Little gems and lesser known facts in Devon and Somerset

Think you've seen it all? Tucked away in Devon and Somerset we have some little gems waiting to be discovered, whether it's somewhere you've never heard of, or a little known fact about somewhere you know well. Read on to find out more.

Petals of the Handkerchief Tree

Seed smuggling

Legend has it Lady Luttrell brought over seeds for a handkerchief tree to plant at Dunster Castle in Somerset.

A la Ronde in the autumn

Why does A la Ronde have sixteen sides?

A beautiful yet unique building with a fascinating history and design - find out why it has 16 sides.

'Osorio', a play by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in the Reading Room at Coleridge Cottage

Three extraordinary years

Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his family only lived in the Cottage for three years, so what made their brief stay so special that we continue to look after their home to this day?

The Wimbledon dish, part of the pewter collection

Pewter collection with a connection to Wimbledon

What's the connection between a pewter plate at Arlington Court and the Wimbledon Ladie's trophy?

You can see the inner workings of Clyston Mill

Think you've seen it all at Killerton?

The Acland's gave away their estate for the benefit of the nation - will you wander off the beaten track to discover three of Killerton's hidden gems? They're open from 1 April - 30 October.

View across Peppercombe and Portledge

Peppercombe Valley

Far away from the crowds, in a magical world, the Peppercombe valley is rich in wildlife.

The library at Greenway in South Devon

Greenway Library frieze

In the Library is Greenway’s unexpected treasure; a frieze painted during World War Two by Lt Marshall Lee, a member of the US. Coast Guard stationed at the house in the run up to the D Day landings. Find out about the history of this.

The summerhouse, Finch Foundry, Devon

The peace and quiet of the cottage garden at Finch Foundry

A small and compact cottage garden - a perfect spot to relax and unwind.

View towards the Exe estuary from Lower Halsdon's multi use pathway

Multi-use pathway at Lower Halsdon Farm

The new pathway provides greater access to the Exe Estuary Trail, inviting visitors to admire the impressive views and rich wildlife.

Volunteers under the Lime Tree Bower.

This lime-tree bower my prison...

One of the poems written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge whilst living at the Cottage was 'This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison'. It may sound elegant, but its origins were far from it.

Fingle Bridge seen from the Fisherman's Path in May at Castle Drogo, Devon.

Fingle Woods

Find out more about Fingle Woods, one of the largest woodland restoration projects in the country.

A view towards Loughwood Meeting House

Escape the crowds in East Devon 

If you're searching for a slice of tranquility, these are a few of our picks for a peaceful visit to East Devon.

View of the valley at Buzzards, Devon

Exploring Buzzards woodland

Why not take the chance to explore off the beaten track at this tranquil woodland in the Dart Valley? If you're lucky you might even spot an otter or two.

A pleasant walk through Combe Wood, Devon

Combe Wood

Criss-crossed with pathways, this is the perfect place for a sheltered walk on a warm day.

View towards Seaton from Musbury Hill Fort

Musbury Hill Fort

Situated above the beautiful village of Musbury, this impressive Iron Age fort offers stunning views of the rural beauty of the Axe valley and out towards Shute Barton.