Lobbs Farm Shop

I’ve always wanted to visit The Lost Gardens of Heligan, one of the most mysterious estates in England and when I visited recently I loved every minute.  Not only have they got acres and acres of woodland and gardens, they’ve also got a rather excellent farm shop on site too.

The gardens came about when the Tremayne family created them over a period of four hundred years, inspired by their passion for travel and the trends of the Victorian period.  Between 1770 and 1914 the estate became an almost self-sufficient community in it’s thousand acres but gradual decline set in when the last resident squire departed in the twenties.  After seventy years of neglect, the outbuildings and glasshouses had become derelict and the garden was choked by overgrowth. Then came the Great Storm which ripped right through it.  Then a group came together to restore the gardens. It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty one years since the restoration and the space has evolved through the talented and committed staff who throw open the gardens and showcase their skill to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who pass through it each year.

A long morning here wasn’t going to touch the surface, however it was long enough for me to walk through the ancient woodlands (there’s a Lost Valley too), wander through the sub-tropical jungle, grab a slice of cake and explore the Estate’s Farm Shop.

The jungle is made up of a raised wooden and chicken wire covered boardwalk, which surrounds four ponds, each area will introduce you to giant rhubarb, tree ferns, banana trees and massive palms.

Giant Rhubarb

When the sun shines you’ll forget you’re in the UK because the garden is a south facing, steep sided valley, so the gardeners here are able to grow exotic and architectural plants that would otherwise fail.

Within the 80 acres of ancient woodland at Heligan there are some real delights.  A sheltered path comes to life as woodland sculptures reveal themselves.

As you leave the Gardens you’ll see Lobbs Farm Shop which is run by three brothers – Terry, Ian and Richard who are fifth generation local farmers. Here you’ll find local cheese, very local meat and vegetables and the usual Cornish fayre.

The beef sold here is born and reared on the Lobbs’ Kestle farm and the breed are South Devon and Limousin suckler cows.  All the feed they eat is grown on the farm – barley and grass are supplemented with protein from their homegrown lupins.
The lamb on sale is born on the farm and reared on grass and ewes milk, they receive only a very small proportion of homegrown supplementary feed.  This traditional feeding method ensures the meat is in a class of its own in the succulence and flavour departments.  Pork is sourced from Cornish farms, some using outdoor rearings.  They also stock pork from the rare breed, Gloucestershire Old Spot.  A wide selection of seasonal vegetables are grown on the farm too and there are baskets of freshly picked cabbages on my visit.
If I’ve whetted your appetite and you can’t get to the Shop, they’ve got an online ordering system. Just take a look at the pictures, I’ve not enhanced them in anyway, shape or form.
The Gardens are spectacular too!
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan,
St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6EN
Lobbs Farm Shop – 01726 844411