The BEST Gardens to Explore in Cornwall
With tropical flora and fauna, a grand Victorian house, inspiring sculpture and even an outdoor jungle, the gardens of Cornwall are sure to impress during a day out together, whatever the season! Take a break from paddling in the surf to appreciate nature in a different way, by marveling at the huge variety of botanicals thriving in the microclimate landscape.
Here are our favourite Cornish gardens and the reasons why you should visit them.
This National Trust property boasts extensive grounds, and a magnificent house steeped in history where you can immerse yourself in times gone by. Take a peek into the lives of the Robartes family, explore the sprawling rooms where they once dined and entertained, and learn about the impressive Victorian, kitchen technology.
In the open, you can spot plenty of wildlife whilst exploring your chosen route through 900 acres of the historic estate, on foot or by bike should you wish to hire them. Enjoy short, circular walks or ramble further to discover the forgotten swimming pool, and pretty woodland along the River Fowey.
You may even come away with a new holiday read, thanks to their second-hand bookshop, and a great way to finish the day is with a cream tea in the Stables café. Come rain or come shine, there’s plenty for you to make a day of it.
How far from Wooda? 50 minutes by car
A hidden gem nestled in the village of St Mawgan, this garden’s speciality is east meets west. The founders lovingly developed the gardens over a number of years, using a mixture of man-made and natural elements including numerous varieties of plants native to Japan. Koi Carp dance in the pools and statues sit proudly amongst such beauty.
Feel a sense of calm as you behold water features, wind chimes, and a Zen philosophy whilst wandering through this tranquil space. See the tree’s true architecture in winter, and the show-stopping Japanese Maples in the fall, when the leaves are painted bold oranges and gold, almost too vivid to seem true.
If you’ve ever considered becoming the owner of a Bonsai tree, this would be your place to learn about them too. Some time spent here is certainly good for the soul.
How far from Wooda? 60 minutes by car
Heligan is known for being one of the finest gardens in England, and for good reason. After years of lying dormant, it was awakened and lovingly restored back to its former glory, which predated WW1.
You could lose many an hour here, getting lost in the magic of this unique place. Enjoy forest bathing in the ancient woodlands and discovering where the famed sculptures reside, and maybe lost relations of the Wooda pixie family! Descend into the jungle for a sense of adventure, crossing the 100-foot high rope bridge and walking amongst giant rhubarb and the banana plantation. Amble along a network of historic pathways in the pleasure grounds, dotted with a range of romantic structures and ‘the finest herbaceous border in Britain’.
Heligan is also home to rare breed farm animals, and prides itself on educating visitors about where our food comes from. If this leaves you hungry, you can head to the bakery for homemade cakes! A wonderful day for all, including the dog.
How far from Wooda? 1 hour 20 minutes by car
Trebah is a magnificent 26-acre ravine garden with a vast array of rare and exotic plants and trees. The wonderful planting is helpfully labelled, but should you wish to know more, you could book on to a two-hour guided tour with an experienced Horticulturalist. The Water Garden is built around a natural spring, which cascades down into a series of pools and boasts a ‘Monet-esque’ view upward.
If you’re missing the ocean hues, these gardens even have their own secluded, shingle beach! Polgwidden Cove is perfect for rock pooling and picnicking, and don’t forget your swimwear just in case the conditions are perfect for a dip.
Their website has a helpful flower guide so you can see what is in bloom and when from ginger lily to Crocosmia. The hydrangeas in September are especially impressive. There’s also a play area, café, shop and plant centre.
How far from Wooda? 1 hour 40 minutes by car
This natural playground is a lesser-known spot in a sleepy corner of Devon, and it’s well worth a visit. The clue is in the name as to what makes it special, the impressive array of sculptures. Set within the wider Broomhill Estate, the gardens are home to over 200 different, sculptures, guaranteed to spark conversation and the interest of young and old. The bronze pieces by Carol Peace are particularly beautiful. Don’t forget to bring your camera or sketchpad, as there will be plenty of opportunities.
In-between contemplating the quirky pieces of art, you can kick up the leaves whilst wandering through the trees. There are 12 acres of woodland and many pathways that meander down to a babbling river.
You can also head inside two galleries, and stay for lunch. The food has rave reviews, so why not couple your day tickets with a reservation for dinner at the award-winning restaurant?
How far from Wooda? 60 minutes by car