Explore all the horticultural treasures in Cornwall’s glorious gardens.
Cornwall’s uniquely mild climate and dramatic landscape offers visitors a chance to explore rare and exotic horticultural finds in breathtaking locations. With everything from manicured lawns, to wild flower gardens there’s something for all tastes so scroll down and discover Cornwall’s best gardens…
Trebah Gardens is a sub-tropical paradise set within the beautiful coastal backdrop of Helford Passage, just south of Falmouth. Trebah’s four miles of footpaths send visitors meandering under canopies bursting with exotic blooms, to their secluded beach on the Helford River. Open all year round, Trebah is family and dog friendly garden with adventure play areas, children’s trails and special events.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens are beautiful, sheltered gardens set in a valley just outside of Penzance in West Cornwall. The valley, which is surrounded by woods, streams and a dramatic vista, provides the perfect setting for this 22 acre exotic garden. The garden also features internationally renowned artists such as James Turrell and David Nash RA, who have created site-specific permanent works that harmonise with the landscape.
Cotehele House and Gardens, Saltash
Cotehele is a wonderfully preserved Tudor house with extensive and beautiful gardens, situated deep within the Tamar Valley. Open all year round, the gardens span over 14 acres and have over 12 different areas to explore from the wild Vallery Garden, to the old orchard. One of Cotehele’s most prominent features is the Cotehele Quay, home of the restored Tamar sailing barge Shamrock and the Edgecoombe tearoom.
Trelissick House and Gardens is nestled at the head of the Fal Estuary, and boasts spectacular views and a vast array of plant species. Positioned right on the water’s edge, you can catch the ferry from Truro, Falmouth or the Roseland Peninsula to land at this waterside estate. This 40 acre garden is a all year round display of colourful blooms, noted for its camellias, rhododendrons and a collection of photinia and azaleas.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Mevagissey
The Lost Gardens of Heligan is one of the most mysterious estates in English history. A genuine secret garden, it was lost for decades, and only rediscovered in 1990 by Tim Smit and John Willis. The 200 acre garden is now a paradise that takes you on a sub-tropical journey through bamboo tunnels, majestic tree ferns and ancient woodlands.
Trewithen Gardens, set just a few miles north east of Cornwall’s capital, has 30 acres of surrounding woodland gardens and more than two hundred acres of parkland. Revered as a masterpiece of landscape gardening, Trewithen’s south-facing great glade was developed at the time of the great plant hunting expeditions between 1910 and 1932. Expect to see some of the finest magnolia trees in the country and an abundance of native wildlife.
Glendurgan Garden, Falmouth
Glendurgan is a thriving sub-tropical garden that runs down a valley to the Helford River, at the fishing village of Durgan. Set less than a mile away from Trebah, Glendurgan boasts beautiful blooms in every season. The garden is an enchanting display of rare and exotic shrubs and one of the most exciting features is the cherry laurel maze dating back to 1833.
Trengwainton Garden, Penzance
Trengwainton Gardens offers stunning views across Mounts Bay as well as an abundance of exotic trees and shrubs in a garden nestled in the Penwith countryside, just outside of Penzance. The walled garden grows a host of rare horticultural finds such as styrax, eucryphia, stewartia and the ‘Lobster Claw’ – Clianthus puniceus, as well as hybrids created from plant-hunting expeditions to Assam and Burma.
The Eden Project, St Austell
As one of Cornwall’s most iconic and distinctive attractions, the Eden Project needs no introduction. The rainforest and Mediterranean biomes were just the start of Eden’s journey which now boasts established outdoor gardens, a rainforest canopy walkway, an ice rink, zip wire and arena space.
The Japanese Gardens, Newquay
The Japanese Gardens is a unique horticultural enterprise set in the quaint village of St Mawgan, just a few miles outside of Newquay. Japanese Gardens traditionally strive for perfection and balance, using a combination of man-made & natural elements. The garden is a place of tranquillity with a variety of plants and water features, where visitors can enjoy the wonder of nature in a peaceful, relaxing space.
Tanglewood Gardens, Penzance
Tanglewood Wild Garden is a natural garden and woodland boasting four ponds across its 9 acres. The gardens are kept natural and ‘wild’, with sympathetic planting of native trees mixed with the odd exotic variety, to help encourage bees and butterflies. A popular spot for those looking for peace and tranquillity and a slow meandering walk, Tanglewood also appeals to families looking to enjoy a picnic.
Lanhydrock, near Bodmin, is a magnificent late Victorian country house, gardens and wooded estate. The house is set in wooded parkland of 1,000 acres and encircled by a garden of rare shrubs and trees. Full of wonderful wildlife and winding woodland, there’s plenty to explore at Lanhydrock for all the family.
St Ives Penzance is a carefully curated directory and blog sharing the best places to eat, where to stay and things to do in Cornwall. We’re here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, whether it’s the perfect nearby lunch spot, family friendly things to do in Cornwall, or a luxury hotel for a weekend away. We’re passionate about Cornwall and all it has to offer, so we’re supporting local businesses and sharing the best of the best.