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Discover the best gardens in Cornwall

best gardens in cornwall

Anyone searching for the best gardens in Cornwall has come to the right place! This post sets out my view about some of the fantastic gardens you can explore here. They are not in a particular order and if you have suggestions for others not included, please do mention them in the comments below.

Where to find the best gardens in Cornwall

Cornwall, with its rugged coastline, charming villages, and dramatic cliffs, is a paradise for nature lovers. But beyond the breathtaking scenery lies another hidden gem – a stunning array of gardens. From grand estates boasting vibrant blooms to hidden sanctuaries offering tranquility, there’s a garden experience waiting for everyone in Cornwall. Whether you seek a romantic escape for two, a family day filled with exploration, or a chance to reconnect with nature, Cornwall’s gardens have something special to offer. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to be enchanted by the horticultural wonders nestled within Cornwall’s magical landscapes!

Unveiling a Springtime Paradise: Caerhays Castle Gardens

spring at caerhays gardens

On Cornwall’s south coast, nestled in a sheltered valley overlooking Porthluney Cove, lies a riot of color and history – Caerhays Castle Gardens. This 140-acre wonderland boasts a unique microclimate perfect for a dazzling display of spring blooms, transforming the landscape into a captivating spectacle.

Step back in time and explore the gardens, their origins tracing back to the work of early 20th-century plant hunters who introduced exotic species from China. Be greeted by a breathtaking display of giant Asiatic magnolias, their colossal blooms painting the scene in vibrant shades of pink, white, and purple. Caerhays holds the prestigious National Magnolia Collection, with over 600 varieties boasting an intoxicating fragrance that fills the air.

Wander through pathways adorned with vibrant rhododendrons and camellias, their delicate flowers adding a touch of elegance to the landscape. Explore hidden corners overflowing with azaleas, their fiery hues contrasting against the emerald green foliage. The rich, acidic soil provides the perfect environment for these ericaceous plants, ensuring a flourishing display throughout spring.

Caerhays Castle Gardens offer a captivating escape for all ages. Families can enjoy exploring the sprawling grounds,while history buffs can delve into the story of the Williams family, who have passionately maintained this horticultural haven for generations. A visit to Caerhays promises a delightful journey through a springtime paradise, where nature’s vibrant beauty unfolds amidst the whispers of history.

A Sanctuary of Sculpture: Exploring the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden

sculptures at barbara hepworth museum

Nestled amongst the charming seaside town of St Ives in Cornwall lies a unique haven for art and nature lovers – the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden. This open-air gallery, once the home and studio of pioneering sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth, offers a captivating experience where art seamlessly blends with the beauty of the Cornish landscape.

Imagine strolling through a tranquil garden dotted with Hepworth’s iconic sculptures. Each piece, crafted from bronze,wood, and stone, reflects her fascination with organic forms and the natural world. Stand in awe beneath the monumental “Walk Through,” a testament to her exploration of negative space and the relationship between interior and exterior.Discover the playful energy of “Two Forms (Divided Circle),” a perfect example of her use of geometric shapes.

The garden itself, meticulously designed by Hepworth in collaboration with a friend, is a work of art in its own right.Winding paths lead you past vibrant flowerbeds and mature trees, creating a harmonious dialogue between nature and sculpture. Breathe in the fresh Cornish air as you contemplate the sculptures, each one carefully positioned to enhance the experience of the space.

A visit to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden is more than just an art viewing experience; it’s a journey into the creative mind of a visionary artist. It’s a place to connect with nature, be inspired by artistic expression, and gain a deeper appreciation for the interplay between art and the environment.

The Secret Gardens of Cornwall” offers an exclusive tour of the region’s most enchanting private gardens. Perfect for garden enthusiasts, it provides a rare glimpse into Cornwall’s verdant beauty, making it an essential addition to any nature lover’s collection.

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secret gardens of cornwall

A Hidden Cornish Paradise: Unveiling the Magic of Glendurgan Garden

glendurgan maze

Delve into a secret world of cascading waterfalls, vibrant flora, and captivating history at Glendurgan Garden. Nestled along the picturesque Helford River in Cornwall, this 70-acre haven is a testament to the vision of the Fox family, who meticulously shaped the landscape over generations.

