Regardless of the season you visit, there are some fantastic Cornish gardens and outdoor spaces to visit at any time of year. Whether you are looking for a picnic spot, a romantic walk or excellent family days out and events in South Cornwall, autumn is one of the best times to visit.
Whilst things may start to feel cooler, many of our guests secretly prefer to visit in the latter months of the year. The climate tends to stay mild here at Talland Bay, and you can kiss goodbye to crowds and queues at local beaches and attractions. Pet owners will also be delighted to see that dog friendly places to visit are also prominent, with most Cornish outdoor attractions welcoming your four-legged best friend.
Here are six delightfully original locations to earmark for your next visit, complete with official website links to provide ticket prices, opening times and other essential information:
Lanhydrock (Bodmin PL30 5AD)
With enchanting gardens and ivy-clad turrets, this is a real gem among Cornish National Trust properties. Its grounds and quarters wouldn’t look out of place in a BBC costume drama, while the history of the place has as much tragedy and interest as any work of fiction. Collections of letters, artefacts and period treasures are particularly illuminating; from wartime items to a book that once belonged to Henry VIII! It is also a well thought out family attraction, with a play area and special trail for younger guests.
Perfect for: Guided tours, heritage fans, families with kids.
Open all year? Yes, with some winter restrictions.
Dog friendly: Walking areas and gardens, yes, but only guide dogs inside the property.
Cotehele Mill and Gardens (Saltash PL12 6TA)
Another unsung location that is beautiful and peaceful in the autumn, Cotehele packs a great deal of nature and history all into one pretty National Trust site. Besides exploring the old mill and authentically presented stories of past generations, garden lovers will adore the grounds, orchards and medieval pond. Relax with a cream tea and it can be hard to imagine that this was once a bustling place of commerce, with paddle steamers and ships shifting produce up and down the Tamar.
Perfect for: Walks, heritage exhibits, cream teas.
Open all year: Yes, except Christmas period.
Dog Friendly? Only in the wider estate; guide dogs only in main house and gardens.
Hidden Valley Gardens (Treesmill, Near Par - PL24 2TU)
One for the keen gardener or horticulturalist, this excellent little site reveals some twenty-six beds and borders with something colourful and current at most times of year. The onsite shop is especially popular place to visit for any guest with green fingers, selling various unusual plants and seeds. Open from late March to Mid October and located near Falmouth, it is also a child and dog friendly outdoor attraction. Perhaps not a day out in its own right, but a very welcome detour for lunch or a leisurely potter around on any given afternoon.
Perfect for: Gardeners, botanists.
Open all year? Yes
Dog friendly? Yes
Pencarrow House & Gardens (Bodmin PL30 3AG)
Image Credit: W Glock/ Wikimedia Commons
A fantastically preserved Georgian mansion, Pencarrow will appeal to both culture vultures and lovers of the outdoors, especially on the cusp of autumn when the colours are rich and abundant. The house itself has more than a little grandeur, with decadent Greek and Roman style adornments typical of its era, while rare paintings and artefacts will also appeal to English heritage fans. But equally timeless are fine views and botanical treasures galore in the gardens. It is also one of those great places to bring the dog for a day out, with no shortage of space to run around.
Perfect for: Art lovers, photography, dog walking.
Open all year: Until end of September; gardens still open and accessible through October.
Dog Friendly? In the outer grounds, yes. Not in the house.
Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary and Garden (St Martins, Looe PL13 1NZ)
Image credit: Keith Richards Photography
Situated just east of Looe, this site brings together an ever-lively collection of primates along with some lovely grounds to wander at your leisure. Enclosures are well thought out, with plenty to learn as well as enjoy on site; the centre acts as a sanctuary for over 30 rescued animals at a time, all with their unique traits and personalities.
Nor is it all about monkeying around however; there are some lovely wild walks and a fascinating bat area to explore while you’re here, along with plenty to keep the kids happy. For those who want to get closer to the animals, special experience days can also be arranged, allowing guests special access and a keeper-eye-view of the park.
Perfect for: Families and monkey-nuts of all ages.
Open all year: Open all summer (except Fridays). Weekend opening only in Oct.
Dog Friendly: No dogs in the main sanctuary sadly. Although provision can be made to leave dogs in the café area (do contact the site first on 01503 262532).
The Sculpture Gardens at Talland Bay Hotel
Located near Looe on the spectacular coast of South East Cornwall, our sculpture garden at Talland Bay Hotel is always a huge hit with visitors! Featuring work from various local and national artists, you are sure to notice something new on every visit, whether it is a classical statue or a row of giant budgerigars (see our gallery section for further features and hotel highlights).
Why not come and join us for an excellent meal or short break and investigate for yourself? On a sunny day, it is also the perfect place to stop for afternoon tea or a cocktail. See our main site and Facebook page for further details and updates, along with special seasonal offers and late deals in Cornwall. You’ll find several further classic gardens to visit and big name visitor sites such as The Eden Project in our area guide for visitors, along with our special Garden Break Offer.