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25 Best National Trust Places in Devon

best national trust places in devon

In this guide, we will explore the best National Trust places in Devon, delving into the rich history, stunning landscapes, and cultural heritage that these properties offer. From the timeless beauty of the coastline to the grandeur of historic houses and gardens, Devon’s National Trust sites are a treasure trove of experiences for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Explore the best National Trust Places in Devon

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and iconic landmarks that make Devon a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in England’s heritage and natural splendor. (If your trip takes you to Cornwall, check out this list of the best National Trust places there.)

These National Trust locations are set out in no particular order – they are all brilliant!

Arlington Court, near Barnstaple

arlington court

Arlington Court is a splendid Regency house set in an extensive estate in North Devon. The property houses an intriguing collection of treasures, including model ships, shells, and pewter. The estate features beautiful gardens, a carriage museum, and an expansive parkland, making it a delightful place for a leisurely stroll. The picturesque setting and the rich history of the house offer a captivating experience for visitors. The estate also offers woodland and coastal walks, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty that inspired renowned poets Wordsworth and Coleridge. Arlington Court is truly one of the best National Trust places in Devon, combining history, culture, and stunning landscapes.


Knightshayes, Tiverton

knightshayes fountain

Knightshayes is an impressive Victorian country house with a surrounding estate and gardens. The house boasts dramatic architecture and is set in a picturesque garden, offering a blend of natural beauty and innovative design. The estate features extensive parkland, woodlands, and a walled kitchen garden, providing a serene and idyllic atmosphere for visitors to explore. The property also houses an impressive collection of horse-drawn vehicles, adding a unique and historical touch to the visitor experience. Knightshayes is a must-visit for those seeking to immerse themselves in the grandeur of Victorian architecture and the tranquility of its surrounding natural landscapes, making it one of the best National Trust places in Devon.


Watersmeet, Lynmouth

watersmeet bridge

Watersmeet is a breathtaking river gorge where the East Lyn and Hoar Oak Water rivers converge. The site offers stunning woodland and riverside walks, allowing visitors to experience the natural beauty of the area. The picturesque landscape, with its rushing waters and lush greenery, provides a peaceful and rejuvenating environment for nature enthusiasts. Watersmeet is also home to a charming tea garden, where visitors can relax and enjoy refreshments while taking in the scenic views. This tranquil and scenic location is truly one of the best National Trust places in Devon, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and serenity.


Baggy Point, Croyde

baggy point

Baggy Point is a dramatic headland with panoramic views of the North Devon coastline. The site is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, offering exhilarating coastal walks and opportunities to spot local wildlife. The rugged beauty of the headland and its sweeping vistas of the sea make it a captivating destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the coastal paths and enjoy the fresh sea air while taking in the awe-inspiring scenery. Baggy Point is a must-visit for those seeking to experience the untamed beauty of the North Devon coastline, making it one of the best National Trust places in Devon


Killerton House, Exeter

killerton house exterior

Killerton House is a magnificent 18th-century house with a vast estate and gardens. The property showcases a rich collection of fashion and textiles, offering a unique glimpse into the history of clothing and style. The estate features beautiful parkland, woodland, and a hilltop garden, providing a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to explore. Killerton also offers a variety of walking trails, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings. With its fascinating historical displays and stunning landscapes, Killerton stands as one of the best National Trust places in Devon, inviting visitors to discover the intersection of fashion, history, and nature.


Lydford Gorge, Tavistock

whitelady falls at lydford

Lydford Gorge is a captivating natural wonder, home to the deepest gorge in the South West. The site features a spectacular waterfall, rugged woodland, and unique wildlife, offering an immersive experience in the heart of Dartmoor. Visitors can explore the dramatic landscape through a series of walking trails, including the famous White Lady Waterfall walk. The gorge also houses a charming Victorian tea room, providing a perfect spot to relax and take in the breathtaking surroundings. Lydford Gorge is a must-visit for those seeking to witness the raw beauty of nature and experience the tranquility of this unique landscape, making it one of the best National Trust places in Devon. It is also in our list of the best waterfalls in Devon.


