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Saltram House

saltram house outside

Step Back in Time at Saltram House & Gardens

Just outside Plymouth, Saltram is an immaculately preserved grand stately home providing a window into wealthy 18th century life. Visitors can explore its elegant Georgian interiors little changed since the era when it entertained royalty, as well as wandering landscaped gardens resplendent with rare trees, temples and ornaments.

From costumed room guides bringing history to life to kids scavenger hunts around the grounds, Saltram House & Gardens makes for an engaging day out discovering stories and secrets hidden within this National Trust treasure.

saltram house

Getting There

Saltram House is conveniently located just 2 miles from Plymouth city centre, close to Plympton. It sits just off the A38 Devon Expressway at the Marsh Mills junction. Free parking is included onsite.

By Car

From Plymouth, it only takes 5 minutes to drive to Saltram. Leave the A38 following signs to Plympton then brown National Trust signs towards Saltram.

On Foot

For fresh air, you can walk through lush farmland along the River Plym from Marsh Mills to Saltram in 30-40 minutes.

Opening Times

The house and gardens are open:

  • March to October: Daily 11am – 5pm
  • November to February: Weekends 11am – 4pm

The restaurant, shop and garden remain open longer. The estate is only closed across Christmas week annually.

christmas tree at saltram house

Entry Prices

Admission for the house, gardens and grounds – prices are:

  • Adults £13.00
  • Children £6.50
  • Family £32.50
  • National Trust Members Free

If you just want to visit the gardens, not the house – prices are:

  • Adults £8.00
  • Children £4.00
  • Family £20.00
  • National Trust Members free

Non-members can pay by donation in winter. Book online to guarantee entry at busy times.

The Stately Rooms

Wander through 25 rooms displaying Saltram’s significance and wealthy residents over 300 years of changing trends:

  • The Saloon – Filled with ornate Rococo plasterwork restored to former glory.
  • Libraries – Housing over 10,000 historic books and manuscripts.
  • Chinese Bedroom – Elaborate hand-painted wallpaper and chinoiserie furniture.
  • Staterooms – Designed by Robert Adam with striking decorative schemes.

Costumed interpreters bring added insight into the stately home’s history and remarkable collections.

saltram house indoors

Formal Gardens

The gardens surrounding the house provide peaceful surroundings as well as family activities.

  • Ornamental gardens – Originally landscaped by the Earl of Morley, brimming with temples, statues and rare trees.
  • Wildlife gardens – Spaces designed to attract birds, bugs and hedgehogs.
  • Woodland play trail – Balance beams, mini-beast hunts and natural structures.
  • Riverside walk – Follow the River Plym through Saltram’s wider 500 acre parkland.

Kids will love the secret tunnels, mazes and adventure trail around the grounds. Pick up a family garden trail from reception.

looking at ducks in saltram house

History of Saltram House

Originally known as “Saltram” (a name derived from the Saltash and Plym rivers nearby), its story dates back to the early 18th century.

The Saltram estate was acquired by George Parker, the first Baron Boringdon, in 1712. He decided to build the grand mansion we now know as Saltram House. Construction began in 1743 and took nearly 20 years to complete. The design of the house was influenced by the neoclassical architectural style of the period, and it was conceived as a symbol of the Parker family’s prosperity and influence.

The Parkers were prominent and politically connected, and they played a significant role in the development of the local community. Henry Parker, the third Earl of Morley, was a notable figure in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, known for his interest in agriculture and his philanthropic endeavors in Plymouth.

saltram house staircase

In the 20th century, the estate and mansion were donated to the National Trust by the fourth Earl of Morley. This generous donation ensured that the remarkable history and architectural beauty of Saltram House would be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Saltram House has become a popular tourist attraction and a window for visitors today to see into the Georgian era.

Facilities and Food

The cafe serves hot lunches, baked treats and locally-sourced refreshments, while a takeaway kiosk provides lighter bites. When ordering a cream tea, you will almost certainly be served it in the traditional Devon way – jam first!

The gift shop stocks toys, books and souvenirs inspired by Saltram’s history and gardens. Mobility scooters are available to pre-book.

With so much to uncover, from intrigues of past inhabitants to ornate architectural details, Saltram House and Gardens provides a day of discovery for all interests within easy reach of Plymouth.

saltram house cafe

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is parking as Saltram House?– It is 80p per hour, but free for National Trust members

What has been filmed at Saltram House? – It was famously one of the settings for the film Sense and Sensibility in 1995

How long is the walk around Saltram House? – It is an easy 3.5km circular trail and takes in the region of 45 minutes if you dont keep stopping to look at the view!

Other nearby attractions

Saltram House, nestled in the heart of South Devon, offers visitors a gateway to a many other attractions, including:

  1. Buckland Abbey: Just a short drive away, Buckland Abbey was once the home of the famous seafarer Sir Francis Drake. This historic property, now a National Trust site, showcases not only the fascinating history of Drake but also beautiful gardens, art collections, and scenic walks in the surrounding countryside. It’s a treasure trove for history buffs and art enthusiasts.
  2. National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth: Located in the vibrant city of Plymouth, this aquarium is a must-visit for anyone curious about marine life. It boasts a wide array of marine creatures, including sharks, turtles, and colorful fish. The aquarium offers educational exhibits, interactive displays, and the chance to learn about marine conservation efforts in the region.
  3. Dartmoor Zoo: Situated a bit further from Saltram House, Dartmoor Zoo is a unique and family-friendly attraction. It gained fame through the book and film “We Bought a Zoo,” which is based on the zoo’s true story. Visitors can encounter a diverse range of animals, learn about conservation, and enjoy hands-on experiences.
  4. Overbecks: Located near Salcombe, Overbecks is an enchanting Edwardian house set amid stunning subtropical gardens overlooking the estuary. It houses a quirky collection of curiosities, including maritime artifacts and diverse plant specimens. The gardens, with their exotic plants and breathtaking views, offer a tranquil escape.

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