Trebah Garden: Cornwall’s Dazzling Sub-Tropical Paradise

As the seasons slowly moved from summer to autumn, I decided to visit Trebah, one of the best gardens in Cornwall.

a cluster of leaves with the sky behind them

Trebah Garden is well regarded and known for its rare, exotic plants and beautiful, nurtured, green space. After being owned by a string of families since the mid 1800s, it’s now taken care of by an independent charity, Trebah Garden Trust. This dog friendly garden is recognised as one of the Great Gardens of Cornwall, and is enjoyed by people all ages.

Towards the end of the summer, I was invited to experience this corner of sub-tropical loveliness with my friend, Stephie.

Finding Trebah Garden

Even though it’s tucked away in Mawnan Smith, just outside Falmouth. Trebah Garden is pretty easy to find. Driving along the road, it’s hard to believe that such a tropical expanse of greenery lies on the other side. Myself and Stephie were looking forward to strolling amongst the rich, tall trees and ferns, discovering all that Trebah has to offer.

We started our visit to Trebah Garden with a roam around Court Garden. This walled garden boasts manicured beds bursting with thriving, colourful flowers, and a seating area for those who want a quiet moment to themselves. I thought it offers solitude and a place to contemplate and ponder.

Before embarking on the winding paths of Trebah Garden, we decided to have a much needed cup of coffee at Trebah Kitchen. This is a light and bright space offering refreshments, breakfast, lunch and light bites. You are welcome to visit here without taking in the garden, and with a glass front, it’s a perfect place to sit, think, talk and relax.

a large palm shaped fountain with water and trees at Trebah Garden

This was my second visit. My first was many years ago before my son had started school (he’s now a fully fledged teen!). I was looking forward to having the time to stop and look at the different species of plants and trees, something I couldn’t do much of the last time I was here! There’s plenty to keep little ones happy at Trebah though. There’s a little paraglide and a play area, Fort Stuart, just a short walk from the entrance.

Lots of green plants and trees leading down a valley at Trebah Garden in Cornwall

Different walks at Trebah Garden

One of the many appeals of Trebah Garden are the walks, or routes, around the sub-tropical plants and foliage. There are step free routes too around the main garden, helping to improve accessibility. It’s quite deceiving as there’s about 4 miles of footpath that weave around this 26 acre glorious green valley.

Stephie and I decided to venture onto the Lawn Path, finding our way to the Koi Pool. The Koi Carp are huge, I had no idea they were so big. We then headed out on the path that led to the Amphitheatre, which seats 300 people. Trebah Garden holds events here throughout the year, including music, dance and dramatics.

a tall tree in a valley surrounded by other green plants and trees
a path at Trebah lined with rich greenery and trees
a large pond at Trebah Garden surrounded by lots of green trees and plants

From here, we took the pretty Davidia Walk which runs alongside Trebah’s Hydrangea Valley. This comes into its own in Autumn so we were greeted with pops of white and blue flowers as we walked and talked. There’s something to see all year round at Trebah. In winter, campion trees come into their own. In Spring there’s magnolia, rhododendrons and camelia which then make room for gunneras in the summer months.

We eventually came to Mallard Bridge, a popular photography spot. Naturally, we made the most of it. It was perfect timing too. The sun had made an appearance and it was proving to be a beautiful autumn day.

Along the way, there are many trees and plants of interest. Many are rare for the UK but at Trebah Garden you’ll find some of the largest of their species within the UK. These include an Acer (Japanese Maple) and a Magnolia, amongst others.

a grass path lined with pink flowers and plants with trees
the edge of a greycliff and a rock on sand with the still sea and Grebe headland at Trebah

Trebah Beach, Polgwidden Cove

One of my favourite features of Trebah Garden is the little beach. It feels like an unexpected treat. It’s a safe place for children to play. I noticed several children huddling around a pipe with flowing water – that’s hours of entertainment for children, right there! You’ll find The Boathouse here too, a place where you can buy drinks and ice creams. With the parasols arching over the tables, and the calm sea aiming for high tide, I felt like I was on holiday!

We walked along the beach (as much as we could). We could easily see Durgan, the next beach along the coast. I had my swimmers with me, but decided not to go in. The water was clear though so I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t take advantage.

a large shrub on the corner of a pond with lots of green plants around the edge
a woman in a mac and blue shirt smiling at the camera on a woodland path

Beach Path

Walking away from Trebah Beach, we took Beach Path. It you fancy exploring further, there are several other routes branching off from here. Some head onto higher ground and offer excellent viewpoints.

bamboo shoots with ridges
a large palm tree

We stayed on the main path. I liked the idea of walking alongside water which runs mostly down the middle of Trebah Garden. We stopped and appreciated Bamboozle – an area of Trebah Garden with lots of bamboo. I know I’ve said it before, but walking in an area, dense with trees and vegetation just feels so good. The air feels cleaned and crisper. It’s no wonder that visiting places like Trebah Garden can improve our health and wellbeing.

Pink Hydrangea plants lining a path
clusters of pink hydrangeas and green leaves

Gifts and plant centre

Once we had made our way back to the Visitor Centre, we browsed in the lovely gift shop and plant centre. There was also an art exhibition to look around, something myself and Stephie, as 2 keen artists, always have time for.

You can find out more information about times, entry and events held throughout the year on the Trebah Garden website.

pinterest pin for Trebah Garden post from The Great Cornish Outdoors

PR/press trip – We were invited to visit Trebah Garden in exchange for content on social media. I was under no obligation to write this post. It’s such a beautiful place to visit, I wanted to share it with you.

Author: plbedford

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