Step inside the sheltered valley and be greeted by a symphony of color and texture. Lush, subtropical vegetation thrives in the mild Cornish climate, creating a sense of exotic wonder. Explore winding paths adorned with vibrant ferns,hydrangeas blooming in a spectrum of blues and purples, and towering palm trees swaying gently in the breeze.Cascading waterfalls serenade your walk, adding a touch of tranquility to the vibrant scene.

Unveil the iconic cherry laurel maze, a beloved feature since the 1830s. Navigate its meandering pathways, a fun challenge for all ages. As you emerge, discover hidden follies nestled amongst the greenery, playful reminders of the garden’s rich history. Climb the Burma Road, a winding path offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Helford River and the surrounding countryside.

Glendurgan Garden caters to all types of visitors. Families can enjoy a day of exploration and picnicking amidst the beauty of nature. Keen walkers will appreciate the network of trails, while photographers can capture the unique blend of flora and landscape. A visit to Glendurgan promises a captivating escape, offering a glimpse into a hidden Cornish paradise brimming with beauty, history, and a touch of magic.

Unveiling a Medieval Marvel: Exploring Godolphin House and Gardens

godolphin house in spring

Travel back in time at Godolphin House and Gardens, a captivating estate nestled amongst the rolling hills west of Cornwall. This historic site, boasting a 16th-century house and some of the oldest surviving formal gardens in the country,offers a unique blend of architectural grandeur and horticultural heritage.

Step inside the imposing granite walls of Godolphin House, a testament to the region’s rich architectural legacy. While the house itself is not always open to the public, its presence adds a sense of history to the surrounding gardens. Explore the medieval pathways, some believed to date back to the 16th century, and lose yourself in the tranquil atmosphere.

Unveil the King’s Garden, a hidden gem within the estate. This secluded enclave, originally a private garden for the King’s Room occupants, boasts a timeless charm. Imagine strolling through the neatly trimmed hedges, their boxy forms framing a vibrant display of seasonal flowers and aromatic herbs like lavender and roses. Breathe in the intoxicating fragrance and soak in the peacefulness of this historic haven.

Beyond the formal elements, discover the Orchard and Side Garden Paddock, offering a glimpse into more traditional methods of cultivation. Explore the rows of fruit trees laden with seasonal bounty, and imagine the self-sufficiency practices of the past. Explore the sprawling greens of the Side Garden Paddock, perfect for a picnic or a game of frisbee with the family.

Godolphin House and Gardens offer a delightful escape for all ages. History buffs can delve into the rich past of the estate, while nature lovers can appreciate the diverse flora and tranquil atmosphere. A visit to Godolphin promises a captivating journey through time, where medieval charm intertwines with the beauty of a bygone era’s garden design.

Finest Gardens of the South West by Tony Russell is a beautifully illustrated guide to the most stunning gardens in Southwest England. This book provides in-depth descriptions, historical insights, and vivid photographs of each garden, making it an essential resource for garden enthusiasts and visitors to the region.

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finest gardens in the south west

A Global Odyssey Under Biodomes: Exploring the Eden Project

Outside the Eden Project

Forget traditional gardens – the Eden Project in Cornwall offers a futuristic and awe-inspiring experience unlike any other. Nestled in a reclaimed china clay pit, this innovative complex houses a series of giant biodomes, each meticulously designed to recreate distinct global biomes. Prepare to embark on a captivating journey around the world, all within the stunning Cornish countryside.

Step inside the humid Rainforest Biome, a steamy wonderland brimming with lush vegetation. Towering rainforest trees native to South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia create a dense canopy overhead, while ferns and exotic flowers carpet the ground. Spot hidden waterfalls cascading down the biodome walls, adding to the immersive atmosphere.

Next, journey to the drier Mediterranean Biome, a sun-drenched haven showcasing the flora of California, South Africa,and the Mediterranean region. Rows of citrus trees laden with fruit line the pathways, while fragrant herbs like lavender and rosemary fill the air. Explore olive groves and discover cacti species from around the world, all thriving under the Cornish sunshine recreated within the biodome.

Beyond the biodomes, explore the extensive outdoor gardens. Wander through the beautifully landscaped Mediterranean Biome Exterior, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Explore the educational Core Zone, where interactive exhibits delve deeper into environmental issues and sustainable practices. The Eden Project caters to all ages,offering a unique blend of education, entertainment, and a connection with the wonders of global plant life.

