Formal & woodland garden

Child looking at tulips in the formal garden at Knightshayes

Child looking at tulips in the formal garden at Knightshayes

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.

The paved garden

A more intimate garden, full of soft purples and greys. Why not relax on a bench sheltered by the silvery wisterias and breathe in the smell of lavender. Take a look at the collection of herbs and colourful bulbs growing in the flower beds.

The formal garden

Relax in the formal garden, a grand space of crisp lines and breathtaking views. Wander around the statues or take a look at the terraces, ablaze with colourful rose beds in the summer and early autumn.

The pool garden

Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the views in the garden

Have a wander around the pool garden and see what you can find swimming in the waters. Take a peek at the tadpoles, frogs and koi carp or look out for the dragonfly flitting between the colourful water lilies.

Fox and hounds

Stop and admire the quirky topiary, including the talbot dogs and the fox being chased by hounds, capturing the Heathcoat Amory's passion for countryside sports.

Garden in the wood

Beautiful colours in the woodland garden at Knightshayes © Ed Skinner

Beautiful colours in the woodland garden at Knightshayes

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
 

Michael's wood

Wide range of woody plants in Michael's wood at Knightshayes © National Trust

Wide range of woody plants in Michael's wood at Knightshayes

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.
 

Holly's wood

Carpet of bluebells in Holly's wood at Knightshayes © National Trust

Carpet of bluebells in Holly's wood at Knightshayes

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

Admire the towering oaks on the English woodland walk at Knightshayes © National Trust

Admire the towering oaks on the English woodland walk at Knightshayes

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
 

The arboretum

Enjoy the open space in the arboretum at Knightshayes © National Trust

Enjoy the open space in the arboretum at Knightshayes

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

View of the house from the south garden at Knightshayes © National Trust

View of the house from the south garden at Knightshayes

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

The Dogtooth violet ’Knightshayes pink’ is almost exclusive to Knightshayes © National Trust

The Dogtooth violet ’Knightshayes pink’ is almost exclusive to Knightshayes

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
 

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