Peachick Diaries: The Peachicks’ Must-See Guide to Trebah Garden & Kitchen
If your visiting Cornwall and looking for an exciting day out with your little explorers that is full of magical adventure then look no further than Trebah Gardens, near Falmouth. These gardens have it all. Breathtaking views, champion trees, water gardens, Bamboozle maze, Ampitheatre, beach (yes really!) AND if they still need to lose some energy after all that there is even hidden adventure play parks! So until you get a chance to visit for yourself, here is The Peachicks’ Must-See Guide to Trebah Garden:
Over Easter we loaded up Roxy car and trekked off down to Cornwall on our annual family holiday. This year we really fancied going somewhere different from our usual haunts and there was one place we’d always meant to go but never quite got to. The stunning Trebah Gardens, near Falmouth. So when they were offered the chance to go and spend the day exploring, The Peachicks jumped at it! We were there the whole day and the girls were shattered afterwards. Elodie (4) just about managed without going in the pushchair, lucky really as it was full of all our coats & picnic!
Looking down past the ‘Dinosaur Rhubarb’ to the bridge and Mallard Pond at the bottom end of the gardens.
Here are our favourite bits:
1. Camelia Walk & Alice’s Seat
Apparently there is over four miles of paths to wander around and each are as beautiful as the next. As we had hired a Tramper for the morning we were directed a different route around the gardens, so for us Camelia Walk was our first port of call. The Peachicks’ said it made them feel like Jungle Explorers and what little person could resist exploring a secret tunnel like this! Definitely not The Peachicks, as soon as they saw it they were off!
Alys desperately wanted to visit Alice’s Seat as she loves anything to do with her name (even if we spelt her’s a little differently!). This is a beautiful thatched summer house, originally built by Alice Hext in the 1900’s and recently restored. Its completely open fronted and I love the tall oak beams that hold the whole thing up! I did try very hard to get a photo of the entire building… lets just say there was some Peachick wrangling required at the time which made it impossible but I did get this lovely one of Alys!
2. The Bamboozle maze!
Created using 40 different species of bamboo, the Bamboozle maze runs along the stream, just off the beach path. The Peachicks spent ages running in and out of all the different clumps, listening to it all rustling in the breeze. It was also a very welcome spot of shade on what was a beautifully sunny day!
3. Dinky’s Puddle
How cute is this little water monster?! It’s hidden in a small ‘puddle’ as you come out of Bamboozle, camouflaged by all the water plants around the pond. The Peachicks took a great many photos here and decided to sit on the grass so they could eat lunch with him!
Dinky’s puddle surrounding with Bamboozle in the background.
And this is the spot they sat and ate lunch in… the carpet of bluebells must have been stunning when they had all come out. It also looked like we had missed the daffodil display – definitely have to go back and see that! This spot was in the middle of the valley, there was very little breeze and without a cloud in the sky was really hot. Millie even took her coat off!
4. The Beach!
Yes there is a beach! A beach, complete with beach hut cafe and absolutely stunning views over the Helford River! We spent ages here, sitting in the sunshine, skimming stones and picking out potential forever houses along the river!
One word of warning – after being in the heat of the valley floor, the beach was absolutely freezing unless you could get out of the breeze. I should add it wasn’t cold enough to put anyone off having a massive ice-cream from the selection available – and we even found dairyfree sorbet for me & The Peachicks. (I am not sure we would have risked it, if any of us were severely allergic to dairy as the sorbet and ice cream are made in the same factory and housed in the same chiller. However, Trebah is listed as a Naturally Coconuts stockist, which comes in separate little pots and is a perfect alternative!)
5. Water Garden
Although this is listed last, this will be your first discovery at Trebah, as unless you are following the Tramper Mobility Scooter map, this is the start of the recommended route round the gardens. Once you have ventured along the lawn path and taken in the amazing views down the valley, you come to a small path that appears to lead into a jungle. Follow it. You will not be disappointed! At the top of this path is a beautiful Koi Pond (no photos sadly). From here you basically follow the water on its way down the side of the gardens and all the way out to the Mallard Pond just before the beach.
The Peachicks said that the over hanging trees made them feel like they had stepped into a fairy world straight out of a Tinkerbell movie! Needless to say there was lots of flitting around pretending to be water fairies looking over the gardens and talking to Mr Heron, making sure he was a well looked after resident!
Somehow, even though we visited right at the end of the day, The Peachicks still had the energy to flit up and down the steps between the different parts of the water garden several times. Although managed to keep disappearing everytime I wanted a photo! (Don’t panic we knew where they were – they are quite a noisy flock when they go off together!)
Trebah even boasts its own Ampitheatre, built into one side of the valley, looking over the Garden. The Peachicks couldn’t resist putting on their own short play, while Daddy Peacock’s ankle had some well earned rest! The Ampitheatre hosts various performances across the year, check out their website for the upcoming events! We are trying to co-ordinate a weekend away later in the year so we can catch one and see how the garden has changed across the seasons.
It is a beautiful structure, and very sympathetically built into the gardens. Looking across the top end of the gardens from just past ‘Alice’s Seat’ the Ampitheatre does not overbear its natural surroundings. (The Beach path is visible in the bottom of the shot, leading to Bamboozle on the left hand side)
The Giant Agave Bloom:
Along the border of the lawn is a succulent wall garden boasting a massive collection of various beautiful plants. This year the star of the show is the Giant Agave, which is about to bloom (may 2017). Once this massive flower spike has opened and finished, the plant will die, having spent around 25 years maturing! This is it mid-April before it quite reached full height!
