Families at Heligan

The Lost Gardens provide families with possibly the best natural playground ever, making them one of the top family days out in Cornwall! There’s a network of magical gardens, woodland walks and farmland brimming with interest and intrigue; and with over 200 acres – enough room to tire the most energetic little legs!

Throughout the year, you can pick up seasonal trails from our Reception or Ticket Office to inspire and captivate the children as you explore. Download our current trail if you’d like to start getting the children inspired before you arrive. 

In addition, we host a range of exciting family orientated events at key times of the year, from our popular Heligan Wild Week in May to our nostalgic summer events programme, through to Halloween and Christmas, there’s always seasonal, nature-loving fun for the whole family.

To help you plan your visit, here’s a list of Heligan locations and activities that we know children love.

The Jungle

Acres of raised boardwalks, giant exotic plants, pools, wildlife and the longest Burmese Rope Bridge in Britain! Perfect for any budding Indiana Jones or Dora the Explorer. This sub-tropical garden is not only brimming with exotic plants from around the world, it’s also home to some of the earliest dinosaur food – Tree Ferns. Although the dinosaurs have long since gone, the plants that they used to eat are still with us today! Can you spot them?

Read more about the Jungle

The Hide

The heart of our interactive Wildlife Project. Here, you can view live images of our nesting barn owls and watch the abundant bird life directly in front of the Hide. Learn about different native birds, bees and an array of British wildlife and habitats.

The Insect Hotel

Located on the Georgian Ride, deep in our ancient woodlands, this is the Ritz of Insect Hotels, providing a wide range of nesting space for a host of insect and invertebrate life. What creatures will you discover?

The Coin Log

Close by the Insect Hotel, this popular log has become home to an ever increasing collection of coins; all creatively fixed to the Coin Log. Using the mallet provided, simply tap your coin into the log to leave your mark.

Heligan Farm Animals

Throughout the Estate, you will discover a friendly collection of heritage and rare livestock in the form of our Tamworth Pigs, Devon and Cornwall Longwool Sheep and Dexter Cows, along with a variety of rare poultry. All the Heligan animals have their own appeal but our adorable Tamworth piglets usually steal the show! Check with staff on arrival for their current location.

Click here to read more about our Farm


Our resident scarecrow stands guard over the abundance of crops in the Vegetable Garden and is always pleased when visitors stop to pose for a photo with him.


100 years ago, the Heligan Estate was home to some exotic animals, including emus. In 2014, in line with our WW1 commemoration and continued restoration, we returned emus to the Heligan Estate. Stop at their enclosure next to the Steward’s House and say hello to Queenie and Edmund.

Rope Swing

Within the Steward’s House garden you’ll find our very popular rope swing. Perfect for little ones and big kids alike.