From being part of the official launch of Spring, to a new book, Wedding Fair, Calendar Competition, Lecture Series, and a Charity Summer Fête – Caerhays has packed a lot into a very busy season.

Spring arrived at Caerhays

It all started on February 12th 2024 when Caerhays Castle & Spring Gardens opened for the season. Every year, spring always seems to take us by surprise at Caerhays. It only seemed five minutes since we were adorning the Christmas tree with fairy lights, then the camellias were flowering, and the magnolia’s velvet jackets were bursting open. If you are a regular visitor to Caerhays Estate, you will know only too well how the weather can accelerate, or slow down, the blooming of our award-winning gardens; the rhythm of each season is distinct from the last.

Caerhays’ National Collection of Magnolias were sensational this year

If you have yet to experience the magic of Caerhays, then please visit us next spring. You will find magnolia blooms almost as large as your head, some the colour of darkest raspberry, and others in shades of palest yellow. Of course, as part of our National Magnolia Collection, we have all the colours in between too!
As you explore the 140 acres of woodland gardens you’ll relax into the serenity of Caerhays; the distractions of the outside world drift away, leaving only rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias to jostle for your attention.

This year, it was a spectacular display of blooms and we have shared countless photos on our Facebook and Instagram, if you’d like to look back!

Locals discount

During the first and last month of the 2024 season, Caerhays offered local residents half price entrance to the garden at weekends. Anyone with a TR or PL postcode could enjoy the fabulous gardens with a 50% discount – which is especially great value in February when the gardens are gearing up for their peak riot of spring colour. If you fancy welcoming in spring with a bang in 2025, then please look out for our locals discounts and come along to enjoy the spectacle.

It was amazing to see so many local visitors join us this season, and we’re always delighted to share this special entry price with you all.

A new Caerhays History book was launched, written by Tim Hubbard

This season, former award-winning BBC presenter and journalist Tim Hubbard has written ’A History of Caerhays Castle & The Williams Family’, which is available to buy online and in the Caerhays Estate shop. Charles Williams, Estate Owner writes in the Foreword “Tim is to be congratulated in adopting a whole new perspective on the place with an easily readable and knowledgeable style of writing. It is a leap forward for visitors wishing to take fresh inspiration from the place and its history”.

The book has been received incredibly well, we certainly enjoyed reading it ourselves. If you’d like to be swept away in the history of Caerhays then it’s well worth a read.

Caerhays Lecture Series

Passionate about sharing knowledge with interested, like-minded folk, Charles Williams ran an incredibly insightful, and well attended lecture series this season.

Charles kicked off the series with a focus on Magnolias, and the x williamsii Camellia – understandable early spring topics, but later lectures also delved into Record Trees and Scented Rhododendrons, and Courtenay Smale the curator of the Mineral Collection, gave a fascinating lecture on the The Williams Caerhays Mineral collection. All lectures were accompanied by refreshments, and where appropriate, a tour of the fabulous gardens.

Calendar Competition

This season we launched an exciting photography competition, to give our visitors the opportunity to see their photos professionally published in the 2025 Caerhays Castle and Spring Gardens Calendar.

Every year we are incredibly lucky to have so many people share their stunning photos of the castle and gardens on social media, so we wanted to give something back and see some of these photographs in print on walls across the nation.

Entrants were encouraged to enter photographs taken this season, so the calendar is a true reflection of what a wonderful year 2024 has been. We can’t wait to turn the pages and see a different view of Caerhays revealed to us each month. Thank you to everyone who visited Caerhays this season and submitted their photographs, winners will be announced very soon. Watch this space.

This is sneak peak at one of the entrants:

Castle Tours

On Monday 11th March – the castle which is also the private home of the Williams family – opened for Castle tours. Visitors were shown behind the scene of this iconic building by one of our fabulous Castle Guides.

Many guests also had the good fortune to dine in the castle this season, with everything from light lunches to buffets to extravagant banquet dinners being requested. If you like the idea of a VIP tour of the Castle followed by a delicious 3 course dinner in the dining room, then please get in touch.

Caerhays Wedding Fair

Caerhays Castle Spring Gardens hosted an extravagant Wedding Fair on Sunday 7th April 2024. Considered one of the most incredible wedding locations in the South West, the Wedding Fair showcased Caerhays’ four fabulous wedding venues – and even the curve ball from Storm Kathleen couldn’t put a damper on the festivities.

The Wedding Fair coincided with the announcement that Beach Meadow, adjacent to Porthluney Beach, was now a fully licensed site. Beach Meadow really has the wow-factor, and is the closest licensed wedding venue to the ocean on the South Coast of Cornwall – it’s hard to beat that!

With only a handful of beach-front locations in Cornwall where you can officially say “I do”, Caerhays Estate has the Coastguards Lookout, The Vean and now Beach Meadow as fully licensed wedding venues.

Every couple has their own unique love story so we’re delighted to be able to offer a variety of licensed settings, each with their own distinctive character. All of the sites are spectacular in their own right and are sure to ‘wow’ couples as they explore what their wedding could look like. One thing is certain, a wedding at Caerhays is truly magnificent and we’re proud to showcase one of the region’s most unique and renowned locations.

