Gardens in Cornwall are impacted by the Gulf Stream which plays an important part in the weather we get in the region. Its warming influence means that rare and unusual plants can thrive here where they can’t in the rest of the British Isles.
There are many interesting gardens in Cornwall to visit and they make for some of the best attractions in the county. Here’s a list of our top eight gardens, chosen because they all offer something very different, and if you'd like to stay nearby, hit the button below to discover our places to stay.
This magical valley garden near Falmouth runs down a lush valley to a private beach. It has a stunning coastal backdrop and is open all year round.
Trebah Garden is a family and dog-friendly, sub-tropical garden that has about 4 miles of footpaths including special children’s trails. It is home to the Chusan Palm and at 50 feet, is recognised as the tallest in the UK. And if you're feeling peckish, its award-winning café serves a range of home-cooked, seasonal food.
Bonython Estate Walled Garden
Bonython Estate Gardens are open Monday to Friday from April through to September (closed on bank holidays), and have a South African twist. The estate on the Lizard Peninsula and the 20 acres of gardens includes an orchard, woodland, a lake, a tree fern and rhododendron dell as well as a herb garden.
The whole garden is accessible by wheelchairs and a thatched summerhouse overlooks the lake where tea and homemade cakes are the order of the day.
Probably the best-known garden in the South West, the Eden Project is open all year round and is located near St Austell. It includes the Rainforest and the Mediterranean Biomes, the world’s largest greenhouses.
The attraction explores how people can work with nature and make changes to preserve our planet. There is always lots to do for the children and the site is easily accessible for all. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas and there are plenty of food and drink options.
A look around the private Tregothnan Estate, near Truro, will be a day to remember as it is home to England’s only tea plantation.
Its micro-climate, on the banks of the River Fal, has enabled many extraordinary fruit trees and rare plants to thrive including camellia sinensis. Private garden visits can be arranged or you can book one of the monthly tours on their website.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
After decades of neglect, The Lost Gardens of Heligan were unveiled in 1992. Today, you can see the towering bamboo, giant rhubarb, ancient woodlands, sub-tropical jungle and banana plantations.
Heligan is open all year round, dogs on short leads are welcome, and there is disabled access. Produce grown at Heligan is delivered to the Heligan Kitchen where it is used in the daily lunchtime menu, for you to round off the perfect outdoor adventure with a tasty treat.
Constructed in three separate stages, the design of Lamorran House Gardens showcases a Mediterranean and water-feature garden. You’ll spot rhododendrons, camellias and azalea flowers during the spring months. But as Lamorran is home to over 200 palms and a tree fern collection, there’s plenty to see all year including jasmines, fuchsias, citrus plants, banana trees, agaves, yuccas and more!
Strolling through the woodland to the Japanese water garden, you’ll come across exotic temple structures and archways - take a moment to look out at the spectacular view over the bay.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is nestled in a sheltered valley near Penzance and is the perfect spot for large-scale exotic and sub-tropical planting.
Such a dramatic landscape provides the ideal backdrop to inspirational artworks from internationally renowned artists such as James Turrell and David Nash. Tremenheere has its sculpture gardens, a gallery, shop, nursery and restaurant.
Tresco Abbey Garden
If you’re thinking of taking a quick trip from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly during your trip to Cornwall, then the Tresco Abbey Garden is a gem. The abbey was created in 1834 and has since been home to an extraordinary collection of plants from throughout the world.
Meander through the “Higher and Lower Australia”, “Mexico” and “South Africa Cliff” garden zones to experience palms, bamboo, cacti, echium, agapanthus, flame trees and king proteas. We recommend lingering in the garden’s Valhalla Museum. This is a unique collection of figureheads from ancient shipwrecks on show in a quiet corner of the garden.
Map of the best gardens to visit in Cornwall
Stay with us in Cornwall
Whatever time of year you are thinking about visiting Cornwall, there is always a wide range of gardens to visit. We have hundreds of holiday cottages throughout Cornwall, so pick your favourite today and explore these wonderful gardens for yourself.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.