Nestled away in the balmy throws of South Cornwall, the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery provides a floral-scented retreat, whether you’re looking for a rummage through the natural world or a heavenly Cornish cream tea.
Outside, discover a kaleidoscopic collection of plants and treasures, providing endless inspiration for your own floral displays at home, while the shop promises the opportunity to stock up on everything you’ll need to turn your verdant dreams into a reality – plus a dazzling array of homeware and gifts. If it’s a soul-fuelling feast you’re after, the Nursery promises a mouth-watering selection of options, from the tranquil and wonderfully quirky Woodland Terrace to the cosy café or Orangery.
Dogs are welcome throughout the grounds and café at Duchy of Cornwall Nursery (but not the shop or play garden), making this a great destination for a dog-friendly day out in Cornwall – the nearby castle walk is a lovely detour too.
Green fingers itching to get lost in some evergreen retail therapy? Here’s our complete guide to the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery…
History of Duchy of Cornwall and Duchy of Cornwall Nursery
Established in 1337 by Edward III for his son and heir, the Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate that is run by the Duke of Cornwall. It’s a widespread blend of British history and natural landscapes, covering a variety of holiday cottages, natural and historical landmarks, agricultural estates and workplaces.
The Duchy of Cornwall Nursery is one such avenue. It began life as a slate quarry, before being used to grow forest trees in the late 60s and finally providing members of the public with plants of their own in 1974. Since then, the nursery has truly flourished, becoming one of the biggest and most beloved garden centres in the South West, with many awards under its belt.
Things to do at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery
From play areas to walks through history, there’s something for everyone at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery.
A home for nature lovers and bees, the Bumblebee Garden is a floral haven that demonstrates just how simple it can be to create a flourishing garden that’s good for the soul and the bees. Walk through the beautiful displays, take a moment to sit and soak up the vibrant surrounds, and take home some inspiration to turn your own patch of paradise into a humming hub for wildlife.
One for the little ones, the Play Garden promises buckets of fun, with a shepherd’s hut full of toys and a collection of charming wicker playhouses ready to spark the imagination. Tiny wooden stools promise countless afternoon teas worthy of a fairy queen, while the wicker castle promises a magical place to sit and read. Watch the kids play from the terrace as you sip on a coffee or join them down in the garden, where your inner child can run free as well.
Whether you want to build up an appetite for your visit to the café or you’re looking for a peaceful leg-stretch after your afternoon tea, the nearby walking trail to Restormel Castle is the perfect there-and-back-again amble. The walk is just over 1 mile in length and takes around 45 minutes to complete, making it ideal for little legs and quiet Sunday strolls. One of Cornwall’s most impressive castles, you can walk around the remains of the castle by booking tickets with English Heritage. The surrounding countryside also makes for a rather spectacular picnic spot, with views over the castle and River Fowey valley providing a stunning backdrop.
The antique shop capital of Cornwall, a visit to the historic town of Lostwithiel is always well rewarded. Browse the many wonderful antique shops, full to the rafters with found treasures, before settling into one of the welcoming cafés to celebrate your haul. A visit to this beautiful area of Cornwall really does treat you to some spectacular shopping opportunities! You’ll also find the tropical delights of the Eden Project and the sun-soaked Cornish coast within easy reach, giving you plenty of things to see and do during your visit.
Places to eat at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery
Eating out at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery is an event all its own, from feast-worthy breakfasts to leisurely afternoon teas.
With a terrace boasting views over the castle and a cosy fire promising delicious warmth in the winter months, the café has you covered for every season – as does the menu! Enjoying locally sourced ingredients and a hearty focus on seasonal produce, the menu is an ever-changing celebration of Cornish fare. Stop by for a full Cornish breakfast or a stack of pancakes, a mouth-watering sandwich with skinny fries, or a tempting slice of cake with freshly brewed coffee. It won’t take long to see why this delightful café has scooped up so many awards!
Bright, cheerful, and with a menu to match, The Orangery is the place to go for a relaxed atmosphere and fine dining. Start your day off with eggs benedict, Florentine, Royale, or with a side of guacamole and Sriracha, stop by for a lunch of beef ragu, seafood pappardelle, or aubergine stew, or step into a world of luxurious delectables with afternoon tea (think homemade scotch eggs, finger sandwiches, and a range of fancies). Pair your visit with a glass of Camel Valley’s award-winning sparkling wine for a truly magical meal!
The Woodland Terrace
Perfect for a mid-shop pit-stop, The Woodland Terrace promises natural vibes and fresh air – not to mention Cornish coffees and ice creams! The Shepherd Hut offers a tasty array of light lunches, including baguettes and rolls, as well as freshly baked cakes, Moomaid ice cream, and a selection of hot and cold drinks. Enjoy your tempting treat in the Tipi or on the lawn and enjoy the sweeping views that surround you.
Shopping at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery
When it comes to a little retail therapy, the Duchy of Cornwall has every corner covered.
A plant-lovers’ dream, the Glasshouse is home to one of the best collections of houseplants in the South West. Pop in for a plant pot for that Monstera that just won’t stop growing and leave with arms laden with all manner of green-fingered goodies, from succulents to citrus trees, orchids to ferns. A friendly and knowledgeable horticulturist team is on hand as well, ready to provide advice on the best plants for your space, whether you’re looking for a sunworshipper or a shade-loving beauty.
Once your car resembles the Mediterranean biome at the Eden Project, it’s time to take a look in the Nursery’s other superb shop. Featuring walls and tables laden with everything from books to blankets, this Aladdin’s cave of treasures is the perfect place to buy gifts for that hard-to-shop-for loved one – as well as boasting beautiful home décor to spruce up your space. Browse clothing, children’s toys, and fabulous gardening accessories, with a real focus on local and sustainable makers. We heartily recommend visiting at Christmas when the shop turns into a sparkling display of festivity, with every decoration imaginable ready to add a bit of Cornwall to your home.
Events at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery
It’s not just shopping and cake that awaits at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery. Oh no, with an ever-changing roster of events, you can expect something unique to add to your holiday itinerary. Wine tastings, suppers, live music, workshops, and botanical talks are just some of the events you can look forward to. The Nursery also goes all out with seasonal events, with Christmas being one of the biggest celebrations. From Christmas lunches and late-night shopping events to reindeer trails, there’s something to get everyone in the festive spirit!
Staying with the Duchy of Cornwall
We have several tranquil cottages within the Restormel Estate, giving you the chance to sink into a relaxed stay with the Duchy of Cornwall as you make the most of the surrounding offerings – including the luxurious on site facilities, which include a pool, tennis courts, sauna and steam room! Browse our collection of beautiful Duchy of Cornwall holiday cottages for a wonderfully special stay in Cornwall.