Yesterday it was sunny, I was in the Truro area, and I was looking for a place that would let a toddler burn off some energy and refuel my energy with a nice lunch. So I decided to visit Trelissick Gardens.
I would usually get to Trelissick by catching the ferry either from Falmouth or Truro. It a beautiful trip along the river Fal, passing hidden creeks, moored boats some half-wrecked and some shining with the kind of money most can only dream of. It’s a journey well worth the effort (and as it is along the river there is no risk of sea sickness!) but sadly I just didn’t have the time so instead I drove. The wriggly little roads must have a soporific effect as there was nothing but snoring coming from the back of the car when I arrived.
After the obligatory half hour wait for the toddler to finish her nap (tip number 1 for traveling with small children, always have a book, a drink and a non-rustling snack within reach), we wandered down into the gardens.
Most of the paths through the gardens are pram-friendly, but grab a map on your way through the entrance to make sure you don’t get surprised by a few steps. As with most open gardens in Cornwall it is part of a valley so some of the paths are quite steep, and although it can feel quite easy strolling down away from the entrance, it can feel a bit of a hard slog back up the hill agai to get out. So give yourself plenty of time to walk back up the garden at a leisurely pace.
I think Trelissick is best in spring when the camilias, magnolias and bluebells are in full bloom, but it is still a beautiful garden at any time of the year. Make sure you don’t miss the little bridge at the bottom of the garden that takes you over the road. Through there the path leads on to the orchard where you will find wild flowers under the apple trees and an enormous press. After all, what else are you going to do with all those apples but make cider?
As it is a National Trust site the cafe is eyewateringly expensive, but the food is good and the staff have always been really lovely. The cafe is set in a little courtyard with plenty of outdoor seating that is closely watched by friendly mobs of sparrows waiting to pinch your crumbs.
Alongside the usual NT shop there is an arts/crafts gallery and a second hand book shop. You can also visit the Trelissick house, but to be honest once I have explored the gardens I have never had the time to go into the house as well!
If you want to visit Trelissick and need to know the boring things like opening times, their website is www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trelissick