Bickleigh Castle, Bickleigh, Tiverton, Devon
With an incredible setting on the banks of the River Exe in the quiet village of Bickleigh, near Tiverton, Bickleigh Castle throws its doors and gates open to visitors between April and October each year. If that mix of history and beautiful gardens appeals, you should go there; the castle dates back to the Norman period and remarkably, was lived in by only three families until 1924. It has close connections with royalty, visited by Plantagenets, Tudors and Stuarts and is said to have played host to a young Anne Boleyn.
Take a guided tour and among the historic furniture, fixtures and artefacts you can see an original suit of armour made for and worn by Charles I and a collection of cavalry swords; within the moated grounds there’s a 6th century thatched chapel. Tours must be booked in advance, but be aware that Bickleigh Castle is also a wedding venue so it may not be open on the day of your choice. If you do visit, it would only seem apt to round off your trip with afternoon tea in the orangery.
Open: Thursdays only – 12;30pm-5:00pm
T: 01884 855363
All information correct at the time of writing