Buckland Abbey, Yelverton

exterior buckland abbey

Buckland Abbey is a historic house with a wealth of stories, art, and craftsmanship. Once home to Sir Francis Drake, the property offers a fascinating insight into his life and adventures. The estate features a beautiful garden, meadows, and woodlands, providing a serene and idyllic setting for visitors to explore. The property also houses a diverse collection of art and historical artifacts, including Drake’s famous drum. Buckland Abbey is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and art lovers, offering a unique blend of heritage, natural beauty, and artistic treasures, and rightfully earning its place as one of the best National Trust places in Devon.


Coleton Fishacre, Kingswear

coleton fishacre

Coleton Fishacre is an elegant Art Deco-style house with a stunning garden and breathtaking views of the coastline. The property showcases the glamorous design and lifestyle of the 1920s, offering a unique and immersive experience for visitors. The garden features a diverse range of exotic and rare plants, along with tranquil paths and scenic viewpoints. Coleton Fishacre is a must-visit for those seeking to step back in time and experience the elegance of the Art Deco era, combined with the natural beauty of the South Devon coast, making it one of the best National Trust places in Devon.


Saltram House, Plymouth

saltram house

Saltram House is a magnificent Georgian mansion set in a stunning landscape with gardens, parkland, and a riverside walk. The property offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Parker family, with opulent interiors and a renowned art collection. The estate features beautiful gardens, including a fragrant orangery and an enchanting follies garden, providing a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to explore. Saltram also offers a variety of walking trails, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings. With its rich history, exquisite art, and captivating landscapes, Saltram is undeniably one of the best National Trust places in Devon, inviting visitors to step into a world of elegance and natural splendor.


Greenway, Brixham

Greenway

Greenway is an elegant and relaxed 1950s country house set in the heart of the countryside. The property was the beloved home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie. The estate features a stunning garden with rare and exotic plant species, providing a tranquil and picturesque setting for visitors to explore. Greenway also offers panoramic views of the Dart estuary, creating a serene and idyllic atmosphere for visitors. With its unique literary connection, timeless elegance, and breathtaking natural surroundings, Greenway is truly one of the best National Trust places in Devon, offering a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.


Finch Foundry, Sticklepath

demonstration at finch foundry

Finch Foundry is a fascinating 19th-century water-powered forge, showcasing the history of industry and innovation in Devon. The site offers a unique opportunity to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a working foundry, with demonstrations of the water-powered hammers and the original machinery. Visitors can explore the picturesque surroundings, including the beautiful garden and the nearby meadows, providing a serene and idyllic setting for a leisurely stroll. With its rich industrial heritage and unique visitor experience, Finch Foundry is undeniably one of the best National Trust places in Devon, offering a captivating journey into the region’s industrial past.


Overbeck’s, Salcombe

front view of overbeck's

Overbeck’s is a hidden paradise overlooking the Salcombe estuary, featuring a subtropical garden with exotic and rare plants. The property offers panoramic views of the coastline, creating a serene and idyllic atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. The garden is a delightful mix of formal and informal design, with winding paths and secluded corners, providing a perfect setting for a leisurely stroll. Overbeck’s also houses a fascinating collection of maritime and natural history artifacts, adding a unique and educational touch to the visitor experience. With its unique garden, stunning views, and diverse collections, Overbeck’s is undeniably one of the best National Trust places in Devon, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.


Heddon Valley, Parracombe

heddon valley

Heddon Valley is a tranquil wooded valley that leads to the sea, offering a picturesque and unspoiled landscape for visitors to explore. The site features a variety of walking trails, including routes that lead to the dramatic coastal cliffs and the stunning Heddon’s Mouth beach. The valley is home to a diverse range of wildlife and plant species, providing a perfect setting for nature enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Heddon Valley also offers a charming tearoom, where visitors can relax and enjoy refreshments while taking in the breathtaking surroundings. With its unspoiled natural landscapes and diverse wildlife, Heddon Valley is undeniably one of the best National Trust places in Devon, inviting visitors to experience the raw beauty of the region’s coastline and woodlands.