A Time Capsule Unearthed: Unveiling the Lost Gardens of Heligan

lost gardens of heligan ropebridge

Shrouded in mystery and steeped in history, the Lost Gardens of Heligan offer a captivating experience for nature lovers and history buffs alike. Nestled amidst the rolling Cornish countryside, these once-magnificent gardens fell into ruin and neglect for decades, becoming overgrown and forgotten. In the late 20th century, a remarkable restoration project began,bringing these lost landscapes back to life.

Imagine stepping into a time capsule, where remnants of a bygone era intertwine with the beauty of a restored haven.Explore the Italian Garden, a sunken paradise adorned with statues and bursting with colorful blooms, meticulously brought back to its former glory. Wander through the productive Kitchen Garden, where heritage vegetables and fruits thrive in a vibrant tapestry of taste and texture, a testament to the self-sufficiency practices of the past.

Beyond the restoration lies the Lost Valley, a haunting reminder of the power of nature’s reclamation. Explore this untamed wilderness, where wildflowers bloom freely amidst the crumbling ruins of forgotten structures. Towering rhododendrons, remnants of the garden’s Victorian past, create a magical atmosphere, their vibrant blooms a stark contrast to the weathered stone.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan offer a captivating journey through time and nature’s resilience. Here, history intertwines with the present, offering a glimpse into the grandeur of a bygone era alongside the awe-inspiring power of nature’s ability to reclaim its domain. Explore the restored gardens, marvel at the untamed Lost Valley, and appreciate the dedication that brought this once-lost paradise back to life.

A Subtropical Paradise: Unveiling the Gardens at Lamorran House


Clinging to Cornwall’s dramatic north coast, the Gardens at Lamorran House offer a taste of the exotic nestled within a stunning coastal landscape. This 4-acre haven boasts a unique microclimate, allowing a dazzling array of subtropical plants to flourish, creating a captivating escape for nature lovers seeking a touch of the Mediterranean.

Imagine strolling through a world of vibrant color and lush foliage. Palm trees sway gently in the breeze, their fronds creating a dappled shade over pathways adorned with vibrant bougainvillea and hibiscus. Breathe in the intoxicating fragrance of citrus trees laden with lemons and oranges, a testament to the garden’s ability to cultivate a taste of the Mediterranean right on the Cornish coast.

Delve into the Koi Carp Pond, a tranquil haven where brightly colored fish weave between vibrant water lilies. Explore the Upper Terrace, a sun-drenched haven adorned with terracotta pots overflowing with cascading geraniums and trailing succulents. As you wander through the expertly designed layouts, discover hidden corners teeming with exotic ferns and bromeliads, each adding a unique layer to the diverse plant palette.

The Gardens at Lamorran House cater to all types of visitors. Families can embark on a treasure hunt, searching for hidden sculptures and follies nestled amongst the greenery. History buffs can delve into the story of the gardens,originally designed in the 19th century and meticulously maintained by generations of passionate horticulturists. A visit to Lamorran promises a captivating escape, offering a taste of the tropics on the Cornish coast, where exotic flora thrives in a beautifully designed haven.

A Grand Design: Exploring the Sweeping Vistas of Lanhydrock House Gardens

spring at lanhyrdock

Lanhydrock House Gardens, sprawling across 50 acres in Cornwall, offer a captivating glimpse into grand Edwardian design principles. Nestled beside the imposing Lanhydrock House, these meticulously planned gardens boast sweeping vistas, formal elements, and a rich tapestry of plant life, promising a delightful escape for all ages.

Step onto the expansive lawns and be greeted by the grandeur of Lanhydrock House, a Victorian mansion reflecting the architectural trends of the era. Explore the surrounding gardens, a testament to the vision of the influential Morshead family who shaped the landscape in the early 20th century. Wander through the Italian Garden, a formal haven adorned with classical statues and vibrant borders bursting with seasonal blooms. Imagine grand summer parties once held amidst this elegant space.

Descend into the tranquil Woodland Walk, a haven of towering trees and a network of meandering paths. Breathe in the fresh Cornish air as you explore, keeping an eye out for hidden follies and monuments adding a touch of whimsy to the landscape. Ascend to the panoramic viewpoint, offering breathtaking vistas across the rolling countryside and a glimpse of the distant coastline.

