The Lost Gardens of Heligan are one of those places you must visit. We picked up a local pass for the price of one entry so will be going back again and again for the next twelve months! The expanse and variety of the gardens is wonderful, completely exceeding any expectations we had.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan have been owned by the Tremayne family for over 400 years and during the 18th and 19th centuries were a thriving self-sufficient community. After World War one where many of the staff lost their lives the gardens became ‘lost’, a forgotten part of the South Cornish countryside.
In 1990 a family descendant rediscovered the beauty of Heligan and began the mammoth task of restoration with ongoing developments into what can be seen today…
The Woodland Walk
There’s over 200 acres of woodland, gardens and greenery at Heligan with the Woodland Walk beginning as you enter the gardens. You will see the iconic statues as you walk down into the valley with the Bee Observation Hive and Insect Hotel on the way. The Mud Maid was created from timbers and mud by local artists, who then used ivy to clothe her. There’s a local childrens book which has been written, so if you’ve got little ones with you then pick up a copy from the Heligan shop on the way out.
As you make your way along the Georgian Ride the path leads you towards the Lost Valley and The Jungle.
This area of dense tropical plants is found between the East and West lawns. The main attraction here is the Burma Rope Bridge, which during peak times can have waiting times of 30 minutes to cross. Visit early or late in the day if you’re visiting the Lost Gardens of Heligan during school holidays.
As you make your way down the valley you will pass the Fern Gulley and make your way down to the Charcoal Sculpture at the beginning of the Lost Valley. There are many pathways to follow around this are of the gardens with most of the paths leading back up the steep valley sides towards the Home Farm and Heligan House.
We stopped off at the Stewards House cafe for lunch, with some delicious snacks on offer. We sampled the sandwiches, sausage rolls and pasties, as well as some of the cake selection and can recommend it all!
There lots of tables inside and out so this is a good place to head for a mid-way break and refreshment.
The Hide and Farm Animals
Heligan is home to rare and heritage breeds of pigs, sheep, cattle and poultry in one corner of the gardens. There’s lots of educational tools with The Barn available for children to learn more about Heligan.
From The Hide you can see lots of different types of wildlife on offer with well placed feeding stations welcoming flying visitors. There’s lots of information and videos about the variety of animals that can be found in The Lost Gardens of Heligan. We spotted several pheasants on our visit, but deer, foxes and badgers can all be found too.
Here you can see the history of Heligan in all its glory. From historic glass houses, the Melon Yard and Thunderbox room, to the Kitchen Garden, Flower Garden and Floras Green. There’s lots of places to sit and admire the gardens with something different to discover around every corner.
This part of Heligan will look so different throughout the seasons with different flowers and vegetable each showing off their unique colours through the year. We cannot wait to return in Spring!
Visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan website for more information. They are open from 10am until 5pm for October – March, and from 10am until 6pm for April – September.
Find them at Pentewan, St Austell PL26 6EN.
There’s lots more Cornish Days Out to be discovered…
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