The five best Gardens in Cornwall
There’s something special about Cornwall’s coastal gardens, with the scent of salt in the air and palm trees surrounded by fragrant blooms. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, spring arrives earlier here than the rest of the UK and we often see daffodils peeping from their beds before January is even out. The sheltered, south-facing gardens at Talland Bay Hotel are perfectly situated for soaking up any early sunshine, or why not head out to explore the great gardens of Cornwall to marvel at spring in all its glory. Here are five of our favourites.
Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan mark their 30thanniversary this year. It’s hard to believe that these enchanting gardens were lost for decades amongst the brambles until Tim Smit discovered a door in the ruins that led to Europe’s largest garden restoration project. Today Heligan is recognised as one of the UK’s favourite horticultural spots. Spring is a glorious time to visit: the gardens hold National Collection status for the 350 ancient rhododendrons, which typically flower between April and May.
The Eden Project
The iconic biomes might be the main draw at Cornwall’s Eden Project, but the outdoor gardens are a spectacular sight, particularly in the spring. Take a wander on a balmy day to enjoy the sculptures sitting amongst eye-catching blooms, from hyacinth to magnolias, colourful tulips and crab apple blossom. An inspiring range of vegetables is grown here too.
The 30-acre Pinetum Gardens in the heart of St Austell were designed as a place for all seasons and are home to one of the largest plant collections in Cornwall. The site comprises several gardens within one. Visitors in spring can marvel at the rhododendrons in the Arboretum and magnolias in the more formal Courtyard Garden with its profusions of flowers.
Lanhydrock National Trust
The late Victorian country house of Lanhydrock boasts extensive gardens with year-round colour. Stroll around the Higher Gardens for a riot of white and pink magnolias as well as rhododendrons in spring. Come a little later for bluebells in the Woodland Garden and tulips in the ‘parterre’ formal garden. The estate also has beautiful ancient woodlands and riverside paths to explore.
Mount Edgcumbe Country Park has arguably one of the most scenic settings in Cornwall, boasting 865 acres on the Rame Peninsula overlooking Plymouth Sound. As well as wide-ranging parkland there are formal gardens, woodland and coastal walks. The park includes the National Camellia Collection as well as some stunning rhododendrons and magnolias.
Ready to enjoy Cornwall’s gardens for yourself? A three-night spring break costs from £680 for two, including accommodation in a Classic Sea View Room (mid-week, weekends available at extra cost), dinner each evening, Talland Bay Hotel own-blend gin and tonic on arrival, afternoon tea on one day and breakfast each day as well as tickets to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Dogs stay free. Valid 1 March – 31 May 2022 (excluding Easter).