The Lost Gardens of Heligan are the most mysterious of St Austell family attractions. The gardens surround Heligan, a historic estate owned by the local Tremayne family, and their fascinating story starts when they were abandoned for the Great War.
The workers departed for the war efforts, leaving the gardens to grow wild and untended for decades, but not before they inscribed a message onto a wall. The inscription was discovered in 1990 and led a descendant of the Tremaynes to discover and restore the gardens to their former glory, and the results you can visit today are breathtaking.
Named ‘Garden of the Year’ at the Cornwall Garden Society’s Spring Flower Show, the gardens remain one of Cornwall’s best loved attractions and they cover 200 sprawling acres. Stroll the Victorian Productive Gardens, marvel at the sub-tropical Jungle and get lost in the wider estate – and that’s all before lunch. The Jungle will ignite your sense of adventure as you make your way along the raised boardwalk, weaving between ponds and inspiring plants and flowers.
The Victorian gardens have the feel of days gone by about them, and a visit is like peering into Heligan’s past. The gardens were once cultivated so much by the Tremayne family that they produced most of their food, and today they produce more than 200 types of heritage herbs, salad, fruit and vegetables. You’ll find plenty of historic plants in the Pleasure Grounds, with the oldest plantings dating back 150 years. Dogs are welcome to enjoy the gardens throughout the year too, so Heligan is one of Cornwall’s leading family attractions.