Trebah Gardens

Discover Trebah Gardens a sub-tropical utopia stretched along a steep valley to a beach.

Trebah Gardens

The sub-tropical gardens of Trebah thrive in the mild climate of the south coast of Cornwall. You can escape Britain in some ways, and strangely, when strolling along the paths, you are winding your way through a magical tropical land. Many species that would not normally live together do, so it is a hybrid garden in a steep cleft leading down to a sparkling sea. 

Gardens are great places for children; it is official. You will be amazed at how your children enjoy the tunnels of gunneras', the fairyland of waterfalls, and marvel at the champion trees, which are the tallest specimens in the United Kingdom.

Any of our tours that head into the South West can include Trebah Gardens. If you are a garden lover, we can create a garden tour of the south-west just for you. Our England’s South Coast Tour itinerary is a start. The region is world-famous for its moist and mild climate that supports so much horticultural variety.

A subtropical oasis

A brief history of Trebah

A banker Charles Hawkins Hext, bought Trebah in 1907, his wife Alice, inherited the estate upon his death in 1917. Alice was well known in the community and became involved in social, sporting and charitable events to support the neighbourhood. 

After she passed away in 1939, Trebah was commandeered by the minister of defence. The American armed forces departed for Normandy from Polgwidden Beach at the base of the gardens on the 6th June 1944. When Donald Healey, the car manufacturer, purchased the property, he had the task of moving the concrete edifices left from the war years.

From 1981, husband and wife team Tony and Eira Hibbert (in their mid-60s) invested the next quarter of century maintaining and nurturing this little piece of heaven. A charitable trust now runs the garden. 

What to see

Champion trees are specimens that are the widest in circumference, the tallest or both. Trebah has nineteen county beating trees and eight national monster trees. Alan Mitchell collated this information single-handedly during his life – the register is now kept up to date. 

The bamboos at Trebah are astonishing, why you may ask, well firstly, there are over 50 varieties, and some are even square-shaped. Colours can be; yellow, black, green and golden. The climate at Trebah is so ideal for bamboo that the rates of growth can defy belief. The variety of Phyllostachys can grow 30cm in 24 hours – what a fantastic fact.

Gunnera passage – this garden element fascinates everyone who sees it, you may know the plant as Giant Rhubarb or Enormous Cabbage, but it is Gunnera. The plant is a Jurassic park looking beast of a thing, much like a forest of giant green umbrellas you walk below. Truly amazing. 

Everyone in southern Britain has a hydrangea, usually two or three plants. At Trebah there are 50-year-old specimens cover ana area of to acres. The acidic soil creates a vibrant large blue head of colour. The famous Chusan Palm stands around 15 meters or 50 ft tall. This very hardy palm is 150 years old and is the majestic spire of the valley. 

Touring and accommodation
Cornwall is great for multi-generation family groups because there is a variety of things to do. Let us help you create the itinerary that is perfect for you. Our suggested Family Experience of Cornwall is a start. We have created a coastal tour; England's South Coast Tour. Our tour-designers will help create your driver-guided tour of England trouble-free. 

Cornwall is full of unusual gardens, dramatic coastlines, pretty fishing villages and world-class beaches. Visit the Eden Project, probably the world's greatest eco attraction. Cotehele House and Gardens is a very different place with terraced gardens encircling an old Cornish house.

Visit the tidal islands of St Michael's Mount; for the more adventurous, try Surfing in Cornwall or Kite Surfing. Animal lovers may wish to Snorkel with Grey Seals in the Scilly Isles

Stay at Hotel Tresanton in the heart of St Mawes, a pretty fishing village on the south coast. There is a wide choice of accommodation in the UK; CottagesManor House Hotels and traditional Guest Houses. The Idle Rocks Hotel also in St Mawes is a fabulous boutique establishment with award winning restaurant.   

If this is your first time to England, we would recommend a custom version of our Town and Country Tour; it covers the famous places and allows you to utilise your private driver-guide by getting-off-the-beaten-path. Our Classic tour of Ireland is a good place to start for the first trip to Ireland, and we suggest the Classic tour of Scotland for your first trip to the bonny Highlands. 

Sub Tropical Gardens with beach

Stroll through architectural plants to a sparkling beach

  • See the Water Gardens
  • Walk through the Giant Gunnera's
  • See eight of Britain's Champion trees
  • Discover the Secret Beach
  • VIP Guided Tours Available

Help us make your trip exceptional

Our UK, EU and US office-based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

Contact information

From the UK: +44(0)20 8669 3666

FREE from Canada or the USA: 1-888-472-1799

Email: [email protected]

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