This rediscovered backyard wonderland has woodland trails, enjoyable sculptures and an journey playground to discover this half-term
Lost within the woods … rope bridge on the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall.
Photograph: Marek Kocura/EyeEm/Getty Images
In a nutshell
A real secret backyard, the once-thriving Heligan property was lost for many years beneath dense undergrowth till a door to one of many walled gardens was found accidentally in 1990. An award-winning restoration undertaking adopted and now you can discover 200 acres of subtropical gardens, historic woodland and a jungle crammed with unusual and marvellous crops and timber.
Intrepid Victorian plant hunters introduced their unique treasures to Cornwall’s frost-free valleys to protect and domesticate them – Heligan’s “jungle” is usually a number of levels hotter than the remainder of the nation.
Best issues about it
We beloved imagining we had been plant explorers, dwarfed by towering tree ferns, large rhubarb and banana timber within the subtropical jungle earlier than crossing the wobbly Burmese rope bridge and searching for out the slumbering Mud Maid, The Giant’s Head and the Grey Lady sculptures on the woodland stroll. There are uncommon breeds of sheep, pigs and cattle to fulfill, wildlife hides from which to look at nesting barn owls and different native birds and even an insect resort to go to. Besides the paths, rope swings and journey playground there are extra actions throughout faculty holidays, reminiscent of den constructing, storytelling and craft workshops.
What about lunch?
There are loads of scenic picnic spots. Alternatively, Heligan Kitchen beside the doorway provides cold and warm meals and sandwiches, utilizing produce from the gardens and property. A breakfast roll prices £four, sandwiches from £three.50 and selfmade quiches and pies from £5; youngsters’ packing containers can be found, too. The Stewards House throughout the gardens additionally provides sandwiches (from £2.95), truffles (from £2) and cold and warm drinks.
Exit by way of the reward store?
You can bypass the reward store should you select however it does have a superb choice of toys (reminiscent of handmade spinning tops from £1.50 to £10), jewelry, crafts, natural skincare merchandise and attractive Cornish treats, lots of which have been created by employees on web site or native artisans.
Mud Maid sculpture within the gardens. Photograph: Alamy
By automotive, head to St Austell and take the B3273 in the direction of Mevagissey after which comply with the brown indicators. The nearest railway station is St Austell, 5 minutes away from the gardens by the 471 bus or taxi. The gardens are linked to National Cycle Network, Route three.
Value for cash?
Yes, you may simply spend a full day right here and it’s a memorable day trip. Adults £14.50, college students £eight.50, youngsters (5-17) £6.50, beneath 5s free, seniors £12.50. Family (2 adults and as much as three youngsters) £37.50. Buy a mixed ticket for Heligan and the Eden Project and save 10%.
Gardens and property open day by day 10am-5pm (final tickets three.30pm) from 1 October to 31 March and 10am-6pm (final tickets four.30pm) from 1 April to 30 September. Closed Christmas Day.