The best gardens and country houses in Cornwall

Monday 27th July, 2020

Enjoy the abundant beauty of Cornwall’s estates, gardens and country houses, with roots that stretch back through centuries.

The amazing island world of St Michael’s Mount is one of the jewels in Cornwall’s crown. Hop on a boat – or walk across the causeway during low tide – to a community where modern life meets over a thousand years of history.

Visit Lanhydrock, the impressive country estate that brings the past to life. Wander ‘below stairs’ and imagine yourself among the Victorian servants: people with very different stories to the gentry above.

Stroll through the exotic valley gardens of Glendurgan, beautiful in any season, and evoke your spirit of adventure in the garden maze and on the giant rope swing.

With unrivalled views over the River Fal, the Trelissick estate has 300 acres of woodland and parkland to explore, perfect for meandering with the family and the dog. Discover the stories behind this welcoming country house.

Trengwainton, near Penzance, offers a woodland garden with magnificent award-winning rhododendrons and magnolias, tranquil walks and sea views. Many of the plants grown at Trengwainton flowered for the first time in Britain there.

Near the Devon border, Cotehele is the enchanted home of the Edgecumbe family and has origins dating back to medieval times. There’s always a busy programme of events to enjoy, along with a working watermill and a quay on the River Tamar.

The Elizabethan manor house of Trerice is an architectural gem hidden away from the world amongst a web of narrow lanes, and still somehow caught in the spirit of its age. Visit to check the progress of the 800 young yew trees that have been planted to map out the intricate design of a new Elizabethan knot garden.

Pinetum Gardens in St Austell contrasts areas of intimate tranquillity with open parkland vistas. Take time to discover the whole estate and its many gardens: play hide and seek in the arboretum, relax and reflect in the Japanese garden, and recharge out of season in the spectacular winter garden.

Visit Pencarrow House & Gardens, the much-loved home of the ancient Molesworth St Aubyn family, who still live there (you may even meet Lady Molesworth St Aubyn on one of the house tours). Have a leisurely walk around the 50 acres of gardens and parkland.

Discover the magic of Trebah Garden, set in a beautiful valley with over four miles of footpaths. Explore under canopies bursting with exotic blooms, and follow vibrant tunnels of colour to a private beach on the Helford River.

And don't worry - we've not overlooked the incredible beauty of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, or the wonder of the Eden Project. They'll be featured in our next blog next week, featuring Cornwall's top family attractions. 


Remember to check on each attraction's website to see whether they are open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many attractions will have changed their opening times, and all will have safety measures in place for your wellbeing. This may mean that you cannot enter the country houses due to social distancing measures in some cases. Many attractions will require you to think ahead, plan your trip and book your ticket in advance. 

The best gardens and country houses in Cornwall

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