I had high expectations of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, especially after receiving lots of reports that it was better than Eden (which we love). So when they introduced a new locals pass, 2016 was going to be the year we finally made our first visit and ticket it off my bucket list.
The only downside of the Locals Pass was that you had to visit the garden in March to qualify, but with the school holidays starting the logical time to go was towards the end of the month and tie in their Easter celebrations. As with most long weekends there was an appalling weather forecast so we decided that Good Friday offered us the best opportunity to maximise the experience with a bit of sunshine. Thinking that everyone else would be doing the same we decided to arrive at opening time (10am).
Getting the pass sorted was easy, for one adult and two children over 5 it was £25 and we get to visit as many times as we want for a year.
The first thing that greets you is the giant’s head – this is one of the iconic pictures you regularly see of Heligan but it is just as impressive in the flesh – after the obligatory family photos in front of the head we moved on to the Easter Fun.
The additional Easter activities on offer were brilliant. The egg hunt involved finding over 100 eggs (we missed quite a few but still qualified for the chocolate bunny), there were newly hatched chicks to coo over, egg crazy golf, Easter egg craft, cress head making and my personal favourite an egg race. All activities were included in the price and were suitable for a wide variety of ages.
We got to cross the rope bridge, saw daffodils and magnolias, posed in front of the mud maid, climbed over the woodland playground…… Phew! After romping around the gardens for nearly three hours it was time for a late lunch which involved going back out through the entrance. I couldn’t quite believe the size of the queue – there must have been over 100 people waiting to get in. My advice to everyone visiting attractions in the school holidays is always to get there early (unless you are going to Ships & Castles swimming pool but that’s a different story). We had an amazing day and were ahead of the crowds so didn’t have to wait to participate in any of the extra activities.
The end of March even on such a sunny day probably isn’t the best time to see Heligan in all its glory and you can see some of the summer flowering plants coming to bud – but I can’t wait to go back – it certainly gives Eden a run for its money and defiantly worth the trek from Falmouth and now with the Locals Pass it is a real bargain!