The glorious gardens of Cornwall attract thousands of visitors every year, and for good reason.
Offering spectacular year-round blooms, and exotic sub-tropical species from around the world, many collected by intrepid Victorian plant hunters in the 19th century, Cornwall’s gardens are magical playgrounds for kids and grownups alike. Here are a few of our personal favourites:
Trengwainton (near Penzance)
With stunning views, woodlands, walled gardens and river gardens, Trengwainton is a great family-friendly garden located near Mounts Bay. 01736 363148
Trebah (near Falmouth)
This sheltered valley garden leads down to its own private beach on the Helford, and has towering tree ferns and gigantic gunnera (‘giant rhubarb’), a koi carp pool and lake, exciting play areas for toddlers and older children and an award-winning restaurant.
Glendurgan (near Falmouth)
Famous for its laurel maze (be warned, finding your way out is trickier than it looks) and magnificent displays of bluebells, rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias, Glendurgan has a ‘Giant’s Stride’ swing for children to perform flying leaps into the air, plus a lovely tearoom. 01326 252020
The Eden Project (near St Austell)
The giant, space-age biomes of Eden, housing plants from all over the world, are a must-see for visitors to Cornwall. With fantastic restaurants and loads of hands-on activities for kids and grown-ups alike, Eden offers a fun and thought-provoking day out, whatever the weather. 01726 811 911
The Lost Gardens of Heligan (near Mevagissey)
Before embarking on his world-famous Eden Project, Tim Smit spent several years restoring the gardens of the Tremayne Estate to their former grandeur. Today’s visitors can discover pineapple and melon houses, walled and valley gardens, and even a sleeping giant. 01726 845 100
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens (St Ives)
Barbara Hepworth’s intimate garden, housing a number of her original sculptures and brimming with sub-tropical plants, is open to visitors as part of the Hepworth Museum and Gardens, managed and beautifully maintained by Tate St Ives.