Hi everyone! We hope you are all well, we are back again this week with another blog for you to read. This time we wanted to share with you a place that we think is fantastic for the whole family and a must on your to-do list for Devon and that is Knightshayes.
What is Knightshayes?
Knightshayes is a stunning Victoria era house and gardens owned and run by the National Trust (if you are members make sure to remember your cards). The house itself was designed by the famous architect William Burges and was designed during the Gothic Revival period. The house is filled with quirks and curiosities, from the medieval great hall to the library filled with books. In addition, there is the music room with its magnificent ceiling which has been restored to its former glory.
As well as the beautiful house, Knightshayes is blessed with beautiful gardens and grounds. The Formal and Woodland gardens are some of the finest gardens in Devon with a unique and extensive range of plants. In front of the great house are terrace beds which look across a beautiful view towards Tiverton. This part of the formal garden includes herbaceous borders, yew hedges and soft planting schemes within. The Paved Garden is romantic with purples and grey colours throughout, the perfect place to sit and relax. The Pool Garden is enjoyed just as much by the adults as it is the children as you can spot frogs, tadpoles and Koi Carp in the ponds as well as pretty water lilies. Finally, a firm favourite within Knightshayes is the Kitchen Garden. It is a garden steeped in history, having been created at the same time as the house. Burges (the architect of the time) style can be seen within the great garden through the turrets and the style of the walls. Unfortunately, the garden began to go into decline during the First World War and declined further by the Second World War. However, it was still used during those times for supplies in the main house which was turned into a hospital! Sadly, by the 1970s it has become overgrown again and abandoned due to the expense in maintaining it. Then in 1999, a project was undertaken to restore it to its former glory and by 2003 it was magnificent and still is today.
In addition to the formal gardens, Knightshayes is the perfect destination to go for a walk in the beautiful array of parkland and woodlands that surrounds the great house. You can enjoy a stunning collection of Douglas Fir Trees that are just on from the Kitchen Garden or head out further across the grounds to explore the fantastic collection of mature trees.
Things to do
As well as exploring the gardens and the great house there are lots of activities to enjoy while visiting Knightshayes. First of all, you can bring your canine companion with you as the parklands and woods are dog-friendly, click here for their handy guide on bringing your dog to Knightshayes.
In addition to walking this autumn, Knightshayes has put on a family trail. This is a self-led trail with a map that can be collected from reception from the 7th of September. Within this trail, you can complete some of the ‘50 things’ challenge including ‘Go wellie wandering’ and ‘Create some wild art’.
Amenities and how to get there
The cafe at Knightshayes is still open and serving a limited range of light snacks and hot drinks. Light snacks include freshly made sandwiches and hot snacks, cakes and bakes, crisps and confectionary and icecream. Social distancing measures have been undertaken and payment is only available via card.
As well as stopping off for a bite to eat do not forget to visit our gift shop and plant centre. They are open 11 am – 4 pm and are filled with goodies to take home and remind you of your trip to Knightshayes.
Prebooking is not essential but is advised.
Knightshayes is located in Bolham, Tiverton and is only 7 miles from the M5 exit 27. For more information on how to get there click here.