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Arlington Court

arlington court

Step Into Regency Life at Arlington Court

Nestled in gardens within the rolling North Devon countryside, Arlington Court mansion provides an intimate glimpse into refined Regency period life. Wander through the imposing Neoclassical house that has remained largely unaltered for 200 years and immerse yourself in the world of former residents.

With an impressive carriage museum, formal gardens, accessible grounds and kid-friendly activities, a day out at this National Trust estate promises fun and discovery for all generations. Here’s how to see and experience Arlington Court in its entirety.

front of arlington court

Getting There

Arlington Court sits just outside the village of Arlington, about midway between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe in North Devon. Leave the A361 following signs onto the A399 towards Ilfracombe, before minor roads to Arlington village.

By Car

Driving takes just over 20 minutes from Barnstaple. Follow signs from the A361 onto the A399 to Ilfracombe before turning towards Arlington village. There is free parking for visitors once inside the grounds.

By Bus

Less conveniently, bus service 21 from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe stops in Arlington village, leaving a 15 minute walk downhill to the Court.

Opening Times and Prices

The house and formal gardens are open from mid-March until October:

  • Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm

The grounds, carriage museum and tea-room are open early March to October:

  • Daily 11am – dusk

The wider estate remains open through winter. Admission is:

  • Adults £14
  • Children £7
  • Family £35
  • National Trust members free

Pre-booking timed house visits is essential at busier times to guarantee entry.

arlington court external

The Mansion House

Take a trip back in time to the 1800s wandering through the grand Neoclassical mansion to appreciate the family home of former residents:

  • Elegant library and dining room overlooking landscaped grounds.
  • Ornate decorative flourishes including gilded plasterwork ceilings inside the Music Room and intricate marble fireplaces.
  • Billiards Room housing bar skittles alley where guests played after dinner.
  • Intimate family quarters preserving Regency character.

Well-preserved interiors provide a window into fashionable living in North Devon surrounding the estate.

arlington court drawing room

Victorian Collections

Beyond the house architecture, Arlington Court is renowned for housing the extensive collections amassed by Victorian Sir William Call:

  • Carriages – Over 60 immaculately restored horse-drawn carriages spanning centuries from a Roman chariot replica to 19th century landaus.
  • Model Ships – Intricately detailed model boats fill cases in the Carriage Museum.
  • Cow Creamers – Call’s famous collection of ornate silver novelty cow-shaped jugs totals over 200.

Titan the Clydesdale often provides a living exhibit pulling carriages when not grazing in the fields.

hansom cab arlington court

Gardens and Pleasure Grounds

Sweep through Arlington’s gardens surrounding the mansion to admire lush botanical features:

  • Rose Garden – Fragrant blooms climb arbours below the south facade.
  • Sunken Parterre – Geometric box-edged lawns ornamented with colourful herbaceous plants.
  • Arboretum – Diverse trees and shrubs collection from mighty Wellingtonia to Magnolia.
  • Riverside Walk – Follow the River Yeo through dappled sunlight along woodland paths.

There are endless tranquil vantage points to appreciate on a garden meander.

arlington court

History of the Estate

The history of Arlington Court can be traced back to the Norman Conquest, when it was originally a medieval manor. Over the years, it changed ownership several times and was significantly expanded and renovated. In the late 18th century, it came into the possession of the Chichester family, who played a pivotal role in shaping the estate’s current appearance.

The most significant transformation of Arlington Court occurred during the 19th century when the estate was redesigned and expanded by Sir Francis Chichester, 7th Baronet. He created the elegant Neo-Classical mansion that we see today, featuring a striking portico, impressive interiors, and a remarkable collection of treasures. The estate was also known for its beautiful gardens and extensive parkland.

In 1949, Arlington Court was bequeathed to the National Trust by Rosalie Chichester, the last resident of the house.

Family Activities

In addition to open spaces to roam and carriages to admire, kids will love:

  • Fancy dress costumes – Try on Victorian maid and butler outfits.
  • Nature trail challenge – Answer questions exploring the grounds.
  • Museum discovery packs – Exploration backpacks with activities.
  • Pony rides and carriage trips – Offered during school holidays.

Diverse interactive opportunities tailored for children bring the heritage alive.

Visitor Facilities

The Stables Tea-Room serves baked treats and light lunches. Indoor and courtyard seating is available. The cream teas are naturally presented in the Devon style! The shop sells souvenirs like children’s toys representing the collections.

With fascinating collections, family fun and inviting grounds, Arlington Court makes a picturesque day out uncovering stories of those who dwelled within the estate through changing times.

cafe arlington court

Frequently Asked Questions

Who lived at Arlington Court? – The Chichester family leved there for 400 years before it was donated to the National Trust

Are dogs allowed at Arlington Court? – They are not allowed insisde the house, but well behaved dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds.

How accessible is it for prams and wheelchairs? The National Trust have put in a lot of effort to make Arlington Court as accessible as possible. There are som eloose gravel paths and slopes but generally the rest of the estate is accessible for wheelchair users. They have a shuttle buggy to assit between the car park and reception and people can be dropped off at the main entrance.

Other nearby places to visit

There are many interesting attractions to visit when in this part of North Devon, including:

  • Milky Way Adventure Park – Top family theme park with over 100 rides and indoor/outdoor attractions from rollercoasters to farm animals.
  • Quince Honey Farm – Fascinating opportunity to watch beekeeping demos, see observation hives and sample delicious local honeys. Kids can dress as beekeepers.
  • Coombe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park – Family attraction with animated dinosaurs, wildlife exhibits, indoor and outdoor play areas. Educational fun.
  • RHS Garden Rosemoor – Fabulous 105 acre gardens with formal/informal planting, specialist collections and peaceful woodland walks.
  • Big Sheep – Family attraction with shows, exhibits and sheep races. Opportunity to walk with alpacas and feed lambs.
  • Surfing at Saunton Sands – Take lessons or just enjoy the waves at this vast beach backed by impressive dunes. Great for watersports.
  • Clovelly – Picturesque ancient fishing village with cobbled streets and whitewashed cottages cascading down a hillside to the harbour.

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