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Nature Views in Birmingham

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Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The gardens cover 15 acres. The Tropical House has a lily pool and lush tropical vegetation. Palms, tree ferns and orchids are displayed in the Sub-tropical House. Outside there is colourful bedding on the Terrace and a tour of the Gardens includes: Rhododendron walks, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, a collection of over 200 trees, Herb and Cottage Gardens, Museum, children's adventure playground, children's discovery garden, aviaries and National Bonsai collection. Sculpture Trail, plant centre, gift shop and refreshment pavilion.
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Bradgate Park
Bradgate Park was first enclosed as a deer park around 800 years ago. It provides 830 acres of publicly accessible countryside close to Leicester City Centre. The Park offers a wild and rugged landscape with dramatic rocky outcrops and gnarled old oak trees, many of which are well over 500 years old. The landscape offers some of the finest views, and is rich in change throughout the seasons.
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Victoria Park
Victoria Park is a fine green space next to the University of Leicester campus. The centrepiece of the park is the magnificent memorial arch, built to commemorate the dead of the First World War. The arch was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, as were the beautiful wrought iron gates at the parks Peace Walk and London Road entrances. The area served as the city's racecourse until 1883; upon the racing find a new home at Leicester Racecourse in Oadby, the area was transformed and is now a peaceful retreat from the buzz of the city. The park has areas of formal flowerbeds as well as winding pathways shaded by avenues of trees– perfect for finding some shade and enjoying a picnic or a good book on a summer’s day. For more active visitors, the park is home to a bowling green, croquet area, 4 tennis courts, football and rugby pitches, a floodlit Astro pitch and an outdoor gym.
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Great Central Railway
Here you will find the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway – and the only place in the world where full size steam engines can be seen passing each other! Trains run every weekend of the year, bank holidays and selected week days in the summer months. There are four stations on the line, all of which have are wheelchair accessible: Loughborough Central Station (LE11 1RW), Quorn & Woodhouse Station (LE12 8AG), Rothley Station (LE7 7LD) and Leicester North Station (LE4 3BR). For a first class experience, why book onto the restaurant car service which provides a five course meal whilst travelling between Loughborough and Leicester? Or you can make your childhood dreams come true and try out the ‘Drive a Locomotive’ experience, where you can take the regulator on a mighty steam locomotive or notch up on a powerful diesel. With all this as well as special events, Great Central Railway is a great day out for all the family!
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The Quarry
The Quarry is Shrewsbury's beautiful, 29-acre parkland, encircled by the majestic loop of the River Severn. The Quarry has been Shrewsbury's most important site for recreation since the 16th Century. It still provides the perfect place to relax, enjoy walks, picnic, fish along the banks of the River Severn, or just let off steam. At the heart of the Quarry lies the Dingle, a floral masterpiece cultivated by world-renowned gardener Percy Thrower, who served as Parks Superintendent for 28 years. It's a delightful sunken garden landscaped with alpine borders, brilliant bedding plants, shrubbery and charming water features. For two days each August The Quarry comes alive with more than 3 million blooms, as the park hosts Shrewsbury Flower Show. There is also show jumping, arena entertainment and top military bands, as well as a spectacular firework display.
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Reg Taylor's Garden Centre
Walk into Reg Taylor's Garden Centre and you enter into a different world. It's not just a quality Garden Centre wonderfully set out over a 25-acre site, it's a place where there is the widest choice and most incredibly beautiful things for your garden and for your home. It's maintained and created each day by the Taylor Family themselves who have grown the business for well over 70 years and today are passionately dedicated to being assistance, advise and help in whatever you need to make your garden and home special. To visit Reg Taylor's is to have an amazing experience, you’ll want to come back again and again throughout the changing seasons and the year ahead. At the heart of the business, the hands-on approach and knowledge of the Taylor family is evident in the enormous choice and quality of Nursery Stock at very competitive prices. From Bedding Plants, Houseplants, Fruit Trees, Soft Fruit, Ornamental Trees to Roses, Alpines, Semi Mature Trees, Perennials, Climbers, Shrubs, Conifers, the list goes on!
