My day out: The Lost Gardens of Heligan


Go to Heligan, but don’t have a destination, get lost in the woods.

I went to The Lost Gardens of Heligan on a cloudy albeit mostly dry Monday, without a plan really and that’s what made it all the more fun! I forgot to pick up a map so I just headed out into Heligan with lots of layers of clothing and my rucksack on the path to nowhere in particular really.

Exploring The Lost Gardens of Heligan, literally

I passed the iconic Giant’s head covered in moss and the very pretty sleeping Mud Maid laid on the ground. I decided to run down the steep track down to the insect hotel and then to the bottom of The Jungle.

The Giant's Head at the Lost Gardens of Heligan Peek-a-boo

The Jungle was my favourite spot, with its tropical trees, decked path and rope bridge. Further in you walk past waterfalls, birds and squirrels - it’s like an undiscovered paradise. I came across a beautiful tropical pool of turquoise water with wooden benches to rest and take in the peace and tranquillity, you could literally be anywhere. I sat for a while hoping to spot the kingfisher, which has been around at this time of year. I wasn’t the only one waiting for a sighting either but it didn’t come on this day.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan is home to one of the longest Burmese Rope Bridges in Britain Cross one of the longest Burmese Rope Bridges in Britain

Wildlife close up

I made my way on the outer paths of Heligan through the fields up to The Hyde, which is a great place to learn about the birds in and around Heligan with many information boards and a touch screen TV for education. It is very peaceful to sit and watch the birds in The Hyde and a good place out of the weather outside to take a breather. I saw pheasants, blue tits, squirrels, robins, a white dove, chaffinches and 2 woodpeckers. The poultry were locked away on this day but I did get to see the lovely horses in the barn.

Flora and fauna

I headed to the gardens, which comprise of pretty lawned areas and ponds with features as well as working gardens growing many exotic fruits and vegetables, and surprisingly over 10 different types of mint. Diggory is the Heligan scarecrow, and was definitely a hit with the small children.

Diggory, Heligan's resident scarecrow Say "how do you do" to Diggory

I made my way back down to the turquoise pool in fern gulley once it started to rain and lay reading my book under the leafy ferns.

By the end of the day there were very few paths I didn’t take and I’d walked well over 10,000 steps on my Fitbit, achieving 106 active minutes. I was quite chuffed about that!

The perfect reading spot at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall Storytime in the Heligan jungle

Hungry at Heligan

To finish off my experience I went to have lunch at the Heligan Kitchen. They had many specials on offer and it seemed to be really busy. I picked up a pork, stuffing and Heligan apple roll, and had a vegan chocolate cake, which was amazing.

I went to check out the shop after lunch, which had lots of gifts including food and drink, clothing, toys, art, plants and seeds, and so on.

Overall the day was great and Heligan is beautiful no matter the weather or the season. I enjoyed this time of year as it was quiet and you did feel like the only one there at times.

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Don't forget, customers of Cornish Traditional Cottages can save 20% off the entry price to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. See your booking confirmation for details.

About the author: Hailee is a customer service administrator and visited The Lost Gardens of Heligan in January 2018. For her next day trip she is going to Mevagissey.