Cornish Gardens to Explore this Spring

They say the arrival of spring is marked by the first magnolia blossoming in Cornwall and this year spring was officially declared on Tuesday 19 March!

So with this winter’s chill fading, where better to enjoy the sights and scents of spring but here in Cornwall. With its mild coastal climate Cornwall is home to some of the nation’s most spectacular gardens. The diversity of plants that happily grow amongst our native plants is immense, ranging from Mediterranean, Sub-tropical, Chinese and South African.

Dip into this magical floral world with a few of our recommendations

The Eden Project (a 40 minute drive from Padstow)

Part of the Great Gardens of Cornwall (GG) group

The Eden Project has quickly grown an international reputation as a truly unique, socially and scientifically important garden, famous for its striking Biomes, with the world’s largest greenhouses, built within a 50 metre deep crater. Go prepared for tropical temperatures in the rainforest biome; marvel at rare and exotic plants growing freely. Brave the canopy walkway high above the ground, feel the spray from the waterfall and meander through the landscapes of the Mediterranean. Enjoy the scilla, iris and magnolia in the outdoor gardens, and heady scents of the damask rose in the perfume garden. With something to see at every turn, the Eden Project is a must this spring.

We recommend – the Rainforest Aerial Walkway, Scary Skywalk, tumbling waterfall, the cool room in the tropical biome.

Lost Gardens of Heligan (a 50 minute drive from Padstow)

Part of the Great Gardens of Cornwall (GG) group

A real-life secret garden, the Lost Gardens of Heligan invite visitors into a world of intrigue and romance. The 200 acre garden will surprise and delight with towering Bamboo, Giant Rhubarb, ancient woodlands, sub-tropical jungle, and a rainbow of colour from thousands upon thousands of exquisite flowers. Heligan is also home to a National Collection of ‘Rhododendrons & Camellias’; the UK’S largest rhododendron and the largest collection of Tree Ferns. The Lost Garden is simply brimming with plants that inspire and amaze.

We Recommend – Jungle rope bridge, thousands of Spring daffodils, stunning magnolia trees, Northern Summerhouse.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Trelissick Garden (a 50 minute drive from Padstow)

A National Trust Garden

Welcoming spring with unwavering enthusiasm, Trelissick plays host to a dazzling variety of shapes, sizes, colours and smells. Head off along the Spring Walk and soak in the collection of unique plants and flowers, before turning your attention to the unmissable views out over the Fal River.

Trelissick gardens

Tregothnan (a 50 minute drive from Padstow)

Part of the Great Gardens of Cornwall (GG) group

Tregothnan is Cornwall’s largest botanical gardens and arboretum and is an official ‘safe site’ for the keeping of rare or endangered trees from all over the world. The garden holds some ‘Red Book’ endangered plants and trees which are larger than any remaining in the wild. Tregothnan is also the pioneer of the UK’s first tea plantations. Visits to this private garden are by appointment only, guided by the head gardener. However, for one weekend only, on 13th and 14th April, Tregothnan will open its usually private gates for all to enjoy the largest garden in Cornwall.

Tregothnan Garden

Closer to Padstow you can discover the gardens of:

Prideaux House & Gardens

This beautiful mansion sits on the hill above the busy harbour of Padstow and the grounds boast some of the finest views over its ancient Deer Park and the Camel Estuary. Today’s exciting restoration programme aims to return these beautiful gardens to their former glory. New plantings have been made including an 80 tree lime avenue, the remodelling of the Victorian Formal Garden, a hornbeam allée, an Acer Glade and the woodland walks have been re-traced.

 We Recommend: the herd of fallow deer, the Acer Glade, crocuses, daffodils

Pencarrow House & Gardens

This beautiful 16th Century Georgian mansion with its manicured gardens is revealed in dramatic splendour via the mile-long driveway. With its glorious combination of formal landscaping and winding woodland walks, the gardens provide year-round colour. A range of beautiful plants can be found in its famous Italian Gardens and the Victorian rock garden.

We Recommend: the Spring Snowdrops, Camellias, Rhododendrons, Primroses.

Pencarrow Gardens


Pay a visit to Lanhydrock’s famous gardens as they burst back into life this spring. As early as February, the collection of over 140 species of magnolia begin to bloom. There are daffodils and snowdrops lining Lady’s Walk and swathes of bluebells carpet the woodland floor. There is plenty of Easter fun to be had at this wonderful National Trust property, with children’s trails and activities to join in on!

Lanhydrock Gardens

Located only minutes from the Garden Apartment at Acton Castle you will find:

Tremenheere Sculpture Garden

A superb exotic and sub-tropical garden covering 22 acres near Penzance. Tremenheere Sculpture Garden provides space for both artistic inspiration and peaceful reflection. It’s intertwining thought-provoking artworks against rich, textured landscapes are a visual feast to be enjoyed this spring.

Tremenheere Sculpture Garden

St Michaels’s Mount

The iconic mount rising from the sea, St Michael’s Mount, is one of the most well-loved sights in Cornwall, you can even see it from Acton Castle! Reaping the benefits of its own micro-climate, the mount’s gardens are home to an array of weird and wonderful plants, from aloe to ginger lilies, to the lithodora ‘Heavenly Blue’. Visit the mount this spring and breathe in the intoxicating aromas of floral perfume and fresh, salty air!

For further information on gardens in Cornwall visit:

The Great Gardens of Cornwall

National Trust Gardens