The Lost Gardens of Heligan

I could wrote about the Lost Gardens of Heligan but I wasn’t there, so I think it’s  owners will do it much better than me. After reading about this beautiful place andafer seeing some pictures I thought it deserve for a little promotion and this what is this post made for.

This is what we will find on:

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“Heligan, seat of the Tremayne family for more than 400 years, is one of the most mysterious and romantic estates in England. A genuine secret garden, it was lost for decades; its history consigned to overgrowth.

At the end of the nineteenth century Heligan’s thousand acres were at their zenith, but only a few years later bramble and ivy were already drawing a green veil over this “Sleeping Beauty”. The outbreak of WW1 was the start of the estate’s demise as its workforce went off to fight in the trenches; many sadly never to return.

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This was a story played out in many of the large estates throughout Britain’s war period.

Unlike many other estates, however, the gardens and land at Heligan were never sold or developed. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1970s that Heligan House itself was eventually sold and split into private apartments.

After decades of neglect, the devastating hurricane of 1990 should have consigned the now lost gardens to a footnote in history.

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Instead, events conspired to bring us here and the romance of their decay took a hold on our imaginations. Our discovery of a tiny room, buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens, was to unlock the secret of their demise. A motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil still reads “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber”, with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. We were fired by a magnificent obsession to bring these once glorious gardens back to life in every sense and to tell, for the first time, not tales of lords and ladies but of those “ordinary” people who had made these gardens great, before departing for the Great War.

In 2013, the Imperial War Museum recognised Heligan’s Thunderbox Room as a ‘Living Memorial’ to ‘The Gardeners of Heligan’. A plaque, a Cornish shovel and a WW1 helmet now mark the spot and details can be found on under entry 63622.

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We have now established a large working team with its own vision for our third decade. The award-winning garden restoration is already internationally acclaimed; but our lease now extends into well over 200 acres, leaving the project far from complete. We intend Heligan to remain a living and working example of the best of past practice, offering public access into the heart of what we do.

Our contemporary focus is to work with nature, accepting and respecting it and protecting and enhancing the variety of habitats with which our project is endowed.”

I can add here, that is good to plan your visit on spring, around May because there is nice Rhododendrons collection, which are in bloom at that time.

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Personally I was quite near to this place but I had no idea about it’s existence, however I know how to get there and now it’s time for few tips how to getthere.

I will save myself writing how to get to London, because it is an individual matter, who, how and eventually on which airport will go to. Anyway, if someone will use public transport, then you should go to London’s Paddington station, from there choose the night train, which goes (at 23:45) to St. Austell, where it arrives at around 7 am and is usually on time. With the return it may be different, because train may have delay. This is why it’s wise to keep it in mind while planning a return flight.
In St. Austell train and bus stations are practically in one the same place. Just go through the building and visit the ticket booth along the way to purchase a bus ticket.
At 8:55am, bus No. 471 leaves, from which you should get off at Sun Valley Holiday Park. Then it will be about 1km to go. You can take a walk and just be at the garden’s opening (at 10:00).

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If someone wants to spend more time in Cornwall, I can add that near St. Austell is the Eden Project (I was there few years ago), although it is in the opposite direction than the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
In addition, Cornwall has nice beaches, and on some of them, you can find caves hidden among the rocks.



One day in The Eden…

For me real journey, have to be an adventure…

I was reading some posts about Cornwall and solo traveling, what brought back some memories, which I would like to share with you.
But first, here you have links to mentioned posts:
simply solo-travelling

When you don’t have time for holidays, you can go for one day trip, only remember to make this day as best as possible.
Few years ago it was during hot days of summer.
I had only one day to visit Cornwall, so I knew I have to do my best, to not waste a single second. I’ve checked everything before my journey. But check doesn’t mean to be prepared…
I bought tickets for night train, which was leaving London around 11pm and after seven hours reaches St. Austell. So I had whole night to sleep and full day for visiting The Eden Project.
St. Austell is a small town and at 6am everything is close there, so I had some time to catch first bus to The Eden Project, which I spend on sightseeing neighborhood. There was only one little problem, the only map I had, it was map of Cornwall, not even of St. Austell and had nothing to do with accuracy. On this map you could see lettering St. Austell and little dot pointing the town. Fortunately I’m good in finding way back or where is any direction (north, south, west, east), so even with this map I was able to find everything I wanted to see and what most important, way to the bus.

Bus to EP was filled by people working there, which most of them are volunteers and students. When I got there, it was still early and tropical bioms were closed for turists. The crew was still working inside, taking care of the plants etc. There is nothing to be worry about, because outside garden it’s really big and interesting.

At this picture is only part of outside garden, however I think it’s enough to see how big it is. You can also see some people right there, to have comparative scale.

This, what I wanted to see the most was the bioms and it was very surprising what I saw inside…  I have seen some ponds or pools inside greenhouses before, but here it is like someone wanted to put whole World in one place, so you can see waterfalls or houses stylized for the places of origin of plants.


You can also try juice from Baobab there, or go to the restaurant, which serve food taken from mediterranean biome’s plants.


On this picture you can see cultivation of grapes and olives (in background).
My camera wasn’t fully charged, so I don’t have a lot of pictures, but I kept my memories.

When I was going back from The Eden Project, I’ve met one man from Scotland and at first seconds when he spoked to me, I’ve thought he speaks different language. He was on his holidays in Cornwall, so different than Scotland as he said.

It was early evening when I decided to go to the Charlestown’s beach. Near to harbor you can find some caves, which are very tempting to go inside. And that’s what I did, I went inside one deeper cave. From the inside of the cave, Sea is heard differently, also you can find some shells, only you have to remember, that Sea level can increase and it can happen really quickly… When water forced me to leave this place I went for a little shopping, because I still had few hours to my train.
At the station I met Ron Choong, an American born in Malaysia, he also was in The Eden Project and he was waiting for the same train. It was lucky for both of us, to meet eachother, because the train was delayed for a long time and we had interesting conversation.
Sometimes it’s nice to travel alone, but sometimes in situations like this when you are waiting for train, plane or whatever, it’s good to have right companion.
Take care.