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Fletcher Moss Park
This 21-acre park was acquired as a gift from Alderman Fletcher Moss in 1914. Renowned for their botanical beauty, the gardens contain many antiquated and unusual plants and flowers. The park has retained many of its original features such as the rock and heather gardens, and there is an Alpine house in the gardens adjacent to Fletcher Moss. Together they form a picturesque, tranquil haven for visitors. The park also provides an excellent setting for the annual summer Park Play Performance.
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Mersey Ferries
See the best views of the Liverpool Waterfront on the world famous Mersey Ferry with our 50-minute River Explorer Cruise. Guided by expert commentary throughout the cruise you can sit back, relax and take in the captivating views of the UNESCO World Heritage waterfront. River Explorer Cruise tickets also include admission to U-boat Story at Woodside terminal. Plus, when you buy a combined River Explorer Cruise and Spaceport ticket you can hop off the ferry at Seacombe Ferry Terminal and visit Spaceport. Here you can enjoy our Sci-Fi Icons exhibition- a private collection of Star Wars memorabilia from one of the UK's biggest collectors and experience our amazing 360° dome show. Following your visit to Spaceport, a short hop back on the River Explorer Cruise takes you to Woodside Ferry Terminal to visit the fantastic U-boat Story. Discover an amazing and unique insight into life on-board U-534 through the exhibition's interactive and audio-visual exhibits.
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Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Since its opening in 1846, Cambridge University Botanic Garden (CUBG) has been an inspiration for gardeners, an exciting introduction to the natural world for families and an oasis for all its visitors. Supporting leading scientific research and welcoming 300,000 visitors a year, CUBG is one of the largest University-owned botanic gardens in the world. The Garden’s living plant collection of over 8,000 species is spread across 40 acres of landscaped gardens. The collection, which includes iconic, threatened and endangered trees and plants, supports University research which focusses on meeting many of the world’s greatest future challenges (such as food security, climate change and medicine). The Garden also inspires schools, the local community and visitors from around the world about the importance of plants and plant science, horticulture and the joy of gardening.
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Cardiff Bay Barrage
Perfect for a relaxing stroll or bike ride, the Barrage embankment is situated in a stunning maritime setting and offers spectacular views over Cardiff Bay and the Severn Estuary. Thanks to its flat gradient and lack of steps, it’s accessible for all visitors. A variety of leisure activities take place along the Barrage embankment at the children’s play area, Skate Plaza and adiZone outdoor gym. Visitors can also peruse the free exhibitions, have a sit-down and selfie with The Enormous Crocodile, and take a pit-stop at the RSPB-run Hafren Café.
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Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park covers 4,800 acres, parts of which are open to the public. Its present area was determined in the 1360s and was popular with Saxon kings as a hunting forest. The park is shrouded in mystery and legend and for over 1,000 years the story of Herne the Hunter has been told. His ghost still appears wearing the antlers of a stag, riding a phantom black stallion at the head of a pack of black hounds. He appears to warn of times of trouble and gallops through Windsor Great Park only to disappear into thin air. The park today is the perfect place for picnics, eating, shopping, running, walking, cycling, horse riding and fishing. Families will love the children's play area near The Savill Garden.
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National Trust Runnymede
Seen by many as the birthplace of modern democracy, this picturesque open landscape beside the Thames was witness to King John's historic sealing of the Magna Carta on 15 June 1215. Today Runnymede is the perfect place to relax outdoors or to pause and reflect on the history of the struggle for freedom. As well as a monument to the democratic legacy of the Magna Carta, you'll find further memorials to John F. Kennedy and the Commonwealth Air Forces. There are two art installations to be discovered in the meadows. The Jurors by Hew Locke is a collection of 12 bronze chairs sat in the meadow, each intricately decorated with designs depicting current and past struggles relating to democracy and freedom. Writ in Water is a major architectural artwork by Mark Wallinger, in collaboration with Studio Octopi. The large scale circular building features a labyrinth style entrance leading to a central chamber, where a pool sits below a central opening, reflecting in light from the outside. Celebrating the enduring significance of Magna Carta, this unique piece of artwork offers space for reflection and contemplation.
