Cornish Gardens and Historic Houses
The mild Cornish climate means that South East Cornwall boasts a wide selection of stunning gardens which are open to the public. For a full list of gardens, see www.visitcornwall.com/things-to-do/gardens
Cotehele – St Dominick – (4 miles)
One of the finest Tudor houses in the country, at the heart of this riverside estate the house at Cotehele was mainly built between 1485 and 1627 and was a home of the Edgcumbe family for centuries. Its granite and slate stone walls contain chambers adorned with tapestries, original furniture and armour. Outside, the formal gardens overlook the richly planted valley garden below, with medieval dovecote, stewpond and Victorian summer house, and 18th-century tower. At the Quay there are interesting old buildings housing an art and craft gallery and an outstation of the National Maritime Museum. The restored Tamar sailing barge Shamrock is moored alongside.
• Access – Partly accessible (lots of stairs in this old house). Wheelchair route maps of the gardens available. Adapted toilets close to car park. Wheelchairs available for visitor use. Note that there is no electric light in the house so it is recommended to avoid dull days early and late in the season.
T 01579 351346 SN PL12 6TA W www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele
Anthony House and Gardens, Torpoint (13 miles) – beautiful National Trust house bordering the Lynher, with gardens by Repton, this is where Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was filmed. Woodland garden (not National Trust) • Access – Antony has accessible facilities and most areas are accessible.
T 01752 812191 SN PL11 2QA W www.nationaltrust.org.uk/antony
Mount Edgcumbe House & Country Park
Originally built by the Edgcumbe family in 1550 and described by Samuel Pepys in 1683 as “the most beautiful place as ever was seen”, Mount Edgcumbe is a fascinating house set in stunning grounds, with a collection of paintings and tapestries. The house is open April to September, between 11.00am and 4.30pm from Sunday to Thursday (closed Friday and Saturday). You can now also experience riding a Segway around Mount Edgcumbe!
• Access – Trampers are available at Mount Edgcumbe. Most parts are accessible, and there are accessible toilets. Dogs allowed on a lead in the gardens (not the house).
T 01752 822236 SN PL10 1HZ W www.mountedgcumbe.gov.uk
Boconnoc Gardens, Lostwithiel
Three miles east of Lostwithiel, Boconnoc can trace its history back to the Normans. Eventually, the estate was bequeathed to the Fortescue family, who still own it.The most prominent monument is the Obelisk, which is 123 feet high and was erected in 1771 by Thomas Pitt, 1st Lord Camelford, in memory of his wife’s uncle and benefactor, Sir Richard Lyttelton. There are approximately 100 head of deer in the Deer Park contained within the grounds and also a garden of 20 acres, which is open in the spring for various charities. Boconnoc House and Park have been used for numerous film locations including the BBC ‘Poldark‘ series and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘My Cousin Rachel‘. Interesting Steam Fair in July every year, and Garden open days.
T 01208 872507 SN PL22 0RQ W www.boconnoc.com
Lanhydrock – Bodmin (01208 73320) – 25 miles
“One of the most fascinating late 19th-century houses in England”, Lanhydrock is full of period atmosphere and the trappings of a high Victorian country house. Although the gatehouse and north wing (with magnificent 32yd-long gallery with plaster ceiling) survive from the 17th century, the rest of the house was rebuilt following a disastrous fire in 1881. The garden features a stunning collection of magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias, and offers fine colours right through into autumn. All this is set in a glorious estate of 900 acres of woods and parkland running down to the River Fowey.
• Access – Wheelchair access to building. Accessible loos available. Gardens have some loose gravel paths, but a map of accessible routes is available.
T 01208 265950 SN PL30 5AD W www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lanhydrock
Lost Gardens of Heligan – Mevagissey (40 miles)
The award winning Lost Gardens of Heligan extend to some eighty acres of “superb pleasure grounds” together with a magnificent complex of walled gardens and a huge, productive vegetable garden, all fast returning to their former glory. Lying at the heart of one of the most mysterious estates in England, Heligan, the former seat of the Tremayne family, is now the site of the largest garden restoration in Europe. It has an extraordinary plant collection together with a range of exotic glasshouses, working buildings, romantic structures and designed landscapes.
• Access – Wheelchair access maps provided. Accessible toilets, and a Changing Places toilet with tracked hoist and adult changing bench. Accessible parking. Induction loop; large print information.
T 01726 845100 SN PL26 6EN W www.heligan.com
The Eden Project – Bodelva, St Austell (37 miles)
If you’ve never heard of the world-renowned Eden Project, it’s pretty difficult to describe adequately. An fabulous array of gardens, including an indoor rainforest and Mediterranean garden in the biomes, but also amazing buildings, sculpture, art and architecture. Just go and see! Only closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
• Access – fully accessible. A number of power chairs are available (book in advance).
T 01726 811911 SN PL24 2SG W www.edenproject.com
Headland Garden, Polruan
With magnificent views over the open sea, Headland Garden is an idyllic garden carved out of layers of rock and has a cove which is ideal for swimming. Headland Garden is open May to September, 2.00pm – 6.00pm, and all money goes to charity.
T 01726 870243 SN PL23 1PW W www.headlandgarden.co.uk
Ince Castle Gardens, Saltash
Three miles south west of Saltash, south of A38. A five acre garden taking in woodlands, borders, orchard, bulbs and shell house, with lovely views of River Lynher. Check website for opening dates.
SN PL12 4QZ W www.incecastle.co.uk
Ken Caro Gardens, Bicton, Nr Liskeard
In the village of Pensilva, 5 miles north east of Liskeard. Two acres mostly planted in 1970, with a further two acre extension in 1993. A well-designed and labelled plantsman’s garden filled with rhododendrons, flowering shrubs, conifers and other trees. Panoramic views, a collection of aviary birds and plants for sale. Open from February – September
• Access – There is limited disabled access. Cream teas are available.
T 01579 362446 SN PL14 5RF W www.visitthecornishriviera.co.uk
Moyclare Garden, Lodge Hill, Liskeard
Moyclare’s one acre garden contains rare and unusual plants and shrubs, many of which are variegated, some are no longer available commercially. The Moyclare Pink broom and the astrantia Moyra Reid originated in the garden, which is open regularly to the public and which has been televised often in the past. Worth a visit early in the year – the camellias begin to bloom as early as January in a mild winter and azaleas often last until June. Open by appointment only.
• Access – Disabled access.
T 01579-343114 SN PL14 4EH W www.moyclare.co.uk
Mary Newman’s Cottage, Culver Road, Saltash.
A quarter of a mile from Saltash town centre, near t he Waterside, this was allegedly the childhood home of Mary Newman, the first wife of Sir Francis Drake. The grade II listed cottage is a perfect example of 15th century domestic architecture, little altered over the centuries with a reconstructed Tudor herb garden. Open May-Sept on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Easter & Bank Holidays.
• Access – Wheelchair accessible
T 01752 844846 SN PL12 4DS W www.museumsincornwall.org.uk/
– See more at: Kernock_things_to_do