The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a botanical garden located close to St. Austell, Cornwall. The grounds have belonged to the Tremayne family for 400 years and it is one of the most mysterious estates in England.
Heligan house which off to the side of the gardens but still located on the grounds had tenants for most of the 20th century and was even used by the US government during the second world war. The gardens however fell into disrepair in the 1970s. In 1996 restoration began and over the years more of the gardens are discovered and restored.
Visiting the gardens is a full day trip. It is suggested that you need at least 5-6 hours to walk and hike around the grounds and take in all that is there. The gardens have a series of lakes fed by a ram pump which is over a hundred years old, flower and vegetable gardens, an Italian garden, and a wild area filled with sub-tropical tree ferns called “The Jungle”. The gardens also have Europe’s only remaining pineapple pit.
The first picture is called the Mud Maid. This and another figure the Giant’s Head were commissioned by local artists brother and sister Sue and Pete Hill. The pieces bring a touch of whimsy to the stunning grounds. The gardens are open year round with tickets costing £10/adults, £6 for children 5-16, and under 5s are free. I highly recommend Heligan if you find yourself in Cornwall.
Check out Part one: Exploring Cornwall St. Ives