Castle Hill Gardens, Filleigh, Barnstaple, Devon
Castle Hill Gardens at Filleigh should be high on your list of things to do if you’re on holiday in North Devon. If you stumbled across it yourselves, well, that would be a very serendipitous moment and you wouldn’t be able to resist telling your friends about it.
At the heart of the historic Castle Hill estate is a striking Palladian mansion house, home to the 15th generation of the Fortescue family. Around the house are the gardens, a magical 18th century landscape of impressive planting interspersed with statues, lakes, temples, and follies. The overall effect is very enchanting with a huge appeal to all ages and there’s so much to notice. Stroll through the Millennium Garden, past the water feature and into the walled garden; wander the formal terraces where your eye is drawn to the Holwell Temple and Triumphal Arch, explore the woodland gardens that are carpeted with primroses in the spring, saunter down to the river, cross the Ugley Bridge and climb the hill behind the house to where the sham castle stands and the views stretch for miles and miles across Exmoor and Dartmoor. Oh, it’s wonderful! Kids can play on one of the oldest trees in the garden, The Tanglewood Tree, you can all tuck into cakes or a light lunch at the tearoom, or you can stretch your legs good and proper with a walk in the wider parkland, rounded off with a good old fashioned picnic.
Castle Hill Gardens are open all through the year, every day except Saturdays, and Christmas of course. Dogs are welcome but they must be kept on leads. Look out for the events held at the gardens during the year, things like Outdoor Theatre in the summer months, an Easter Bunny Hunt and a Spooky Garden Trail at Halloween.
T: 01598 760421 All information correct at the time of writing