From the famous Eden Project, showcasing the largest indoor rainforest in the world and pioneering horticultural research, to formal walled gardens and intimate woodlands surrounding beautiful estates all set within the wider expanse of Cornwall’s designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’; this tour is packed with jaw-dropping views and loved by horticulturalists and enthusiasts alike.
Along with stunning views around every corner, excellent accommodation, wonderful pubs and beautiful cuisine, Active England will give you an experience you won’t forget.
The tour starts at Bodmin Parkway Railway Station, which is a four hour direct train from London Paddington. On arrival we walk to the first garden, the National Trust owned Lanhydrock. We take a stroll around the extensive gardens and enjoy their year-round colour. There are beautiful herbaceous borders, a fabulous formal parterre and colourful higher gardens filled with camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. Guests can also visit the stunning late-Victorian House, restored to its Jacobean glory after a terrible fire in 1881.
We then head to the first night’s accommodation which is in the stunning village of Port Isaac, and the wonderful, Port Gaverne Hotel.
Mileage: Walking, 3 miles.
We walk or bike down the magnificent Camel Trail, journeying to the foody heaven and quaint town of Padstow for lunch at the famous Rick Stein’s fish and chip shop. We have time to visit the beautiful gardens at Prideaux Place, and maybe catch a glimpse of Ross Poldark as some of the series was shot on land owned by the Prideaux family. After catching the ferry over the Camel estuary to Rock we will visit the archetypal Cornish villages of Port Isaac and Boscastle before heading back to Port Gaverne and our accommodation for the night.
Mileage: Walking, 4-8 miles. Biking, 10-20 miles.
We visit the wonderful Caerhays Castle and gardens overlooking the ocean. Caerhays is home to the Camellia x williamsii hybrids but is perhaps best known for its huge, Asiatic magnolias.
We then walk (or go via the support vehicle) along the coast to the wonderful seaside village of Mevagissey – one of Cornwall’s jewels, and then onto the magnificent Lost Gardens of Heligan – restored on a shoestring budget and hailed by The Times as “…the garden restoration of the century”. Today the mysterious gardens and estate offer over 200 acres for exploration, satisfying the broadest range of horticultural and wildlife interest.
Biking can be organised in the early morning to Caerhays Castle and again in the afternoon back to the hotel, the Rose in Vale.
Mileage: Walking, 4-8 miles. Biking, 10-20 miles.
In the morning we walk or ride through the intricate tramways of Cornwall’s tin mines, and onto the jewel of Cornwall that is St Ives. Best known for its spectacular light and as a haven for painters over the last few hundred years, it is now home to the renowned Tate Modern. St Ives truly is magnificent. We lunch at one of the wonderful seafood cafes and have plenty of time to walk around the town and visit the Tate Modern gallery before arriving at our hotel, the Rose in Vale for the evening.
Mileage: Walking, 4-8 miles. Biking, 10-30 miles.
We first visit the gardens at Trelissick, with the estate surrounded on three sides by the River Fal, it commands an impressive position looking down Carrick Roads to Falmouth. We then head onto Lamorran, in St Mawes, an intimate garden very much in the mould of Mediterranean gardens with water ever-present both as a backdrop to the garden and with running water featured in the many pools and streams. After lunch we cross the Fal Estuary on the ferry and visit the sub-tropical gardens at Trebah, with an amazing coastal backdrop.
Mileage: Walking, 4 miles.
We walk along the stunning coastal path past the old tin mines around the St Agnes area before either biking or in the support vehicle to the famous Eden project, often described at the 8th Wonder of the World. The Eden Project is a huge biosphere, hued out of the ground of a china clay mine. It is truly enormous and home to all manner of native and tropical plants. A modern garden for which there is nothing to compare.
We also offer a ½ day off should guests just want to relax and unwind. We often bike from the hotel to the Eden Project which is a relaxing ride through stunning countryside. We then transport guests to Bodmin Parkway station for pre-booked travel all the way to London (4.5 hours). Guests are welcome to travel back in the support vehicle but the train is the preferred and more comfortable option.
Mileage: Walking, 4 miles. Biking, 20 miles.
Guests stay in the best 4* hotels in the Cornwall region, with unbeatable settings, wonderful accommodation and stunning food – just see Trip Advisor for The Rose in Vale. Further options are available for those who want to stay in a country cottage location or in a selection of hand-picked bed and breakfasts or pubs.
Walk or bike as much or as little as you like as there are options to suit all ages and abilities. Every day guest will be able to shorten the route if required ensuring guests
Our guides are local experts in history, heritage. They know every gate, stile and pub and will fix all major equipment issues and get you back on the road as soon as possible.
If you choose to bike, we have a fleet of bikes from Giant and flat bar, drop bar, road, hybrid and e-bike options all bike types are catered for. Helmets as standard, just bring your shoes and pedals, if you have them, and away you go.