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Marwood Hill Gardens

Wisteria at Marwood Hill Gardens

Spend a Day Immersed in Nature at Marwood Hill Gardens

Twenty acres of woodlands, lakes and moorland gardens await discovery at Marwood Hill Gardens near Barnstaple in North Devon. These enchanting and beautiful gardens encourage visitors to lose themselves following winding trails through mystical gorges, peaceful glades and colourful exotic plantings.

With outdoor art installations, charming plant nursery and tempting tea room amidst mature trees and tranquil ponds, Marwood Hill provides nature lovers and plant enthusiasts with an idyllic escape. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a revitalising day surrounded by beauty.

marwood hill agrdens

Getting There

Marwood Hill Gardens are located just outside the village of Muddiford, around 5 miles north of Barnstaple in North Devon. The gardens are signposted from the A39 and A361 North Devon Link Road.

By Car

Driving takes just 15 minutes from Barnstaple town centre. Exit the A39 following signs for Muddiford and Marwood Hill. There is free parking onsite once inside the gardens.

By Bus

While less direct, you can catch bus service 21A towards Ilfracombe and alight at Marwood village. From there it’s a pleasant 1.5 mile walk following paths to the gardens.

Opening Times and Prices

Marwood Hill Gardens are open daily from 10am to 5pm between March and October. For winter months, check opening days online in advance.

Current admission prices are:

  • Adults: £9/50
  • Seniors: £8.50
  • Under 11s: Free

Some special events and courses may incur additional fees. Annual membership options available.

The Gardens

Spread across 20 acres, Marwood Hill’s diverse gardens delight plant lovers and families. Must see sections include:

  • Serpentine Lake – Reflecting Himalayan birches, dazzling azaleas and ornamental maples on its glassy surface. Relaxing spot for a lakeside picnic while kids play.
  • Lime Avenue – Beech hedged walk under a canopy of mature limes with glimpses of artworks.
  • Bog Garden – Discover acid loving plants thriving like swamp cypress and gunnera.
  • Rock and Water Garden – Tumbling ponds, paths and plants adapt to a sheltered gorge environment.
  • Exotic Plantings – From huge echiums to flowering bananas, tender plants relish Marwood’s conditions.

With so many plant species and garden landscapes, every turn reveals fresh delights through the seasons.

marwood hill gardens lake

Woodland Walks

Wooded trails allow you to immerse in nature as you traverse the site between garden features:

  • The Glade – An avenue of swaying birch trees underplanted with wildflowers.
  • Lakeside Walk – Follow the shoreline to admire reflections of towering trees in the tranquil water.
  • Wild Garden – A meadow left to support pollinators and native wildflower species.
  • Autumn Trail – Winding woodland walk especially vivid during fall foliage.

Keep eyes peeled for wildlife like kingfishers and dragonflies darting over ponds as you wander through this peaceful oasis.

Sculpture Trail

Adding creative intrigue, Marwood Hill’s Sculpture Trail threads over 50 artworks throughout the gardens by an array of talented artists. Spot hand-carved gateways, contemporary metalwork, natural wood pieces and more.

Some installations provide imaginative play opportunities for kids to discover including thrones, fairy doors and giant’s footsteps. Art and nature combine to reawaken your senses.

Marwood Hill Gardens mother and child statue

Nursery and Garden Shop

The onsite nursery and shop make it easy to take home plants that catch your eye. Browse flowering perennials, shrubs and elegant architectural plants alongside gifts. Expert staff provide growing advice to help selections flourish.

The Tea Room

The charming licensed Tea Room hidden amidst the gardens serves tempting brunches, lunches, cakes and cream teas using seasonal produce. Indoor and al fresco seating options.

Well-spaced picnic tables offer idyllic DIY dining spots beside ponds or overlooking the valley. Relax surrounded by Nature’s gifts of fragrance, birdsong and beauty.

With its woodland trails, Himalayan peaks and artistic flourishes, Marwood Hill provides balm for the spirit. Lose yourself for a day wandering a landscape crafted over decades that continues evolving to delight and inspire.

marwood cafe

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs alloweed at Marwood Hill Gardens? – Yes, they welcome friendly and well behaved dogs on leads

Is parking free? – Yes, parking at the gardens is free as it is part of the entry price

Can I go fishing in the lakes at Marwood Hill Gardens? – No, these are not fishing lakes.

Other nearby places to visit

When you are in the area, here are some other places that you might think of visiting:

  • RHS Garden Rosemoor – Located just a short drive from Marwood Hill Gardens, RHS Garden Rosemoor is a world-renowned garden owned by the Royal Horticultural Society. It features a wide variety of themed gardens, including a stunning rose garden, an arboretum, and a vibrant Winter Garden. Rosemoor is a paradise for plant enthusiasts, offering inspiration and beauty throughout the year.
  • Lynton and Barnstaple Railway – For railway enthusiasts and history buffs, the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway is a must-visit. This narrow-gauge heritage railway runs through the picturesque Exmoor countryside, offering visitors a unique way to experience the natural beauty of the region. Take a ride on a historic steam train and enjoy breathtaking views of the landscape.
  • Dunster Castle – Just a short drive from Marwood Hill Gardens, Dunster Castle is a magnificent National Trust property with a rich history dating back to Norman times. The castle sits atop a hill overlooking the charming village of Dunster. Visitors can explore the castle’s rooms, beautiful gardens, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. It’s a fantastic place to step back in time and discover the past.
  • Clovelly – The picturesque village of Clovelly is another nearby gem. Known for its steep cobbled streets and charming cottages, Clovelly is a privately owned, historic fishing village that has retained its old-world charm. Take a leisurely stroll through the village and enjoy the stunning coastal views. Don’t forget to visit the Clovelly Court Gardens, a delightful terraced garden with a variety of plants and flowers.
  • Exmoor National Park – Marwood Hill Gardens is situated on the fringes of Exmoor National Park, a designated Dark Sky Reserve. Nature lovers will appreciate the park’s rugged beauty, rolling hills, and diverse wildlife. Explore the park by foot or on horseback, and keep an eye out for Exmoor ponies and red deer.
  • Tarka Trail – For outdoor enthusiasts, the Tarka Trail offers miles of scenic walking and cycling paths that follow the route of Tarka the Otter, the famous fictional character created by Henry Williamson. The trail passes through beautiful countryside, along rivers, and through charming towns and villages.
  • Big Sheep – Family attraction with shows, exhibits and sheep races. Opportunity to walk with alpacas and feed lambs.

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