Cornish gem: The lost gardens of Heligan

The story of Lost gardens of Heligan is fascinating. Created mid-18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, the Gardens have been neglected after the First World War and only restored in the 90’s.

Equally fascinating are the grounds and its areas: aged and colossal rhododendrons and camellias, lakes fed by a ram pump over 100 years old, flowers and vegetables gardens, lots of tree ferns, Europe’s only remaining pineapple pit, figures made from rocks and plants.

We wrote about it briefly but quite ecstatically a couple of months ago during our Cornish retreat, but still dreaming about its enchanted grounds and mysterious characters.  The garden’s name derives from the Cornish helygen, i.e. willow tree.


We started the track passing by the sleeping maid and staring grass gentleman: we were all fascinated by these 2 very quiet and surreal characters.

The kids climbed and hopped on wooden logs and stairs; we hid into the huge ferns; we fabulated about the marshes and the jungle, spotting crocodiles and running away.

Lost gardens of Heligan jungle colours were so incredible vibrant that they rendered the sky to pale white in the pictures. The smells were equally beautiful and mesmerising: fuchsia blooming trees and freshly cut grass.


The Burma rope bridge is recommended for 5 years +, but our 3.5 years old loved to cross it by himself whilst the 1 year old baby was quite excited in his baby carrier. We were all thrilled when crossing, as it’s just above the marshes, ferns and jungle vegetation.


Whilst physically still in Cornwall, so fully immersed into exotic tropical  adventures.

There’s a sweet natural playground right after the Jungle, we spent a good hour with both kids having a fantastic time and baby having his usual early lunch.

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We carried on the lovely rolling hills and admired the baby animals: piglets with their mums, emu birds and lambs with sheep.

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It’s such a joy to witness the herds grazing in their natural Cornish hills!

Next on our track were the pleasure grounds – more visual delights for all of us: network of historic pathways, romantic features, magnificent collection of historic plantings, vibrant explosion of spring colours.

With baby collapsing for a late afternoon nap and us starving we ended up the glorious day with a late lunch at the Heligan cafe – getting spoilt with local produce straight from the Productive Garden.


Back to basics, back to magic, back to roots, back to nature, by far one of our most amazing days out!

PS: Many thanks to Lost Gardens of Heligan for the complimentary passes. Pictures, monkey business & ‘funny’ kids entirely ours.



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  1. That rope bridge looks cool! Would love to cross that! Looks like a great day out and a wonderful place to get outdoors #CountryKids

  2. I went there for the first time last year – so interesting and it really is lovely (although very busy when we went at half term) I’d like to go back at a quieter time. Looks like you had a lovely time. #CountryKids

  3. Yes, these lost gardens look fabulous. Id love to go and explore them with the kids and I know they’d have a fab time. Mich x #Countrykids

  4. WOW. This looks amazing. We have just been in Devon, so close – but our poorly pup means we wouldn’t be able to have done a huge walk. Photos look great. Coming over from #CountryKids x

  5. Those gardens look beautiful – what a gorgeous place to explore. The rope bridge looks fun to cross too 🙂 #countrykids

  6. This looks like a magical place and how lovely it got restored and can help families make special memories there. My daughter is Willow so I should definitely take her there. Brave going on that bridge though!

  7. what lovely photos, the last time I visited the gardens I was heavily pregnant so would be lovely to go back now with my nearly 5year old

    • Thank you, your 5 years old will love it and no doubt you’ll fill so much lighter and better! Very familiar with the story, also have few National Trust properties we’ve done heavily pregnant 😉

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