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Flat Holm Island
Not strictly in Cardiff, but just five miles off the coast, the stunning island of Flat Holm is a different world with a wealth of history and wildlife. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to discover… Since the Dark Ages, Flat Holm has been a retreat for monks and acted as a sanctuary for Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, silver miners and smugglers. Fortified in Victorian times and again in World War II, it’s perhaps most famous for receiving the first-ever radio message across the water by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897. A day visit by a boat provides you with three to six hours on the island, where you can purchase a self-guided tour pack or go on a free guided tour on certain dates. You can relax and soak up the island’s tranquil atmosphere and spectacular views, and also enjoy a drink at The Gull and Leek, Wales’ most southerly pub. There will also be an opportunity to visit the gift shop, where you can buy postcards, Fairtrade snacks, and a range of souvenirs as a memento of your island experience.
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The Savill Garden
The Savill Garden is one of Britain’s greatest ornamental gardens. It never fails to charm visitors who come to explore its 35 acres of contemporary and classically designed gardens and exotic woodland. Developed under the patronage of Kings and Queens, The Savill Garden was created in the 1930s by Sir Eric Savill. The Savill Garden is a place of constant discovery, and of interlocking gardens, containing distinctive areas such as Spring Wood, The Summer Wood, The Hidden Gardens, The Summer Gardens, The Glades, Autumn Wood, The Azalea Walks and The New Zealand Garden. The Savill Garden mixes native and exotic species and has bred many important garden hybrids. Each ‘garden within a garden’ has its own attractions, and the gardens are ever-changing with every season bringing new colour and interest to delight the visitor. The Rose Garden takes a fresh and contemporary approach to display roses. The design creates an intense sensory experience with roses especially chosen for their scent, strong colours and repeats flowering. Visitors enjoy the perfume at its best, together with stunning views, from a walkway which appears to ‘float’ above the Rose Garden.
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Dyffryn Gardens
Considered by Cadw to be the best Edwardian gardens in Wales, the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens comprises of intimate garden rooms, formal lawns and a glasshouse showcasing impressive cacti and orchid collection. Standing at the heart of the estate is the magnificent Dyffryn House, where everyone can play the pianos, enjoy a game of billiards or sit down and admire the breath-taking views. The property has been a popular filming location for Casualty and Dr Who and was featured in the BBC’s 2017 production of ‘Decline and Fall’ starring Eva Longoria and Jack Whitehall. Dyffryn’s arboretum on the east side of the garden is a wild and exotic area, holding one of the most significant collections of trees in the National Trust. Covering 22 acres, there is plenty to discover, with all year round colour and 17 Champion Trees, the largest of their kind in the British Isles.
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Roundhay Park
Roundhay Park in Leeds, is one of the biggest city parks in Europe. It has over 700 acres of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens which are owned by Leeds City Council. The park is one of the most popular in Europe. In the park you can find an abundance of wildlife including woodpeckers, common warblers in spring and summer, mute swans, visiting whooper swans, great-crested grebes and herons. Mammals include foxes, roe deer, voles, moles, rabbits and grey squirrels. There are good crops of crocus in spring, followed by daffodils and bluebells and gorse is present in the northern side of the park.
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Golden Acre Park
This popular park in North Leeds is renowned for its wonderful gardens, popular tea rooms and circular lakeside walk. At 136 acres, this is a large park and is near to two of Leeds' most treasured nature reserves: Breary Marsh and Adel Dam. It's also on the route of the Leeds Country Way and the Meanwood Valley Trail.
