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On the trail of the Cornish Camellia

Specialist Inbound Group Tour Operator for Cornwall & Southern England

A spring holiday or tour for your group in Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without a visit to see some of its beautiful Camellias.

Originally native to China and Japan Camellias thrive in the mild climate of Cornwall. Specimens arrived in the 18th Century by ships returning from the Far East, bought by wealthy landowners who had made their fortunes in the mining and shipping industry.

We’ll show you the gardens you have to visit to learn the history of this now very typical Cornish flower. Let’s start our tour in the very East of Cornwall at Mount Edgcumbe Gardens the home of the National Camellia Collection. One of only 3 Grade 1 listed gardens in the county and the only one open to the public all year round. As a souvenir of your holiday in Cornwall selected plants are for sale.

As we move west we come to Anthony Woodland Garden which has the National Collection of Camellia Japonica set in 100 acres (40 hectares) of woodland adjoining the picturesque Lyner Estuary.

Then Caerhays Castle which is situated on Cornwall’s south coast and was the original home of the x Williamsii camellias collected in China in the early 1900s. The ‘Caerhays’ Camellia has beautiful crimson- pink flowers that become purple with age.

A short trip on the King Harry Car Ferry across the river Fal brings you to Trelissick owned by the National Trust, a 20 acres garden planted 200 years ago perched above the river. Close by is the oldest garden in Cornwall is Enys famous for its bluebells and an amazing display of Camellias; a tranquil garden for your holiday enjoyment.

Driving past Falmouth you’ll arrive at Trebah and Glendurgan; both in valleys that stretch down to the Helford Estuary. Outstanding all year round, ever changing with the seasons and definitely a garden to visit for Camellias. Onwards past the Lizard and on to Penzance you’ll find Tregwaiton a fascinating woodland garden with splendid views over Mounts Bay.

Heading back to Truro, Cornwall’s county town is Trewithen renowned for its Camellias including the Trewithen hybrid Camellia ‘Glenn’s Orbit’, worth searching out. After seeing the many and varied Camellias in Cornwall why not sample a cup of tea from the Camellia sirienas (the tea plant) grown on the Tregthnan Estate near Truro….a cup of Cornish grown tea with a scone, jam and clotted cream. Perfect!

We specialise in unique and personalised special interest tours of Cornwall for groups of garden enthusiasts large and small, creating tours that focus on subjects and special events; as well as bespoke itineraries for schools, university and alumni groups.

Include our Camellia Trail in a group tour of Cornwall and find out more about our service.

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