129. The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
Since Heligan Manor was built in the 1200's it's seen waves of change. It's gardens were built up over time from 1766 to 1914 but sadly all that work suffered following the First World War and from 1914-1990 the gardens became derelict. This time period is reffered to as 'The Lost Years', hence the name 'The Lost Gardens of Heligan'.In 1990 the delreict gardens were discovered and since have been restored and improved upon to give the stunning 80 acres it boasts today.
Above you see The Giant’s Head and Mudmaid in The Lost Valley, a lovely walk through woodland, where we also spotted, amongst other things the site of charcoal burning, lakes and Tamworth pig.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are great for children to explore - offering a perfect space for them to just explore nature, go their own way and savour nature.
We visited in October and it's a lovely time to visit with the leaves turned shades of gold and brown. I would love to return in Spring to see the Bluebells, after visiting I can appreciate just how different this area must look at different times of the year.
The Jungle area is totally different to the Lost Valley but equally fun to explore, with giant rhubarb, banana plantations, bamboo, winding boardwalks, palms and ponds and this high rope bridge, which allows you a different perspective on the area.
We headed to The Northern Gardens finally, stopping to honk at the geese (well it has to be done!)
We came across this workshop by the saw mill, part of Heligans on-site Wood Project, spotting wood turned bowls and hand crafted chopping boards ( sold via the site shop ).
The Northern Gardens, Heligans award-winning restoration of the Victorian Productive Gardens stands as a working memorial to Heligan’s Lost Gardeners. Today over 200 varieties of mostly heritage fruit, vegetable, salad and herb are grown and supply the Heligan Tearoom with fresh, seasonal produce yearlong - be sure to pay the Tearoom a visit whilst you are there, you won't be disappointed!
This area offers a real insight into day to day life on the estate in the past and there's even a Pineapple Pit where pineapples are still grown today, using a cunning manure fuelled method. Alas I couldn't get a photo of this but it was really surreal to see pineapples growing on a wet October day!
If you are going to Cornwall on holiday be sure to visit The Lost Garden of Heligan, and when we visited we were given a 25% off entry to The Eden Project too - two brilliant days out that we recommend!
More info: Heligan.com