Castle Drogo, nr Drewsteignton, Devon
Castle Drogo stands high above the Teign Gorge on the edge of Dartmoor; dramatic and imposing, what may look like a medieval fortress is in fact the last castle to be built in England - designed by Edwin Lutyens, built by hand from local granite for Julius Drewe between 1910 and 1930, inspired by the rugged tors of Dartmoor. It's a masterpiece, one that's now in the hands of the National Trust so they're doing everything they can to preserve it.
Inside Castle Drogo is a mixture of periods and styles, but what you have to remember is that this was a family home; the Entrance Hall and Library have a very Norman air about them, the Dining Room and Drawing Room evoke the 17th century, and the bedrooms and bathrooms are modest Edwardian. As expected, there's a siginificant collection of art and antiques to admire. Equally appealing are the gardens, with a formal terrace behind immacualtely clipped yew hedges, woodland walks bursting with azaleas and rhododendrons in the spring, fragrant rose beds, and a darling miniature Bunty House; all the time there are seemingly endless views across the spectacular Teign Valley - imagine living here!
And you know how the National Trust do things, it's all so lovely, so tasteful, so you can go almost anytime of year and even if you can't go in the house you can still explore the grounds - all that kicking up autumn leaves, the glorious colours, cycle rides and summer walks in the valley, and Christmas at Castle Drogo... They have a knack of making it all very magical.
Opening times vary throughout the year so it's best to check the website before you plan to visit.
T: 01647 433306 All information correct at the time of writing.