Glendurgan has been in Charles Fox’s family for over 200 years. It’s a magical, exotic and wooded place, and there’s a sense of discovery as you set off down steep paths to Durgan beach. Come in spring for the mass of magnolias, bluebells and primroses. While summer, to quote Charles’s excellent book, “breaks in a wave of whiteness, with eucryphia, hoheria, myrtus and that ‘bombe Alaska’ of rhododendrons, ‘Polar Bear’, and autumn is awash with bulbs – amaryllis, colchicum, crinum and nerine.” In the winter this is still an important garden with its collection of fine trees, and, even in the wildest weather, it’s a deeply romantic place to be.
Charles’s paintings of plants and trees line the stairwell up to bedrooms with sensational Helford river views; Violet and Magenta are as your Edwardian aunt would have liked – no TV but a grand piano, harp, and books to browse. Caroline trained as a cook and her breakfasts are delicious with homemade bread, jams and marmalade and locally produced eggs and bacon.
Charles, garden designer and leader of tours, has lots of tips about what to visit and where to eat. Falmouth is just 15 minutes, so if you’re visiting the university it’s easy to come back to this gracious home.