The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Visit the beautiful and mysterious reclaimed gardens and discover hidden secrets. For discounted admission consider our garden breaks offer where you also visit the Eden Project – a combined saving up to 34%.
Open all year
(except 25 Dec)
10am – 5pm
Tea room & plant shop FREE to enter
10 miles from Green Acres Cottages
See our Garden Breaks offer
The mysterious reclaimed gardens
The once thriving estate of Heligan, seat of the Tremayne family for over 400 years, lay neglected and in ruins after the last workers left for the First World War.
That was until one of the stormiest winters on record in 1989-90 revealed a tiny room buried under debris in the Walled Garden where an inscription read, “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber.”
The inscription, signed by the estate workers in August 1914, inspired the dedicated team at Heligan to reignite the Lost Gardens. Now internationally acclaimed, Heligan is one of the most beautiful and mysterious gardens in the UK and opens all year round for the public to enjoy.
Throughout the seasons
Heligan is a garden for all seasons with its winding pathways and intriguing sculptures.
Over 200 acres are split into unique areas where you can wind through the exotic plantings of a valley jungle towards pleasure gardens filled with rhododendrons and camellias and onto the formal Victorian Walled Kitchen Gardens.
Watch wildlife at its most natural in an informative and interactive hide and learn about the ethos behind conserving the estate. There is also a shop and café serving delicious home grown treats.
Victorian Productive Gardens
The working restored vegetable garden, melon yard and walled flower garden would once have served the big house but now keeps the tearooms replenished with fresh seasonal produce. Heritage fruit and vegetables are grown here in a traditional way allowing visitors to gain insight into Victorian crop rotation methods and ideas.
Wind through the pathways to reveal an abundance of historic plantings, now home to a National Collection of ‘Camellias and Rhododendrons pre-1920’. Maori-carved ferns lead through to a romantic Italian Garden and Alpine Ravine.
Set in a valley, the connecting boardwalks and jungle rope bridge take you past giant rhubarb and bamboo and around ponds surrounded by banana and palm trees.
Exotic plants bought back by intrepid Victorian explorers meet you at every corner and survive well in the mini micro-climate.
Horsemoor Hide & Wildlife Project
A centre for wildlife study, watch birds, insects, bats and small animals in their natural habitats, either through Heligan’s film footage or live at Horsemoor Hide.
Heligan’s Wildlife Project extends to all areas of the estate where animals are sustainably managed along with the ancient woodlands, pastures, hay meadows and wetlands.
The Lost Valley & Ancient Woodlands
Over 80 acres of the estate is given over to its ancient woodlands. Now sustainably managed, they’re home to a variety of wildlife and contain two tranquil lakes.
Bat and bird boxes give a hand to their residents whilst the woodland ‘whole tree policy’ allows for every part of any felled tree to be carefully used and not wasted.
Spot kingfishers, pipistrelle bats and otters if you’re lucky and discover the wonderful Grey Lady, Mud Maid and The Giant’s Head hidden amongst the trees on the woodland walk.
Shop and Plant Centre
Selling some of the hand turned wooden items and special Lost Valley charcoal derived from Heligan’s ancient Woodlands as part of the whole tree policy, the shop also contains gifts, plants, books and local Cornish goodies.
Heritage and the Head Gardener’s Choice seed range as well as wildlife seeds are also for purchase.
Tearooms and refreshments
Heligan has its own onsite bakery supplying fresh bread, cakes and treats.
Home cooked lunches using produce from the gardens as well as meat reared on the estate are available in the main tearoom with lighter choices in the seasonal ‘Stewardry’ situated within the gardens where there’s also an exhibition of artworks depicting rural life.
Heligan’s calendar of events
A variety of themed days, workshops, outdoor theatre events and exhibitions take place throughout the main season.
Heligan’s wildlife webcams are also on stand by throughout the year, enabling you to take a look at the barn owls at any time.
Access at Heligan
The team at The Lost Gardens have introduced an accessibility guide and wheelchairs are available on loan, subject to availability.
Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome in the gardens throughout the year but are not allowed in the tearooms or shop.