Knightshayes' formal and woodland garden

The formal garden in spring

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

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? Or 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

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

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.

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.

Woman removing child's wellies from the back of a car

Please book ahead before visiting 

The car park, formal and woodland gardens, parkland, Kitchen Garden, Douglas Fir Walk and Impey Woods at Knightshayes are now open. The cafe is also open 10am-4pm serving a limited range of takeaway drinks and light snacks. You'll need to book tickets by 3pm the day before your visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. We'll be releasing tickets every Friday. Please note we’ll be turning people away who arrive and haven't booked. We're looking forward to welcoming you back.