Compton Castle, Paignton

compton

Compton Castle is a charming medieval fortress with a rich history and stunning views of the countryside. The property features a beautiful garden with a variety of plant species, providing a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to explore. The castle offers guided tours that showcase its fascinating history and unique architectural features, allowing visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in the medieval atmosphere. With its rich historical displays, breathtaking landscapes, and unique cultural heritage, Compton Castle is undeniably one of the best National Trust places in Devon, inviting visitors to experience the grandeur and history of the region’s medieval past.


Bolberry Down, near Salcombe

bolberry down

Bolberry Down is a stunning coastal headland offering panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding countryside. The site is a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts, with a network of walking trails that lead to the dramatic cliffs and secluded coves. Visitors can experience the raw beauty of the coastline and spot a variety of wildlife, making it a captivating destination for outdoor exploration. The site’s unspoiled natural landscapes and breathtaking vistas make Bolberry Down one of the best National Trust places in Devon, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the untamed beauty of the South Hams coastline.


Branscombe, East Devon

branscombe

Branscombe is a picturesque village nestled in a tranquil valley, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and timeless charm. The village is home to a variety of historic buildings, including a thatched forge and a traditional mill, providing a unique glimpse into the region’s rural heritage. The surrounding countryside features stunning coastal walks and unspoiled woodlands, allowing visitors to experience the tranquility and natural beauty of Jurassic Coast. With its idyllic setting, rich history, and unspoiled landscapes, Branscombe is undeniably one of the best National Trust places in Devon, inviting visitors to step back in time and discover the hidden treasures of the region’s coastline and countryside.


A La Ronde, Exmouth

a la ronde

A La Ronde is a unique 16-sided house with a fascinating interior, set in a picturesque location near Exmouth. The property offers a captivating glimpse into the lives of the remarkable Parminter cousins, with its unusual design and a wealth of mementos from their travels. Visitors can explore the house’s intricate shell gallery and enjoy panoramic views of the Exe estuary from the belvedere. The property’s idyllic setting and rich historical significance make A La Ronde one of the best National Trust places in Devon, inviting visitors to step into a world of curiosity and architectural splendor.


Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton

Castle Drogo

Castle Drogo is a dramatic 20th-century castle set in the heart of the Teign Gorge. The property offers a unique opportunity to explore the last castle built in England, with its imposing architecture and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can discover the castle’s rich history and innovative design, making it a captivating destination for history enthusiasts and those interested in architectural heritage. The property’s picturesque setting and unique cultural significance make Castle Drogo one of the best National Trust places in Devon, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the grandeur of this modern masterpiece.


Buckland Abbey, Yelverton

exterior buckland abbey

Buckland Abbey is a historic house with a wealth of stories, art, and craftsmanship. Once home to Sir Francis Drake, the property offers a fascinating insight into his life and adventures. The estate features a beautiful garden, meadows, and woodlands, providing a serene and idyllic setting for visitors to explore. The property also houses a diverse collection of art and historical artifacts, including Drake’s famous drum. Buckland Abbey is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and art lovers, offering a unique blend of heritage, natural beauty, and artistic treasures, and rightfully earning its place as one of the best National Trust places in Devon


Parke, Bovey Tracey

Nestled in the heart of Devon, Parke is inviting you to embark on a delightful adventure through its woodlands, gardens, and meadows. The estate’s charm lies not only in its picturesque surroundings but also in its family-friendly atmosphere. Perfect for a day out with loved ones, Parke offers a diverse range of activities, from leisurely strolls along the River Bovey to exploring the medieval weir.

parke walk

As you wander through the historic gardens, the air is filled with the sweet fragrance of blooming flowers, creating a sensory experience that is both relaxing and rejuvenating. The estate’s woodlands provide a natural playground for children, encouraging them to connect with nature in a fun and interactive way. With every step, you’ll sense the rich history of Parke, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a perfect blend of tranquility and exploration. Make lasting memories with your family and friends as you discover why Parke is undoubtedly among the best National Trust places in Devon.


