30 minutes away and always a favourite destination for its grand house with traditional Victorian Christmas decorations in December and stunning autumnal walks.  You could combine this with a walk at Bedruthan Steps to see the dramatic North Cornish coastline at its best.

Day 5 Head south into the Tamar Valley to see the huge flower garland in Cotehele’s Great Hall then cut across to Buckland Abbey, home of Sir Francis Drake.

Day 6 A holiday in Cornwall would not be complete without a visit to at least one of the beautiful gardens that thrive in our milder temperatures.  Trelissick and Godolphin are both well known for their beautiful collections of plants that look great at any time of the year. Check the National Trust website for opening times of the houses.

Day 7 I can remember being impressed by Saltram House, near Plymouth when I was quite young.  They have a craft fair in November followed by a Christmas special in the house and beautiful garden illuminations.  Wembury Beach is also owned by the National Trust and close by if you wish to extend your day further.

Day 8 The week has flown by and there’s still so much left to see!  Castle Drogo and Killerton are both convenient to the journey east as you make your way home or maybe you’ll decide you must book now to explore some more in the far South West.