Arlington Court and The National Trust Carriage Museum, Arlington, Devon
Arlington Court is one of those lovely National Trust houses that make a good day out for the whole family when you’re on your large group holiday in Devon. You’ve got that very satisfying mix of something interesting to see in the museum and historic house, a nice café and plenty of open space to walk and play.
What Arlington Court is best known for is its Carriage Museum, a fascinating collection of vehicles from days gone by, ranging from horse drawn chariots to state carriages used on momentous occasions. When you wander round and see them all it’s amazing to think how far transport has moved on and just for a moment you might wonder what it was like to have a slower pace of life, though in most cases, the luxury of a horse drawn vehicle was only for the privileged.
The Regency house is full of curiosities amassed by the family who lived here for several generations, spanning over 500 years – there are model ships, shells and costumes to marvel at, besides the exquisite period furnishings and décor of the rooms. The formal gardens give you further insight into the history of English country houses and how people lived out their lives here; there’s a walled garden where produce used in the tea rooms and café is grown, and a Victorian Garden that’s full of exotic plants. The wider estate has over 20 miles of footpaths to explore so you might want to make sure you’ve got comfortable shoes on and have a good wander; the kids will love the play areas and looking out for bugs and the creatures who live in the woods and fields. Grown-ups will enjoy the tranquility and the glorious scenery.
Outbuildings at Arlington Court have been repurposed as a second hand book shop, a gift shop and a tea room. Have a good browse, find something to take home as a momento of your visit and round off your outing with a Devon cream tea or a seasonal soup. A lovely day out.
Opening times vary throughout the year so please check the website for details.
T: 01271 850296 All information correct at the time of writing