When Cornwall springs to mind, it’s often thanks to its glorious beaches, popular coast path or world-famous pasties; not its awe-inspiring gardens.
The problem? It absolutely should be. Cornwall boasts some of the most stunning gardens in the UK, particularly thanks to its sub-tropical climate, which means many plants thrive here that can’t necessarily grow elsewhere.
Spring and summer are the best times to see them, so don’t miss out! Here, we’ve outlined our top five best gardens in Cornwall – from dog-friendly gardens to gardens with beaches, lose yourself in botanical bliss, straight from our doorstep.
Trebah Gardens, nr Falmouth
Dubbed a ‘sub-tropical paradise’, Trebah Gardens claims four miles of footpaths, which meander through exotic plants and trees before reaching a private sandy beach on the edge of the Helford River.
On your visit, embrace the solitude of this peaceful place, where there’s plenty of space to get lost under the trees. Enjoy views over the treetops or while away with the afternoon on the beach with a book in hand.
With a unique outdoor theatre, café and plant shop, it has everything you need for a memorable visit, just minutes from the hub of Falmouth.
Trelissick Gardens, nr Truro
Cared for by the National Trust, Trelissick House and Gardens sits on the edge of the River Fal. One of Cornwall’s most historic gardens, the house was originally built in the 1750s and still commands an impactful view from the river, thanks to its hilltop elevation.
In fact, it’s from the house here that guests can enjoy unbeatable maritime views before wandering the winding woodland paths or enjoying a break on the formal front lawn.
From its heady scent of magnolias in spring to its abundance of wildlife year-round, there’s plenty to see and do no matter the weather. Don’t forget to pop your head into the second-hand bookshop – all proceeds go directly into funding conservation projects at the site.
Lost Garden of Heligan, St Austell
Touted as Europe’s largest garden restoration, The Lost Gardens of Heligan inspires a world of nostalgia and adventure thanks to its romantic history.
Once lost to time, these now iconic gardens were rediscovered and restored just three decades ago, and today offer more than 200 acres of woodland, paths and gardens for the avid adventurer, wildlife lover or garden fanatic to explore.
While here, discover the Victorian Productive Gardens and Pleasure Grounds, found along paths laid out more than 200 years ago; journey to the Jungle, where you can indulge on a sub-tropical adventure through bamboo tunnels and giant rhubarb, or unveil a world of wildlife and ancient woodlands.
A garden for all seasons, enjoy a different experience with every visit.
Glendurgan Garden, nr Falmouth
Another sub-tropical gem, Glendurgan Garden can be found just above the picturesque hamlet of Durgan on the Helford River.
With three garden valleys that run down into one and eventually meet the water’s edge, enjoy a beautiful and intriguing collection of plants and trees, all interspersed with wildflower meadows, at this popular garden location.
This National Trust garden is also famous for its laurel maze, which was designed by Alfred Fox back in 1833 – and we highly recommend popping into the tea-house for a proper Cornish cream tea on your way out!
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance
Tucked away in a sheltered valley on the edge of Penzance, you’ll find the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, overlooking the historic castle of St Michael’s Mount.
Unlike many of the other gardens on this list, Tremenheere is particularly celebrated for its inspiring sculpture pieces, created by internationally renowned artists from Cornwall and beyond.
Revel in the dramatic landscaping on your visit and discover art like never before. With its protected location and less traditional design, this garden is one of Cornwall’s most unique year-round outdoor attractions.
Discover more when you stay at The Plume of Feathers
These might be our top five favourite gardens in Cornwall, but they’re not the only ones. On this distinct list of gardens, you’ll find a Cornish garden for every botanical taste.
And where better to base yourself to see them, than in the heart of Cornwall? Here at the Plume of Feathers, our gardens are woven with wild flowers, our stylish suites are just steps from the cosy pub… and you can even bring the dog! We’re just minutes by car from some of Cornwall’s most popular garden attractions, so you never have to travel far.
And, no matter what the weather, rest assured you can snuggle between Egyptian cotton sheets, or soak away the day in a free-standing bath when you book a room at the Plume.