One of the many things we love about Cornwall is its unique climate. Benefitting from the warmth of the Gulf Stream, Cornwall has become famous for its diverse Spring gardens. We have chosen some of our favourite Cornish gardens, all within a short drive of the Old Quay House.
Caerhays Castle Gardens, the Roseland
This beautiful 200 year old estate boasts an English Heritage Grade I listed castle, 120 acres of grade II listed gardens, and stunning beaches. We’re not surprised it has gained an international reputation for its dazzling magnolia collection, camellia and rhododendron displays. The gardens are open from 17th February until 15th June 2014, when the grounds are at their best.
Caerhays Castle Gardens | www.caerhays.co.uk | 01872 501310
A true spring time gem, in 2012 Trewithen became one of only thirty gardens globally to receive an International Camellia Garden of Excellence award. Famed for having the longest lawn in Cornwall, and a diverse floral canopy featuring roses, exotic ferns and wildflowers, it is a must for any nature enthusiast. The gardens remain open seven days a week, 1st March to 30th June.
Trewithen Gardens | www.trewithengardens.co.uk | 01726 883647
Headland Garden, Fowey
With unrivalled cliff top positioning offering staggering views over Fowey Estuary and the south cornish coast, sub tropical species of plants thrive in Headland’s unique micro climate. The gardens have been carefully planted with an array of species that can withstand Cornwall’s salty winds and sideways rain. Perhaps the biggest draw for visitors is a secluded swimming cove which is accessible through the winding grounds. Headland is open Thursdays 2pm – 6pm, May to August.
Eden Project, St Austell
We couldn’t compile a list of Cornwall’s best gardens without mentioning the Eden Project. Its famous biomes house the largest captive rainforest in the world complete with jungle vegetation and waterfall. We recommend trying the aerial walkway, where you can take in the entire biome from the treetops. Make sure you pop into The Core, an innovative learning centre with interactive exhibitions. Eden also hosts fantastic art and music events throughout the year. View 2014’s programme of events here.
Eden Project | www.edenproject.com | 01726 811 911
Pencarrow House and Gardens, Bodmin
Pencarrow’s grounds are a combination of formal landscaping and woodland trails. Its changing floral seasons attract both horticultural specialists and casual visitors. Our favourite display has to be the carpet of bluebells and wild garlic which bloom throughout May and June. Spare some time to explore Pencarrow House; a largely Georgian mansion and a beautiful slice of Cornish history. Both the house and gardens are maintained by the descendants of the family who settled in the 1500s. The gardens are open 1 March – 31 October 2014.
Pencarrow House and Gardens | www.pencarrow.co.uk | 01208 841 369
Lanhydrock House and Garden, Bodmin
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.
Lanhydrock Estate | www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lanhydrock | 01208 265950 |
Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell
With over 200 acres of distinctive gardens to explore, it’s not hard to see why Heligan gardens are world renowned. Their award winning Productive Garden will escort you back in time so you can experience Victorian farming as it would have been two hundred years ago. Allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy the Northern Gardens, Wilder Estate and pioneering Horsemoor Hide Interpretation Centre, where you can observe the intimate dramas of the natural world through a network of hidden cameras. The gardens are open daily, all year round.
Lost Gardens of Heligan | www.heligan.com |01726 845100
Trebah Gardens is a little further afield from us, but well worth the visit. This stunning sub tropical wonderland is set against the backdrop of the Helford River and ranked among the eighty finest gardens in the world. Best of all, Trebah has its own private secluded beach with maritime views across the river and out to sea. There are miles of coastal footpaths to explore, with vantage points so you can rest and absorb the spectacular scenery. Trebah is open all year round, 10am – 5pm daily.
Trebah Gardens | www.trebahgarden.co.uk | 01326 252 200