Knightshayes' formal and woodland garden

Looking out over the formal garden. Large trees in full leaf fill the garden on this bright sunny day. A large concave bench sits in the center of the lawned area.

You can lose yourself in one of the finest gardens in Devon, with one of the most unique and extensive plant collections in the care of the National Trust.

Plenty to discover at Knightshayes

Diverse and magical, the formal and woodland garden is divided into eight separate areas which become less structured and more informal as you move away from the house.

The Terraces

The Terraces in summer
Looking back to the house from the garden across the top two terraces. Each is topped with formal planting with a steep slope to the next row.
The Terraces in summer

With far reaching views across the parkland towards Tiverton and the Heathcote factory the view is framed by a Cedar of Lebanon which grows on the site of the earlier house's kitchen garden.

Orginally planted as a rose garden all that remains of this 19th-century scheme is the formal paving and traces of the old beds in the grass. Now you can see deep herbacoues boarders, yew hedges enclosing tre-foil shaped beds and a planting scheme of soft colours so beloved by Lady Heathcote Amory.


The Paved Garden

Soft pastel colours fill the boarders of the Paved Garden.
Looking towards a large grey planter filled with flowers in the Paved Garden. Soft pastel colours fill the boarders either side of the central path.
Soft pastel colours fill the boarders of 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? Or take a look at the collection of herbs and colourful bulbs growing in the flower beds?


The Pool Garden

Water lilies fill the pool garden with colour in late spring to early summer
Looking across the pond in the Pool Garden towards a white stone statue of a woman in the classical style. Pink water lilies are flowering in the pond.
Water lilies fill the pool garden with colour in late spring to early summer

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

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. The garden is best seen in spring and autumn.


Michael's wood

Be sure to visit 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. During 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.


The Arboretum

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. The arboretum offers spectacular sights 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. This part of the garden is best visited during 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'. Visit during May, June and autumn to see the wood at its best.

Do I need to pre-book? 

The ground floor of the house, gardens, parkland, café, shop and toilets are now open

On weekdays you don’t need to pre-book your visit. At busier times, like weekends and school holidays, booking is recommended to guarantee entry

In line with government guidance, you're required to wear a face covering in most enclosed spaces, unless exempt. Please bring one with you.