CORNWALL has many public gardens where you can let the kids run free, have a picnic, play cricket, read a book or just admire the plants … and best of all, you can enjoy them for free.
Fox Rosehill Gardens, Falmouth
This peaceful sub-tropical garden is a legacy from the Fox family who gave part of the garden for public enjoyment at the end of the Second World War. Many varied species from Australia, New Zealand and South America have been successfully introduced to the mild Cornish climate, including lemon, banana and eucalyptus trees, bamboos, agaves and a wide variety of palms. Sea captains brought back many of the plants from various parts of the globe for the Fox family.
Victoria Gardens, Truro
Beside the river Kenwyn, Victoria Gardens, originally created to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, is filled with exotic trees, shrubs and flowers. Complete with a bandstand and beautiful fountain, live music and concerts liven up this peaceful corner in summer. Occasionally you'll hear a train passing over the nearby majestic granite viaduct, the original being built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859, but was replaced with the present structure in 1904, and now carries the main line from Paddington to Penzance. Take some time to wander through Waterfall Gardens, a beautiful, shady walk along the River Kenwyn towards the Leats.
Trenance Gardens and Leisure Park, Newquay
A stone's throw from Newquay town centre, Trenance gardens offer a relaxing and peaceful area to either stroll through or sit and watch the world go by. Laid out in 1906, they are especially beautiful in spring and planted with a variety of subtropical plants, shrubs and exotic trees. Passing the lake, your walk takes you through the rose garden, stocked with hybrid teas, floribundas and climbers, then across the road past the heritage cottages depicting life as it was in Newquay during the early 1900s. Under the historic Trenance viaduct onto Trenance Leisure Park where you will find an award-winning zoo, fitness centre, miniature railway and a variety of other family activities.
Morrab Gardens/Penlee Park, Penzance
Two for the price of one, these lovely public gardens, situated just off the town centre, were originally created in 1841 and are now home to a surprising variety of plants, shrubs and trees which thrive in the mild Cornish sub-tropical climate. The gardens also feature some lovely grade two architectural structures including a Victorian bandstand and fountain. Cross the road and you'll find yourself in Penlee Park with its dramatic sub-tropical plants and beautiful mature trees.