The Cornish peninsula is famous for its sheltered gardens harbouring important collections of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, palms, tree ferns and many other exotic plant groups that predominantly flower in the spring. Most of these gardens are found on the south coast where valley gardens lead down to secluded creeks warmed by the Gulf Stream to give unique microclimates. Our four-day tour allows you to discover the magnificence of some of Cornwall’s finest gardens including Tregrehan, Caerhays, Trewithen and Tregothnan.

We’ll also be joined for a day by garden designer Charles Fox whose influential shipping merchant family was responsible for the creation in the 19th century of the gardens at Glendurgan, Penjerrick and Trebah, and he’ll talk about the gardens’ fascinating histories over lunch at Glendurgan. We’ll stay at Olga Polizzi’s boutique Tresanton Hotel, a haven of peace and beauty where guests enjoy comfort and style, fresh local cuisine and traditional, unobtrusive service. All rooms have stunning views across the sea towards St Anthony’s Lighthouse with the opportunity to stroll into St Mawes, one of Cornwall’s prettiest fishing villages.

Tour leader
Annie Guilfoyle is a regular Gardens Illustrated contributor, and an award-winning designer, writer, lecturer and international garden show judge. She will be accompanied by expert garden tour leader, Dr Sophie Piebenga.


The Cornish Spring Gardens holiday takes place 9-12 April 2019. Price per person, based on two people sharing: £2,295 (a single supplement of £450 is levied by the hotel).

The price includes: three nights dinner, bed and breakfast at Tresanton Hotel, St Mawes; three delicious evening meals with wines at the hotel; three lunches, including a special invitation to lunch at Glendurgan with Charles Fox; and all transportation from St Austell railway station or the hotel. The price does not include hotel extras or travel insurance.

For further information about this trip, day-to-day activities, hotel accommodation and details of how to book, please contact:

Boxwood Tours, Quality Garden Holidays, Rhiw, Llanbedr, Gwynedd LL45 2NT, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)1341 241717

This tour has been arranged exclusively for readers of Gardens Illustrated by Boxwood Tours, Quality Garden Holidays, a specialist garden tour company set up in 1990 by Sue and Brian Macdonald, Kew-trained, professional gardeners. Please note that itineraries may be subject to change for reasons beyond Gardens Illustrated’s control.