Knightshayes, Bolham, Tiverton, Devon

In true National Trust style, Knightshayes near Tiverton has something for all ages, so put it on the agenda for something to do when you’re on your family holiday in Devon. We love Knightshayes because it’s all rather magical, all a little bit Alice in Wonderland and not the kind of place that’s easily forgotten. At the heart of the vast estate is a magnificent post war house built in the Gothic Revival style, beautiful from the outside and inside full of character and quirky features like the exquisitely decorative ceilings, the carved dogs on the huge staircase, the stone gargoyles and in the library, a fantastical spiny beast. Do the family trail together, dress up as Victorian servants and if you’re a keen pianist, tinkle the ivories on the grand piano in the drawing room

The gardens aren’t lacking in enchantment either, with wonderful touches like the topiary hounds chasing a fox. The scents and colours of the formal terraces arrest the senses and the walled kitchen garden will no doubt inspire you to go home and start digging your own. Then you can all give your legs a good stretch with a walk in the parkland, the young ‘uns can let off steam in the play area and we insist it should all be rounded off with tea and scones in the tea room of café.

The grounds at Killerton are open every day except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but the opening times for the house and gardens vary throughout the year so you’d be wise to check the website before you go.

T: 01884 254665      All information correct at the time of writing

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