Which gardens in Cornwall offer guided tours focusing on medicinal herbs?

When contemplating a day out in Cornwall, England, the rich tapestry of gardens that this southwestern tip of the British Isles hosts may spring to mind. Cornwall's gardens are not only famed for their breathtaking views but also for their significant history, stretching back centuries. Exploring these gardens can be a bountiful journey, filled with an array of vibrant plants and stunning landscapes. But the best part is that many of these gardens also offer guided tours focusing on medicinal herbs. This article will take you through some of the best gardens in Cornwall that offer such a unique experience.

1. The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan is not just any garden; it's a garden with a history rooted deep into the 18th century. This Cornish gem was once under the stewardship of the Tremayne family. As the centuries passed, the garden fell into neglect but was rediscovered in the late 20th century and restored to its former glory.

Exploring the winding paths of Heligan, you will encounter a myriad of plants and herbs. Special classes focusing on the medicinal use of these herbs are arranged under the guidance of seasoned botanists. From understanding the healing properties of lavender to discovering the benefits of rosemary, these classes are as enlightening as they are exciting.

2. Tregothnan House and Gardens

Home to the Boscawen family since 1334, Tregothnan House and Gardens presents a spectacular view of the Fal River. Despite its private nature, the gardens open their gates to the public for charity events and pre-booked tours throughout the year.

Tregothnan gardens are renowned for their herbal bounty. The guided tours not only introduce the visitors to the variety of plants they harbor but also their medicinal uses. The cherry on top is the chance to sample the Tregothnan tea, the first tea grown in England, prepared from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, a plant known for its numerous health benefits.

3. The Eden Project

The Eden Project is a must-visit garden in Cornwall. This extraordinary place, filled with massive biomes that house thousands of plant species from around the world, is a testament to the incredible diversity of our planet's flora.

The Eden Project offers a wide range of guided tours and workshops, focusing on different aspects of botany. One such workshop worth mentioning is the Medicinal Plants Tour. In this tour, you are introduced to the plants with healing properties, their history, and how they are used in modern medicine.

4. Trebah Garden

With its tropical splendor and picturesque beach view, Trebah Garden is an enchanting corner of Cornwall. This 26-acre garden, dating back to the 19th century, is home to a vast collection of exotic plants.

Trebah's guided tours are highly informative, designed to educate visitors about the various plants and their uses. The medicinal herb tour is particularly insightful, providing a deep dive into the world of healing plants. You will discover the traditional uses of these herbs, their role in modern medicine, and how to grow them at home.

5. Caerhays Castle Gardens

With a history dating back to the 12th century, Caerhays Castle Gardens is well worth a visit. Overlooking the spectacular view of Porthluney Cove, these gardens are home to a large collection of magnolias, camellias, and rhododendrons, among other plants.

The garden offers guided tours focusing on medicinal herbs. These tours are led by expert guides who explain the therapeutic properties of various plants found in the Caerhays Castle Gardens. This not only enriches your understanding of medicinal herbs but also adds a new dimension to your garden visit.

These gardens, each with its unique history, plants, and views, make for an excellent day out in Cornwall. Whether you're a plant enthusiast or simply love to be in nature, these guided tours focusing on medicinal herbs make for a fascinating and educational experience. They not only provide an overview of the rich plant life but also shed light on the healing power of nature, offering a holistic garden experience that lingers in memory long after your visit.

6. Penjerrick Garden

Penjerrick Garden, a tranquil, untouched paradise, is another gem in Cornwall's crown of botanical gardens. This beautiful woodland garden, with its exotic plants, large ferns, and rhododendron-filled paths, transports visitors to a bygone era.

The medicinal herb tours at Penjerrick are a perfect blend of education and entertainment. The tour guides, with their wealth of botanical knowledge, introduce visitors to the multitude of healing plants in the garden. The tour will take you through the history and traditional uses of these herbs, as well as their application in modern medicine.

Penjerrick Garden, much like the famed Lost Gardens of Heligan and Eden Project, is a testament to the rich plant diversity in the South West of England. It's an excellent place for budding botanists, herb enthusiasts, or anyone seeking a peaceful day out in nature.

7. Pinetum Gardens

Set in the heart of Cornwall, Pinetum Gardens is a 30-acre paradise that boasts a collection of over 6000 plants. This garden, like a living encyclopedia of plants, is an ideal place for plant enthusiasts and botanists.

Pinetum Gardens offers guided tours that focus specifically on medicinal herbs. Led by expert herbalists, these tours provide an insight into the healing power of plants. Visitors will learn about the therapeutic properties of various herbs and their uses in traditional and modern medicine.

From the enchanting Japanese Garden to the stunning Winter Garden, Pinetum is a place of beauty and tranquility. Much like the Trebah Garden or Caerhays Castle Gardens, a visit to Pinetum offers an enlightening experience that goes beyond just admiring the beauty of nature.


Cornwall's gardens, with their rich history and diverse plant life, offer much more than just stunning views. From the Lost Gardens of Heligan to the Eden Project, these gardens provide a unique opportunity to explore the world of medicinal herbs. Guided tours, led by expert botanists, educators, and herbalists, offer an engaging and educational experience.

Whether you are a history buff exploring the mysteries of King Arthur, a plant enthusiast fascinated by the medicinal uses of herbs, or simply someone seeking peace in nature, the gardens in Cornwall cater to all. Be it the Botanic Gardens of Tregothnan House, Michael Mount's Arboretum, or the Botanical Garden at Penjerrick, each garden offers a unique experience that lingers in memory long after your visit.

So, the next time you're in the United Kingdom, add Cornwall to your itinerary. Explore the breathtaking Isles of Scilly, enjoy the tranquil beauty of Port Isaac, a charming fishing village, and take a step into nature's pharmacy in Cornwall's herb-focused gardens. There's always something new to learn and discover in the gorgeous gardens of Cornwall. Let the beauty of nature and the knowledge of herbs enrich your visit and leave you with memories to cherish.