Seven of the best gardens in Cornwall
Thanks to a relatively warm climate, Cornwall has the perfect environment for many exotic plants as well as an abundance of native species. The choice of gardens include everything from formal, manicured gardens to wilderness inspired landscapes. Some are private gardens open for special events or short periods each year, while others are major tourist attractions open to the public all year round.
Here’s our pick of the seven best gardens in Cornwall to enjoy while on holiday.
1. Lost Gardens of Heligan
If there’s one garden you must visit while on holiday in Cornwall, it’s the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Located near Pentewan and Mevagissey on the south coast, this garden is an absolute gem. Heligan was lost to the weeds until 1992 when the once great estate was renovated to its former glory. Now one of Cornwall’s best-known attractions, Heligan boasts features such as a Victorian produce garden, rhododendron walk, landscaped pleasure grounds and a jungle area complete with a Burmese style rope bridge.
2. Trebah Gardens
Situated on the banks of the Helford River on the south coast, this beautiful valley garden is a sub-tropical paradise of walkways through tall trees and exotic plants leading to a secluded beach. This garden is famous for its century-old rhododendrons and camellias, which explode into colour in the spring, and its giant gunnera which delights visitors in the summer. Trebah is a lovely place to explore for old and young, and is good for kids thanks to play areas, children’s trails and family events.
3. Glendurgan Garden
Glendurgan also occupies a verdant valley above the Helford River. Its mild climate and sheltered position have allowed the estate to flourish and grow into one of Cornwall’s best-loved gardens. Large trees mingle with colourful varieties including magnolias, while the garden has flourishing exotics such as ferns, palms and banana trees. The displays are connected by paths alongside banks of wildflowers, while attractions such as the Giant’s Stride rope swing and 200-year-old maze hold the attention of youngsters.
4. Eden Project
The Eden Project needs little introduction. The huge biomes of this environmental attraction have become a Cornish icon famous all over the world. Built as a Millennium project on the site of a former china clay pit, Eden is a stunning attraction showcasing a series of gardens. Central to these are the tropical and Mediterranean biomes, featuring plants collected from all over the world. Outdoors there are seasonal displays, a wild Cornwall area, sculptures and play areas.
This National Trust estate covers gardens, woodlands and open countryside with panoramic views of the Fal estuary near Truro. The beautiful grounds feature centuries-old trees, shrubs and exotic plants. The Main Lawn is a garden of colourful foliage, including the giant Japanese cedar at its centre. There is also a Cornish orchard planted over 20 years ago to preserve local apple varieties. But don’t miss the spelndour of the Tennis Lawn with its large trees and awesome coastal views. From here it’s possible to walk all the way through acres of parkland to a sandy beach on the shore of the estuary. This all makes Trelissick good for a full day out.
6. Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens
Overlooking St Michael’s Mount near Penzance, Tremenheere is an idyllic blend of beautifully landscaped gardens and inspiring outdoor artwork. This 22-acre exotic and sub-tropical garden is located in a sheltered valley surrounded by woods and streams. It’s a peaceful setting where the flora and foliage is enhanced by sculptures and works by internationally renowned artists such as James Turrell and David Nash RA.
7. Japanese Garden
This small garden in the picturesque village of St Mawgan near Newquay is often overlooked. But it’s a special place where visitors can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the surroundings in this meditative garden that encourages contemplation and reflection. It’s a relaxing space amid the colour of Japanese maples, azaleas and cherry trees, along with water features such as fountains and ponds crossed by wooden bridges.
With so many wonderful gardens in Cornwall, it’s easy to see why people visit them while on holiday in the county. If you’re thinking about visiting Cornwall for its gardens, beaches or any other reason, please check out our wonderful selection of holiday houses and cottages in and around the villages of Perranporth and St Agnes. Start your holiday search here…