polhawn fort gardens

Our glorious gardens surrounding the Fort are lovingly tended and groomed to look lovely through every month of the year, and are planted with a wealth of colourful and unusual plants that thrive in this Mediterranean-like microclimate.

Cornwall is a gardener’s dream location and here, nestled into the slopes of Rame Head, the gardens are sheltered from most wind directions and gather all the warmth of the sun.

Over the last ten years our garden consultant Sue Fisher, with her extensive knowledge and passion for plants, has designed many diverse and beautiful landscaped areas throughout the grounds which are cared for by our wonderful hand-working gardener Nicky Ryan. Plants have been carefully chosen so the gardens look gorgeous in every season, though the warmth from late spring to early autumn does endow the greatest abundance of bloom.

polhawn fort garden

The gazebo terrace takes pride of place: an idyllic spot for outside weddings, fringed with flowers and backed by the breath-taking sweep of Whitsand Bay. The Terrace is divided from the velvety green main lawn by rock banks packed with lush, exotic foliage woven through with fragrant and pretty flowers, their planting and design inspired by the world-famous Tresco gardens on the Isles of Scilly.

Take the steps to the main lawn and down to the Lookout corner – one of the Forts’ finest views and a favourite photo spot – where the wave-topped willow fence, built by Devon craftsmen Windrush Willow, echoes the surf-swell beyond. The gateway through the old granite wall leads to the marquee lawn where steep banks are a riot of wildflower colour in summer and autumn, and the huge old cannon above – another favourite photo spot – dates from the early 19th century when England was at war.

For a real touch of the Mediterranean, head up to the sun-baked Roof Terrace to admire some of our most exotic and vibrantly-coloured plants that hail from far-away places like the Canary Islands, South Africa and California – and the far end of the roof has a spectacular view too. Looking out from here over an azure sea to distant Cornish headlands is fabulous at any time of day but especially beautiful at sunset.

All around the gardens there’s an abundance of places to sit and relax – perfect for everything from socialising to solitude – and enjoy this truly special place.