Our visit to the National Trust’s Glendurgan Garden near to Mawnan Smith Falmouth here in Cornwall.
On Saturday something pretty miraculous happened, Si took a break from all the DIY jobs and building work in the garden and shockingly the Teenager and the Tween both agreed to come out with us for the day. More often than not these days, the boys choose to stay at home or already have plans with their friends, but for a nice change we had a lovely family day out and it didn’t even take much bribery.
Glendurgan Garden is somewhere that we hadn’t been before, but had heard lots about from people who love it there. Our initial impressions were good, the car park attendant was a really nice man who told us where to park and explained how to enter the gardens through the reception and shop building and then out through the gates guarded by some foxes.
We actually forgot to pay for our parking whoops, luckily we didn’t get told off for this as we didn’t realise until we got home. Normally though if you aren’t a National Trust member, then parking is £2 per visit. I think we can be excused for not paying the parking anyway though, as once we got home and I looked at my receipt for the day I realised that we had been accidentally charged for 4 adults rather than a family ticket.
I would have noticed this at the time if I hadn’t been busy chatting to the woman who was giving us our tickets. A slightly expensive mistake, but since the money from garden entry will no doubt go towards funding the wonderful work The National Trust do looking after these places and our coastline, I don’t mind.
Glendurgan is beautiful, though I suspect it is even more so in the spring time when the bluebells are at their best. Glendurgan is in a word ‘green’. Green plants everywhere and loads of trees. It doesn’t compete with the likes of The Lost Gardens of Heligan and NT Lanhydrock for colourful plants and flowers, but Glendurgan Garden’s trees are wonderful.
Everywhere we looked there was another impressive tree. Some of them must be so old, since they were so huge with such thick trunks. All sorts of trees, the only downside is that understandably you aren’t allowed to climb them. Honestly some of those trees were just begging to be climbed.
Gardens aren’t really the boys’ ‘thing’, they get bored. I can understand that, at their age I wasn’t interested in gardens or being dragged on long walks either. Now that I’m the one doing the dragging and I’m the grand old age of 35, I love gardens. I appreciate the beauty and I can’t get enough of being outside anywhere in Cornwall.
If your children are like mine, then there are things to appeal to them at Glendurgan Garden, some compensation for all the beauty and fresh air you’re forcing upon them. One of these things is the Giant’s stride rope swing. They had a lot of fun trying it out and we had it to ourselves for quite a while.
There is also the maze at Glendurgan Gardens, the aim is to get to the middle before getting back out again. Easy peasy I thought, except nope I was hopeless at it. I don’t know why I was surprised, I am someone who has lived in Cornwall all her life and yet still needs to use a sat nav regularly to find my way to places here.
The boys were better though and once I let them lead the way, it was a whole lot easier. The downside to being short is I also couldn’t peep over the top of the maze hedges to see where to go. I suspect it’s easy for tall people. Just be wary of letting especially teeny children into the maze alone, as they could hide from you for ages.
Another thing to appeal to children (and anyone else really) at Glendurgan is the fact that you can walk through the garden to reach a little beach at the edge of the Helford River. I personally love the Helford, I dream of one day winning a lot of money and being able to buy a house overlooking it.
There is apparently somewhere by the beach where you can borrow buckets and spades, beach chairs etc, though we didn’t worry about checking this out. The beach itself is very stony and rocky, which is perfect when the tide is out far enough as you can have fun rock pooling. You can obviously also paddle or just sit down and enjoy the view whilst having a picnic.
The menu at the cafe at Glendurgan looked good, as did the food other people were eating as we walked by it on the way back to the car. If we hadn’t eaten lunch just before arriving there, I think we would definitely have been tempted.
Things to note before visiting Glendurgan Garden:
A lot of the paths are steep and many have raised stones, so a baby carrier or sling is probably a better option than a pushchair. I would say that it isn’t very suitable for wheelchair users either.
Dogs are sadly not allowed at Glendurgan Garden, sad for dog owners, but if you have a child who is afraid of dogs or allergic then this could be a bonus.
As I said before car parking is £2 payable before you go into the garden if you aren’t a National Trust member, so make sure you have some change with you ready.
You can pop to the National Trust website to find out more about Glendurgan Garden. You can also read our posts about other National Trust properties such as Lanhydrock, Cotehele and Trelissick, plus find over 100 places to go and things to do in Cornwall here.
**To comment on this blog you do not need to leave your name, email address or website if you don't wish to. Any information entered will remain private and will not be shared with anyone other than the site owner.