Excursion One - Greenway & Coleton Fishacre
We head to Dartmouth where we board the ferry which takes us to Greenway, the much-loved holiday home of the famous author Agatha Christie and her family. Nestled on the side of the River Dart and surrounded by a picturesque woodland garden, this atmospheric house is set in the 1950s and contains many of the family’s collections.
From Greenway, we journey to Coleton Fishacre, a 1920s Arts and Crafts-style house built for the D’Oyly Carte family. The sophistication of the house’s surviving Art Deco interior contrasts with the magical 30 acre garden, complete with views out to sea.
Excursion Two - Castle Drogo Garden & Compton Castle
Castle Drogo Garden is set within the grounds of the striking granite Castle Drogo, high above the Teign Gorge. Designed by Edwin Lutyens at the beginning of the 20th century, the 12 acre terraced formal garden has an established rhododendron and magnolia collection, herbaceous borders, a rose garden and shrub garden and boasts superb views of the Teign Valley and Dartmoor.
We continue on to Compton Castle, a dramatic fortified medieval manor house with high curtain walls, towers and a portcullis that has been home to the Gilbert family for nearly 600 years.
Interior highlights include the medieval kitchen which gives insight into domestic life of that time, the Great Hall and Solar (private living quarters). The castle’s most famous inhabitant was Sir Humphrey Gilbert, coloniser of Newfoundland and half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. Outside are a medieval knot garden, rose garden and orchard.
Excursion Three - A la Ronde & Powderham Castle*
We step into another world at A la Ronde, a unique 16-sided house built at the request of two spinster cousins in the 18th century. This eccentric house with quirky diamond-shaped windows and fascinating interior decoration is crammed full of extraordinary artefacts, curiosities and mementoes from the cousins’ grand European tour. 2017 also marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mary Parminter, one of the aforementioned cousins.
Powderham Castle enjoys a picturesque setting within an ancient deer park and has been home to the Courtenay family (the Earls of Devon) for over 600 years. On our guided tour, we are taken through the majestic rooms and listen to fascinating stories about the family.
*Please note: On 1st May and 12th June departures, Powderham Castle will be closed. It will be replaced by a visit to Ugbrooke House.