The writer of The Telegraph's weekly gardening column for twenty years, Helen is a passionate hands-on gardener. She is also author of several gardening books including Gardening in Your Pyjamas. Helen is a lecturer, teacher and broadcaster whose credits include the BBC's Gardening from Scratch and Gardening Week.
Explore the great spring gardens of Cornwall
Spring is an extremely special season in Cornwall. This county, known for its golden beaches, quiet coves and mild climate, sees spring arrive about a month earlier than in the rest of the UK. The arrival of the season is marked when spectacular magnolia trees in six of Cornwall's Great Gardens burst into fabulous bloom.
Seeing these gardens at the height of magnolia season is an unforgettable experience, and
you can visit them on this five-night, expert-led escape to glorious Cornwall. You'll visit the six gardens that feature these world-class magnolias, including Trebah, Trewidden, Caerhays, Heligan, Tregothnan and Trewithen, and admire them in all their spring glory.
There are special guest appearances throughout the trip, including two days with the former Thorny Problems columnist for The Telegraph, Helen Yemm. Exclusive tours with head gardeners offer unrivalled insight into the flora on display.
Over five days, you'll visit Trewidden House and Gardens with its colourful camellias, magnolias, and azaleas, Trebah Garden which has a glorious private beach, and Trewithen with its 200 acres of lush parkland. You'll also explore the incredible Lost Gardens of Heligan. Together, these gardens are considered some of the finest in the UK. On a final visit to the majestic Caerhays Estate, the castle's owner will host an elegant champagne reception and dinner.
The four-star Padstow Harbour Hotel is your stylish base for the trip, offering sweeping harbour views. Perched above the charming fishing port of Padstow, it's the perfect place to stay for an idyllic Cornish getaway.
Explore exotic gardens
Meet Helen Yemm
Enjoy dinner with the owner of Caerhays Castle
Your expert guide
- Five nights in the four-star Padstow Harbour hotel
- Breakfasts, four dinners, and one lunch included
- A special Q&A with Telegraph columnist, Helen Yemm
- A champagne reception and dinner, hosted by Caerhays Castle owner, Charles Williams
- A garden tour and Cornish Cream Tea at Tregothnan
- Hosted throughout by a dedicated Tour Manager
- A guided tour of Trewithen, Trewidden, Trebah Gardens Tregothnan, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Caerhays Castle Garden
Day1Arrive at Padstow Harbour HotelPadstow, United Kingdom
After your journey to Cornwall, arrive at the lovely Padstow Harbour Hotel and settle into one of the charming guestrooms. You may want to take a stroll around the town of Padstow, and enjoy the magnificent views across the famous Camel estuary. At around 6pm, there'll be a welcome meeting and a chance to meet your fellow guests. Tonight, dinner is included in the hotel's restaurant.
Day2Visit Caerhays Castle Garden and Tregothnan with an evening drinks receptionTruro, United Kingdom
After breakfast, you'll head straight to Caerhays Estate to explore their magnificent Spring Gardens on a tour with the owner, Charles Williams and the Head Gardener. Spring is the best time to visit the 140 acre gardens, when the famous National Magnolia Collection, camellias and rhododendrons, will be in full bloom.
Tregothnan Garden is where you will spend the afternoon, where the head gardener joins you for another exclusive tour. Tregothnan is the private estate of Lord Falmouth, you will take the River Garden tour and discover the history of Tregothnan's rich heritage of over 700 years. Tregothnan also protects endangered trees, including one of the world's rarest specimens, the Wollemi Pine. After exploring the gardens, delectable Cornish cream tea is served, featuring English tea grown in the gardens.
Back at the hotel, your evening begins with a drinks reception hosted by special guest Helen Yemm, followed by dinner in the restaurant.
Day3Trewidden House and Garden and Trebah GardenPenzance, United Kingdom
Today, Helen Yemm will join you for two exclusive garden tours. A morning visit to Trewidden House Gardens, owned by the Bolitho family of Penzance starts the day. There's a tour with the head gardener, offering a fascinating insight into the historical Springtime Gardens, bursting with camellias, magnolias, azaleas and tree ferns.
Next up is Trebah Garden where their head gardener will take you on a tour of the sub-tropical Cornish gardens. With 4 miles of footpaths, a private beach and 26 acres of Cornish valley garden, there is lots to explore.
Later, Helen Yemm is available for a Q&A at Padstow Harbour Hotel before dinner.
Day4Lost Gardens of Heligan and PadstowSaint Austell, United Kingdom
A visit to the sensational Lost Gardens of Heligan is in store today with a guided tour from the Head of Gardens & Estates, you will learn about the incredible gardens that were only rediscovered 30 years ago having been lost in brambles and ivy in WW1. After the tour, you will enjoy a delicious light lunch at the Heligan Kitchen.
The afternoon is yours to explore Padstow. Glorious sandy beaches surround this charming working fishing port. The spectacular location and charm of the town have made it one of the most desirable places to live in the UK, as well as attracting celebrity chefs who make the most of the freshest seafood catches.
Dinner at the hotel rounds off a wonderful day.
Day5Trewithen Gardens and Caerhays Castle for dinnerTruro, United Kingdom
This morning you'll go on a tour of Trewithen Gardens with the owner and head gardener. Home to the Goldsworthy family, Trewithen means 'house of the trees' and the estate has more than 200 acres of parkland as well as some of the most spectacular magnolia trees.
The pinnacle of the trip is next. After exploring the magnificent gardens at Caerhays Estate earlier in the trip, this evening you'll enjoy a superb champagne reception, canapes, and dinner at Caerhays Castle hosted by the owner, Charles Williams.
Day6Depart Padstow Harbour HotelPadstow, United Kingdom
There's a final breakfast before you depart from Padstow Harbour Hotel this morning.