We love visiting Cornwall, it has to be one of my favourite holiday destinations. It just has everything I love – beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, rolling countryside, wonderful wildlife and glorious gardens. Two of the most well-known gardens within Cornwall are of course The Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan but there are others here that are worth a visit too and on my latest trip to this area I spent a day at Trengwainton Garden in Penzance.
About Trengwainton Garden
Trengwainton Garden is situated in Madron, near Penzance and has been in the ownership of the National Trust since 1961. The house here has been standing since the 16th Century with the gardens slowly taking shape as new and exotic plants and flowers were brought from overseas by the previous owner. Some of the most striking plant collections in the garden include Rhododendrons, Champion Trees, Magnolias and Camellias. It’s hard to imagine these being classed as exotic but Trengwainton was one of the first gardens to have these in bloom in the UK.
Today the gardens are beautifully maintained by our wonderful National Trust and are open for the public to visit and enjoy on certain days of the week (do check their opening times as these can vary).
Visiting Trengwainton Garden
Madron, near Penzance, Cornwall, TR20 8RZ
There is plenty of free parking onsite which is always nice to have. Everything is clearly signposted with toilets next to the car park and the entrance a short walk down. On arrival, the friendly staff welcomed us, explained what was on and provided us with a map. As non National Trust members we paid a reasonable fee of £27.50 for a family of 4 (it was myself, one of my children, my sister and her child).
The entrance is also the gift shop and it was a little tricky to drag the small ones away but we made a note of what they liked and promised to look again afterwards. As I wandered out and saw they also had plants on sale I also made a mental note to look for something for myself too!
Navigating the Gardens
With a trail in the woods, a trail on the pathway, a kitchen garden, an orchard, a meadow garden, a secondhand bookshop, a coffee shop and so much more you will find the map very handy – you can view that here. As we had two small children we knew we wouldn’t be able to get around the entire venue in one visit so we selected particular areas and aimed to work through those this time around.
I love a walled garden and also a kitchen garden so we followed the pathways to discover the wonders hidden behind and with it all looking like secret gardens, it really interested the children too.
As it was the summer holidays there were also activities for the kids to carry out such as tug of war, dominoes, hoopla, jenga, crown making and den building in the woods. This was a really nice touch and meant the children always had something to go looking for and get involved with.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather which made the gardens look and feel even better.
We popped up to the coffee shop to grab some lunch but I have to admit, I was disappointed in the strange sandwich varieties on offer for children and I had to ask for a plain cheese baguette to be made up for him, which they did happily do for me. I have to also mention that the prices were quite high and if I visit again I will take a packed lunch instead.
I also want to make you aware of the fact that this area and the orchard were inundated with wasps which resulted in my niece being stung and us having to be extremely careful and constantly swotting them away whilst we were eating. The staff were wonderful and provided us with ice and paper towels to help with the swelling so I can’t fault that it was just a shame it happened. So if you do visit in the summer this may be something to watch out for.
There is a very cute secondhand bookshop located near the orchard and at £1 a book I couldn’t resist! You will need to check when this is open as it is run by volunteers.
So Much To See…
We thought we had already seen so much but the gardens have even more to offer much further up the grounds including Upper Tree Fern Glade, House Lawn, Trengwainton House (private), Ha-ha ( hidden drop), The Terrace and Azalea Garden which we will have to explore another time.
We did make it to the serene stream garden which was a hit with the kids (not sure if they were really supposed to dip their toes in!) and the Royal Meadow. I can see how a National Trust membership would be really handy to have if you live quite near to this garden.
They do have an accessibility route and map as well as accessible toilets, a designated drop off point, ramped access and mobility vehicles available. There is some rough terrain but the main path is smooth and wide.
This was a beautiful setting for a gardens and we all had a wonderful time exploring, observing wildlife, playing, taking in the different plants and looking at the fruit and vegetables grown here. I would highly recommend a visit to Trengwainton Garden if you are ever in the Penzance, St. Ives, Hayle area. For more information you can view their website here.
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