Gardens to Visit in Devon

The Best Gardens in and around Devon


This garden displays a huge variety of plants with all year round interest. Rosemoor with its 40 acres is rapidly evolving into a garden of national importance. It is designed to please a wide range of visitors, from the beginner to the professional, and its amazing explorer trails are very popular with young and old alike. There are beds of tender perennials, acres of herbaceous borders; contrasting beds of various colours, a newly planted Winter Garden and a spectacular Plantsman and Foliage Garden with its bamboos, grasses and carefully selected shrubs.

Great Torrington - 01805 624067.

Open all year except Christmas day, April to Sept 10am - 6pm, Oct to March 10am - 5pm
One mile south of Great Torrington on B3220 Restaurant, gift shop & plant centre.


This granite fortress, commanding panoramic views of Dartmoor, was built between 1910 and 1930 for the self-made millionaire Julius Drewe and is one of the most remarkable works of Sir Edwin Lutyens. The interior combines the grandeur of a medieval castle with the comfort of the 20th century. The terraced formal garden has an established rhododendron and magnolia collection, spring bulbs, summer and autumn flowering herbaceous borders, rose gardens, shrub gardens and a circular croquet lawn.

Drewsteignton 01647 433306

Croquet lawn normally open June-Sept; equipment hire from visitor reception. Occasional guided walks on estate. Plant sales. Licensed restaurant.


The extensive gardens at Tapeley Park were created in the 19th century by Sir John Belcher under the direction of Lady Rosamund Christie. The 20 acre garden descends in a series of ornamental terraces from a handsome, much-altered Queen Ann house. Features include clipped yews, a dark ilex tunnel, exotic tender plants and palms.  At the bottom of a ravine is The Lake surrounded by huge Thuja - Plicata trees. These are the oldest of their kind in the country and are interspersed with a mass of rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangeas and succulent plants.

Instow, Nr Bideford 01271 342371

Open: Easter -1 Nov, Sun-Fri, 10am-5pm. Between Bideford and Barnstaple, 1 mile off A39 on B3233 by Instow. Tea room, gift shop & plant centre. Dogs on leads.


Lies across a narrow, sheltered valley which winds its way to the spectacular Atlantic Coast only a mile away. Set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty visitors can wander freely around the beautiful gardens and grounds which lead to a rocky cove. Peacocks and bantams roam at will whilst donkeys and Black Welsh Mountain sheep graze the Old Deer Park. From 1157-1539 the Augustinian Canons lived and gardened in this hidden paradise. In the 18th Century shrub gardens were created either side of the abbey with a woodland walk to the walled kitchen gardens.

Hartland 01237 441264

May to Sept (incl Easter Sun/Mon) Wed, Thur & Sun(plus Tue in July & Aug) 2.00pm to 5.30pm. 15 miles west of Bideford - off A39 between Hartland and Hartland Quay. Cafe. Dogs on leads.


Marwood Hill Gardens is the climax of an owner's passion of 50 years collecting an enormous number of trees and shrubs, many of them very rare, together with many herbaceous and alpine plants. These are now matured and every season sees an explosion of flowers with large collections of Camellias and Magnolias in Spring and a mass of Snowdrops and Daffodils. There are also many Himalayan, Rhododendrons and a great variety of flowering trees take the garden through into summer.

Barnstaple 01271 342528

Open all year, daily dawn to dusk. 4 miles north of Barnstaple, signposted from the A361. Dogs on leads. Cafe and plant centre


Docton Mill is set in a stunning valley 1 000m from the coast. The garden was founded just before the war but fell into disrepair in the 1970’s. In 1980 the Mill was renovated and the grounds cleared, a new bog garden created and borders and huge amounts of trees were planted. 2000 saw several developments including a new Magnolia Garden with large Herbaceous borders, Woodland Garden and Greenhouse area enabling greater plant propagation. Docton Mill is made as natural as possible. In spring there are displays of narcissi, primulas, camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas with bluebells covering the woods. In summer the garden abounds with roses, there is a rosebank of Felicia and Pax and adjacent to this is the Herbaceous border.

Hartland 01237 44136

Open 1st Mar-31st Oct 10am-5pm. A39 to Hartland - then follow the tourist board flower sign to Spekes Valley. Dogs on leads. Cream teas and sandwiches. Plant sales

Winsford Walled Garden - Beautifully restored Victorian walled garden. Victorian teak greenhouses. Covered exhibition area detailing extensive history.