Considered to be one of the most mysterious and romantic estates in England, it has become one of the area’s most popular attractions.
But previously lost for decades, buried under years of overgrowth, the estate was once a far cry from the beautiful and unique environment it is today.
Heligan’s fascinating history, which dates back to the 1200’s, is peppered with many twists and tales. With the outbreak of World War One, many of the estate’s workforce went to fight, many sadly not returning, resulting in the start of Heligan’s demise.
The gardens and land remained unsold or undeveloped in the years to come and it wasn’t until the 1970s when Heligan House was sold and turned into private apartments.
Rediscovered in 1990, work began in earnest to restore the gardens and in Easter 1992, the doors were swung open to the public. Today, visitors can explore over 200 acres and discover the estate’s many horticultural offerings.
Heligan’s restored Victorian Productive Gardens stands as a working memorial to the estate’s lost gardeners. More than 300 fruit, vegetables and herbs are lovingly grown and go onto supply the Heligan Kitchen. Marvel at exotic glasshouse fruits learn about Victorian crop rotations and explore the flower garden and melon yard.
Meanwhile the Pleasure Grounds give visitors the chance to journey across the world with ancient rhododendron boughs of Sikkim, Maori-carved tree ferns from New Zealand and a Mediterranean inspired Italian garden.
Offering an even more exotic experience is Cornwall’s only outdoor jungle garden. Adventure through the tropical gardens and find giant rhubarb, banana plantations and lose yourself in tunnels of towering bamboo.
With plenty more to discover through acres of woodland and estate, Heligan waits to entertain, educate and please every member of the family. Open all year around, apart from Christmas Day, even well-behaved dogs on short leads are welcome.
Find out more here.