Heligan in the Summer

Historic gardens in the heart of Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are home to one of the finest productive walled gardens in the country. The inspiring productive walled vegetable garden houses fruit trees and over four acres of heritage variety vegetables and crops.

These inspiring gardens are managed by a rotation system using heritage methods and skills, with produce harvested daily and taken fresh to our on-site restaurants and cafes. Look out for rainbow chard, Royal Sovereign strawberries strawberries and summer cucurbits.

Restored antique glasshouses and herbaceous borders

As summer heralds its arrival in Cornwall, in the formal gardens you’ll find exquisite historic glasshouses with rare succulents, trained peach trees and scented, delicate pelargoniums.

The Gardener’s Chronicle of 1896 noted that, Heligan’s Sundial Garden was home to ‘the finest herbaceous border in Britain’.  

Over 100 years later, this beautiful garden has been restored to its former glory showcasing Verbena bonariensis, Watsonia and Damask Rose throughout, you can admire the handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrata) and become immersed in the heady scent of Wisteria and Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) in the long summer days.

Discover the stories from gardens past

Heligan offers a summer day out like no other. We celebrate the stories of the humble Victorian gardeners and nowhere is this truer than in the evocative melon yard with its historic potting shed.

In August 1914 sixteen Heligan gardeners signed their names on the wall of the outdoor thunderbox room before leaving to fight for King and Country.

Discover their stories and more in the restored Victorian working Melon Yard which also houses a unique pineapple pit. These plants fruit over the summer months and fill the antique glass cold frames with a tropical, sweet scent.

Get closer to nature

The warm, long summer days see the arrival of new members of the Heligan Home Farm. We welcome piglets and calves to our regeneratively farmed estate where they help manage the land sustainably.

From July our wildflower meadows planted across West Lawn hum with thousands of bees and other pollinators, across a field of yellow corn marigold, blue cornflowers, white daisies and occasional red bursts of poppies.

A larger than life experience

For a family day out like no-other adventure off the beaten track into The Jungle. Historic tree ferns 3m tall jostle with giant gunnera leaves which tower overhead. Venture over our Burmese jungle rope bridge suspended 6m over the valley floor and marvel at the Jungle canopy beneath.

Family days out at Heligan in Summer

Our summer programme of family events will reconnect you with nature and make memories that last a lifetime. For an adventurous May Half Term day out, join our popular Wild Week for activities such as axe-throwing and fire-striking, inspired by the wildlife of Heligan’s grounds and estate.

Each Father’s Day we celebrate dads with a BBQ or wood baked pizzas on our outdoor, Mediterranean style eating terrace.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan Summer family event will run during the school holidays. Each year we showcase a new experience inspired by the gardens. Activities include nature and garden trails, summer crafting, and outdoor festivities for the whole family, all included within the price of admission tickets.

Dahlia Garden Show

Each summer we host the Cornish Dahlia Society’s Annual Garden Show on the last weekend of August. Admire rare-breeds, best in class and a riot of colour and style from pom-poms to peony-style.

Please note, all events are subject to change – this guide is to illustrate the seasonal experiences you can expect during your visit to The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Summer.

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