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Visiting the garden at Lanhydrock

A view underneath a large pink magnolia in bloom to the small thatched cottage behind it. The lawn beneath the tree is trimmed and well manicured while the cottage is covered in foliage climbing up the walls.
A magnolia in bloom in front of a thatched cottage at Lanhydrock, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Hilary Daniel

There's plenty to see in the garden at Lanhydrock, from herbaceous borders and sentinel yews to a bright, bubbling stream, and even a croquet lawn. On the slopes above, paths weave through a woodland landscape, planted in a semi-formal Cornish fashion with stands of rhododendrons and Himalayan magnolias wreathed in green lichen. From here, there are superb views over the garden and the Fowey valley landscape.

Exploring the garden

There's been a garden at Lanhydrock since the 17th century, but the one seen today was established in the Victorian period. Some of the plants are more than 80 years old.

Lanhydrock lies eight miles inland, and the grounds rise to 130 metres above sea level. That means plants have to cope with a harsher climate than south Cornwall's famous coastal gardens, but they still put on a dazzling show.

Magnolias at Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock is famous for its magnolia trees, which are found all around the higher gardens. There’s even a magnolia glade, and you'll find a magnolia arch by the thatched cottage, which you can walk through.

A raised terrace viewing area overlooks Lanhydrock church and the magnolia glade. This is a wonderful place to appreciate the 200+ magnolias that now fill the 30-acre garden.

It’s possible to find a magnolia in flower every month of the year, with the most magnificent displays occurring in springtime.

Highlights of Lanhydrock's magnolia collection

A close up image of a white and pink magnolia flower
Magnolia Lanhydrock flowering in the garden at Lanhdyrock | © John Millar

Magnolia 'Lanhydrock'

Magnolia 'Lanhydrock’ flowers in late spring. It was registered and named by Peter Borlase, Head Gardener at Lanhydrock 1966-92, in 1992. The original specimen of this magnolia can be found on the lower terrace near the magnolia tunnel.

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The formal garden and parterre

The garden on the front and north sides of the house is dominated by 29 mature Irish yews. Planted in 1857, these trees require care and attention in order to stay looking their best, and take two weeks to prune every summer. The yews are trimmed from the bottom upwards, and the wires that help to maintain their shape are checked and replaced if necessary.

The formal parterre brings a touch of grandeur to the garden. Take a stroll through the neat, planted beds and check out the cheeky cherubs on the urns. The planting design was inspired by the original planting scheme from the early 20th century.

A gardener at work in the parterre garden in July, surrounded by colourful flower beds with a glimpse of Lanhydrock in the background.
A gardener at work in the parterre garden at Lanhydrock | © National Trust Images / Faye Rason

Blooming borders

The garden team works throughout the year to maintain the herbaceous borders and keep them filled with flowers and fragrant plants. Take a seat in the Herbaceous Circle and enjoy the results of their labour while listening to bees hum.

Higher garden

The higher garden is a great place to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. In the thatched cottage, where one of Lanhydrock's Victorian gardeners lived and died, there's a display about how the garden developed from the 17th century onwards.

Borlase's stream

Fed from the spring at St Hydroc's Well, this delightful stream flows in a series of culverts in the higher garden, beneath the paths that criss-cross the area. Drifts of gloriously coloured astilbe, crocosmia and primulas decorate the bank nearest the path in the summer, while naturalised ferns and rodgersia compete for attention in the shade of the magnolias.

The garden's tallest tree

From the terrace, you can also see the tallest tree in the garden, a swamp cypress (Taxodium distichum), which stands over 30 metres tall.

Formal garden Lanhydrock
Formal garden Lanhydrock summer bedding | © NT/Charlotte Guest


Benches and lawns provide places to rest and take in your surroundings. Wheelchairs are available to borrow – just ask at reception or the Gatehouse.

Tramper maps

A countryside Tramper is available to hire for use around the garden. Countryside Mobility membership fees apply. For further details, visit the Countryside Mobility website.

You can find recommended tramper routes for Lanhydrock's garden on this map.

Ask the team

The garden team works throughout the week, so you're likely to spot someone going about tasks as you walk around. We're always happy to help, so make the most of the opportunity to ask about the plants you see or for tips on how we keep the place looking so lovely.

Family visitors walking in the garden at Lanhydrock, Cornwall

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