Exotic trees. Colourful shrubs. Acres of serene natural beauty. Trengwainton Garden is about as far from the madding crowd as you can get. This National Trust property is an essential experience for nature lovers who want to visit tranquil attractions around Penzance.
The team behind the ‘warm and luxuriant’ Trengwainton Garden encourages visitors to ‘follow in the footsteps of the 1920s plant hunters’ who saw species ‘that flowered in Britain for the first time’. And there is that sense of a first-time experience here with all of the award-winning rhododendrons and magnolias that are on display throughout these lush grounds. The team is passionate about nurturing these exotic plants within the site’s five sections of walled gardens.
Take a journey down the winding wooded paths until you reach the ocean’s edge, where you can take in the marvellous sea views across Mount’s Bay and the famous St Michael’s Mount. Also enjoy the stream garden and the meadows around the grounds before you have a religious experience in the kitchen garden that’s been cleverly built to the biblical dimensions of Noah’s Ark. There’s also a cute shop onsite that’s stocked with trinkets and souvenirs and then there’s the Garden Café that serves up tasty tuck and a range of beverages. An area of the garden has been set aside for ‘quiet contemplation’ and there’s also a rolling roster of fun family events throughout the year.
Trengwainton was first recorded in 1319, with its name deriving from the Cornish for ‘springtime’. But the grade II listed house on the site was most likely built in the 16th century and the walled gardens were created with care during Elizabethan times. In 1814, the estate was acquired by the son of a Jamaican sugar plantation owner who planted many of the trees in the gardens. The site changed hands a number of times, with each owner adding a little more to the greenery, until it was opened to the public in 1931.
The National Trust took ownership in 1961 and they’re still there today, inviting visitors from across the world to explore an extraordinary and historical collection of walled gardens that will capture the imagination and spirit of any nature lover. Whoever you may be.