Caerhays Castle

Nestled in the heart of a breathtaking Cornish valley that opens to the shores of Porthluney Cove, Caerhays Castle presents a unique blend of historical grandeur and horticultural splendour.

This picturesque estate, with its sprawling gardens and stunning coastal backdrop, offers visitors an unforgettable journey into Cornwall’s rich heritage and natural beauty.

Discovering Caerhays Castle

Caerhays Castle, an English Heritage Grade I listed building, was designed by the acclaimed architect John Nash in the early 19th century.

While the castle itself remains a private residence, the expansive gardens and estate are open to the public during the spring and early summer months, showcasing one of the finest collections of magnolias, rhododendrons, and camellias in the country.

Highlights of Caerhays Castle

The Gardens: Spanning over 100 acres, the gardens at Caerhays are a testament to the estate’s pioneering role in the introduction and cultivation of Chinese plants in the UK. The gardens come alive with vibrant colours and fragrances from February to June.

Porthluney Cove: This secluded beach, located directly below the castle, offers a tranquil spot for relaxation and reflection, with the castle’s imposing structure providing a dramatic backdrop.

The Castle Tour: Although the interior of Caerhays Castle is not regularly open to the public, guided tours are sometimes available during the open season, offering a rare glimpse into the historic home’s interior and architecture.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Situated near St Austell in Cornwall, Caerhays Castle is accessible by car, with clear signposting from the A390.

The estate offers ample parking for visitors.

For those relying on public transport, the nearest train station is in St Austell, with local taxi services available to complete the journey to the estate.

Opening Times and Admission

The gardens are open to the public from February to June, aligning with the best flowering season.

Opening hours can vary, so it’s advisable to check the Caerhays Castle website for the most up-to-date information.

Admission fees apply for entry to the gardens, with separate charges for any guided tours of the castle that may be available.


Café and Tearoom: The estate features a café where visitors can enjoy light refreshments, lunch, or a traditional Cornish cream tea amidst the serene garden setting.

Gift Shop: The on-site gift shop offers a range of souvenirs, garden-related products, and plants for those wishing to take a piece of Caerhays home with them.

Toilets: Visitor facilities are conveniently located near the car park and café.

Maximising Your Experience

Wear Appropriate Footwear: The gardens feature a variety of terrains, from smooth pathways to more natural trails. Sturdy, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Bring a Camera: The scenic beauty of Caerhays, from its historic architecture to its floral displays and coastal views, offers ample opportunities for photography.

Check for Events: The estate hosts a range of events throughout the open season, including garden tours, plant fairs, and outdoor theatre performances. Checking the events calendar in advance can enhance your visit.

Tips for Your Visit

Pet Policy: Dogs are welcome in the gardens, provided they are kept on leads.

Accessibility: While efforts have been made to make parts of the gardens accessible, some areas may be challenging for those with limited mobility. Contact the estate in advance for specific advice.

Weather Preparedness: The Cornish weather can be unpredictable. Bringing layers and waterproof clothing can ensure your visit is comfortable regardless of the conditions.

Nearby Attractions

The Lost Gardens of Heligan: Located a short drive from Caerhays, these restored botanical gardens offer another splendid horticultural experience.

Mevagissey: This charming fishing village, nearby, provides a quintessential Cornish harbour experience, with local shops, restaurants, and boat trips.

St Mawes Castle: Explore this well-preserved coastal fortress, offering insights into Cornwall’s maritime defence history.


Caerhays Castle and its gardens offer a unique window into Cornwall’s architectural and horticultural heritage.

Whether you’re meandering through the lush landscapes of the garden, exploring the hidden corners of Porthluney Cove, or enjoying the rare opportunity to step inside the historic castle, Caerhays provides a tranquil and enriching escape into the beauty and history of Cornwall.

It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the magic of Cornish estates and gardens.