Nine gardens to walk and explore in Cornwall this season

PUBLISHED: 14:38 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:27 29 September 2020



Ewen MacDonald

Pinetum Gardens, Holmbush

Eden ProjectEden Project

Autumn is the perfect time to walk around Cornwall’s gardens and enjoy the gorgeous autumnal colour our mild weather has to offer. We pick nine wonderful places to visit

Pinetum Gardens

This garden has been nurtured by a green-fingered family for more than 40 years. There are 30 glorious acres to explore with one of the biggest plant collections in Cornwall. Take your pick from ten garden rooms to walk through. Try the Woodland Garden, the three-acre Winter Garden and the Arboretum which is filled with autumn colour from October. Warm up afterwards in The Garden Kitchen Café with a Cornish cream tea.

Mount Edgcumbe Country ParkMount Edgcumbe Country Park

The gardens are open daily 10am–4pm. Booking is required. Entry £14 adults/£7 children/under-11s free.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan

Lost Gardens of HeliganLost Gardens of Heligan

There’s no better time to explore one of the most mysterious and magical gardens in England than in the depths of autumn. With 200 acres of estate to cover, you’re bound to get your fix of golden autumn hues among the ancient trees.

Only the chance discovery of a door in the ruins that led to the restoration of this once great estate. Keep an eye out for The Giants Head, Mud Maid, Grey Lady and pumpkins growing in the Kitchen Garden. Dogs are very much welcome but please keep them on a lead. The kitchen and bakery serve up dishes created from food grown on the estate.

The gardens are open daily 10am–5pm. Entry is adults: £16; children (5-17 years old): £8 under 5s free. Booking required.

Glendurgan on the River HelfordGlendurgan on the River Helford

Tehidy Country Park,


Tehidy is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. Now managed as a Country Park, Tehidy has more than nine miles (14.5km) of paths and 250 acres of peaceful woods and lakes to explore, together with a café and a picnic area.

Tehidy Country ParkTehidy Country Park

Cardinham Woods,


This expansive woodland has plenty of well-kept walking trails and cycling routes to try meaning no two visits are the same. For families, try the Highway Rat Activity Trail – packs can be bought for £3 from the Woods Café. Afterwards, recharge with a hot chocolate in the cafe with all of the best toppings. Entry to the woods is free.

Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Cremyll

Britain’s ancient estate by the sea is spread across 865 acres of bucolic Cornish countryside. There are a number of trails and walks to follow around Mount Edgcumbe. Keep an eye out for wild deer, majestic woodland and ancient forts. Due to Covid-19 the House and Earl’s Garden is closed.

The country park is open 8am – 6pm during autumn and winter.

Glendurgan Garden, Falmouth

Cornwall is not only home to far stretching dramatic coastline and countryside, but also historic gardens considered among the best in the world. Among its best is Glendurgan which combines vibrant colours with the sea views on offer down its winding paths. Famed for its 180-year-old laurel maze, it’s also known for its breath-taking autumnal colours, its mature conifers and impressive Tulip tree to bring the season alive - the perfect outing for the warmer, sunny days of autumn.

Entry is adults £5/£2.50 for children and £12.50 for families.

Cotehele, Calstock

The garden and orchard at Cotehele make for an ideal autumn back drop for a daytime stroll. Boasting 12 acres of orchard, harvest time is the perfect time to visit. By now the (up to) 40,000 flowers will have been picked from the Cut Flower Garden and be busy drying in readiness for Cotehele’s famous Christmas garland. The home and mill are currently closed.

Cotehele is open throughout the year with the garden estate opening from dawn to dusk. Garden entry is £8 adults/£4 for children and £20 for families. Booking is required.

The Eden Project, Bodelva

While its Biomes offer a stunning slice of exotic garden bliss at any time of year it is still subject to the changing seasons. Among the year-round seasonal gardens is the Perfume Garden which has been designed to offer scents of different plants and flowers all year-round. There’s a family trail, and the exterior is dog-friendly.

Tickets give free entry for a year. Adults £28.50/ Children £15/family £75. Under-fives go free. Book visits in advance.


This 19-acres site sits on former mining wasteground and combines state-of-the-art exhibitions, climb-on sculptures, a giant adventure playscape for kids, art and craft studios and a funky café in the old carpenter’s workshop.

The diaspora gardens are open all-year round with planting that represents every corner of the globe that Cornish people travelled to during the 19th centry diaspora.

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