Pinetum Gardens

Image courtesy of Pinetum Gardens and Steve Richards

In Brief

Type: Nature attraction
Suitable for: Garden enthusiasts
Address: Holmbush Road, Holmbush, St Austell
Price: Adults £15, 11 to 15-year-olds £7.50, under-11s go for free
Dog friendly?: Yes

On the whole, Cornwall’s a pretty tranquil place. But some secluded spots are more tranquil than others, such as Pinetum Gardens. Welcome to a 30-acre slice of paradise set in beautiful parkland that nature lovers will just salivate over.

Pinetum Gardens, in the suburban village of Holmbush on the edge of St Austell, has been going for more than 40 years. It was created by plant expert and MBE Shirley Clemo along with her husband Ray and has been a garden for all seasons ever since, hosting one of the biggest plant collections in the county. And alongside the forward-thinking vision of the Clemos, managing director of the gardens, Chang Li, has introduced Eastern elements to the attraction, which has elevated the whole experience for visitors.

There are 10 different botanical gardens at Pinetum, each displaying gorgeous selections of labelled plants and flowers. Then there’s the open parkland, the lake and the mature oaks, as well as the champion trees on the site that are either the tallest or widest specimens of their type in the country or, at least, in Cornwall. Another highlight is the ornate Japanese garden that boasts its own authentic tea pavilion and serene atmosphere. Wander the Arboretum with its trees and rhododendrons, spend time in the Cornish Cottage garden with its shrub-backed perennials or make for the Wildflower Meadow, a pasture that needs no explanation.

A trip to Pinetum has to come with a trip to the attraction’s Courtyard Café for a sandwich, pasty or cream tea. And it also has to come with plenty of time on your hands and the deliberate intention of learning about all the plants, flowers and trees that stretch out across this botanical paradise. Lose yourself in the tranquillity of nature just a hop, skip and jump away from St Austell’s bustling town centre.