30 minute gardens
30 minute gardens
Green and gorgeous gardens are our speciality here in Cornwall. Colourful blooms, lush exotics and unique species love our peninsula location as much as we do. A massive 70+ gardens flourish across the county and nine of the best are just a mere 30 minutes from our front door…
1. Lost Gardens of Heligan - 0 minutes Our neighbour, name sake and best buddy; we sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the fabulous Lost Gardens of Heligan, in fact we’re part of the original Heligan Estate. Lose yourself in the 200 acres and discover Victorian productive gardens, winding paths laid out over two centuries ago and beautiful pleasure gardens. The Jungle takes you on a sub-tropical journey through bamboo tunnels and under majestic tree ferns, giant rhubarb and bananas, whilst the estate reveals a lost world of traditional and rare breeds, wildlife and ancient woodlands.
2. Caerhays Castle and Gardens – 15 minutes The 140 acre spring gardens of Caerhays originated from the work of plant hunters in China at the start of the 20th century. Caerhays bred the very first x williamsii camellias and is today the home of a Plant Heritage National Collection of Magnolias containing over 600 species and named hybrids from around the world. The gardens have an international reputation and are open in the spring when you can also visit the castle, walk in the grounds and enjoy the stunning beaches and coastal paths which make up the estate.
3. Poppy Cottage Garden – 20 minutes Small but perfectly formed, Poppy Cottage Garden is an inspirational plantsman's garden that feels like it could be yours. Seek it out on the beautiful Roseland Peninsula and discover an acre of effusive planting and themed borders in a series of individual garden rooms with central lawns, colour themed borders and sunny nooks. There’s also a small orchard, tea room and plant sales.
4. Pinetum Gardens – 20 minutes Relatively unknown and yet possibly one of Cornwall's loveliest gardens, Pinetum is 30 acres of well-maintained and manicured gardens, offering 12 different garden styles and nearly 6000 varieties of plants. A place of tranquillity, peace and remarkable garden scenery, the family-owned garden offers an intimate experience with a personal touch and has been lovingly created over the past four decades.
5. Trewidden Gardens – 20 minutes
Home to the same family for more than 300 years and an International Camellia Garden of Excellence - one of only 39 gardens in the world – Trewithen Garden is praised for its horticulture, Champion Trees and intriguing pathways. There’s rare shrubs, exotic fern collections, woodland glades, wildflowers and the longest lawn in Cornwall!
6. Eden Project – 25 minutes
This garden on magnificent scale needs no introduction. What was once a sterile clay mine is now a vibrant global garden, brimming with plants, sculptures and play equipment. The famous Eden Project biomes in which exotic plants and flowers from around the world thrive, have been lauded on an international stage since bursting onto the gardens scene in 2001, while the 20 acre outdoor gardens educate and delight in equal measure.
7. Marsh Villa Gardens – 25 minutes A small but richly interesting three acre water and woodland garden, Marsh Villa is the product of over 30 years of hard work. It has been transformed from its position on a former tidal creek into a part manicured, part wild, oasis of calm. There’s inspiring displays of herbaceous borders, a wide range of plants and flowers, and jungle walks. Call into the small self-service tea room and pop some money in the honesty box to brew yourself a cuppa and sample the homemade cakes!
8. Hidden Valley Garden – 30 minutes Another intimate three acre garden but uniquely different, Hidden Valley Garden is, as the name suggests, nestled in a secluded hidden valley. Track it down near Par and discover colourful herbaceous and cottage garden beds, Japanese and Mediterranean areas and a specialist plant nursery. There’s also a Fairy Well, fruit area and fernery.
9. Lanhydrock Garden – 35 minutes We’re cheating with this one as Lanhydrock is actually a 35 minute drive from Heligan Caravan and Camping but for a garden this spectacular we can overlook five minutes. Owned and managed by the National Trust, Lanhydrock garden is home to a magnificent late Victorian country house and is nestled amongst a 1,000 acre wooded estate.
With beautiful herbaceous borders, a fabulous formal parterre and colourful higher gardens filled with camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons, the extensive gardens enjoy year-round colour. The estate, with ancient woodlands and tranquil riverside paths, is well worth exploring too and don’t miss a chance to peek inside the house where you can discover two sides of Victorian life. From the kitchens, nurseries and servants' quarters, which offer a thrilling glimpse into life 'below stairs', to the luxurious family areas, elegant dining room and spacious bedrooms which reveal the comforts of ‘upstairs’ living.
Please check opening times before visiting as some gardens are only open for a couple of months each year.