Autumn colour at Compton Castle
As the rolling hills and orchards that surround Compton Castle transform with russet and golden colours, autumn is the perfect time to experience cosy castle life. Find out some of the autumnal things to see and do here.
Nestled amongst orchards, it's no wonder that the real show stopper at Compton Castle in the autumn months (along with the ginkgo biloba by the barn, which goes a striking colour) are the apple and pear trees.
In September and October the leaves turn golden and begin to fall from the trees, and the harvest of fruit looks tempting as it ripens. There's a great variety cider and desert apples and pears, including 'Paignton Marigold,' a bittersweet cider apple which originated from nearby Paignton as long ago as 1834. Please don't be tempted to eat any of the fruit; the harvest is destined for apple pressing and the donor family that still live in the castle.
There's a one-mile circular walk through the farmland around the castle, which takes in the views as far as Dartmoor. At this time of year you'll find blackberries growing in the hedgerows; a tasty autumn treat. Birdlife and squirrels may be spotted, whilst the sheep and farm animals in the fields add to the tranquil country scene. To begin the route, walk past the castle entrance on your left and take the next right. The walk starts from the information panel at the top of this short track.
The permissive footpath has been put in place with the kind permission of a tenant farmer, using funding from Natural England and the National Trust. Please keep to waymarked trail, ensure all gates are closed and that dogs are kept on a lead where livestock are present.
Inside the castle
With the open fire warming the Great Hall, this is a time when the doors are closed to drafts and the castle gets cosy for inhabitants, which includes the volunteers who you may meet dressed in Tudor outfits. In the Medieval Kitchen herbs from the herb garden are laid out, which you can crush in the pestle and mortar to release their aroma.