No matter the time of year Cornwall's gardens are always worth a visit. Here's our selection of the best throughout the county.
Why visit a Cornish garden?
The first thought of Cornwall is often one of beautiful stretches of golden sand and emerald seas, but turn inland a little and you will find magnificent gardens. Rich in unusual flora and fauna they are places of serenity, vibrancy and heritage. With The Alverton at the very heart of Cornwall, the best Cornish gardens are just a stone’s throw away.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Pentewan, St. Austell, 28 minute drive
Set in 200 acres, The Lost Gardens of Heligan are some of the finest gardens in Cornwall, as well as being listed as one of the Great Gardens of Cornwall. Wander through the productive gardens before sampling its treats, fresh from the ground, in the Heligan Kitchen, take a journey through the pleasure gardens for a real sense of tranquility, and explore the jungle and brave one of the longest rope bridges in the country. Heligan is the wonderment of ancient woodlands, the joy of jungle exploration and the addictive anticipation of what’s to come around each pathway.
Mawnan Smith, Falmouth, 33 minute drive
Situated along the Helford Passage, Trebah is one of the few gardens in the county to boast a private beach. Used as a D-Day embankment port, the gardens are now brimming with subtropical flora and an expanse of dog-friendly pathways. Unsurprisingly, this is another Great Garden of Cornwall! An award-winning cafe and an event-filled amphitheatre make Trebah a popular garden all year round.
Holmbush, St. Austell, 30 minute drive
Pinetum Gardens are comprised of ten intimate and individually themed gardens. Ranging from a peaceful Japanese garden to a large arboretum, the gardens are filled with over 6000 plant types within 30 acres of land.
Available to visit by private tour only, Tregothnan is the largest botanical garden in Cornwall and on of the Great Gardens of Cornwall. Supported by a history of tea and plant pioneering firsts the tour of the gardens, given by a member of the gardening team, is complimented by a cream tea served with Tregothnan tea grown within the grounds. There are countless treasures to experience at this magnificent 700-year-old botanical garden whilst feeling as though time truly has stood still.
An internationally recognised Garden of Excellence and Great Garden of Cornwall, Trewithen is a historic private estate filled with rare botanicals that have been curated from around the world. You can visit the house by booking your place on one of their tours. Living up to its Cornish name meaning !House of Trees”, Trewithen boasts an incredible thirty acres of surrounding woodland gardens and more than two hundred acres of breathtaking parkland, as well as a 18th century estate steeped in history.
Bosvigo is a series of enclosed gardens each with a separate botanical theme. A small yet wonderful retreat not too far from the city centre, Bosvigo is a welcome treat for those who like the contrasts of manicured spaces and wild woodlands.
Regarded as the oldest garden in Cornwall, the 30 acres of Enys are close to magical. Witness the carpets of bluebells, stroll around the bamboo-planted ponds to find the waterwheel, or buy some honey that is cultivated within the grounds. The gardens have changed significantly from their initial creation in the 17th Century but their beauty remains.
Feock, Truro, 16 minute drive
With views over the River Fal, Trelissick offers miles of wonderful pathways to explore. The grand house, wild woodlands, and the huge array of plants throughout the gardens are a real treat. Easily accessible via water, catch a ferry from Truro and get dropped off a short walk from the entrance.
Bodelva, St. Austell. 33 minute drive
The internationally acclaimed Eden Project needs no introduction as it’s already one of the best known Great Gardens of Cornwall. Take a step into the rainforest biome, experience the hardy plants of the Mediterranean, and explore the outdoor gardens.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens
Gulval, Penzance. 44 minute drive.
A garden of contrast like no other – the works of internationally renowned artists intertwine among the exotic and subtropical plants of the dramatic Tremenheere Sculpture Garden. The sheltered gardens offer far-reaching views over the bay and St. Michael’s Mount below. This has to be one of our favourite Great Gardens of Cornwall.
Offering the ultimate tranquil experience, The Japanese Garden embraces the East in a distinctly Cornish way with traditional Japanese plants existing in harmony with those native to Cornwall. Wander through the Water Garden filled with koi carp or soak up all that the Zen Garden has to offer.