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Glendurgan Gardens - Access Review

As an official reviewer for Access Cornwall, sometimes I get to visit some really cool places in order to check out their facilities.


For my latest assignment, I took a trip to Glendurgan Gardens - which is one of many National Trust locations here in Cornwall.

Ross sat in his wheelchair outside the entrance sign to Glendurgan

Based in Mawnan Smith near Falmouth, Glendurgan has over 300 acres of ambling woodland - offering direct access to the Helford river.


Check out my video highlights below:

Key Information

Glendurgan has three valleys, full of scenic walks and exotic wildflowers. The gardens are open to the public every Tuesday - Sunday from 10.30am - 5pm.


A standard adult ticket costs £10 each, however there is a concession for a free carers ticket. National Trust members can enter for free.

Ross sat in between the garden entrance gates

Parking

There are 8 disabled parking spaces in total. The entrance to the main car park is tarmacked and there is also some light gravel - which should not cause any trouble for wheelchair users.


There is also a large overflow car park for regular vehicles. The car park has two pay and display machines - (£2 for two hours, or £4 for all-day).


Mobility

An all-terrain mobility scooter (tramper vehicle) is available to hire from reception for those who cannot walk long distance. This is supplied via Countryside Mobility and needs to be pre-booked to hire.

Side profile view of the mobility tramper vehicle

Throughout the gardens, there is a recommended walking route and map for wheelchair users - as some parts of the gardens have steps / steeper slopes. Path gradients vary between 5% and 14%.


The main cobbled section is at the first junction when entering the gardens. There are also numerous seating benches located throughout, for those who need a little rest along the way.

View of Ross's wheelchair from behind going up the cobbled slope

The Maze

The famous maze at Glengurgan Gardens was originally planted in 1833, and is still going strong!


Sadly it is not accessible for wheelchair users, as it has a number of steps throughout. However, I still very much enjoyed the visuals of looking down on it from above.

Ross looking at the maze display boards
Ross sat in his wheelchair in the green gardens, with the large maze in the background

Visual & Hearing

Glendurgan often hold specific events called “silent spaces” in two areas of the gardens, where people can embrace the tranquility of the orchard. These spaces are held on certain dates and times, so it’s best to keep an eye on their website.


Only assistance dogs are allowed in the gardens. All other dogs are restricted to the cafe and car park.


One part-time member of staff is trained in BSL, and there is an induction loop available at reception.


Toilet Facilities

There is a combined wheelchair/baby change facility in the main toilet block beside the car park and cafe.


The accessible toilet is accessed via a short ramp. Inside, there is plenty of turning space for a wheelchair user - with automatic hand dryers, easy to turn taps and grab rails. No 'Changing Places' facilities are available.

Outside view of the accessible toilet block
Inside view of the accessible toilet

Cafe

The cafe is approximately 45 metres away from the accessible parking area, with a tarmacked slope leading down. The cafe can also be accessed via a flat entrance through the gardens.


There are various options to sit "indoors" under a cover, or outdoors if you fancy the alfresco experience. Some outdoor benches have spaces for wheelchair users - which is a fantastic invention!

Outdoor seating bench with gaps for a wheelchair to fit

The cafe counter when ordering food is at a height of 850mm, and staff were very friendly and willing to assist when carrying items to the table.


In terms of food, there are a selection of toasted sandwiches and cakes available to enjoy... which you can see I made the most of in my video at the start!


Final Thoughts

Whilst I definitely enjoyed the scenic views of Glendurgan, it is not somewhere that I would necessarily rush back to visit.


Generally speaking, the access was good with plenty of information available for those with mobility requirements. In particular, the 'purple' walking route was very well thought out.

Over the shoulder shot of Ross looking out onto the Helford River

However, I can't help but feel disappointed in the lack of adaptions to the maze - considering it is one of Glendurgan's biggest selling points.


As a whole, I would still happily recommend Glendurgan as an enjoyable day out!

 

Disclaimer:

This post is in paid partnership with Access Cornwall. As always, my opinions are entirely my own.


For a full “access statement”, you can visit the Glendurgan website.

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