Killerton, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon
If you’re a fan of National Trust properties or even historic houses and gardens in general, factor in a trip to Killerton when you’re on your family holiday in Devon. The thing with the National Trust is that they really know how to do things; there’s usually something for all ages and it’s all done in such wonderfully good taste, plus it’s enjoyable and you get to learn something new.
Killerton is a vast 6,400 estate not far from Exeter; think typically English parkland with huge open spaces and woodlands to explore. There are trails to follow, dens to be built and fallen trees to climb about on – all jolly good fun in the great outdoors. At the heart of the estate is a beautiful 18th century house full of collections and curiosities amassed by the family who have lived on the site since the 16th century; of particular note are the portraits and the fashion exhibition which covers the 18th to the 20th century – a must for any budding dress designer.
Garden lovers will adore the formal terraces and the wider grounds, ablaze with the colours of azaleas and magnolias in the spring time, and full of rare trees and shrubs from all over the globe. The ice house and the bear hut are fascinating, the latter being so unique with its deer knuckle floor cobbles and walls lined with deer skin, bark and pine cones. For five minutes of tranquility and reflection go and sit in the chapel, modelled on the Norman chapel of St Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury.
Of course the best way to round off your visit to Killerton is with tea and cake in the café.
Opening times vary throughout the year so check the website before you go.
T: 01392 881345 All information correct at the time of writing