Mt Edgcumbe's Italian Garden

Five to visit: Gardens for free

Gardens for free, all year round!

Enjoying the warmth of the Gulf Stream, the magical gardens in Cornwall are home to a wealth of exotic, rare and beautiful plants and trees, Cornwall has many public gardens where you can let the kids run free, have a picnic, play cricket, read a book or just admire the plants. Here are a few of Cornwall’s municipal gardens you can enjoy for free!

Fox Rosehill Gardens, Falmouth

This peaceful sub tropical garden is a legacy from the Fox family who gave part of the garden for public enjoyment at the end of the Second World War. Many varied species from Australia, New Zealand and South America have been successfully introduced to the mild Cornish climate, including Lemon, Banana and Eucalyptus Trees, Bamboos, Agaves and a wide variety of Palms.

Sea captains brought back many of the plants from various parts of the globe for the Fox family, or from Kew Gardens when excess plant material was produced. It was common practice for Kew to offer plants to large private gardens such as Fox Rosehill.

Mt Edgcumbe Country Park, Rame

In the heart of this large country park are the colourful 18th Century formal gardens in the Italian, French and English styles, complimented by the newly established American plantation and New Zealand garden. One of only three Grade I Listed gardens in Cornwall, the park includes the National Camellia Collection and has some stunning examples of rhododendrons, and magnolias in the spring time.

Victoria Gardens, Truro

Located beside the river Kenwyn, Victoria Gardens and originally created to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, it's filled with exotic trees, shrubs and flowers. Complete with a bandstand and beautiful fountain, live music and concerts liven up this peaceful corner of the City during the summer. Occasionally you’ll hear a train passing over the nearby majestic granite viaduct, the original being built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859, but was replaced with the present structure in 1904, and now carries the main line from Paddington to Penzance. Take some time to wander through Waterfall Gardens, a beautiful, shady walk along the River Kenwyn towards the Leats in the centre of town.

Trenance Gardens and Leisure Park, Newquay

A stone’s throw from Newquay town centre, Trenance gardens offer a relaxing and peaceful area to either stroll through or sit and watch the world go by. Laid out in 1906, they are especially beautiful in springtime and are planted with a variety of subtropical plants, shrubs and exotic trees.

Passing the lake, your walk takes you through the rose garden, stocked with hybrid teas, floribundas and climbers, then across the road past the Heritage cottages depicting life as it was in Newquay during the early 1900s. Continuing under the historic Trenance viaduct you will come to Trenance Leisure Park where you will find Newquay Zoo, tennis courts, a fitness centre, miniature railway and a variety of other family activities.

Morrab Gardens/Penlee Park, Penzance

Two for the price of one, these lovely public gardens, situated just off the town centre, were originally created in 1841 and are now home to a surprising variety of plants, shrubs and trees which thrive in the mild Cornish sub-tropical climate. The gardens also feature some lovely Grade II architectural structures including a Victorian bandstand and fountain. Cross the road and you’ll find yourself in Penlee Park. With dramatic sub-tropical plants and beautiful mature trees, the tranquil Memorial Garden and charming Sensory Garden offer places for quiet enjoyment. For the younger visitors, the park also offers the ideal place to let off steam, with an excellent children's play area. And if you fancy a little culture, pay a visit to the award winning Penlee House Gallery and Museum. Garden open 9am - 6pm.

  • PinCawsand & Kingsand / Falmouth / Newquay / Truro / Penzance
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