South West

Memories are made here in the South West: classic coastline, tropical gardens, iconic monuments and the great outdoors.

The South West is home to some spectacular gardens. There's everything from world famous gardens like Stourhead, to hidden gems like Overbeck's.

Find out some of the strange things you can discover in the gardens of the South West and the unusual tasks the gardeners undertake. You can also have some of these gardens all to yourself after hours, in one of our holiday cottages.

If you can't decide where to go, our flowchart can help.

This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

Strange tasks and unusual objects

 Sarcophagus on the South lawn at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Sarcophagus on the South lawn at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

It's not all mowing the lawn and fabulous floral displays in South West gardens.

Our gardeners have to do some interesting tasks, including strimming a pond and clipping a tea cup.

You can also find some really unusual things in the gardens of the South West, a locked safe and an Egyptian sarcophagus to name just two.

Big Beach Picnic, Sat 4 July

On Saturday 4 July people all over the country will be heading for the beach, to join in our mass one-day picnic.

Each beach has something different going on, including rockpooling, wild art and flying a kite.

Celebrating the South West Coast

This year is all about the South West coast.

We're hosting a South West Coastal Festival throughout the year with activities, events and challenges on the coast.

Show your support by volunteering, donating, or simply joining in the fun at your favourite beach.

BBC Wolf Hall costume display

Damian Lewis as Henry VIII in the BBC drama, Wolf Hall

A display of eight costumes worn by Damien Lewis as Henry VIII, Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn can be seen at Barrington Court, one of the filming locations for the BBC drama series Wolf Hall. Display open until Sunday 1 November.

Art in South West gardens

Stunning in their own right, some gardens in the South West also host impressive works of art.

From modern to classical and made of everything from metal to willow, there's a wide range of work to admire.

Great for groups

Join a introductory talk at Hidcote © Arnhel de Serra

Many of our places are ideal for group visits, and offer benefits including group discounts and special interest tours. Download our 2015 guide and find the perfect itinerary for your group.


null © National Trust

Did you know you can view the fascinating collections housed at National Trust places online?

It's a great way to find out what to look out for on your visit, or learn more about items you've seen while you're there.

There's everyday items from all eras, some really obscure objects and beautiful artwork (including our Rembrandt self portrait).

Somerset & Glos

What will you draw in the sand? © National Trust

Between them Somerset, The Cotswolds and Gloucestershire boast dramatic coast, ruggedly beautiful Exmoor, lush green countryside, grand mansions, a Roman villa, stately parkland and gorgeous gardens

Devon & Cornwall

The beach at Kynance Cove in Cornwall offers beautiful views © John Millar

A dramatic coastline, a rich mining history, unspoilt countryside, exotic gardens, country houses...there's more to Devon and Cornwall than beautiful beaches and surfing.

Dorset & Wiltshire

A view of Studland Beach, Dorset © National Trust/Will Wilkinson

Our special places in Wiltshire and Dorset include a captivating castle, a world famous landscape garden, magnificent houses and landscapes rich in archaeology and wildlife - two counties that beg to be explored.


Talk to us

Find us

Join in