The Most Beautiful Places to See Autumn Leaves in Cornwall

There are plenty of places to watch the seasons change in Cornwall
There are plenty of places to watch the seasons change in Cornwall | © The National Trust Photolibrary / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lauren Williams
Freelance Travel Journalist30 September 2020

You don’t need to travel to New England to see gorgeous autumn colours. Everything you’re looking for is right here in Cornwall – from thick woodland and manicured gardens to wild moorland and rugged coasts. With the help of local guides, we’ve put together the best places to see the autumn leaves this year in Cornwall.

Tehidy Country Park

Park
Map View
A sunny autumn day in Tehidy Country Park Cornwall UK.
© Gordon Scammell / Alamy Stock Photo
Tehidy Country Park, the largest area of woodland in west Cornwall, has a whopping 250 acres (101ha) to enjoy, a leafy wonderland that turns from rich greens to burnt orange to dark red during October. The park offers miles of walking through an autumnal paradise. There’s also a great café on site, perfect for a hot drink and a quick break. Just keep an eye on the local squirrels, which are so friendly they’ll try to run up your legs.

Trerice Gardens

Park, Botanical Garden
Map View
In autumn at Trerice, the leaves are crisp, with beautiful oranges and browns that burn bright against the blue sky. There’s also an abundance of apple trees, perfecting for picking that the onsite kitchen turn into delicious pies and cakes. This Elizabethan manor is definitely more than meets the eye, and a lovely place to take a moment and relax in the late autumn sunshine.

Madron Moor

Natural Feature
Map View
Ancient Monument Lanyon Quoit
© Helen Dixon / Alamy Stock Photo
Madron is a wild and forgotten corner of Cornwall, rich in history with everything from stone circles and neolithic settlements to abandoned mine shafts and tall engine houses. Between the footpaths, the moor is mostly bracken, which turns the colour of fiery embers in autumn. The path itself stretches from the village of Madron and drops off the cliffs to meet the beautiful coastline. Visit in mid-October to make the most of the autumnal colours.

Bodmin Moor

Natural Feature
Map View

Bodmin Moor, the larger and better-known neighbour of Madron Moor, covers over 200sqkm (77sqmi) and is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). With its sweeping panoramic views across Cornwall, it’s an excellent place to watch the local flora turn a brilliant shade of dark brown and mahogany. From the highest point, known locally as Brown Willy, you can see for miles. Go for a stomp, take in the rich colours of the moorland and watch as the mists roll in. Best to go before November, as the winter winds can make it quite cold later in the year.

Trengwainton Garden

Botanical Garden
Map View
Trengwainton Garden, Cornwall, UK
© garfotos / Alamy Stock Photo
Trengwainton Garden, on the edge of Madron Moor, near the popular tourist destination of Penzance, is protected by a wall of beech trees around it that help maintain a subtropical climate. During autumn, the trees turn from luscious green to a bright yellow before settling on a deep russet. The first week of November is an ideal time for a visit, when the acers start to blaze red as you enter the garden. There’s also a maze of woodland walks leading you to the top of the hill, with views out to sea and across to St Michael’s Mount.

Glendurgan Garden

Botanical Garden
Map View
Glendurgan isn’t just a beautiful garden to amble around and marvel at the autumn colours; it is also home to a host of unusual and rare flora that come to life in the last few months of the year. The katsura tree, native to Japan, turns a lovely golden orange during October and gives off a sweet candyfloss scent that travels through the rest of the gardens.

Lanhydrock

Natural Feature
Map View
Lanhydrock, Cornwall, UK
© David Chapman / Alamy Stock Photo
Lanhydrock can always be trusted to display some outstanding autumnal colours. With acers, azaleas and magnolias all turning fiery red as the seasons change, it’s easy to see why it’s made our list. If you’re looking for some extra-photographic foliage, stroll through the higher woodlands above the manor, for beech trees, parrotia, tulip trees and cornus alba, which are all magnificent in their full autumnal plumage.

Additional reporting by Nicholas Grantham

These recommendations were updated on September 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.