Morrab Gardens is in the heart of Penzance, between the centre of town and the seafront. It was opened as Cornwall’s first public garden in 1889, and remains open to all, free of charge, all the year-round. Morrab is not a large garden, only about one and a half hectares, but is packed with interest. On a south-facing slope, only a quarter of a mile from the sea and surrounded by an urban heat island, our microclimate allows us to grow many plants which are rarely seen anywhere else in Britain. The original Victorian design for the Gardens, which included a bandstand and sub-tropical planting divided by a series of curvilinear walks, is still much in evidence. The Gardens were established with the assistance of owners of private gardens and estates in West Cornwall and Scilly, who donated plants from their own collections, and this tradition continues with the generosity of our local community. The climate in West Cornwall helps us to ensure there is always something of interest in the Gardens; camellias start flowering here from late October and magnolias in early February. Palms, tree ferns and succulents provide structure to the planting schemes throughout the year, while flowering annuals and perennials, many selected for their value to pollinators, add colour during the summer.
Garden audio tours
Listen in on the secrets of selected gardens from their head gardeners. Our audio tours take you through seasonal planting, histories and stories.