The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall has a unique story. At the start of WWI the garden’s workforce went off to war, and many didn’t return. The gardens were lost for decades and forgotten. Now the gardens have been restored and are known to be one of the most mysterious gardens in England.
We first discovered The Lost Gardens of Heligan for ourselves on our first trip to Cornwall 9 years ago. Back then our oldest three children were quite young, and the Gardens have changed a bit since then (of course! That’s the nature of gardens), but I still remembered some of the iconic features of the garden so it felt new and yet very familiar both at the same time. I have to include this picture from Heligan in 2010 because it makes me smile.
I think mostly I associate The Garden of Heligan with the pictures of botanical sculptures I see on Instagram, such as The Mud Maid or The Gaint’s Head. Both are great to see in real life, but easy to miss if you are not paying attention. (Ahem, me. I actually had to backtrack to get a glimpse).
We found that The Gardens had a lot more to offer the children this time around – especially with the improvements they have made in The Jungle area, including a new rope bridge. We went on a busy day in half term so the queue for the bridge was quite long, but the children thought it was worth the wait.
Half Term at The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Because it was half term, they had a lot of activities happening on the East Lawn including face painting, an obstacle course, fire starting, and marshmallow toasting. This kept the kids occupied for a long time, and although my children have a big age range (2-13), they were all engaged in activities and happy. Isabel is 13 and didn’t need the extra activities so she helped out with the younger ones.
We followed the paths around the perimeter because we wanted to make the most of our visit there and see as much as we could. The paths were hilly and rocky and I don’t think there was much benefit to it unless you are looking for a longer walk. We like to think we were tiring the kids out but really we were tiring ourselves out. Standard parenting delusion.
We were very fortunate to have my Dad, sisters, and their families with us for the day. We enjoyed their company and it was nice to have a chat and a laugh while the kids were occupied. There were lots of little places that the kids could wander off and explore without going too far.
Have you been to The Lost Gardens of Heligan? Tell me what you thought in a comment below. I’d love to hear what you enjoyed most about the gardens.