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“In a superb setting-Caerhays Castle and Gardens are magic in Spring”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Caerhays Castle

Caerhays Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Caerhays
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Caerhays Castle is one of the very few Nash built castles still left standing, and is situated within approximately 120 acres of informal woodland gardens created by J C Williams, who sponsored plant hunting expeditions to China at the turn of the century. As well as guided tours of the house from March to June, visitors will see some of the magnificent selection of plants brought back by the intrepid plant hunters of the early 1900s - these include not only the collection of magnolias but a wide range of rhododendrons and the camellias which Caerhays and the Williams family are associated with worldwide.
Country Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
281 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 323 helpful votes
“In a superb setting-Caerhays Castle and Gardens are magic in Spring”
Reviewed May 22, 2012

Not far from the popular Cornwall coastal village of Mevagissey, the castle and gardens are inspirational in Spring when a visit will especially delight gardeners and photographers.
The castle is superbly sited in a delightful, open, south facing valley location, just a short walk from Porthlune Cove. From this cove, the castle is framed by a backdrop of woods and in Spring, the pink and rose blossoms of mature Rhododendron and Magnolia trees; sweeping lawns and a large lake in the foreground complete the setting.
Home to a National Magnolia Collection the gardens are open to the public normally from February to early June when at their most spectacular. Gravel paths lead around the castle, through stone arches to terraces overlooking the estate and grounds and views across the countryside and out to sea. We enjoyed these gardens more than some of the more popular and widely advertised gardens we had seen on other visits to Cornwall.
An early owner of Caerhays was a passonate gardener and collected seed from newly discovered species of rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias and azealas and some of these unique specimens are mature now.
There are tearooms and a gift shop, with plant sales for those lucky enough to be able to take plants home.
We visited the castle in the morning on a lovely day walk from Portloe to Mevagissey along the South West Coastal Path. A particularly fine view of the castle and grounds can be had from the Public Footpath towards Tregavarras, only a few minutes walk uphill.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Hitchiker_bear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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143 reviews from our community

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English first
Princes Risborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
88 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A little piece of heaven”
Reviewed March 4, 2012

We visited the gardens at Caerhays Castle on a beautiful sunny February day and were completely awestruck by the magificent spectacle of the mass blooms of the camellias and the towering magnolias. If there is a finer example of camellias in the south west I would like to know where. Although the rhododendrons were only just coming into bloom they will clearly be a tremendous spectacle in the coming weeks whilst the gardeners advised us that the azaleas are also a treat not to be missed later in the spring. The walk through the garden is really magical with unexpected vistas around every corner. The tea shop does a good range of drinks and snacks. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank Andy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
748 reviews
592 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 706 helpful votes
“Visit when Camelias, Magnolias, and early Rhodos bloom”
Reviewed June 15, 2011

We visited Caerhays Castle on May 20 , 2011 on our tour of Cornwall gardens this Spring. The castle, built in 1800 by Nash, is nestled at the bottom of a hill close to the coastline and not that far from St. Austell. Mature woodland gardens on the hillside surround and frame the castle. Camelias, magnolias, rhodos, and azaleas are planted here in profusion. The main garden path we walked on took us about an hour and it allowed us to sample the plantings of rhodos and azaleas, some of which were still blooming, but the magnolia trees and camelias were finished. There are no other plantings of herbaceous perennials or annuals or other flowering shrubs usually found in large garden estates. A free map of the castle grounds showing its many paths is available at the entrance. We didn't explore these other paths as it was time for lunch before our guided tour of the home.

The guided house tour, at 12, 1:30 and 3, took about an hour. We saw the entrance, the library, sitting room with lovely views across to the bay, the family and a formal dining room, and the owner's billard room. It's a lived in house so a guide is necessary to view only certain rooms....i.e. no bedrooms or bathrooms. As each room has a roped corridor, there is no room to move around and to closely look at items on display. Large groups will have difficulty seeing the item that the guide is talking about. I saw lots of antique furniture and original silk wall hangings dating to the late 1800s, but the story of the castle being built and its various owners' financial problems and successes, which were capably and interestingly told by the guide, made the tour of the house that more meaningful. Many painted portraits by Opie hang on the walls and photographs of the family, including those of royalty and a letter by Prince Charles to the owner, are also on display.

The tea house offers both outside and indoor seating. Our delicious soup, served with 2 pieces of wholesome homemade, bread cost 4.20. Hot sandwiches, pasties, sweets are also available along with a variety of drinks. The garden shop offers plants from Burncoose Nursery mostly in 1 litre size pots...i.e. azaleas, corylopsis, hammaelis, decidous flowering shrubs, etc. some perennials in smaller sizes.

The Bay is across the road to the main entrance which we did not stop to explore.

The best time to visit Caerhays Castle would be when the magnolias and camelias are in bloom judging from the postcards on display in the Gift Shop as these plants do frame the castle with wonderful color. I was thus disappointed in our visit to this garden as it was mainly green with just some color from late blooming rhodos and azaleas due to the early Spring this year. The main garden path we took had some inclines and steps in getting to and leaving it, but it provided no difficulties for us seniors to walk on. The gardeners have attempted to identify some of the plants using stakes to bring the labels at eye height. It is quite a drive out into the country so allow an afternoon for a visit here.

Visited May 2011
2 Thank retireeVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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