Baggy Point, North Devon

For a coastal adventure that will leave you breathless, set your sights on Baggy Point, a true gem in North Devon” Perched on the rugged North Devon coast, this headland offers not only spectacular views of the wild Atlantic but also an exhilarating sense of freedom. The coastal walks along Baggy Point provide an immersive experience, with the salty sea breeze invigorating your senses.

baggy point

As you navigate the trails, the panoramic vistas of the coastline unfold, revealing hidden coves, dramatic cliffs, and the vast expanse of the open sea. The diverse flora and fauna add to the allure, creating a vibrant tapestry of colors and scents. Baggy Point is not just a destination; it’s an outdoor playground where you can channel your inner adventurer. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual stroller, the beauty of Baggy Point is accessible to all, making it a must-visit spot for anyone seeking the very best of Devon’s coastal wonders.


Lundy Island

Escape to the enchanting Lundy Island, a hidden paradise among the best National Trust places in Devon. This remote and rugged isle, surrounded by the Atlantic’s waters, promises a unique and unforgettable adventure. Accessible by boat, Lundy Island is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, as seals bask on the shores and seabirds soar through the crisp ocean air.

lundy island

Lundy’s charm lies in its untouched beauty and a sense of isolation that transports you to another world. Whether you’re exploring the historic village, discovering the island’s flora and fauna, or gazing at the starlit sky far from urban lights, Lundy offers a serene retreat. With limited accommodation, you’ll truly feel like an island explorer, free to wander its cliffs and discover its secrets. For those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience, Lundy Island is a maritime jewel waiting to be uncovered.


Bradley, Newton Abbot

Step into the medieval world of Bradley, a charming manor house that captures the essence of a bygone era. Tucked away in the Devon countryside, Bradley is a timeless gem. Inviting you to wander through its historic rooms and romantic gardens. The warm hues of the stone walls and the intricate details of the architecture transport you to a place where history comes to life.

bradley manor house

Bradley is not just a house; it’s a story waiting to be discovered. Each room whispers tales of the past, and the well-preserved gardens offer a peaceful retreat. Whether you’re exploring the kitchen with its rustic charm or strolling through the vibrant blooms in the courtyard, Bradley enchants visitors with its authenticity. A visit to Bradley is like stepping into a living history book, where every corner tells a story, making it an irresistible destination among the best National Trust places in Devon.


Plymbridge Woods, Plymouth

Discover the enchanting Plymbridge Woods, a woodland haven that weaves its magic just beyond the hustle and bustle of Plymouth. This hidden gem is a green oasis along the banks of the River Plym. As you wander through the ancient woodlands, the air is filled with the soothing sounds of rustling leaves and babbling water, providing a serene escape from the urban clamor.

plymbridge woods

Plymbridge Woods is a paradise for nature lovers, offering a network of walking and cycling trails that wind through the heart of the forest. The towering trees create a natural canopy, casting dappled sunlight on the pathways below. The historic Plym Valley Railway, now a scenic trail, adds a touch of nostalgia to your journey. Families can enjoy a leisurely picnic by the river, while birdwatchers can spot a variety of woodland creatures.


South Milton Sands, Thurlestone

south milton sands

For a sun-soaked escape and sandy shores that stretch as far as the eye can see, look no further than South Milton Sands – this pristine beach, embraced by the stunning South Devon coastline, is a paradise for beachgoers and nature enthusiasts alike.

As you step onto the golden sands, the rhythmic waves and the salty sea breeze create an instant sense of relaxation. South Milton Sands is more than just a beach; it’s a canvas of natural beauty, where dramatic cliffs frame the horizon and turquoise waters beckon for a refreshing dip. Families can build sandcastles, beachcombers can explore the shoreline for treasures, and walkers can embark on coastal trails with breathtaking views.

The beach’s charm is heightened by the adjacent Thurlestone Rock, a natural arch rising from the sea, adding a touch of wonder to the landscape. South Milton Sands is a haven for those seeking the perfect blend of sun, sea, and scenery, making it our final destination among the best National Trust places in Devon. Embrace the coastal magic and create memories that will linger long after the waves have receded.

Joining the National Trust

Now that you have seen the list of the best National Trust places in Devon, you might be tempted to join them. Being a member allows exclusive access to over 500 historic houses, gardens, and natural wonders all over the UK. Your membership not only grants you unlimited entry but also supports vital conservation efforts, ensuring these treasures endure for generations to come. Immerse yourself in history, explore breathtaking landscapes, and enjoy a host of benefits by joining the National Trust community. Become a member today and embark on a journey of discovery and preservation.

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