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  5. Gardens of Heligan

Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a major Cornish attraction set deep in a valley above Mevagissey.

It was once a flourishing Victorian garden until the start of the First World War when all the gardeners joined up to fight in France.

Tragically the many of the gardeners were killed leaving the garden neglected and overgrown for decades.

Following a major restoration project (filmed by Channel 4) in 1996 the gardens were opened to the public.

The Highlights

Heligan has over 200 acres of gardens to explore.

There are sculptures carefully crafted into the landscape. The Mud Lady and Giants Head (my favourites!) on the woodland walk just seem to emerge from the earth.

The gardens change throughout the seasons.....with its magnificent rhododendron and spring bulb displays in springtime and the changing colours of foliage in autumn.

The Northern Garden was restored to it's former glory. It's Victorian vegetable garden has a fascinating pineapple pit and the melon yard - a glimpse back into the days when large houses like this grew all their own fruit and vegetables.

Flowers for the house were cultivated in a walled section and there are glorious blooms at any time of the year. And it's apple orchard is full of very old traditional varieties.

The grounds extend to a charcoal burning area and to woodland walks.

The Facilities

Heligan has made a lot of adaptations to allow people with disabilities better access to the gardens.

Disabled parking is close to the main entrance with level access into the garden.

Manual wheelchairs are free to borrow at Heligan - available on a first come first served basis.

Visitors are of course welcome to use their own wheelchairs and electric scooters.

Most of the garden is accessible with a wheelchair with the exception of the jungle area which is inaccessible to wheelchair users and has some steep slopes.

A Map indicating the areas suitable for wheelchair users is free on site or may be downloaded from their website.

There is a video in the conservatory showing the more inaccessible and steeper parts of the garden.

In addition, there is an access guide and a sensory guide for visually impaired visitors available for purchase or free to download.

General information on the garden is available in braille and large print.

There are a number of accessible toilets with left and right sideways access.

Carers have free admission and there is a reduced rate for the elderly.

Heligan is an excellent choice of destination for a day out with lots to see and do. Even with the restrictions for wheelchair users we spent a full afternoon exploring the gardens.

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