Trelissick is one of the National Trust’s big, open spaces that simply allows you to be out in the fresh Cornish air away from traffic and the concrete jungle. It’s a brilliant spot for families with kids and dogs; you can lose yourself in the woodland, emerging randomly to find a stunning view out over the River Fal, complete with bobbing sail boats. With over five miles of walking you can really get off the beaten track and find some space to yourself.
The gardens occupy their very own peninsula and are split into two – the slightly more formal tended gardens and the wider estate of woodland and open parkland. With water on three sides, there’s a lovely sense of being slightly cut off from the frantic modern world; you can almost see shoulders dropping and heart rates slowing around you. And in a world where we’re often told not to walk on the grass, children are actually encouraged to climb trees at Trelissick (just don’t let them climb too high!).
The team at Trelissick can give details of set walks that follow the river, with views across to narrow creeks, before heading into the woods. You might spot the King Harry Ferry to-and-froing across the water – it’s been voted one of the most beautiful ferry crossings in the world, giving you some idea of the stunning nature of the surroundings here.
The formal gardens don’t have the instant exotic feel of places like Trebah; this is a more understated place where it’s all about the peace of the atmosphere and a less structured feel. Autumn is one of the best times for colour at Trelissick, as the leaves turn gold in the woodland and the gardens bloom with late-flowering plants. The hub of Trelissick is a complex of rugged, old former farm buildings, with a striking fairy tale tower; you’ll find a good café, a gift shop, bookshop and a plant centre. Sunday lunches here have a loyal following.
Like all National Trust properties, there’s plenty going on throughout the year at Trelissick, from wassailing in January to Christmas events. Lecture lunches on a huge variety of subjects are a stalwart of the Trelissick calendar.
Trelissick Garden is open daily.
Feock, Nr Truro, Cornwall, TR3 6QL, Tel. 01872 862090