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Welsh Highland Railway- Rheilffordd Eryri
Take a 12-mile ride, from the coast to the slopes of Snowdon, on North Wales' newest railway. Enjoy the spectacular scenery while our massive locomotives take you past lakes, mountains and forest as they twist and turn on their way to the very heart of Snowdonia itself.
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Hyde Park
Set right in the heart of London, Hyde Park offers both world-class events and concerts together with plenty of quiet places to relax and unwind. Dip your toes in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, brave an open water swim in the Serpentine, or just admire the views across the lake from a waterside café. Have a go at boating, tennis, horse riding, or join the many joggers, walkers and cyclists enjoying the open air. Hyde Park has a long history as a site of protest, and still hosts rallies and marches today. Visit Speakers’ Corner on a Sunday morning to hear people from all walks of life share their views. Hyde Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and covers an area of 350 acres.
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Coca-Cola London Eye
The Coca-Cola London Eye is centrally located in the heart of the capital, gracefully rotating over the River Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. At 135 metres, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel; a feat of design and engineering it has become the modern symbol representing the capital and a global icon. The experience showcases breathtaking 360 degree views of the capital and its famous landmarks and has been the number one visitor experience in the city for the past decade. The gradual rotation in one of the 32 high-tech glass capsules takes approximately 30 minutes and gives you an ever-changing perspective of London. Within each capsule, interactive guides allow you to explore the capital's iconic landmarks in several languages. An experience on the Coca-Cola London Eye will lift you high enough to see up to 40 kilometres on a clear day and keep you close enough to see the spectacular details of the city unfolding beneath you.
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Almscliffe Crag
Overlooking the road between Otley and Harrogate, Almscliffe Crag is a millstone grit outcrop which is popular with rock climbers. From Almscliffe Crag there are extensive views over the lower end of Wharfedale and eastwards across to the plains of the Vale of York. The crag is one of the best climbing locations in the area. Some classic climbs include Parsons' Chimney, Black Wall Eliminate, and Wall of Horrors.
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Penllergare Valley Woods
Penllergare Valley Woods is a picturesque landscape hidden away in a steep valley just a stone's throw, yet a world away, from the M4 in north Swansea. With its lakes and waterfalls, terraces, panoramic views, and exotic trees and shrubs, this forgotten Victorian paradise is being slowly restored and brought back to life by The Penllergare Trust. The car park and visitor centre are located just off J47 of the M4. Visitors can enjoy a drink at our Woodland Coffee Shop, with views from the terrace over our Woodland Garden and towards the Upper Lake. From here, visitors can enjoy over 12km of walks, including a stroll along the old Carriage Drive, and also down into the Llan valley where the Dillwyn Llewlyn family, who lived on the estate in the 19th century, created the Upper Lake and the stunning man-made waterfall. Paths and tracks lead on down alongside the afon Llan as it meanders its way to Fforestfach.
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Blackpool Stanley Park
The 390-acre Stanley Park is a landmark in its own right, with a magical blend of architecture, horticulture and recreation. Stanley Park abounds in wildlife and its features appeal to the naturalist, the plant lover or one who would do nothing more than relax in elegant surroundings. Delightful horticultural displays can be found throughout the park. Don’t miss the Italian gardens, water fountains, statues, rose gardens and Remembrance Garden. Admire the impressive Cocker Tower - a memorial to Blackpool’s first Mayor Dr William Cocker, the bandstand and ornamental bridges over the lake. Stanley Park has a long sporting history and offers the best facilities in resort from a game of pitch and putt to a round of golf, a trim trail, athletic arena and a sports club for all keep-fit enthusiasts, plus play facilities for the children.
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Blackpool Beach
There’s nothing quite like a day at the seaside, and Blackpool is one of the best beach resorts you will find in the UK. It was even recently awarded its first ever Blue Flag, putting it on par with other world renowned sites including the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific coastline.
