Created as a horticultural playground for experimenting with the new passion for subtropical plants that swept the country one hundred and fifty years ago, this twenty two acre steep-sided valley garden is home to some of the lushest vegetation in the country. Here you will find a series of four ponds, the largest collection of tree ferns in Europe, palms, thickets of bamboo and numerous exotic trees and shrubs.
The boardwalk that meanders through this magnificent valley will transport you on a journey far from our temperate shores.
The Lost Valley
With its history of charcoal burning and Georgian rides, its water meadows and restored lakes and ponds, The Lost Valley was only recently opened to the public. Set within acres of ancient Cornish woodland, The Lost Valley is rich in native flora and fauna. Along the rides and beneath the many species of mature trees, wild flowers and ferns abound. The lakes and ponds are once again home to several species of fish and, skimming the surface of the water, magnificent dragonflies and damselflies hunt their prey on the wing.
For all those with a spirit of adventure this is a unique opportunity to roam through a wild and beautiful landscape.
The Pleasure Grounds
A garden for all seasons, the Northern Garden comprises over thirty acres of Pleasure Grounds, and can best be described as a series of gardens within a garden, each with its own distinctive character; the Italian Garden, New Zealand, Crystal Grotto and wishing well, Northern Summerhouse Garden, Fern Ravine, Sundial Garden and Flora’s Green (surrounded by a magnificent collection of ‘Hooker’ Rhododendrons, Camellias and Magnolias).
The miles of rides and walks within the Northern Gardens should be thoroughly explored – they hold many other secrets: Bee boles, an ancient ‘Mount’, the Dipping Pond and a whole host of rare and beautiful shrubs and trees.
The Productive Gardens
In previous centuries the Productive Gardens were called upon to supply the ‘Big House’ with all of its day-to-day requirements of fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants and cut flowers. Heligan is once again fully productive, growing over three hundred varieties of fruits and vegetables, plus huge quantities of Victorian annual flowers. Included within the Productive Gardens are a whole series of walled gardens, within which you will find many fruit houses, frames and pits, each designed to grow specific exotic fruits such as grapes, peaches, citrus, melons, cucumbers and pineapples.
Here also is a wonderful collection of working buildings: bothies, a potting shed, a fruit store, tool sheds and a dark store. The walled gardens, together with the two-acre kitchen garden and the many acres of orchards have combined to make Heligan world famous as a ‘living museum’ of nineteenth century horticulture.
Take the A3058 to St Austell. From St Austell take the B3273 towards Mevagissey and follow the brown tourist signs to “The Lost Gardens of Heligan”.
Take the A390 to St Austell. From St Austell take the B3273 towards Mevagissey and follow the brown tourist signs to “The Lost Gardens of Heligan”.
From the M5
Heading South on the M5, join the A30 westbound at Exeter. At the Bodmin roundabout, take the A391 to St Austell. From St Austell take the B3273 towards Mevagissey and follow the brown tourist signs to “The Lost Gardens of Heligan”.
- Car Park
- Well-behaved dogs on short leads are welcome
- Plant Centre
Opening Times / Admission
Address: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6EN
Telephone: 01726 845100
For further information please visit our main website