Skip to content

Visiting the garden at Knightshayes

Icy view over the pool garden in winter
Winter pool garden | © National Trust/Trevor Ray Hart

Lose yourself in the garden at Knightshayes, home to one of the most extensive plant collections to be found in the care of the National Trust. With a walled kitchen garden, terraces, Paved Garden and the Garden in the Wood, there is plenty to see all year round. Relax in the south garden, or take a winter walk around the arboretum.

Knightshayes' formal and woodland garden

The formal and woodland garden is divided into eight separate areas. These become less structured and more informal as you move further from the house.

Head to the formal garden for views across the parkland, and look out from the raised terraces in the kitchen garden across the vegetable beds to the trees that surround it.

Add into: The paved garden' (H3)

During the winter, the beds opposite the chasing hounds topiary are full of vibrant violet Muscari. 7


Add into: The garden in the wood (H2)

Winter in the Garden in the Wood

In the winter months, from the paths surrounding the Garden in the Wood, you’ll be able to see the early camellias bushes.

These vivid, plump flowers certainly will not be hard to spot with their bright colours. You’ll also be able to see some early rhododendrons bursting into life.

Snowdrops and crocuses

Remember to keep a look out for dainty snowdrops and sprouting crocus during January and February.


St Michael's Wood

Look out for the vibrant carpet of bluebells in spring and see the dogwood in bloom during winter.

Sir John's Wood

Sir John's Wood in winter

In winter, let your nose lead you around the garden. Daphne, an evergreen shrub with dainty, pink flowers, bears flowers with a strong but delicate and beautiful scent, which is possible to smell long before you see it.

Holly’s Wood

During the winter it's in this area towards the Cedar House that the vivid yellow witch hazel is full of colour among the darker shrubs, also in colour are the vibrant reds of the dog wood plant.

Keep a look out for the hellebores, with their nodding flowers that are scattered all around bringing life into the garden during the winter.

Top trees

Although the trees may be bare, they can still create a striking silhouette. Winter is the perfect time of year to see the wonderful bark of the acers, birch and some pine.

Frozen fountain at Knightshayes
Frozen fountain | © National Trust/Trevor Ray Hart

The terraces

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

Originally 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 herbaceous borders, yew hedges enclosing trefoil-shaped beds and a planting scheme of soft colours, beloved by Lady Heathcoat Amory.

The Paved Garden

The Paved Garden is a more intimate garden, full of soft purples and greys during the spring and summer months. Stop for a while and relax on a bench or enjoy the collection of herbs and colourful bulbs growing in the flower beds during the warmer months.

The Garden in the Wood

A diverse mix of dark and intimate trails, leading to spacious sunlit glades. Take in views over the garden or rest in the Cedar House, built to celebrate the completion of the garden. This area of the garden is at its best in the spring and autumn.

Visitors walking in the grounds at Knightshayes, Devon
Visitors walking in the grounds at Knightshayes, Devon | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

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.

Knightshayes' South Garden

Relax in the open and sunlit South Garden, full of exotic trees including Japanese cherries. Take in the sweeping views of Knightshayes framed by a lawn full of colourful wild flowers in summer. This part of the garden is best visited during summer and spring.

Knightshayes' kitchen garden

The one-hectare (2.5-acre) walled kitchen garden, complete with fairy-tale turrets, is home to a vast collection of crops. These are now almost extinct, including 102 varieties of heritage tomatoes.

Whichever month you visit the kitchen garden there’s always plenty to see, from an abundance of rhubarb to plentiful pumpkins for Halloween.

Using the garden's produce

Unusually for a restored garden, all the produce grown at Knightshayes is harvested and used. Despite its ornamental presentation, it’s a working kitchen garden.

The fruit and vegetables that are grown supply the local Pannier Market in Tiverton for around seven months of the year, as well as local food charities

The exterior of the house at Knightshayes with the garden in front

Discover more at Knightshayes

Find out when Knightshayes is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

Woman carrying rainbow chard harvest at Knightshayes

Our work in the garden at Knightshayes 

The walled kitchen garden, home to a vast collection of crops, is a gardener’s delight. Find out about the work the team does to care for it, and the other areas of the garden.

The library at Knightshayes with bookshelves wrapping round the walls, gold wallpaper and sofas.

Things to see and do inside Knightshayes house 

Discover the ground floor of house at National Trust’s Knightshayes. See the details behind architect William Burges's gothic façade and a portrait that may be by Rembrandt.

A smiling visitor walks a black and white dog at Knightshayes in autumn

Visiting Knightshayes with your dog 

Explore the parkland and garden at Knightshayes with your dog. Follow our dog walking guidance and find your next adventure here. Knightshayes is a one pawprint rated place. 

Afternoon tea with fruit scones, clotted cream and jam in the restaurant at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

Eating and shopping at Knightshayes 

Grab a bite to eat and drink in the Stables Café, or browse the range of goods in our shop. You'll find all the details here.

Evening sunlight on the front of Knightshayes on a blue sky day

The history of Knightshayes 

Delve into over 200 years of history at Knightshayes. Discover the Heathcoat-Amory family history, how the house and garden was designed and developed, and Knightshayes’s sad connections with the Second World War.

Sunrise over Croome, Worcestershire

Gardens and parks 

From 18th-century water gardens and Arts and Crafts landscapes to intimate woodland gardens, there are so many places to discover.

A gardener tending to the borders at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Gardening tips 

Discover our gardeners’ top tips so you can make the most of your garden, plot or window box.

Visitor in the garden in summer at Castle Drogo in Devon

Gardens and parks in Devon 

Take a stroll and explore the wide variety of the gardens we look after in Devon.