Nanny Pat’s days out: Heligan’s magical adventures for children

Toddler in a red coat exploring gardens of Heligan.

Heligan is on our doorstep and its rich history holds many stories. After its rediscovery and restoration in the 1990s the magical tale of its history – the First World War, lost young men and abandonment and neglect kindled a desire for many people to want to discover the garden and its treasures for themselves. We visited often and as adults marvelled at the beautiful greenhouses and pineapple pit, neatly laid out rows of abundant vegetables and flowers, the gardeners’ tools, the beeboles, bothy and ‘Thunderbox’ set in 200 acres rolling down to the sea at Mevagissey.


However, it was not the first place that sprang to mind for a visit with small children but in recent years Heligan has worked hard at developing a combination of outdoor play, farm animals and interaction with nature aimed at capturing the interest of children of all ages. They have done it with passion and creativity and produced a destination which truly offers interest for all the family.

We have visited mostly in the school holidays when the team present extra activities for children. Recently, October saw a Halloween trail with giant spiders’ webs and ghoulish face painting, while February half term focused on getting crafty and learning about wildlife, making bug hotels, bird feeders and seed bombs.


Easter saw us following a giant emu egg trail to egg HQ where we made mini Heligan giant cress heads. Whenever you go there is always the fun of venturing down into the jungle and testing your agility over the swinging rope bridge, visiting the hide to watch the birds feeding and seeing live videos of birds nesting, learning about wild bees at their bee hotel, climbing on the agility trail and checking out the latest additions to the farm animals.

The café at Heligan is very child friendly with highchairs and a corner well stocked with reading and colouring books and games to entertain, plus a variety of home produced fare on offer. There are clean, well-maintained toilets and baby changing facilities around the site and everywhere (except the depths of the jungle) is buggy friendly.

There are acres of walks around the gardens and it is easy to walk into Mevagissey on an off road trail. Lobb’s Farm Shop adjoins the car park and is a great stop for stocking up on local produce to take home.


We just love this place!

Getting there

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are just off the B3273 near Pentewan (postcode PL26 6EN) – look out for the brown tourist signs. From Bosinver, it’s approximately 15 minutes’ drive. Alternatively, you could catch a Travel Cornwall bus (route 471, which runs between St Austell and Gorran Haven) or cycle.

Baby and toddler friendly holidays at Bosinver

If you’re planning a holiday in Cornwall with babies or toddlers, our luxury self-catering cottages come fully equipped with everything you’ll need for a carefree holiday with your little ones. Find out more about baby and toddler friendly holidays at Bosinver.

Thinking about a last minute getaway in Cornwall? We have availability for short breaks or week-long holidays in some of our cottages in April and May. If you need any help choosing a cottage, just give us a call on 01726 72128.

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