Arts & Gardens in Cornwall

5 Days

From £625pp

Looking from the United States? Simply call +1 800 782 0295 to enquire and book.


  • World-renowned modern art on the Cornish coast
  • The visionary and futuristic gardens of the Eden Project
  • The horticultural masterpiece of Hestercombe
  • Restored garden paradise of Heligan

For more than one hundred years artists have been attracted to the far western tip of Cornwall and the beautiful Penwith coastline. The harbour towns of St Ives and Falmouth are famous the world over for their art collections, which are among the finest to be seen in Britain. 

Join us for an enriching and stimulating break for the discerning traveller. We have included visits to The Tate Gallery in St. Ives, which was specially created to show a collection of work by twentieth-century painters and sculptors associated with St. Ives such as Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. We also visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden — Barbara lived and worked at Trewyn Studio from 1949 until her death in 1975 — and Falmouth Art Gallery which features major Victorian British Impressionists and leading maritime artists.

Cornwall’s gardens are renowned the world over and our tour includes visits to some of the best in the area. Since it opened in early 2001, the Eden Project has been an unqualified success. Discover more about the role plants have played and, perhaps more importantly, will play in the future, from earliest agriculture to new technologies inspired by nature. 

Highlights of our garden visits include Hestercombe, one of Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces; the award-winning and beautifully restored Lost Gardens of Heligan, the scene of the largest restoration project in Europe, and the formal courtyard garden of Lanhydrock, rich in flowering shrubs and trees. 

Print tour details

Day 1

We depart from London at 8.00am approximately (coach will also pick up in Reading, Swindon and Bristol at 9.15am, 10.15am and 12noon respectively) by coach and travel to our first garden: Hestercombe, one of Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens’ greatest masterpieces. The garden is home to a round pool in a round walled garden filled with wintersweet and roses, a Dutch garden of lamb's ears, lavender and the most beautiful orangery of the 20th century. Everywhere there are details of design and planting from which any gardener can learn. 

We continue to our comfortable accommodation where dinner will be served on arrival.

Day 2

This morning we will visit Falmouth Art Gallery, which houses one of the leading art collections in Cornwall, and features work by major Victorian British Impressionists, leading maritime artists, old masters and topographical watercolourists and printmakers.   There is also a gallery shop, which sells a variety of ceramics, jewellery, hand-made cards, catalogues and books and paintings as well as fine crafts, original prints and paintings, many of which are made by local artists and are of the highest standard in craftsmanship.  

Following our visit we head for a visit to the gardens at Trengwainton. Intimate and closely linked to the picturesque stream running through its valley, the garden leads up to a terrace and summer houses with splendid views across Mount’s Bay to The Lizard.  The walled gardens contain many rare and unusual species, which are difficult to grow in the open anywhere else in the country.  

We will continue to the Penlee House Gallery.  Built in 1865, the former home of wealthy Penzance miller and merchant, J.R. Branwell, Penlee House and its surrounding park were purchased by public subscription in 1946 as a War memorial for the town. Since 1949 it has been home to the town and district’s historic collections. Completely refurbished and extended in 1997, Penlee House offers visitors a unique experience - a modern gallery and museum with the gracious setting of a Victorian House and park in Penzance.  We return to the hotel for dinner. 

Day 3

After breakfast we travel to St Austell for a visit to the Eden Project, which has become one of Cornwall’s star attractions. The Eden Project is a 50 metre deep, 34 acre china clay pit which has been reclaimed and transformed to house 2 controlled environment plant conservatories, the larger of which recreates the climate of the Tropics and displays some of its plants such as cotton, rice, rubber, orchids, bamboo and rainforest flowers.  At its highest point it reaches 50 metres, taller than Nelson’s Column. The second conservatory recreates a warm temperature climate and houses plants from Southern Africa, the Mediterranean and south western America, with orange trees, olives, grape vines and hundreds of colourful flowers.

Our next visit will be to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  The award winning gardens, asleep for more than seventy years, are the scene of the largest garden restoration project in Europe.  In the spring of 1991, the Gardens of Heligan lay under a blanket of bramble, ivy, rampant laurel and fallen timber.  A year later the restoration team opened the gardens to enable the public to share in the excitement of their discovery.  Once again dinner will be served at the hotel.

Day 4

Following our full English breakfast we visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives.  Dame Barbara Hepworth lived and worked in Trewyn Studio from 1949 until her death in 1975. The small house, her working studios and the lush and secluded garden she created are open to the public as a museum devoted to her life and work.  

We continue to the Tate Gallery, which is reopening in March 2017 after a complete refurbishment. The gallery shows a collection of work by twentieth-century painters and sculptors associated with St Ives. The collection includes work from 1925 to the present day based around major figures of mid twentieth-century art in Britain such as Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. We return to our hotel in time for dinner. 

Day 5

After your full English breakfast we head for home. En route there is still time to visit Lanhydrock Gardens. Now the property of the National Trust, Lanhydrock was the home of the Robartes family from 1620 until 1953. The magnificent seventeenth century house is surrounded by nineteeth century formal terraced gardens which formed part of a scheme of improvements overseen by George Gilbert Scott in 1857. Beyond the terraced gardens are areas of informal pleasure grounds which were developed from the mid nineteenth century with many choice trees and shrubs. The parkland with the famous beech avenue was first enclosed in the mid seventeenth century, and remains one of the finest examples in Cornwall. Lanhydrock Gardens feature a formal courtyard garden, beds of modern roses and a woodland garden, rich in flowering shrubs and trees, especially rhododendrons and magnolias. Lanhydrock is also home to the National Collection of crocosmias. 

Arrival back at your original departure point is expected in the evening - your driver will be able to confirm a more precise return time en route.

What's Included

  • 4 nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the comfortable The Cornwall Hotel; all rooms have private facilities
  • Comfortable coaching
  • Visits to the Tate Gallery and Barbara Hepworth Museum, Falmouth Art Gallery, Penlee House Gallery, Trengwainton, Lanhydrock Gardens, the Eden Project, Hestercombe and the Lost Gardens of Heligan
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays representative

Supplements Per Person

  • Single room supplement £140.00
  • Insurance £21.00 (under 65); £42.00 (65-74); £63.00 (75-90)

Rail/air connections and/or overnight accommodation are available in London or Bristol before or after the tour.

Print tour details


Please note timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.

Print tour details

Departure points and times

Depart Return
(Tothill St, Westminster)
0800 2000
(Sainsbury’s, Jcn 12, M4)
0915 1845
(Holiday Inn, Marlborough Road)
1030 1730
(Temple Meads Railway Station)
1200 1600