Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall.


The gardens of Heligan House were the pride and joy of the estate for over one hundred years, but in 1914 many of the gardeners went to fight in WW1, never to return. For decades the Gardens of Heligan were lost, nature took hold and hid them from the outside world, until the hurricane in 1990 meant a small room which was buried under fallen masonry was discovered. The room was in the corner of one of the walled gardens, and the finders decided to investigate further.

They found a a motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil that read “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber”, with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. It sparked something inside of them, and they became obsessed with restoring the gardens to their original glory for the public to enjoy.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall



The restoration was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary in 1996, and when they re-opened people flocked to see them. I still remember visiting in the early 2000's and being awestruck by the beauty of them. We haven't been back since then, so this visit to Cornwall it was one of the things at the top of my list.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall greenhouse

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall greenhouse

Heligan has three main sections; The Pleasure Grounds, The Productive Gardens, and The Jungle. The Pleasure Grounds and Productive Gardens are in the same sort of area, and you move between them both. We spent hours just wandering around taking in the beauty of the gardens and the plants and flowers that filled each individual section.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall doves

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall Italian Garden

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall Italian Garden

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall Vinery

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall
The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall piglets

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall piglets

How cute are the little piglets?! They have a whole section full of animals; pigs, horses, sheep, chickens and geese. After taking in the pretty manicured gardens we then walked to The Jungle section. As you step into The Jungle you feel as though you're in a completely different world. As if you've teleported to the jungle in Asia.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Jungle

The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Jungle


The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Jungle

The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Jungle

There's a rope bridge from one side of the other over the rive, mum and I got a bit over-excited about this and got straight into the queue for it. Dad on the other hand went back round the long way, and he took Dylan with him as he wasn't allowed on it.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Jungle rope bridge
^^That rucksack is Mum's 'Dylan Backpack', it's full of his treats, a tennis ball, and his high-vis jacket. It's like having a child!

Without my sidekick brother I had to pose by myself under the big leaves...unlike 12 years ago. I can't remember if the below photo was taken in Heligan or Trebah (another incredible garden in Cornwall) though...


The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Jungle

The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Jungle

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are also famous for their sculptures, below are the Mud Maid and The Giant's Head. Creepy or cool?!

The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Mud Maid

The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall The Giants Head

I absolutely loved going back to The Lost Gardens of Heligan, I adore the story behind them and they're so lovely just to walk around, even in the rain. Also, dogs are allowed in on a lead which is always good! I hate it when we have to leave Dylan in the car or at the house by himself, so it was really nice to be able to take him with us.

Have you been to The Lost Gardens of Heligan?

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21 comments

  1. Nice that you were able to return to the Lost Gardens - I went a few years ago and would love to see how they have changed. I was lucky to meet a few of the volunteers who had helped clear the site originally

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  2. I love the story behind the gardens. Also, how great are the giant pics? Why is stuff like this never closer to where I live?

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  3. This place looks fab. I love the photos, there's an autumnal feel to them! The story behind these gardens is really amazing. If I'm ever in Cornwall, I am putting this on the list of things to do! :) Thanks for sharing. xx

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  4. I am loving Cornwall lately! Some summer I must go over and spend a week. I'll be adding the Lost Gardens to my travel list when I'm there x

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  5. How charming and magical are the Lost Gardens! This is giving me ideas for my next shoot...hmmm... x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  6. This is what I imagined The Secret Garden to look like when reading the book... It looks incredible and definitely like somewhere one could get lost in time!
    I have never visited Cornwall but have heard how beautiful it is and this definitely confirms it x

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  7. So pretty! And the little piglets are so cute!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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  8. Wow this looks like such a pretty place to spend the day. I think the sculptures are both creepy and cool x

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  9. It looks so pretty! I actually think I have a voucher or something for this in my purse that I won! I doubt it is in date now but I will dig it out and see! x

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  10. It looks beautiful there, love anything like this with a story behind the place. Your photography is stunning by the way x

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  11. Beautiful pics and so refreshing. I can almost smell the moss and wet foilage! Love it, my favourite smell. Makes me want to get out and about this weekend now.

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  12. I have never been to cornwall but this place looks like a fabulous family day out. It's so beautiful. You have taken great pictures.

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  13. What a stunning place to visit. You were very brave going across the bridge. I'm not sure I could have done it

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  14. Wow. It looks wonderful here. I love visiting places like this, it just so relaxing to wonder round chatting and looking at beautiful gardens and different planting schemes ... at first I thought it was a sign that I was getting older, but you are younger than me so that's reassuring!
    Great post and stunning photography, Anna

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  15. Wow the lost gardens are stunning I would love to do a photoshoot here but sadly I live very far away from Cornwall x

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  16. Such a stunning place to visit, if I am ever on holiday in Cornwall it will defiantly be on my to do list. I love the picture of you under the giant leaf.

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  17. This seemed like such a magical adventure and a wonderful family experience. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. What a beautiful place to visit! I love how you've captured it so well. I haven't been to Cornwall since I was a child but if I ever return I will definitely have to go there. Thanks for sharing x

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  19. I watched the documentary about how it was discovered and rebuilt years ago, and it has to be one of my top places I must to visit.I really wish I didn't live so far away otherwise I'd be there in a flash.

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  20. what a great place to visit. it looks like you had a really good day. your pictures are beautiful. i've been meaning to visit cornwall for ages now, i'll definitely be going to the lost gardens when i do.

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  21. What a gorgeous place!! I would love to do a fashion photo shoot there!
    Your pictures are breathtaking! :D You can use most of them as phone wallpapers!

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