Nanny Pat’s days out: Glendurgan Garden

People exploring Glendurgan garden in Cornwall

Set above the hamlet of Durgan on the Helford river, Glengurgan Garden is a true delight for adults and children alike. Nanny Pat set out with Wilf and Megan to explore what it had to offer.


The beauty of Glendurgan is the way it reveals itself slowly. Made up of three valleys, which slope down to the river, there are lots of secret spots, unexpected views and hidden treasures to discover…

Until 1962, when they gave it to the National Trust, the garden was owned by the Fox family, who lived and worked in Falmouth. Six generations of the Fox family developed the garden, which, owing to its sheltered position, has a range of sub-tropical plants, plus ferns, palms and bamboo that provide colour all year round.

It’s worth a visit at any time of year, but like most gardens, it’s at its best in the spring, when it’s in full bloom with camellias, snowdrops, primroses and daffodils followed by magnolias, rhodedendrons, bluebells and azaleas and more…

Glendurgan was created as a family garden, and it shows! It’s one of the most child friendly gardens in Cornwall, with plenty for the kids to see and do. Wilf and Megan were captivated by the giant gunnera plants (which look a bit like rhubarb leaves), “the biggest leaf ever!” And if you’re fond of hide and seek, this has to be one of the best natural playgrounds to play in!

The Maze

Photogenic and enticing, the maze is surprisingly challenging! It’s made from cherry laurel, and is an astonishing 176 years old!


Once you reach the summer house in the centre, you can relax and watch everyone else trying to find their way towards you. Kids (of all ages) will probably also like to try out the Giant’s Stride, a huge pole with ropes you can swing from!

Keep wandering downwards and you will eventually reach Durgan village, a pretty, tiny fishing village on the banks of the Helford river. It’s a lovely place for a paddle, a little stroll along the coast path, or perhaps a picnic.

Don’t miss the cafe, which has a range of delicious homemade food on offer – not to mention ice creams…

Nanny Pat’s verdict:

Wilf and Megan loved Glendurgan – it definitely captured their imagination. While there’s lots to keep active kids amused, there’s also plenty of space to sit, relax, and soak up the atmosphere.

Getting there:

Glendurgan is located just outside Mawnan Smith, nr Falmouth. Postcode for SatNav: TR11 5JZ. There’s plenty of parking available. Dogs aren’t allowed in the garden (except guide dogs).

The garden is open from 10.30am – 5.30pm Monday-Saturday during the main season. Check the website for opening days at other times.

Prices: Free for National Trust members, otherwise £6.80 for adults, £3.50 for children. Under 5s go free.

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