There are famous gardens in Cornwall and there are hidden gems. Chygurno gardens fits squarely into this latter category. This is a dramatic garden that’s carved into a cliff edge, boasting spectacular views alongside vibrant exotic plant species.
Chygurno looks over the beautiful Lamorna Cove on the coastline four miles to the south of Penzance. It’s a treat for the eyes as well as the nose, with the sea air intertwined with the gorgeous odours of the exotic plants. The waterside garden is built in tiers of steep steps and terraces down the cliff until it meets a secluded woodland, where there’s a decked vantage point at the treeline, creating a unique Cornish coastline vista.
The Chygurno gardens are private but are open every Wednesday and Thursday between 2pm and 5pm, April to September. Other visiting times can be arranged with the owners, who reclaimed Chygurno in 1988 after it had been left unoccupied for two decades and replanted the mix of plants that can be seen across the rock-cut terraces today. It only covers three acres but it’s three acres of beauty with its banana plants, silver tree ferns, aeoniums and agaves, with much more besides.
Prepare for a bit of a challenge navigating the steep terrain but for the hardy walkers among us, a journey down to the cove and then a walk around the area from there is highly recommended. If you want a little piece of exotic paradise perched on a cliff edge, Chygurno is the sort of hidden Cornish hotspot you need to leave a couple of hours to explore.