Lanhydrock House Gardens cater to a variety of interests. Families can enjoy a game of frisbee on the expansive lawns or a picnic amidst the formal gardens. Keen walkers will appreciate the network of trails, while history buffs can delve into the story of the Morshead family and their influence on the garden’s design. A visit to Lanhydrock promises a captivating journey through time and horticultural design, offering a glimpse into a grand Edwardian vision brought to life amidst the beauty of the Cornish countryside.

A Journey Through Time: Exploring the Layers of Pencarrow House Gardens

pancarrow house garden

Pencarrow House Gardens, nestled amidst the rolling hills of central Cornwall, offer a captivating journey through time,revealing layers of history woven into the fabric of the landscape. Unlike some grand estates, Pencarrow boasts a more intimate atmosphere, each section whispering tales of the families who shaped it over centuries.

Step onto the verdant lawns and admire the imposing facade of Pencarrow House, a 16th-century manor exuding a sense of grandeur. Explore the surrounding gardens, a tapestry of styles reflecting the evolving tastes of its residents. Delve into the Medieval Kitchen Garden, a productive haven where rows of vegetables and fruit trees stand as a testament to self-sufficiency practices of the past. Breathe in the fragrance of herbs like rosemary and thyme, essential ingredients in bygone era cuisine.

Wander through the tranquil Victorian Pleasure Grounds, a haven of peace designed for leisurely strolls and contemplation. Towering trees cast dappled shade over winding paths adorned with vibrant rhododendrons and camellias,a nod to the popularity of these exotic plants during the Victorian era. Explore the hidden corners, where follies like the Gothic Mausoleum add a touch of mystery to the landscape.

Pencarrow House Gardens cater to curious minds and history enthusiasts. Families can embark on a scavenger hunt,searching for hidden historical details scattered throughout the gardens. Art lovers will appreciate the sculptures and follies, while nature enthusiasts will delight in the diverse plant life. A visit to Pencarrow promises a captivating journey through time, where each section of the garden unveils a unique chapter in the estate’s rich history, all nestled within the beauty of the Cornish countryside.

A Tidal Paradise: Unveiling the Gardens of St Michael’s Mount

st michaels mount in distance

Perched atop a tidal island off the Cornish coast, St Michael’s Mount offers a unique experience – a captivating blend of historic castle, charming village, and breathtaking gardens defying the salty winds. Unlike traditional gardens, these flourish in a microclimate, allowing a surprising array of exotic plants to thrive, creating a subtropical paradise.

Imagine stepping onto a causeway, the tide lapping at your feet, and arriving at a haven bursting with color and texture.Walls built from local granite provide shelter, fostering a haven for vibrant bougainvillea cascading down the slopes.Succulents line pathways, their fleshy leaves contrasting with the delicate fronds of towering palm trees. Breathe in the intoxicating fragrance of citrus trees, a testament to the Mount’s ability to cultivate a taste of the Mediterranean amidst the cool Cornish air.

Explore the terraced gardens, meticulously designed to maximize space and light. Wander through the formal Italian Garden, adorned with statues and bursting with seasonal blooms. Descend into the enchanting Shell Garden, a hidden haven adorned with seashells and featuring a centerpiece pool reflecting the ever-changing sky. As you explore, keep an eye out for resident peacocks adding a touch of grandeur to the landscape.

The Gardens of St Michael’s Mount cater to all types of visitors. Families can enjoy a game of hide-and-seek amidst the borders or a picnic with breathtaking coastal views. History buffs can delve into the story of the Mount, a fortified monastery dating back centuries. A visit promises a captivating escape, offering a unique blend of history, horticulture,and a touch of the exotic, all waiting to be discovered on this magical tidal island.

A Wild Escape in Cornwall: Tanglewood Wild Garden


Tucked away in Cornwall, Tanglewood Wild Garden offers a 9-acre escape into a whimsical, natural paradise. Unlike manicured landscapes, Tanglewood embraces its wild side, creating a haven for wildlife and a delightful retreat for visitors. Paths weave through woodlands teeming with native trees and plants, occasionally surprising you with exotic varieties. Keep an eye out for flitting butterflies and buzzing bees drawn to the vibrant blooms. Three ponds dot the landscape, offering a tranquil spot to observe ducks and other water creatures.