Prices for Trebah Garden & Kitchen
Standard Entry (with Gift Aid) is just £11 for adults, £4.40 for children and free for the under 5’s.
As you can see entry into the gardens is pretty reasonable, we stayed all day and definitely didn’t see everything!
The Peachicks are little nature explorers and we reguarly love to visit Hillier Gardens, near Romsey (you can read our review here). It is no surprise that Trebah has completely captured their imagination, so much so we have been trying to organise another visit in the Early Autumn. They have fallen in love with it in a similar way to the first time we went to The Lost Gardens of Heligan. The magic and adventure is perfect for sparking a kid’s imagination!
Both Trebah and Heligan are part of the Great Gardens of Cornwall scheme and you can get discounts for visiting two or more in the scheme.
Eating in Trebah Kitchen
The Kitchen menu was very reasonably priced and the portions were very generous. An adult portion of soup and two bowls of chips were more than enough to feed hungry Peachicks! Hubby & I shared some bread and a bowl of chips.
We had a late lunch as we’d been too busy enjoying the beautiful sunshine on the beach to go back up to Trebah Kitchen for lunch. Having emailed Trebah and explored the menu online, I was pretty confident we’d find something for The Peachicks to eat. I was not wrong. Sadly it was a bit too hot to explore the main menu and The Peachicks had each demolished a massive dairyfree sorbet on the beach!
The soup is homemade, changes daily and is always dairyfree and glutenfree! When we went it was veggie curry and bloody lovely! It comes in a huge bowl served with a massive chunk of artisan bread. Both were suitable for The Peachicks. The Kitchen staff were more than happy to discuss allergies and to alter the dishes however was possible to make sure everyone could eat. Everything was clearly labelled as dairyfree, vegan or glutenfree. I had to ask about the soya, which happily is not in any of the bread! I didn’t investigate the cakes, although did notice an amazing looking glutenfree fudge brownie!
Trebah Gardens are not the most accessible we have been to. They were designed in a pretty steep valley from the house down to the beach and as such the adaptations that can be made are limited. Despite this I am not sure I have seen somewhere make so much effort to make sure visitors with restricted mobility can see as much of it as possible. in light of this there is concessions for disabled visitors and their carers, with each paying just half the standard entry fee. There is no charge to visit Trebah Kitchen or the Plant shop, both of which are completely accessible.
The Beach Path runs the floor of the valley (once you are down the first bit) and is a good way to see most of the garden. It offers amazing views of the parts of the gardens that sweep up the sides of the valley either side of you. From this path you can also access Bamboozle and wander along past Dinky’s puddle, Azolla pool and the large Mallard pond at the furthest end of the garden.
Matt & I have taken his wheelchair everywhere and went a lot of places we were advised not to and I am sure we would’ve gone anyway. But I am not sure I could’ve held onto his chair on the way down some of the paths. HOWEVER – Trebah Garden do have two ‘Trampers’ (all terrain mobility scooters) that are free to hire either for a morning or afternoon which are brilliant! This is plenty of time to get to the far the end of the garden, using the beach path and then go back for lunch in the kitchen when you drop it off again!
However unless you can walk down steps there is no disabled access to the beach, which is a real shame as its a beautiful place.
For more information and to download the full access statement click here.
The Verdict: 100% PEACHICK APPROVED!
Overall impression: Honestly, every corner you walk around just gives you yet another breathtaking view. The Peachicks spent the day playing Dinosaurs, Jungle Explorers and Pirates. They were absolutely shattered and definitely slept well! The fact that we could actually feed them proper food, that not only they loved but was safe for them was an enormous selling point for us.
Room for Improvement: Fortunately we all made it onto the beach, I think it would have been a shame to miss it, hopefully one day mobility scooter access can be established without significantly affecting the gardens.
Top Tip for Toddlers: Visit the toilets before you do anything else & consider a portable potty! The only ones are in the visitor centre at the top of the gardens. I can see why there are no more, there is just not a feasible location for them. For us it wasn’t a problem to take the Peachicks back up for the toilet but for a newly toilet trained littlie… Also the Beach Hut on the beach hires out buckets and spades so you don’t need to take your own! Hooray!
The Peachicks are already planning next year’s Cornwall holiday and a return visit to Trebah Garden is joint top of the list with Heligan. It looks like the Eden Project (where we have struggled to feed the girls) has been well and truly replaced!
I can only imagine just how many pictures we have between the 4 phones, 3 cameras and a video camera we took with us – so here are a few more there just wasn’t room for!
Disclaimer (Trebah Gardens & Kitchen Review)
We were very kindly given entry tickets for Trebah Gardens in return for this review. All opinions are The Peachicks’ own – trust me if they don’t like something the world would know about it – free entry or not! And changing the mind of a Peachick? NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. They are a particularly stubborn and determined breed!
- I also feel at this point I should apologise profusely for the extended time it took to get this review live – it has taken several revisions and hours agonising over what to include as honestly nothing seemed to do Trebah & the amazing day out we had justice. Hopefully this review does and we can’t wait to go back – its not quite a day trip from us but definitely feasible for a short weekend away!
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