Updated: May 22
“The most beautiful place imaginable – a shock of surprise and delight, lying indeed like a jewel in the hollow of the hand.” This is how Daphne du Maurier described Trelowarren when she first visited in the 1930s.
How right she was. We stumbled across the estate quite by accident not long after we'd moved to Cornwall and it really felt as if we'd unearthed a treasure. Situated at the top of the Lizard Peninsula, the historic 1000-acre estate is now one of our favourite places to visit, not just for the beautiful landscape but for the excellent restaurant that occupies the former stable yard.
The New Yard Restaurant is run by chef Jeffrey Robinson and his wife Caroline. The emphasis on the freshest seasonal ingredients, many of which are grown in the historic walled garden or foraged on the estate. Everything else is sourced locally and the restaurant has a Michelin Green Star for gastronomy and sustainability.
During the day, food is served in the Pantry or outdoors in the courtyard, making it an ideal pitstop for visitors with dogs. As well as delicious wood-fired pizzas and small plates, there's an excellent selection of cakes and pastries. In the evening, from Wednesday to Saturday, there is a set menu tasting supper served in the main restaurant and during the autumn and winter months the team serves one of the best Sunday lunches in Cornwall.
If you're eating at New Yard, we highly recommend allowing some extra time to explore the estate. The Manor of Trelowarren is mentioned in the Domesday Book but there has been a settlement on the site since Prehistoric times. It has been owned by the Vyvyan family for more than 600 years.
Between the beginning of April and the end of September, members of the public are allowed access to the walks that crisscross the grounds the woodland. Even the briefest wander through the woods or down the drive yields beautiful views of the landscape and an insight into the history of Trelowarren. Visitors enter via the impressive gates built by the Royalist Vyvyans to celebrate the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660. There's a Victorian tower that resembles a medieval turret and a quay built to welcome Queen Victoria on a visit which sadly never happened.
Most interesting, though, is Halliggye Fogou, an underground tunnel complex that dates back to the fourth or fifth century BC. Fogous (which takes their name from the Cornish 'ogo' word for cave) are peculiar to this part of Cornwall. Their purpose is still unclear to archaeologists. It has been suggested that they were used for storage or as a place of refuge. It's also possible they were used for ceremonial and ritual purposes.
Halliggye Fogou, which is located beneath an Iron Age Hill fort, is the largest and best preserved in Cornwall. It's a short walk from New Yard but make sure you take a torch.
Click here for more information from English Heritage
West Cornwall is home to many prehistoric sites. For a brief overview, have a look at the article on Journal https://www.middlecolensofarm.co.uk/post/prehistoric-penwith
To find out more about New Yard or book a table, click here
Other things to do on The Lizard
Take a tour of the Lizard lighthouse
Take a walk around Frenchman's Creek
Learn to surf at Poldhu Cove
Visit picturesque Kynance Cove (but go early. It's a very popular spot).
Take a walk along the South West coast path
Spend a day on the beach at Gunwalloe
Explore the historic fishing village of Cadgwith