Gardens in Cornwall

Gardens in Cornwall

Cornwall is home to a huge number of gorgeous gardens that thrive in its balmy climes. A colourful flurry of blooms and leaves that frame historic estates and sweeping vistas, they set the scene for wonderful days out from the windswept north coast to the sheltered south. Sanctuaries for native and exotic species alike, these gardens overflow with incredible species and evolve with the seasons - creating an ever changing backdrop to steal both heart and mind.

If you are looking forward to soaking up the sights, scents and sounds of Mother Nature, we have put together some of the best gardens in Cornwall for you, many of which are open throughout the year.

Glendurgan Gardens

Magnolia petals peppering the leafy floor of Glendurgan Gardens

Glendurgan Gardens is situated above the winding body of the Helford River near Falmouth. Home to a series of three sheltered gardens, it spreads across 30 acres of wooded valley that emerges onto a small, pebbly beach on the banks of the Helford. If you’re a member of the National Trust, you can use your membership here to explore the network of paths and navigate the cherry laurel maze, losing yourself to the tranquil beauty of this verdant pocket of South Cornwall.

Trebah Garden

A pretty bridge reflected in the lake at Trebah Garden, surrounded by leafy trees and shrubs

26 acres of subtropical bliss await at Trebah Garden on the Helford. One of the Great Gardens of Cornwall, this palm-fringed garden is woven with over 4 miles of footpaths that twist through exotic blooms and adumbral tunnels. For seasonal highlights, venture over in spring to see Trebah’s 100-year-old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias, and in autumn, return to admire the powder-blue hydrangeas that sit against a backdrop of bronzed autumn leaves.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The sleeping mud maid at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

One of the most famous places to visit in Cornwall, the Lost Gardens of Heligan near Mevagissey are somewhere you can visit time and time again and always find something to see and do. Interweaving a patchwork of gardens, woodland and farmland, its 200 acres are a joy to explore throughout the year. And, making these dog-friendly gardens all the more intriguing are the natural sculptures that line its paths and blend with its landscapes, including the famous sleeping mud maid.

Trelissick Gardens

The beautiful countryside and river views from the grounds of Trelissick near Truro on a blue sky day

In the grounds of an 18th Century country manor house, Trelissick gardens in Feock near Truro overlooks the glistening waterways of the Fal River. A historic park intertwined with waterside trails, ancient monuments and manicured lawns, it beckons for leisurely hours of exploration whatever the time of year. Make way to the main lawn to see exotic ginger lilies, dahlias and bananas, or head to the orchard to see local fruit trees flourish in the Cornish sunshine.

Trengwainton Garden

The picturesque walled gardens of Trengwainton, planted with colourful floral borders

Head to West Cornwall to discover the hidden delights of Trengwainton Garden near Penzance. A magical woodland garden famed for its award-winning collections of plants, Trengwainton has something to see at every turn. Take your time meandering past the silvery glint of tranquil ponds and streams within the garden and the distant sea beyond, and revel in the uniquely calming ambience of its wooded embrace. From its walled gardens to its suntrap terrace with views of Mounts Bay, beauty abounds.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

The original tools of Barbara Hepworth at her studio within the St Ives Sculpture Gardens - her former home and muse

The Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden in St Ives is one of the most famous attractions in the county. The former home and muse of the esteemed British artist and modernist sculptor, it is a portal into the fascinating life and work of Hepworth herself and displays a range of her artworks around the garden - many of which reflect the natural world around. You can also see her stone-carving and plaster studios here, which have been left largely untouched with many paints, tools, brushes and personal possessions much as she left them.

Trewithen Gardens

A beautiful tunnel of trees under blue skies at Trewithen Gardens in Cornwall

Meaning ‘house of the trees’, Trewithen Gardens near Truro pays homage to its name with a breath-taking 30-acre garden encompassed by lush woodland. An International Camellia Society Garden of Excellence, Trewithen Garden also happens to be one of the first places to see magnolias bloom - the pink and white petals of which herald the start of spring each year in Cornwall. Look out for garden highlights including the magnolia fountain and camera obscura.

Cotehele Estate Garden

A beautiful lily pond shrouded in lush trees and shrubbery at Cotehele Estate Garden

The National Trust-run Cotehele Estate in North Cornwall covers an impressive 1,300 acres and is laced with miles of paths that beckon for dreamy wanders. Year-round highlights are the Victorian watermill, 14 acres of gardens and 12 acres of orchards that reside within the estate. Meanwhile in spring, a real treat comes in the seasonal flourish of daffodils that transform the estate’s lawns into a sea of yellow.

Caerhays Castle

A bird's eye view of Caerhays Castle within its resplendent grounds

Caerhays castle and spring garden make for a wonderful destination for walks in the fresh air. With the natural artistry of Mother Nature lovingly refined by dedicated gardeners, the results here are truly spectacular. Adding to its leafy accolades, Caerhays gardens also boast over 75 Champion Trees within its tumbling sprawl, including a 36ft high Camellia. This is the highest number of Champion Trees in any garden in Cornwall.

Lanhydrock House Gardens

The Alice in Wonderland-style gardens of Lanhydrock with large topiary and manicured lawns

On the wild fringes of Bodmin moor is Lanhydrock, a gorgeous Victorian country house surrounded by Alice in Wonderland style gardens and rich woodland with river walks. From rows of regal sentinel yews to the garden’s towering 100ft-swamp cypress, there are all kinds of beautiful leafy giants to see here. Meanwhile, closer to ground level are a kaleidoscope of pretty flowers and miniature shrubs, awash with the busy activity of pollinators in spring and summer.

Trewidden Garden

A leafy, ethereal walkway through the gardens of Trewidden in Penzance

In the heart of West Cornwall, Trewidden Garden in Penzance is a stunning, 15-acre garden sown with a vibrant variety of more than 300 magnolias and camellias. A maze of paths steer you to different parts of this peaceful garden (one of the Great Gardens of Cornwall) and past the resident shrubs and Champion Trees. Deep-rooted, some of these botanical residents are over 100 years old. You can also see 46 of the 50 Kurume azaleas in the garden, as well as Jurassic-esque soft tree ferns.

Looking forward to tracing the footpaths of the best gardens in Cornwall? Discover our luxury collection of cottages in Cornwall.


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