A La Ronde

Think back to drawing quirky dream houses when you were a child – chances are A La Ronde is pretty much your fantasy made reality! The unique sixteen-sided house is magical, inside and out. After being wowed by the exterior, beautiful gardens and the stunning view over Exmouth beach, you’ll be blown away by what lies inside. Our favourites are the feather frieze, gathered from native game birds and chickens, laboriously stuck down with isinglass and the fragile shell-encrusted gallery, said to contain nearly 25,000 shells, which can be viewed in its entirety using a touch screen 360 degree virtual tour.
Interestingly, A La Ronde was built for two spinster cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter, on their return from a grand tour of Europe in the late 18th century. Today. it still contains many objects and mementoes of their travels.

Where: Summer Lane, Exmouth, EX8 5BD
Cost: Adult: £8 / Child: £4 / Family (1+3): £12 / Family: £20 / Group adult: £6.80
Facilities: Free parking / shop/ tea-room / dogs welcome in grounds
See: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/a-la-ronde

Compton Castle

Take yourself back in time with a visit to this rare surviving medieval fortress with high curtain walls, towers and a portcullis. The dramatic fortified manor house and small formal garden is set in a landscape of rolling hills and orchards – a truly stunning setting and the perfect mix of history and beauty.
Inside you’ll enjoy a wander round this charming small castle’s medieval kitchen, great hall, solar and sub solar. Compton Castle has belonged to the Gilbert family for nearly 600 years, including Sir Humphrey Gilbert – half-brother to Sir Walter Raleigh. Today, as well as being open to the public, the castle is the home of Geoffrey and Angela Gilbert and their family.

Where: Marldon, Paignton, Devon, TQ3 1TA
Cost: Adult: £6 / Child: £3 / Family: £15
Facilities: Free parking 30 yards from castle, dogs welcome in orchard & car park, table-top shop
See: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/compton-castle


Killerton is known for its glorious landscape garden surrounded by parkland. Visit and see the beautiful garden which is full of colour all year round with rhododendrons, magnolias and rare trees, against a backdrop of rolling Devon countryside. The fine 18th-century house is simply stunning and home to a renowned historical fashion collection. This year’s fashion exhibition ‘The F-word: The changing language of fashion’ explores how revolutionary innovations in fabric, cut and fastenings have changed the shape of fashion for ever. The National Trust acquired this property from Sir Richard Acland, who gave away this countryside estate of 2,590 hectares because of his political beliefs.

Where: Broadclyst, Exeter, EX5 3LE
Cost: Adult: £10.15 / Child: £5.05 / Family (one adult): £15.20 / Family: £25.35 / Group adult: £9.00 / Group child: £4.50
Facilities: Free parking /two tea rooms / plant centre / shop / toilets/ children’s play area/ dogs welcome around the park
See: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/killerton


If you dream of life as landed gentry, you’ll love Knightshayes, a country estate on a grand, gothic scale. The spectacular Gothic Revival house is a rare example of the work of William Burges, whose richly decorated interiors have always inspired great debate. You’ll see a plethora of quirks, curiosities galore, gargoyles, corbels and medieval inspired great hall. Knightshayes boasts acres of glorious gardens and parkland and is one of finest you can visit in Devon. You’ll see over 1200 plant species with amazing seasonal colour – you can’t help but to be impressed. The walled garden is another highlight, brimming with seasonal produce for the Stables Café.

Where: Bolham, Tiverton, EX16 7RQ
Cost: Adult: £9 / Child: £4.50 / Family (1+3): £17.70, Family: £22.20 / Group adult: £7.80 / Group child: £3.90
Facilities: Free parking / café / tea room / toilets/ shop / plant centre / children’s play area / trails & seasonal activites / dogs welcome in woodland and park
See: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knightshayes

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