Gardens to visit in Cornwall

The moderate temperatures of Cornwall mean that plants thrive in this region in comparison to other areas of the UK, and in some areas the salty sea air highly influences the variety of plants that can become established – bringing specimens found nowhere else in the country. Thanks to Cornwall rarely experiencing frosts, its gardens can offer something to see at any time of the year.

The Eden Project

The Eden Project emerged from a china clay quarry, and now hosts miles of trails to explore, both inside and out – the ultimate escape from the wet weather should it transpire. Transport yourself to the warmth of the tropics by spending your day following the paths within Eden’s biomes, where exotic trees and tropical plants thrive in the rainforest-like conditions. Make sure you leave enough time for some lunch or a tea and cake break though, the Eden Kitchen is not to be missed.


Inside the tropical biome at The Eden Project


A self-proclaimed ‘sub-tropical paradise with a stunning coastal backdrop’, and we agree. From the café at the very top, Trebah’s gardens wind down through a beautiful valley, filled with ferns, giant gunnera, towering bamboo and 100-year-old rhododendrons, eventually winding down to Polgwidden Cove, a sheltered, private beach with views of Helford River and Falmouth Bay. Trebah also hosts performances of live theatre, music and dance, within their very own amphitheatre and throughout the gardens. Trebah Gardens is ranked among the eighty finest gardens in the world and is open all year round, 10am – 5pm daily.

Lanhydrock House and Garden 

The National Trust’s Lanhydrock Estate is an enchanting late victorian country house with extensive gardens and woodland. There is a real element of grandeur to Lanhydrocks’ grounds, which have been lovingly developed since the 17th century. You can explore the gardens at your own pace, or join the free guided tours which are available throughout the summer. Lanhydrock also hosts outdoor theatre performances, dates and details for which are available on their website. The house is closed during the winter for maintenance, but the gardens, shop and refreshments are open from February onwards.


The gardens are not open to the public day in day out, but instead offer pre-booked, monthly guided tours and lectures for visitors wanting to explore the botanical gardens’ grounds, with an annual charity opening over a weekend. The gardens were also the first producer of English tea, and hold events, tastings, and masterclasses, all revolving around England’s favourite hot drink. There are even hives of bees that inhabit the gardens, with one-day workshops on offer to try your hand at bee-keeping or learning to start your own.


Blossoming flowers at Tregothnan

Pencarrow House and Gardens 

Pencarrow’s grounds are a combination of formal landscaping and woodland trails, for the garden specialist or leisurely walker, with wheelchair access too. There are more than 600 varieties of camellias and rhododendrons that bloom in March, and begin the floral cycle of the year, with the garden blossoming and flowering continuously throughout the summer months. Spare some time to explore Pencarrow House; a largely Georgian mansion and a beautiful slice of Cornish history. Both the house and gardens are still maintained and occupied by the Molesworths, descendants of the family who settled there in the 1500s.


Known as being ‘lost’ due to its period of inactivity and overgrowth during the second world war, Heligan is a beautiful spot near Mevagissey with acres of both productive gardens and pleasure grounds, which you will not regret discovering. The shop and multiple cafés throughout the gardens are great for picking up souvenirs or something to eat, and the towering bamboo and canopies of exotic plants provide shelter from the rain if the weather’s not on your side. Walking the whole loop is a highly rewarding experience, with emus, sea views and the longest Burmese Rope Bridge in Britain, for visitors with a toleration for heights. There are also a number of submerged statues waiting to be discovered, including The Giant’s Head, Mud Maid and Grey Lady.

The bridge crossing the jungle in The Lost Garden's of Heligan

The bridge crossing the jungle in The Lost Garden’s of Heligan

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