Cornwall's spectacular Eden Project is an unforgettable experience in a breathtaking epic location. Eden is the gateway into the fascinating world of plants and people being a vibrant reminder of how we need each of them for our mutual survival.
Its home is a dramatic global garden the size of thirty football pitches, nestling like a lost world in a crater overlooking St Austell Bay. One of its giant conservatories is a majestic rainforest cathedral, the other is host to the fruits of the Mediterranean and the flowers of South Africa and California. Outside in the landscaped grounds you will find tea and lavender, sunflowers and hemp.
It is a venue for telling hundreds of plant stories from cocoa and coffee to bananas: from plants in medicine to plants in construction: from paper to wine and from perfume to brewing.
Wherever you are in the world you will instantly recognise this spectacular place with its stunning architecture and breathtaking living plant collection as the Eden Project, Cornwall, UK. A destination like no other.
The award winning Lost Gardens of Heligan, asleep for more than seventy years, is the scene of the largest garden restoration project in Europe. In the spring of 1991, the Gardens of Heligan lay under a blanket of bramble, ivy, rampant laurel and fallen timber. A year later, the restoration team opened the gardens to enable the public to share in the excitement of their discovery. In the northern gardens are two and a half miles of footpaths, an Elizabethan mount, rockeries, summer houses, a crystal grotto, an Italian garden, a fine set of bee-boles, a wishing well and a superb collection of walled gardens. Remarkably much of the original plant collection has survived, sometimes to record sizes.
To the south lies 'Lost Valley' and 'The Jungle', a sub-tropical valley overlooking the picturesque fishing harbour of Mevagissey, and overflowing with palms, tree ferns, bamboos, gunnera and numerous exotic trees and shrubs. If The Secret Garden and Peter Rabbit captured your childhood imagination, then Heligan will not disappoint you. The story boards make the visit interesting even to the non-gardener!
Nearby is the small port of Charlestown, very little changed since its completion in 1795 by the brilliant local entrepreneur, Charles Rashleigh. Situated by the harbour is the Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, built over the old china clay dry. The Centre charts a fascinating 100 year history of fishing, wrecking, mining and migration to North America. On display in the harbour you will find traditional square rigged sailing ships and at various times, famous visiting tall ships, aboard which you can discover a world from many years ago.
Charlestown Harbour is home to the Square Sail Shipyard whose tall ships are often moored there in between being used for film and television roles, many of which have been filmed within the harbour itself
Close by, the town of Fowey has a unique unspoilt ancient charm which holds a special fascination for visitors of all ages. The medieval and Tudor cottages, narrow steep winding streets with glimpses of the shimmering river below, busy withyachts and boats; cobbled walkways perfumed with flowers from hanging baskets and window boxes and the quays bustling with life. All help to enhance the beauty of Fowey.
Fowey has strong connections with Daphne Du Maurier, who spent most of her life there. A Daphne Du Maurier festival is held in Fowey every May to celebrate her life and work.
Fowey Regatta week is held in August, it is a hugely popular event with sailing events, a carnival, Red Arrows air display team and much more. A spectacular event not to be missed.
The Fowey Estuary has to be one of the most attractive and unspoilt parts of Britainís south coast. The peaceful Fowey river is surrounded by many miles of lovely open countryside, much of which is in the ownership of the National Trust.
MEVAGISSEY and GORRAN HAVEN
The fishing village of Mevagissey and smaller haven of Gorran are the very essence of a Cornwall which has remained true to its roots and embraced change slowly. Mevagisseyís labyrinth of tiny streets twist and turn past ancient dwarf buildings of cob and slate. A place to watch the fisherman land their catch and mend their nets as they have since 1430 when the pier was first built.
Mevagissey is renowned for the soaring switchback walks that whet the appetite for its seafood or help to walk it off. From Polkirt Hill you can look out over the Medieval street plan, the fishing boats in the harbour and the yachts in the pool, to the golden sweep for Polstreath Beach and St Austell Bay or south to the inlet that shelters Portmellon Beach and to the scenic coastal path over Chapel Point to Gorran Haven.
Less than three miles separate the two, but the contrast is sharp. Mevagissey is a working harbour, Gorran Haven a small picturesque anchorage, dozing on its sandy beach in the lee of the spectacular 400 foot high Dodman Point. Visit the distinctive landmark of its 15th century church with 110 foot tower or simply enjoy the quiet and privacy.