Although the county’s most famous large gardens are found outside of North Cornwall, this area boasts Trerice manor and gardens, and a selection of enchanting private gardens. Find out more in our guides.
Highlights: popular gardens in North Cornwall
Trerice National Trust Garden
Trerice Elizabethan manor and gardens near Newquay are relatively small but perfectly formed. Tranquil and intimate, Trerice is far from the largest National Trust property – but that’s part of its appeal. Visitors praise the friendliness and knowledge of the staff, and there is a regular programme of family-friendly events and Tudor banquets.
Vegetables and herbs grow in the small Tudor Garden, while the different terrace levels provide views of the house itself and the wider landscape. As Trerice is so small, dogs aren’t allowed in the garden itself, but there are public footpaths in the area. Be sure to check opening times in advance, as they do vary throughout the year.
The Japanese Garden and Bonsai Nursery
Also found near Newquay, in the village of St Mawgan, is The Japanese Garden & Bonsai Nursery. Although the nursery itself is closing, the Japanese Garden remains open, providing an exotic and tranquil paradise in the heart of Cornwall.
The garden is compact but still offers so much to see. You can spend an hour or two exploring the pathways that wind around amazing plant-life - including bamboos, grasses and bonsai trees, of course – statues, pagodas, carp ponds, and other water features. As with Trerice, dogs are not allowed in the gardens, but there are dog-friendly footpaths nearby.
Private garden: Prideaux Place
Prideaux Place manor and gardens sits on the North Cornish coast, just outside Padstow. The private Elizabethan estate has been in the same family for 14 generations and often opens around Easter time, and Sundays to Thursdays from May to October.
In the restored gardens, you will find several buildings and follies including a classical temple, an obelisk and more. The gardens also include the beautiful lime avenue, a remodelled Victorian Formal Garden, and the Acer Glad which now features thousands of spring bulbs and more than 300 herbaceous plants. The tearoom of Prideaux Place overlooks the deer park – home to what is believed to be one of the oldest park herds of fallow deer.
Private garden: Pencarrow House and Gardens
Between Bodmin and Wadebridge, Pencarrow House is a private Georgian mansion still occupied by the descendants of the family who settled there in the 1500s. Both the house and gardens are open to the public throughout March and October.
Pencarrow Gardens offers both formal landscaped gardens and a large woodland area ready to be explored. Dogs are welcome in both, but must be kept on a lead in the vicinity of the house itself. In the gardens, you’ll find camellias and rhododendrons blooming in spring, plus hydrangeas, fuchsias, azaleas and more. There is also an Iron Age hill fort, sunken Italian Garden, a grotto, ice house and a palm house to explore – plus the first Victorian rock garden in England.
Keen to find out what more North Cornwall has to offer visitors? Take a look at our selection of guides below to discover more.