The beautiful Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

posted in: Blog, UK | 16
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On the ropebridge at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
On the ropebridge

Cornwall is known for its beaches, so a visit to a garden might not be the most obvious place you’d think of if you’re holidaying in the area. But we would highly recommend this one – for The Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey in Cornwall, are an absolute gem.

They also have their own fascinating history – originally being part of an estate and then being “lost” for many years around the time of the First World War, and becoming extremely overgrown. They were brought back to life over the last 25 or so years and you can well imagine the amount of work and effort this has taken.

In the trees at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Jess, lost in thought, amidst the trees

The gardens show so many aspects of nature’s beauty and there is so much space to walk (be aware of this if you visit with small children, especially as it does get steep in parts). Whatever you do, don’t miss the “jungle” with its Burmese rope bridge (the only time we had to queue) and incredible range of plants and trees (it’s hot in this bit, so be warned!). There is also a walled “secret” garden, an Italian garden, vegetable garden and more. I loved seeing the poppies and also the views from the Georgian garden, which were gorgeous. There are 200 acres available for your enjoyment, but I think it’s unlikely you’ll manage them all!

Jumping at the Lost Gardens of Heligan,Children of any ages (that included me) will enjoy seeing the animals, especially the piglets. We all laughed when these tiny pigs got excited at the arrival of a tractor (hence food) and went running (and squealing) towards the vehicle in excitement. We also saw emus and sheep plus learnt about the black bees at the bee hives.

By the mud maid at the Lost Gardens of Heligan

The gardens aren’t just a way to see flowers or plants, but there are also little copses and dens to discover, trees to climb and stumps to jump over. Plus there are some wonderful “living” sculptures, the Giant’s Head, Mud Maid and Grey Lady, to be discovered along the Woodland Walk.

There are often activities for kids, so do check this as we went during “The Lost Summer” which was fantastic fun, involving the building of dens (which we finally managed to do with the aid of Jessica) and toasting marshmallows.

Trying to build a den at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Trying to build a den

Talking of food (which we kind of were), there is some good stuff on offer here, with a proper kitchen, plus sandwiches, cakes and ice creams (we had a delicious ice cream on arrival). There’s also a huge plant centre.

We really enjoyed our trip, even though it rained for much of the time. We’d recommend it for ages 7+ (because of the walking) and thought it made a great change to the beach!

Beautiful flowers at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Beautiful flowers

A visit to The Lost Gardens of Heligan is not cheap, but it is special. The gardens are open every day of the year except for Christmas, and a family ticket costs £35 for two adults and up to three children. You can read more about ticketing prices here.

Read about our trip to another special place in Cornwall, The Eden Project and read about all the things we got up to in Cornwall (and watch our video!)

This week we’ve teamed up with Country Kids from Coombe Mill so zip over there to see lots more outdoors fun!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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16 Responses

  1. Zena's Suitcase

    I really like the look of this place, I would definitely visit with the family if I was in the area. I love your pictures, you children look like they had an amazing time

  2. Claudia

    These gardens look lovely! Especially the red crocosmia in the final photo. We have some of that plant in our own garden, one of my favorites.

  3. Kirsten

    This looks like a fabulous family adventure. I’ve always wanted to visit Cornwall. If we ever get there, I’ll be sure to add this to our list!

  4. Bryanna

    Our family would have a blast here! I love the rope bridge, the piglets, and my kids would be all over building a den!

  5. Sarah Stockley

    This is on my to-do list for the next time we visit Cornwall.We go each summer to visit my in-laws and my mother-in-law always talks highly about Helligan. Sarah #CountryKids

  6. Coombe Mill

    The Lost Gardens of Heligan really are a wonderful place to explore, it’s great that you and the family managed to pop in and see it. It’s amazing the history around the Gardens and it’s great that they’ve managed to bring it up close to it’s former glory. It’s fab that you managed to take part in one of their activities, den building is always a good option to get kids involved and enjoying the fresh air.

    Thanks for sharing with me on #CountryKids.

  7. Keitha

    This looks like an incredible place to explore. 200 acres! There are definitely happy faces in your pics. #countrykids

  8. Cathy (Mummytravels)

    This is something which has been on my Cornwall list for a while but keeps getting put off to another trip. Useful tips, it sounds like it’s worth waiting another couple of years until my daughter is older.

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