For many people taking a Cornish holiday cottage, one of the “must do’s” on their list is to visit some of the astounding gardens that are open to the public in this very temperate part of the British Isles. From the pioneering tea gardens producing the popular Tregothnan tea to the amazing camellias and magnolias at Caerhays Castle the variety is tremendous. There is the finest stand of tree ferns in Northern Europe at Trewidden Garden and at the Trewithen Estate, there are delightful woodland walks to be enjoyed along with the gardens.
The National Trust, of course, is curator to some of the most memorable gardens. Here at Rayle Farm Holiday Cottages our visitors find it a few short miles to visit Trelissick on the Fal estuary. One of the many joys there is to be able to gaze out across to the sea while enjoying a walk in the glorious parkland. Further afield are their gardens at Lanhydrock, Trengwainton and Trerice.
Mention should be made of Trebah Garden. This lovely, valley garden runs down to its own beach on the Helford River and there are over four miles of paths to meander along. There are some very exciting, exotic plans here. Again, this garden is not too far from Rayle Farm.
The Eden Project is, of course, what most people have heard about. This amazing global garden apparently covers the size of thirty football pitches. The biomes which are enormous conservatories, offer visitors the experience of being in a tropical rainforest, complete with steamy jungle and rushing waterfalls or in a more moderate Mediterranean type landscape with oranges and olives and vines.
Just down the road from Eden are the iconic “Lost Gardens of Heligan”. These have been called the nation’s favourite garden and the story of their restoration within the last twenty years or so makes for stirring reading. They are a very popular outing, from their now immaculate kitchen gardens growing their own pineapples no less, to “Wild Heligan”.
Some of our holiday visitors like to make a day trip to the Isles of Scilly to see Tresco Abbey Garden, home to a whole range of exotic plants from across the world. They flourish in the unique climate of these islands.
Here at Rayle Farm Holiday Cottages, I have the bonus of seeing the amazing plants that our visitors buy to take back home. They cherish them on their cottage doorsteps until the time comes to pack the car for the journey home. I would say that plants are possibly one of the most popular souvenirs that visitors take home from their Cornish cottage holiday.