6 Prettiest Gardens to Visit in Somerset and Devon
Britain has some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. The British Isles are a Mecca for garden lovers, attracting visitors from all over the globe, but which ones do you choose to see? I have chosen the following 6 prettiest gardens to visit in Somerset and Devon to tempt you to indulge your gardening travels, whilst also fulfilling your desire for the great outdoors and wide open spaces.
Whether you’re on a short break or an extended British tour there are many great British gardens to visit.
Somerset and Devon have a veritable cornucopia of both historic and modern gardens and properties and what’s more, both counties are places of outstanding beauty.
Whether you love the moorlands and wish to visit Exmoor and Dartmoor or your soul is drawn to coast and ocean you are sure to find areas well worth dedicating some of your holiday time exploring.
Visit The West Country soon, I assure you it has a lot on offer, you will certainly love it and wish to return again and again.
Great Gardens To Visit In Somerset
Dunster Castle and Garden Minehead
Dunster Castle dominates the North Devon market village of Dunster near Minehead and was the Luttrell family home for 600 years. The garden is set in approximately 28 acres of parkland and boasts an unusual collection of trees and shrubs including a lemon tree for which it is famous as well as Arbutus, Camellias, Mimosa and Sequoia trees.
The borders that surround the lawn near the castle keep are home to rare shrubs and bulbs, in summer these and the south terrace garden are filled with lots of colourful bedding plants in a formal Victorian planting style.
A variety of sub-tropical plants thrive along the riverside making for a very attractive walk with far-reaching views. Snowdrops, daffodils and other bulbs make an impressive spring time show.
Well behaved dogs on a lead are allowed in the Castle grounds. Take time while you are here to visit the medieval castle and the pretty village of Dunster where you can find many quirky gift shops, pubs and cafes.
Tintinhull House Gardens
Tintinhull Gardens were created last century by amateur gardener Phyllis Reiss and they remain one the prettiest, calming gardens to visit.
Designed as different rooms, each part exudes scent and colour. There are secluded lawns, pools and beautifully creative borders.
From each room of the house Phyllis Reiss aimed to have something to see, colours, styles and form harmonise perfectly.
Each garden room has high hedges or walls which help to create a sense of mystery, pathways and arches lead you to the next part. Repeated planting schemes serve to unify the whole.
With seven distinctive areas the gardens provide all year interest from clever seasonal planting and choice shrubs, trees and perennial plants.
Well behaved dogs on leads are allowed in the orchard and cafe courtyard. Assistance dogs only are allowed in the gardens.
There is a small cafe and shop on site.
Bristol Botanical Gardens
I really enjoy visiting Botanical Gardens and Bristol Botanical Garden is no exception. They always take me into times past with their Edwardian and/or Victorian gardening styles. Of course, if you have read Great British Gardens to visit you will know that I have a love of Victorian era glasshouses of which there are inevitably some marvellous examples at most Botanical Gardens.
There are several interesting plant collections here worthy of any plant lovers time, whichever groups and species of plants you enjoy you must seek them out.
- Mediterranean Collection
- Tropical zone
- Subtropical zone
- Warm Temperate zone
- Cool zone
- Useful Plants Collection
This garden includes medicinal plants, edibles and spices.
A western herb garden and a Chinese medicinal herbs garden are just two of the interesting parts of this fascinating collection.
- Local Flora and Rare Native Collection
Housed here in replicated West Country habitats are some of the South West’s rare and most threatened native flora.
This collection is particularly poignant as it brings home just how many native plant species we are potentially going to lose unless we can change the way we interact with our surroundings and learn to care more about them.
Bristol Botanical Gardens
Great Gardens To Visit In Devon
Stone Lane Gardens Chagford
Stone Lane Gardens and Arboretum cover just five acres and are found nestled deep in the Devon countryside on the edge of the Dartmoor National park.
They are a little hard to find, a long narrow lane leads to a track which eventually turns into the parking area.
But Ohh what a find!
Tranquil, isolated and enchanting.
Stone Lane Gardens are home to the National Birch and Alder Collections and the annual Mythic Garden sculpture exhibition.
These gardens are an absolute delight to wander around. Walking through the extensive woodlands with the stream gurgling its way through them and listening to all the birds singing makes for a very peaceful, heartwarming experience.
The many art and sculpture installations are all in keeping with their natural surroundings and add more beauty and interest.
To sit in these peaceful woodlands and gardens watching the sunlight play on the silvered birch trees is an absolute joy.
I think social distancing was here long before it became normal practice.
Stone Lane Gardens
Killerton House and Gardens Exeter
Killerton parks and gardens are one of Devon’s great estates. It’s a full day out to take in the house and history as well as enjoy the parklands, woodlands and extensive gardens.
The glorious gardens have beautiful all year-round interest. Rhododendrons, magnolias, trees and formal terraces and lawns form the most part of the landscaped areas. But go off the beaten track and explore winding paths, climb an extinct volcano, find the Iron Age hill fort and take in far-reaching views of Devon’s country side and further still to Dartmoor.
Ramble further afield to discover a working mill nestled by the River Clyst. In the quaint village of Broadclyst is Marker’s House, a medieval house steeped in history, and not far from Killerton House is a 1950s post office with a charming cottage garden to amble through.
Killerton house often hosts art and culture exhibitions as well as a picnic concert in the grounds during summer.
There is a cafe and restaurant.
Lots to do and see for all the family. A great day out.
Killerton House and Gardens
Castle Hill Gardens Barnstable
The gardens and mansion at Castle Hill were built in the 1730, owned and cared for by the Fortescue family, currently in its 15th generation.
With approximately 50 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland, there is enough here to keep you occupied all day.
With seasonal planting and interest the gardens are lovely whatever the time of year you visit.
Many statues, temples and follies can be found around the estate. From the formal front terraces you can see in the distance Triumphal Arch and the Holwell Temple. Such majestic follies seem a little incongruous in the rolling Devon countryside, in this day and age. But they served, in their day to show off a family’s wealth and power.
From the castle are extensive views towards beautiful Dartmoor and Exmoor.
Woodland gardens and a riverside walk are ideal place to take the whole family including your dogs for an active day out.
There is a cafe serving delicious cakes and refreshments.
Places to Stay In Somerset
Holiday Cottages To Stay In Somerset
The Best Of Exmoor have a superb collection of private self-catering holiday home in the Somerset area. From farm cottages to converted barns to idyllic properties on the coast, whatever your preference you are bound to find somewhere to make your holiday special.
Book Now to discover the best in Somerset
Many of these properties and garden are free to visit when you become a National Trust Member follow the link to find out how. National Trust 8 Great Reasons to Join.
Places To Stay In Devon
At The Best Of Exmoor you will find cosy cottages on windswept moors or cool cottages with wide seascape views. Book your now and enjoy a short break or longer holiday exploring all that Devon has to offer
Not far from Castle Hill is Rosemoor Gardens which are also well worth a visit if you are spending a few days in the North Devon area.
All these pretty gardens deserve time to enjoy their characteristics and to discover as much as they have on offer. Why not take a picnic, find essential picnic items right here… What should you bring on a picnic? to help make your visits memorable family days out.
I hope that there are some gardens here that take your fancy, they are all beautiful, boasting their own individual styles.. Taking time to visit one or all of them is worth your while.
Visit The West Country soon, I assure you it has a lot on offer and you will certainly love it and wish to return again and again. The gardens I have written about in this article are just a small but beautiful part of all there is in to explore this area.
I love to hear from you so drop me a line in the comments box below with any questions or views. I always reply as soon as I can.
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Thank you for visiting Wine and Wisteria Travel. Happy Travels.