Cornwall: Exploring Your Doorstep... part III
Photo: Claudia Montano / @perfectlyclaudia
But if you have, then you’ll know that this summer I’ve been taking the time to explore more of what’s on, well, my doorstep. Let’s get stuck in…
Another of my favourite spots are the Lost Gardens of Heligan. There’s such a fabulous backstory to the gardens too… an amazing estate, built around the 1200’s, soon became a beautiful horticultural adventure – though the gardens were lost during the First World War, with the home serving multiple purposes such as a hospital. The findings and restoration of the brambled-over gardens began in 1990, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan have been flourishing ever since. You can read the full, detailed time-line of events on their website: here.
I love that there are several routes and ways to explore the Lost Gardens of Heligan. You can wander around in circles and still spot something new, especially as the gardens change seasonally. There are so many little hidden areas to be discovered as you explore the grounds, so if you plan on rushing around the gardens you’ll absolutely miss these. The jungle area has to be one of my favourite spots; the water is a dreamy shade of blue, and the hidden Burmese rope bridge is a great little adventure – just be careful not to get a foot stuck… I almost lost a shoe. The foliage around the jungle area really is fabulous, as are the wooden walkways, and if you spend a moment gazing into the water you’ll spot some little fish, and tadpoles (season dependant of course!).
The woodland at the Lost Gardens of Heligan is another beautiful addition to the grounds, and houses some intriguing hidden gems… such as the infamous Mudmaid. You can find this little walk of giants by continuing ahead as you enter the grounds, rather than taking an immediate left toward the gardens. It all comes back onto itself, so if you spend the day walking you’ll find all of the fabulous spots. They do provide maps!
The vegetable plot and year-round working gardens are a sight to behold, carefully watched over by their resident scarecrow Diggory. All of the produce, including their farmyard animals, are made use of in their resident kitchen and tea room.
You really do need to spend a full day exploring these beautiful lost and found gardens, and it’s so worth the adventure.