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The Water Tower

Truro, Cornwall

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This extraordinary tower is Trelissicks icon, and its about as distinctive a holiday cottage as you could wish for. Four storeys high, and yet with only one room on each floor, the Water Tower has fifty internal steps as the narrow spiral staircase winds up past each circular room. It was built in about 1865 as a reservoir for Trelissick House, with the height of the tower ensuring a good head of water for fighting fires. How typically Victorian for such a utilitarian building to be designed with such style and embellishments that it resembles the legendary tower of Rapunzel! The Water Tower shares a private garden with Engine House, away from the bustle of a busy and popular estate.

Explore this area of Outstanding Natural Beauty without impacting on its delicate natural environment. Park up the car and do all your travelling by river. Use the hop-on hop-off ferries to visit Falmouth, Truro and all points between. Visit for details of timetables, the Fal Mussel Card, discounts in the local towns, etc.

If you would like to go on holiday and explore this part of the country you can find out more about our other West Cornwall holiday cottages here.

The cottage's layout

Ground floor
bathroom with whirlpool bath(reached via outside door by porch).
First floor
double bedroom.
Other floor
Second floor: sitting room. Third floor: kitchen/diner with bat cam.
Visitor notes

Heating: Rointe digital electric heating system.

Garden: Shared garden with Engine House.

Parking: Private gravel forecourt.

Telephone: Limited reception for mobile telephones.

Please Note: We are currently developing BAT WATCH in the Water Tower. We have set up a monitor in the kitchen which relays pictures from a camera in a nearby bat colony. Watch the little creatures come and go!

Offers: For any 3 night booking starting on a Thursday or a 2 night starting on a Friday, guests can benefit from a late departure on Sunday of 6pm, at no extra charge.

Free entry to Trelissick and Glendurgan Gardens and Trerice House on production of booking details.

Catering: Homemade meals can be ready on your arrival at an extra charge.

Logs/Charcoal: BBQ available on request. BBQ National Trust charcoal available at £5 per bag.

Hazards for children

Due to the long steep staircase in the tower we feel this hazard makes this cottage unsuitable for children under 12 years of age.

Cottage details
Let starts
Min stay
Dogs allowed
Cottage ref
Acorn rating What's this?
  • Beach nearby
  • Pub nearby
  • Coast nearby
  • Romantic
  • Garden appeal
  • Unique
  • Freezer
  • Television
  • Double bed
  • Microwave
  • Radio
  • WiFi
  • If you would like a copy of the access statement for this cottage please call the booking office on 0344 335 1287
  • Hazards for children


Things to see and do nearby

A magnolia blooming at Trengwainton Garden, Cornwall © Stephen Robson

Cornwall may be steeped in Celtic history yet it also offers the uncomplicated joy of a day spent by the sea. From the picture-box charms of the villages and towns of St Ives, Polzeath and Port Isaac to the raw natural beauty of the coast, one trip to this part of the world is often just the start of many more. Remember to pack some good walking boots and you’ll be set for life!

Cottage location
Current cottage
Holiday cottage
National Trust
place to visit
Cluster of pins Shows number of grouped pins. Zoom in to see individual pins
  • foot ferry to Truro
  • Falmouth and St Mawes
  • car ferry to Roseland Peninsula
  • Fishing
  • horse riding
  • walking
  • water sports.
National Trust places to visit
Trelissick Garden
Trelissick Garden Tranquil varied garden in fabulous position, with a superb collection of tender and exotic plants
Glendurgan Garden
Glendurgan Garden Superb subtropical garden, with special interest for families
East Pool Mine
East Pool Mine Impressive Cornish beam engines and industrial heritage discovery centre
Trerice Elizabethan manor house with fine interiors and delightful garden
Penrose Estate: Gunwalloe and Loe Pool
Penrose Wooded country around Cornwall's largest natural lake and dramatic coastal scenery
Godolphin Ancient and atmospheric house and garden set within an historic estate

Visitor comments

Comments from past visitors

  • Anonymous
    • May 2015
    • Unknown
    Top marks!

    Absolutely beautiful tower, gardens and surrounding area. Would highly recommend to family and friends. Looking forward to next 'special' trip away in September. Top marks National Trust! Thank you.

  • Anonymous
    • May 2015
    • Unknown
    Immaculate building

    What made the Water Tower special for me is that it is a unique, quirky, cosy and immaculate building in a peaceful, beautiful location. I loved being able to enjoy tranquil walks around the estate and along the creeks in the evening. Delightful to experience the rhythm of the estate going to sleep at night and then coming alive as staff, and then visitors, arrive in the morning. A great location, too, for venturing out to enjoy castles, gardens and coastline - all within a short drive. Loved the whole experience and had a superb holiday. Beautifully maintained and I am so pleased to have stayed here. I would have liked the Welcome Pack to contain some information about the Water Tower itself. Also, there is no reserved parking sign as there is with other NT cottages.

  • Anonymous
    • March 2015
    • ------------
    High recommend!

    Tranquil, relaxing, romantic get-away. Spotlessly clean, thoughfully equipped and made to feel very welcome. Wonderful venue, would highly recommend. Thank you.

  • Michael Bennett
    • January 2014
    • Cornwall
    Perfect romantic setting

    "Rapunzel's Tower" was the perfect romantic setting to celebrate a special occasion with my prefect wife.

  • Anonymous
    • September 2013
    • .......................................
    Unique building

    The building in its self was special and the setting in the gardens couldn't have been better. Its not every day you get to stay in such a unique building. The bat cam was another unusual feature which we enjoyed as we saw bats most evenings.

  • Tina Cook
    This is a unique holiday cottage in an absolutely spectacular location

    What an amazing place to stay! The stairs seem to go on for ever and ever, and you soon learn to plan carefully to reduce needless trips to the kitchen! The tower is actually very cosy and surprisingly spacious, and a stay here is a really wonderful (and unforgettable) experience. The gardens at Trelissick are also very lovely, with gentle walks and splendid views. This is a unique holiday cottage in an absolutely spectacular location

  • Linda & Stuart Nicholls
    A very unique place to stay

    A very unique place to stay. Comfortable and quiet in spite of being so close to Trelissick's car park. It's 51 stairs to the kitchen (but the views are worth it) or you can always eat out.

Stayed at The Water Tower recently?

We welcome your views on The Water Tower and these can be provided via our online survey.


What it will cost

Prices include:

  • VAT, Linen, heating and electricity (except where shown in the cottage details)
  • We cannot accept website bookings more than 15 months in advance. Please call 0344 335 1287 or email to enquire about future bookings and reservations.
  • The National Trust reserves the right to move cottage prices up or down and to alter date breaks. We also reserve the right to charge supplements for cottages for specific dates covering special events, e.g. Rosetta Cottages on the Isle of Wight during Cowes week. We will notify you of any special event supplements at the time of booking.

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