Formal & woodland garden
Plenty to discover
Lose yourself in one of the finest gardens in Devon, enhanced by one of the most unique and extensive plant collections in the care of the Trust.
Diverse and magical, the formal and woodland garden is divided into eight separate areas. These include the formal garden, the garden in the wood, Holly’s wood, Sir John’s wood, Michael’s wood, the arboretum, English woodland walk and the south garden.
Garden in the wood
Make a trip to Knightshayes complete with a visit to this famous garden, a diverse mix of dark and intimate trails leading to spacious sunlight glades. Take in views over the garden or have a rest in the cedar house, built to celebrate the completion of the garden.
Best seen in: Spring and autumn
Explore this open woodland, named after Michael Hickson who cared for the garden for 40 years. Home to some of our rarer plants, see if you can spot the unusual Cornus ‘Norman Haddon’ which produces strawberry-like fruit.
Best seen in: Late summer and early autumn when the leaves are a multitude of colours.
Have a wander through this wide open space and take a look at the purple haze of flowers framed against a stunning white back-drop of magnolias and rhododendrons.
Best seen in: Spring, look out for the vibrant carpet of bluebells or see the dogwood in bloom during the winter.
English woodland walk
Go for a sheltered walk as you explore this wilder part of the garden. High above the towering oaks the scene is set for a perfect woodland stroll past colourful foxgloves, ferns and shrubs leading into the parkland.
Best seen in: Spring and summer
Take a walk around the arboretum, full of impressive mature oak and towering conifers providing height and grandeur. Look out for the sequoia trees which can grow to become some of the tallest in the world.
Best seen in: All year round
The south garden
Relax in the open and sunlit south garden, full of exotic trees including the Japanese cherries. Take in the sweeping views of Knightshayes framed by a lawn full of colourful wild flowers.
Best seen in: Summer and spring
Sir John's wood
Take a look at the heart of our collection and discover the incredible range of vulnerable and rare plants, brought to Knighshayes from expeditions across the world. Look out for plants exclusive to these gardens including the dogtooth violet 'Knightshayes pink'.
Best seen in: May, June and autumn