The Gardens of Cornwall: Days Out and Day Trips from Fowey Hall
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Cornwall, not least because its 40 or so fabulous gardens – possible due to the warmth of the Gulf Steam – are free of the summer crowds.
From large, internationally famous gardens to secretive wild woodlands, all of them great for family days out, the following are our favourites close to or within day-trip distance of Fowey Hall. Some are open seasonally, others year round – check individual websites for dates and sites.
Antony House & Garden, Torpoint
Landscaped by Repton, the grounds of this early-18th-century mansion unfurl down towards the Lynher estuary. Formal gardens with topiary are joined by a knot garden and modern sculptures.
Caerhays Castle & Gardens, St Austell
These gardens, woodland and beaches surrounding a John Nash crafted castle occupy a sheltered valley with Porthluney Cove views.
Cotehele House & Gardens, Saltash
Formal terraces, a ’Valley Garden', a medieval stewpond and dovecote, and orchards make this beautifully preserved Tudor house in the Tamar Valley a fantastic place to explore.
Eden Project, St Austell
Within a crater the size of 30 football pitches, the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ is a dramatic global garden within a series of tropical biomes.
Headland Garden, Polruan-by-Fowey
This glorious cliffside garden has seats within rocky crevices, so visitors can fully appreciate the views across the Fowey estuary to Fowey, plus steps down to a sandy swimming cove.
Hidden Valley Gardens, Par, St Austell
Small but perfectly formed and colourful, these award-winning gardens in a secluded gallery have a wide diversity of species.
Japanese Garden & Bonsai Nursery, St Mawgan
Various authentic Japanese gardening styles fuse in this spot created in line with Eastern philosophies, including zen and water gardens.
Lanhydrock House & Garden, Bodmin
Lovely gardens and a wooded estate including a bike trail surround this impressive late-Victorian country house with its large servants’ quarters.
Longcross Victorian Garden, Port Isaac
With panoramic views over Port Isaac and Port Quin bays, these restored Victorian Gardens showcasing coastal hedging and gardening have a maze-like layout plus water and granite features.
Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell
This restored, award-winning spot has a incredible atmosphere of contemplation and inspiration over its 200 acres.
Marsh Villa Gardens, St Austell
This former tidal creek is now home to a small but magical water and woodland garden of huge conservational importance.
Mount Edgcumbe House & Country Park, Torpoint
One of three Grade I Listed gardens in Cornwall, Mount Edgcumbe and its glorious landscaped park offer up fallow deer plus woodland and coastal walks accompanied by breathtaking views.
Pencarrow House & Gardens, Bodmin
Grade II formal gardens, a Victorian rock garden and ice house, and a Celtic cross surround this Palladian mansion approached by a mile-long carriage drive through an Iron Age hill fort.
Pinetum Park & Pine Lodge Gardens, St Austell
More than 6000 rare/unusual plants, several water features, a formal garden, a cottage garden, a pinetum, arboretum, a Japanese garden and a lake characterise this 30-acre attraction.
Pinsla Garden & Nursery, Bodmin
Within tranquil woodlands on the edge of Bodmin Moor, this romantic little artist’s garden has decorative paths taking you past a wide array of birds, butterflies and insects.
Port Eliot House & Garden, St Germans
This gorgeous, family-friendly place with its award-wining picnic spot also has a maze, lawns on which to run free, and plants including rhododendrons and camellias.
Prideaux Place, Padstow
The grounds of this beautiful mansion perched above Padstow’s busy harbour offer views over both its own ancient deer park and the Camel Estuary, as far as Rock and, beyond, Bodmin Moor.
Trematon Castle Garden, Saltash
A new 'Flowery' garden and heart-stopping views of the Tamar Estuary are the big draws of this miniature Norman mott-and-bailey castle built for Edward the Black Prince in 1350.
Trewithen House and Gardens, near Truro
Famed for its champion trees, rare shrubs, wildflower meadow, woodland glades and exotic ferns,
Truro, Trewithen has treetop viewing platforms from which to survey its wonders.
Images 1 and 3 of Lanhydock © National Trust/Jerry Harpur. Image 2 of the Eden Project © Nick Gregory. Image 4 © Lost Gardens of Heligan.