Exploring the ‘Lost’ Gardens of Heligan

Thankfully I awoke to a much more becalm Cornwall this morning as opposed to the violent storm raging throughout much of the night. The fourth day of our Cornish holiday was forecast to be a dry day so we decided to head down to visit one of Cornwall’s many sub tropical gardens.

I’d already visited Trebah and Glendurgan and had enjoyed both of them in the past, so naturally I was excited to visit the self-proclaimed Lost Gardens of Heligan; which I had never seen before.

The beginning of Heligan Gardens

Sad to say I wasn’t overly impressed by them. The gardens cost roughly £12 for an adult ticket and the majority of the garden felt like a normal English woodland, with stagnant ponds and the occasional sculpture.

The Giant’s Head Sculpture
The Willow Woman
The Mossy Mother

Some areas were undoubtedly fascinating, such as the Jungle area and the northern section of the gardens, which were worth a visit and were much more exotic in that sense.

IMG_7558 bridge
The Rope Bridge in the Jungle, warning, be prepared to queue (Also photo copyright belongs to my brother, he is literally is making me write this in)
The Jungle (again copyright brother…yahdy yahdy whatever)

The story behind Heligan is actually rather interesting, once a large estate, the majority of the workforce who maintained the gardens were killed in the First World War and as a result the garden fell into disrepair and was soon overgrown and ‘lost’ to the weeds. In 1990, however major restoration begun on the site, the largest of its kind in the EU. The work was even part of a big Channel Four documentary and the restored gardens practically revitalized the local economy. The site is all very self-sufficient and organic, with shops on site sell locally produced products. (note: the wine is very good).

The pigs help keep out the unwanted undergrowth
Some rather out-of-place looking emu’s

However I don’t know what it was about Heligan, perhaps it was the gloomy, humid weather, maybe its was because, aside from being the ‘Lost’ garden it was in fact absolutely packed with people, or perhaps it was the scrawny emu’s locked in a enclosure far too small for birds of their size. Or, honestly, maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. To conclude, the place just didn’t really resonate with me and I doubt that I’ll be in a hurry to return to Heligan, but no one should take my word for it.and I’m certain many other people would be far more interested in these gardens.

Heligan’s New Zealand section, one of its better areas

Thus concludes my tale, if you enjoyed this story feel free to write in the comments, or leave a like and thanks for reading.

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    1. On a good sunny day I think the gardens would be a lot better, but as with every other big tourist destination it can be pretty busy. I think the best think to do would be to combined it with a longer day out, the nearby Roseland heritage coast I think is worth checking out

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve never been to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. It’s a shame that you weren’t entirely enamoured by them, I wonder if they are more impressive at different times of the year i.e. without the crowds! I would still like to explore them, the NZ bit looks cool!


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