The mild climate in Cornwall was the main reason plant collectors brought their collections from different parts of the world to the place. That has been happening for the last two decades or more, the mild climate is still present, and it is preserving the wonderful collections or plants and stunning gardens for the locals and tourists to see.
When visiting the region, you will be able to choose from the old and the new gardens, each offering a varied and rich collection for people who visit during the holidays. You could easily spend a whole day at some of the gardens Cornwall has to offer. There is lots to see and explore for all the family!
Most of the great gardens in Cornwall date back to around the 19th century. From the landscaped parklands to the woodland gardens to the sub-tropical glades, you will find something of interest whether you are a horticulturalist or just love being around nature and finding that perfect selfy spot!
Here are the best gardens in Cornwall you should consider during your next visit.
1. National Trust’s Trelissick Gardens
The National Trust’s Trelissick Gardens are situated in an area characterized by magnificent natural beauty. The beautiful woodland garden snuggles on River Fal’s banks. Expect to find a wide range of formal lawns, circular woodland walks, and mature planting.
In fact, you will find many things to admire but for your experience to be complete, you will have to walk into the Trelissick House. The gardens provide four Summerhouses and many areas for picnics. You can also take a ride on King Harry Ferry to the Roseland Peninsula.
2. Caerhays Castle and the Gardens
The estate of Caerhays and the beachside castle is located near Mevagissey on the Roseland Peninsula. People attribute the gardens to the art of J.C Williams who gathered various exotic species including azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and magnolias to make the place attractive.
The place remains open between March and May because, at that time, the gardens are usually in the best conditions and full bloom.
3. Pencarrow House and Gardens
The beautiful Georgian mansion was built in the 16th century and you will start seeing the manicured gardens as you approach the place through the mile-long driveway in dramatic splendour.
The gardens provide many beautiful plants and year-round colour to the visitors in the Victorian rock garden and the Italian Gardens.
4. Trengwainton Gardens
When it comes to the best gardens in Cornwall you just can’t beat this one! The Trengwainton Garden came into being in the 19th century. However, most of the features that define this garden and set it apart from the others in the region date back to around the 20th century – developed by the widely known Bolitho family.
The family imported most of the exotic plants such as camellias, magnolias and the rhododendrons from the Far East and used them to line the drives. You will enjoy the woodland walks through the tree fern glades and the impressively walled kitchen.
Even though the tearooms are pricey, they are worth a visit. The National Trust manages the gardens but the house has remained private.
5. Lamorran Gardens
The privately owned Lamorran Gardens nestles on a sheltered hillside dominating St Mawes in the South Coast. Immediately after you arrive at these gardens, you will notice the intricate pathways, the secluded seating areas, and the fabulous Mediterranean planting.
The gardens also feature many ponds that overflow with Koi Carp. The Lamorran Gardens has temples, areas of woodland and archways. When visiting, you must remember to sample the offered cream teas and the homemade cakes on the terrace. This one is often overlooked when people look for the best gardens in Cornwall but it most definitely shouldn’t be!
6. The Eden Project
The Eden Project came into being in the year 2003 and it has stood as one of the leading attractions in Cornwall. It was also voted for the Best UK Leisure Attraction in the British Travel Awards sequentially for four years.
If you are planning to tour the garden, you should be prepared for tropical temperatures. In the biomes, you will get closer to the natural environments of South America, West Africa, Tropical Islands, and South East Asia.
Expect to find exotic plants growing rapidly and canopying the walkways above the grounds. You will also feel water sprays from the waterfall when meandering through the Mediterranean landscapes.
When in Trebah, you only need to walk for a short distance to reach the fantastic valley garden that proceeds to the sea. The area provides numerous magnificent viewpoints that overlook the Helford River and a short walk towards the bottom will lead you to the Village of Durgan, a fishing village.
The primary garden offers numerous beautiful trees in addition to magnolias, rhododendron, hydrangeas, and camellias. Other features to expect include the Holy corner, an old school room and a laurel maze with a wide collection of shrubs and trees associated with the Bible. This is among the gardens that the National Trust manages. The house has remained private.
8. Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden
Unlike most gardens in the Cornwall region, the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden offers many plants from all parts of the world. The peaceful art oasis will help you forget about the stress associated with hustling around the St Ives town.
Immediately after arriving at the gardens, you will notice the unique stone, bronze and wood sculptures from the best artists of 20th Century. Whether they were accidental or not, they complement the many sub-tropical plants in the garden.
Cotehele gardens offer a fantastic Tudor house that is surrounded by natural formal gardens. On the front side of the house, you will find a terraced garden and on the rear side, you will find a grand lily pond and orchards.
On the riverside, you will find a valley garden in addition to a medieval dovecote and stewpond. The two woodland walks will lead you to the banks of the Cotehele Quay and River Tamar.
10. Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan is among the widely known botanical gardens in Cornwall. Which is why it just had to be in our list of the best gardens in Cornwall. Created in the 18th Century, the Lost Gardens of Heligan were later neglected after World War 1.
Fortunately, the Lost Gardens were rediscovered after people uncovered the door in the undergrowth and weeds in the late 1990s. After that, people witnessed one of the extensive garden restorations. The over 200-acre gardens offer a banana plantation, jungle boardwalk and a Summerhouse built in the 18th century and vegetable patches.
As you can see Cornwall not only has stunning beaches and coastal walks, it also has beautiful gardens of all shapes and sizes. Each garden offers something for every member of the family from walks to play areas and secluded private beaches.