The Lost Gardens of Heligan has to be one of our favourite places to visit in Cornwall. We visited last year, and we all loved it, and I was so excited to return, with Max being that bit older, and to see it at a different time of year. We visited this year at the end of September, and the gardens were still looking fabulous, with some amazing autumn displays.
Located near Megavissey, the gardens had been a hugely impressive part of the Tremayne estate, producing fruit and vegetables for the household, as well as the formal gardens themselves. But they fell into disrepair after WWI when most of their gardeners were called up to fight in the war, and were rediscovered in 1990 and restored.
The Mud Maid and Mud Head are one of the first things you come across and a lovely welcome to Heligan.
We didn’t venture into the jungle last time, so it was one area that I was really keen to see this time around. We encountered huge ferns, exotic plants, stepping stones, and wooden bridges. We gave the big wooden rope bridge a miss as it was a bit too much of a challenge for Max, but it looked wonderful for older children (and adults too!)
The vegetable gardens were a real highlight at this time of year, with an absolutely stunning harvest display, as well as numerous crops still growing. So many beautiful colours on show!
I’ve always had a fascination with Victorian glasshouses – there’s something so old fashioned and beautiful about them. I love the whiteness, the airiness, the intricate ironwork on the grating, the pulley systems for opening the windows. Heligan does a glasshouse so well and there are lots of different ones to mooch around and make me wish we had the space and budget for something like this in our own back garden. There were melon houses, geranium houses, and hot houses – all of which made a great space for Max to explore.
The Grotto had been a real favourite for Max on our last visit, and it was even more of a hit this time. He loved the little caves and was off playing hide and seek through them.
I loved our return visit to The Lost Gardens of Heligan every bit as much as our first time. We’ve now seen the gardens in spring and autumn – I feel our next visit needs to be in summer!
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan, St.Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6EN
Tel: +44(0)1726 845100
Open every day (except Christmas Day) from 10:00 – 18:00 throughout spring and summer
Children: £6 (under 5’s free)