I recently visited Penjerrick Garden after spotting someone on a tropical garden group rave about it on Facebook! They described it as wild and jungle-like, as well as saying they were the only visitors there… it sounded right up my street! It also sounded like a fun adventure with the kids during the school holidays, so we planned to go for my birthday in August.
Unfortunately, it was raining on my birthday so we had to postpone for a few days, but I’m glad we did as being such a wild and untamed garden, it would have been very muddy and slippy in the rain!
This is not a garden for the faint-hearted or those who like a well-manicured lawn… but for those who really do want to feel like they are explorers and completely bathing in true nature then read on as I share my Penjerrick Garden review and abundance of photos!
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My Honest Penjerrick Garden Review
As mentioned, I had previously read people’s reviews online of Penjerrick Garden and so I knew what to expect and already knew it was my sort of place to explore. The thought of few or no people sounded like bliss, and as we looked around, we were the only visitors there, even in the summer holidays! If you love nature and want to get away from the crowds then it’s highly recommended!
I will mention again… the gardens are WILD!
This was another part of the appeal for me as it sounded exciting to work our way through the trees and paths which are not well-kept and feel like explorers traipsing through a jungle, unsure of what we would find.
I love this type of experience and having visited many pruned and manicured gardens, it was refreshing to feel like we were exploring a natural wilderness this time and not a busy tourist attraction.
I truly felt like I was in a jungle/woodland/forest and not at a purposeful ticketed event, which is what made it all the more magical and interesting for me. A true few hours of “tree-bathing” and soaking up all the goodness around.
If you like well-maintained paths, information about the trees and clearly marked routes, then this really isn’t the place for you. But if you’re fueled by an adventurous spirit and a love for the wild, then like me, I’m sure you’ll love it!
Often the place felt like a maze as we weren’t sure which way to go, but this only added to the fun for us and the children.
We had a whole day free, so we weren’t in a rush and felt happy to take our time exploring, repeating paths if we needed to or wanted to, and see what we could find around every corner, or as we appeared out of overgrown bushes not knowing what was beyond!
It really is a special place, a one-of-a-kind of garden and I’m glad the National Trust did not take it on.
Apparently, they were offered the garden once upon a time, but they turned it down. I am a fan of National Trust, but it wouldn’t be the untouched, foliage-rich garden it is today. That’s what makes it unique and perhaps also keeps it a hidden gem in Cornwall without being overrun by tourists.
As this is a rather wild garden, it won’t be suitable for those with mobility issues. The paths can be muddy, overgrown, steep and uncertain in places. Perfect if you love a good ramble, but be mindful that you will need good mobility to fully explore Penjerrick Garden.
Some people mention wearing walking boots. On a dry summer day, we were fine in trainers and water shoes. I love to wear my water shoes most of the summer, as I love the barefoot natural feel! There was only one exceptionally muddy path when we visited.
Perhaps it’s the secret adventurer in me or the longing I often feel to return to a simpler more wilderness and natural life as a human, but this is easily my favourite garden I have visited. It feels unspoilt and even though many of the plants were once purposefully planted at Penjerrick, it feels like it could be an organic occurrence; a garden that has been allowed to grow freely and maintain its natural charm.
I plan on returning to see the garden throughout the different seasons. It’s a special spot to be to get away from it all and indulge in Mother Nature.
Penjerrick Garden Honesty Box: A Confession
Having read other reviews before visiting, I knew to expect an honesty box for £3 per person. I had made sure to visit the cashpoint the evening before to make sure we had £12 in cash on us.
Unfortunately, we were unable to locate the honesty box!
There is a map at the main entrance of the gardens by the gate which showed the location, and we tried to look for the honesty box but couldn’t see anything.
Once the kids and Ben got back to our car, I even went back to try and find the honesty box again, without luck.
I felt terrible leaving without paying but was concerned to leave the cash in the map box at the start, so we will keep this cash and pay double on our next visit.
[September update: I decided to post our payment to the gardens as I’m not sure when we’ll next return. It’s also open seasonally, so it might not be for a while. Feeling at peace now we have paid!]
Having researched for where it might be since returning, I see some mention it may be on the house, or closer to the house, and another reviewer saying they couldn’t find it either.
So sorry Penjerrick, we did intend to pay, and we will pay twice the fee on our return!
How much is the entrance fee to Penjerrick Garden?
I thought it might be £3 per person, but it’s actually £3 per adult and £1.50 per child. There’s an honesty box on-site if you can find it, where you can leave cash. It may be located on the side of the house itself which looks to be a residence.
This is such good value compared to well-kept gardens, some of which charge an extortionate entry fee nowadays, especially for families visiting.
We are happy to pay £3 each (adults and kids) for the pleasure of using the gardens and will definitely find the honesty box next time!
What are Penjerrick Garden’s opening hours?
Check their website at http://penjerrickgarden.co.uk/ for the latest visitor information and opening hours, but at the time of writing in August 2023, the visiting hours from their website are:
1 March – 30 September, Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, 13:30-16:30.
Are there any facilities at Penjerrick Gardens?
No, there are no facilities available at Penjerrick, so please bear this in mind when you visit. There are no toilets or cafes.
It feels more like an amazingly wild garden that belongs to someone which you have been given permission to explore for a small entrance fee, and are free to roam around the gardens by yourself.
They do mention on their website that a hotel is opposite the main gate with a cafe/restaurant and toilet facilities.
How do I find Penjerrick Garden?
Penjerrick Garden, Budock, Falmouth, TR11 5ED
If you’re arriving from the A39, start by following the directions for Trebah and Glendurgan Gardens. Once you’ve travelled approximately three miles from the A39, you’ll easily spot the signs pointing towards Penjerrick. Our satnav attempted to take us down a small lane/bridlepath, but the entrance was just a short way along the road past this and is very obvious once there.
Parking is on the grass verge along the driveway.
What will you discover at Penjerrick Garden?
As you make your way through the pathways and through the various sections of the gardens you can expect to see many subtropical plants and native plants including huge ferns, gunnera, towering bamboo, redwoods, mountains of blue hydrangea, rhododendrons, palm trees of various varieties, as well as ponds, waterfalls, streams, a tree trunk sculpture and benches to sit and rest and soak it all in!
You’ll discover a wild, magical, tropical jungle-like paradise that is uncrowded, peaceful, thoughtful and perfect for any nature lover and explorer.