We have been blessed to host some amazing weddings this season – here are a few photos from 2024 so far.

An RHS Award for our Head Gardener!

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) awarded its annual series of medals to stars in horticulture for 2024, seeing our own Jaimie Parsons, Head Gardener of Caerhays Castle Gardens, receiving an Associate of Honour medal. An Associate of Honour is awarded to those who have rendered distinguished service to the practice of horticulture during the course of their working career. The Associate of Honour is held for life and the number of Associates may not exceed 100 at any one time.

Jaimie said, “I feel very honoured and proud to have received a RHS Associate of Honour award. It’s a privilege to have worked for thirty years at Caerhays Castle Gardens, and I can say I’m as passionate now, as I was when I first started back in 1994. Throughout my career, I’ve met some very inspiring and knowledgeable people and even after all this time, I learn new things every single day which gives me so much joy.”

We couldn’t be prouder of Jaimie, who continues to dedicate his career to making Caerhays Castle Gardens one of the country’s most admired estates. It’s tricky to put into words how much Jaimie has shaped the landscape here at Caerhays over three decades. His sheer hard work and passion is a credit to him, and Jaimie continues to be the biggest inspiration to us all.

Jaimie has been very involved in our work with the National Collection of Magnolias, creating many new hybrid magnolias which are growing in the gardens at Caerhays and are now for sale at Burncoose Nurseries. There is no corner of the grounds at Caerhays that Jaimie has not left his wonderful mark on, and you only have to look around to see what a magnificent contribution he and his team have made to the Estate.

Caerhays Holidays

Caerhays Holidays have had a brilliant start to the season, welcoming and delighting visitors with their thoughtfully converted estate buildings, both on the estate and nearby. Caerhays is one of the finest spring gardens in the county and one of the Great Gardens of Cornwall, so it’s naturally a sought after holiday destination. Add to that its iconic Castle and position overlooking Porthluney beach, and you suddenly feel like an extra in a movie – go and experience it for yourself.

Caerhays Holidays also have cottages further down the Roseland near Portscatho and St Mawes if you fancy exploring a different corner of the peninsula. There is a timeless, romantic charm about Porthscatho; white washed cottages perch on hillsides, sailboat rigging tinkles musically in the breeze and families everywhere enjoying time together, making memories that will last a lifetime. You almost expect to see Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy, crabbing on the pontoon, climbing trees and grazing knees. St Mawes is the new foodie capital of Cornwall. It’s a popular, bustling harbour village that attracts people for its fabulous waterside views, stunning restaurants and vibrant community. St Mawes has in recent years become one of the most desirable holiday locations in Cornwall, and attracts everyone from couples, to families to movie stars. This village is bursting at the seams with fresh fish, local produce and top-notch eateries, so there is much to explore here. Find out more about Caerhays Holidays here.

If you are staying in one of the Caerhays Holidays properties this year, we would love to see your photos so don’t forget to share them on their Facebook page!

Caerhays shared its story with the Great Gardens of Cornwall

As part of the Behind The Gardens storytelling campaign, Caerhays shared its story with the Great Gardens of Cornwall’s global audience. Caerhays is the perfect blend of tradition infused with new ideas. Owner Charles Williams is an oracle on the history of Caerhays, and the fourth generation of his family to document the development of the gardens. The history of Caerhays is rich and evocative, full of pioneering plant hunting expeditions and horticultural firsts. As befits a castle estate, this is a garden where the past is revered, but the mindset remains as it has always been, progressive, and focused on the continued growth and expansion of the gardens. You can read more about the story of Caerhays here.

Summer Fête

What better way to wrap up such an action-packed season, than with a summer party! The Caerhays Summer Fête took place on Sunday 16th June. Entertainment spanned several areas of the Caerhays grounds, including Castle Lawn, Castle Courtyard and Castle Field, and there was live music, theatre, dancing, artisan crafts, a 5km fun run, a dog show and so much more…
Visitors were wowed by performances from Mevagissey Male Choir, Tregony Primary School, local Cornish singers and Squashbox Theatre. Liskeard based Catseye Morris troop were on top form, as were the St. Dennis Ukulele Band. With heavy horses, Archery, Bouncy Castle, Food Vendors and so much more… families were delighted by the range and variety of wholesome family activities available to enjoy together. There were plenty of refreshments to keep everyone hydrated whilst they sang along to these amazing acts from the comfort of their picnic blankets, and danced the afternoon away – this is what Sundays were made for!

Thank you to everyone who supported it and helped raise money for Children’s Hospice South West. The final amount is still being totted up and will be confirmed soon.

Hope to see you next season

It’s time to say “so long” but it’s not “goodbye”. We’re not downing our tools, in fact we’ll be busy in the garden over the summer, autumn and winter, as we’re sure lots of you will be too.

It’s always sad when the visitor season comes to an end, as we love meeting you all, and chatting to those who journey around our gardens and explore our beautiful estate. However, it’s exciting to think that next time we see you it will be Spring, and Caerhays will be alive with the dawning of a new season. Spring is our favourite time in the garden – join us here next February and you’ll see why.