Like most places in Cornwall, The Lost Gardens of Heligan has a poignant story. If gardens are not your thing, the history might be, and the Rare Breed Farm is usually a big hit with the youngsters.
These beautiful gardens with their exuberant foliage sadly suffered when the men who maintained them were sent off to fight in the Great War in 1914.
Trees were cut down for the war effort, the house was used as a convalescent home for officers, and later during the 1939-45 War, as a base for American troops. The gardens languished unloved and untended for a long time.
Bramble-covered since 1914, only to be rediscovered in 1990, it became the site of a huge restoration project led by Tim Smit, known for his amazing work at the Eden Project.
Just look at the result. During the restoration, floral art was commissioned resulting in the famous and much-photographed Giant’s Head (as it sounds) and the Mud Maid, a sleeping woman of the forest made from wood, grass and earth.
Now, you can enjoy the magic of the natural beauty of this place, all 200 acres of it.
With its formal gardens, rare plants, wildlife, outdoor jungle area showcasing a Burmese rope bridge 100 feet above the ancient ferns, and the array of unusual farm animals, it is suitable to visit all year round.