Day 4: The Eden Project & The Lost Gardens of Heligan...

Experience - South Coast of Cornwall

Day 4: The Eden Project & The Lost Gardens of Heligan...

A visit to south Cornwall is never really complete without a visit to either the Eden Project or the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The same man’s vision is shared in the origins of both Eden and Heligan – Tim Smit…

While restoring the Lost Gardens of Heligan in the early 90s, Tim Smit became fascinated with stories that connected people to plants and ‘brought them alive’. He enlisted the help of Philip McMillan Browse (former Director of RHS Wisley and Horticultural Director of the Lost Gardens of Heligan) and Peter Thoday (former President of the Institute of Horticulture), to put together a team of expert horticulturalists with a touch of ‘green guerrilla’ in them…

The result..? Eden. Described by many as an ‘eight wonder of the world’ Eden is, in their own words, ‘an exciting, inspiring playground in which to explore our relationship with nature’…

The Eden Project was constructed in a 160-year-old, exhausted, china clay quarry near St. Austell and, with its amazing over-size green house biomes, is an amazing visit - you could fit the Tower of London in the Rainforest Biome. The Guinness Book of Records heralds the Biomes as the biggest conservatories in the world!

Building these ‘lean-to greenhouses’, on an uneven surface that changed shape was tricky. In the end ‘bubbles’ were used as they can settle on any shaped surface ...Believe it or not the architect had the idea while washing up!

Eden is, in essence, modern, ground-breaking, inspirational Cornwall with something very important to say….A must visit UK - never mind South West -location! We can supply advance tickets to avoid queuing and if you wish arrange either private or group tours to gain a deeper insight to this amazing place.

Having explored Eden, following our tips on getting the very best from your experience, why not take the short journey to where it all started – The Lost Gardens of Heligan situated just inland from Mevagissey.

The story of Heligan is as fascinating as the gardens are beautiful and productive. Seat of the Tremayne family for more than 400 years, the intriguing story of the estate shows how four generations created a near self-sufficient community in both work and leisure.

At the end of the nineteenth century the gardens were at their pinnacle before matters on the world stage were to impact on the lives of this quiet community. Brambles and ivy took over and after decades of neglect the hurricane of 1990 almost consigned Heligan to a few old sepia photographs.

Probably the most poignant spot at Heligan is a tiny room, found buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens. A motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil still reads “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. Smit and his team were inspired to restore these once glorious gardens and to tell the story of the ‘ordinary’ people who had made these gardens great, before themselves departing for the Great War.

Today these internationally acclaimed gardens exist as a living example of best practice from the past…. If you wish we can arrange either a private or group tour to gain a deeper insight into this captivating place.

Naturally we will pass on our lunch and evening meal recommendations, making reservations for you as appropriate. We keep up to date on where’s best!

When booking your holiday with Classic Escapes discuss your leisure interests with your dedicated holiday organiser.

Cornwall is blessed with a wide range of gardens to interest the amateur or hardened horticulturalist. We would be delighted to tailor your holiday to provide a greater insight into the region’s gardens should this be your area of particular interest.

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