The Lost Gardens of Heligan


Just a short walk from our luxury, boutique accommodation, nestled at the top of a long and wooded valley leading to Mevagissey, sits one of Cornwall’s most beautiful secrets: The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Of course, these days the gardens are far from secret and indeed their hard work and passion was recognised when they received a bronze in last year’s Visit England Awards.

Just as Cornwall itself provides a range of different experiences to explore, a visit to Heligan is certainly not just ‘any’ garden. Banish the thoughts of a quiet or simple stroll through sweeping lawns and set your expectations higher! We pride ourselves on Lower Barns being full of surprises, and this is why we feel honoured to be so close to the gardens which indeed share the same qualities. Heligan is an experience, and better yet it is a voyage of discovery. Indefatigable excitement and exploration are needed to make the most of its green fields, wild flowers and jungle.

Originally belonging to the Tremayne family, The Lost Gardens of Heligan were maintained and developed by this family’s successive generations right up until the war in 1914. As the family were called away, so the gardens went into decline. The beautiful Japanese gardens sunk under brambles, impressive pineapple pits were lost to overgrowth and even the remarkable rhododendron collection faded beneath time’s blanket. Great labyrinthine walls were covered too in brambles and lichen until the patch appeared like any other wasteland.

Rediscovered since we have been here providing a luxury B&B experience at Lower Barns just 25 years ago in 1990, the gardens opened to the public two years later in 1992. Since its discovery, more and more of the garden has been restored and repaired, as well as replanted. Having been sunken under neglect since the First World War, the gardens took on an exciting wild growth, which transformed the Japanese garden into a jungle. This natural, leaving things as they are attitude is what sets Heligan apart from other gardens. It does boast the longest Burmese rope bridge in the UK; overlooking the delightful poppy field and wild flower meadow, which surround visitors with swaying seas of colour and summer scent.

We’re proud of our wildflower meadow here at Lower Barns too, because it makes for a low maintenance and attractive feature.

Since their two year restoration, the gardens now flourish once again; providing a peaceful, romantic setting for you to enjoy discovering. Whether you fancy snuggling on a bench in the peaceful shade or picnicking on the lawn, there is something for everyone at Heligan. These days the trees have been trained into stunning, arched tunnels, and the gardeners today make inspiring use of the space, growing all of the colourful, seasonal produce served in the on-site restaurant.

Just like Lower Barns, Heligan provides nooks and crannies in every corner of the garden, and no matter what time of year you visit, you will still find a space to wander in tranquil solitude, or romantic coupledom. The summer months provide fun vintage lawn games, such as skittles and quoits for those who enjoy participating in such events.

Additionally summer gives way to some kids’ activities like den building, marshmallow toasting and a range of adventure trails for small explorers. You can also interact with the farmyard animals, such as baby pigs, which delight the majority of the 5 million plus visitors to Heligan each year.

Pet owners are welcome to bring dogs on leads, making Heligan a hit for all the family.

For more information on Staying & Playing at or contact use on 01726 844881