Tanglewood caters to all ages. Children will be enthralled by the rope swings and hidden nooks for exploration. Adults can lose themselves in the calming atmosphere, perfect for a picnic under the dappled sunlight or a quiet meander through the woods, listening to the symphony of birdsong. The cafe provides light refreshments for your visit.

This dog-friendly garden prioritizes natural beauty. Paths are uneven and can be steep, so accessibility for wheelchairs might be limited. Deep ponds are also present, so supervision is crucial for young children. But for those seeking a unique and enchanting escape, Tanglewood Wild Garden promises a memorable experience. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a family seeking adventure, or simply someone looking to unwind in a peaceful setting, Tanglewood offers a little slice of paradise in Cornwall.

Unveiling Beauty: A Journey Through Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens


Imagine a captivating landscape: dramatic valleys cradling vibrant, sub-tropical gardens. This isn’t a far-flung tropical paradise, but Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, a haven nestled near Penzance, Cornwall. Here, art and nature intertwine to create a truly unforgettable experience.

Sculptures by renowned contemporary artists like Richard Long and James Turrell become integral parts of the scenery.Large-scale and thought-provoking, they rise from the earth or blend seamlessly with the exotic flora. As you wander through the valleys overflowing with blooms and past trickling streams, prepare to be surprised and inspired by these innovative artworks.

Tremenheere’s rich history adds another layer of intrigue. Originally tended by monks in the 14th century, the land was transformed into its current form by the vision of 19th-century planter Seymour Tremenheere and 20th-century sculptor Neil Armstrong. Today, it’s more than just sculptures. Explore the on-site gallery showcasing cutting-edge exhibitions, or lose yourself in the beauty with a coffee at the cafe, all while surrounded by breathtaking views. A nursery and shop allow you to take a piece of Tremenheere magic home.

So, if you’re seeking an escape that nourishes both your soul and your artistic spirit, look no further than Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. It’s a place where nature’s bounty meets artistic expression, creating a truly unforgettable experience.

A World of Plants Awaits: Unveiling Trengwainton Gardens

kitchen garden trengwainton

Step into a wonderland of exotic plants and captivating landscapes at Trengwainton Gardens. Situated near Penzance,Cornwall, this National Trust gem boasts a rich history dating back to the 16th century. While the grand house remains private, the sprawling 25-acre gardens are a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts.

Trengwainton’s claim to fame lies in its impressive collection of exotic trees and shrubs. Imagine towering magnolias,their fragrant blooms gracing the spring air. Rhododendrons in vibrant hues add bursts of colour, while the gentle murmur of water streams through the fern-filled woodland walk. Explore the meticulously maintained walled gardens, each section bursting with a diverse array of plants from around the world. Here, tender species flourish thanks to Cornwall’s mild climate, creating a true “plantsman’s paradise.”

Beyond the plant life, Trengwainton offers breathtaking vistas. Hike along winding paths that climb a gentle incline,eventually rewarding you with panoramic views across Mount’s Bay and The Lizard. For a leisurely stroll, meander down the drive bordered by a stream garden and open meadows. Trengwainton is a place to lose yourself in the beauty of nature, whether you’re a seasoned botanist or simply seeking a peaceful escape.

A World of Tranquility: Unwind at Pinetum Gardens

sunken garden pinetum

Escape the hustle and bustle and discover Pinetum Gardens, a 30-acre haven of peace and botanical wonder in the heart of St Austell Bay, Cornwall. Lovingly cultivated over four decades, this family-owned paradise boasts a staggering 6,000 plant species spread across ten distinct themed gardens.

Imagine strolling through vibrant themed “rooms,” each bursting with unique flora. Breathe in the healing scent of pines in the aptly named Pinetum, or wander through the serenity of the Japanese Garden adorned with calming water features and meticulously raked gravel. The vibrant Winter Garden defies seasonal expectations with flourishing blooms, while the Arboretum offers a treasure trove of labeled trees, perfect for plant enthusiasts.

Pinetum caters to everyone. Families can explore the hidden nooks and crannies, while keen walkers can traverse the expansive parkland. Wheelchair accessibility ensures everyone can enjoy the beauty, and mobility scooters are available for those needing extra assistance. Relax on strategically placed benches throughout the gardens and soak in the tranquility, or grab a bite at the on-site tearooms. Pinetum Gardens promises a day of rejuvenation for all your senses.

If you love beautiful gardens, here is a guide to the best gardens in Devon which I hope is helpful.

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