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Swansea Botanical Gardens
There is something to see throughout the year in the Botanical Gardens. The herbaceous borders are a fantastic sight from late March until mid-October and the variety of glasshouses offer shelter in inclement weather. So even during the harsh winter months, the garden has lots to offer. In 1919 the private estate of the wealthy Vivian family was bought by the Swansea Corporation for use as a public park. In 1926 the Educational Gardens were officially opened as a “collection of economic plants and British flora”. Renamed in 1991 as the Botanical Gardens they contain a renowned double herbaceous border and many mature trees of national importance. In addition, there are fine specimens of rare and exotic plants from around the world as well as a rock garden, herb garden, and the new wildflower garden which opened in 2017. The 40 metre double herbaceous borders were part of the original Educational Gardens created in the 1920’s and their layout is little changed since those times. It is entirely possible that some of the plants found here are divisions of those originally planted. The large aluminium glasshouses were constructed in the early 1990s on the site of the original wooden Tropical and Show glasshouses which had become unsafe. They include a Cactus House with succulents from the desert regions, a Temperate House with plants from Mediterranean-like areas of the world, an Economic House containing plants from around world with various economic uses, and finally a Tropical House with plants from the jungles and rainforests of the world, planted to give a naturalistic setting and kept warm at temperatures above 12° C.
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Clyne Gardens
The Gardens at Clyne were established by Admiral Algernon Walker-Heneage-Vivian who owned Clyne from 1921 until his death in 1952. He sponsored plant collecting expeditions overseas, and many of Clynes rhododendrons still bear their original collector's numbers. The Admiral's influence can also be seen in the landscaping, which includes a Japanese Bridge, the Admirals Tower and the Gazebo.
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Northwood Trail
The Northwood Fairy Sanctuary is intended to delight adults as well as children. It is set within 100 acres of glorious woodland with 1.5kms of imaginative nature trails winding through. Be inspired by a willow walled maze, a large collection of fairy doors on trees, fairy treehouses connected with rope bridges, a tree stump village, giant mushroom ring, Elven thrones and a natural play area, with sandpit, mud kitchen and den building. It is a natural rustic attraction, sympathetic to its woodland surroundings and perfect for reconnecting children and adults to the freedom and magic of the natural world - all year around. Inside there is a unique Fairy Museum, largely the work and collection of Professor Harvey John Howland, an eminent fairy collector and a fellow of the New Society of Arcane and Natural History, connected to both the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood and New England Transcendentalists. The museum is based in Professor Howland’s old studio and houses some of his writings, drawings and curiosities. The bulk of the collection is made up of carefully restored fairy clothes, shoes, crowns houses and other stunning artefacts. This collection of exquisite miniatures is unlike anything else in the UK and will inspire and inform both children and adults.
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Whiteford Bay Leisure Park
Whiteford is a quiet, family orientated leisure park with a large children’s adventure playground, site shop and a laundrette. There is no ‘club-house’ or bar on the premises in keeping with the charm and grace of the area
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Rhossili Bay Beach
Rhossili Bay is the first beach to be awarded Britain’s Best Beach by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice for the second year running, not to mention the 3rd best beach in Europe and 9th best in the world! Rhossili has also been described as ‘The supermodel of British beaches’ by The Independent and has also won accolades from UK Travel Writers and awards for being the best spot to have a picnic! And The Times nominated Rhossili as ‘The UK's No.1 dog-friendly beach’. At low tide, there is a huge expanse of beach. It is possible to walk across the bay to Llangennith or even cross onto the Worms Head. When crossing over to Worm's Head, please report to the Coastwatch Centre before you go. If your return journey is cut off by the high tide, it is very important that you do not attempt to swim back to shore. There is always some sand, even at high tide. It is very popular with surfers. Many different birds nest on the cliffs, so don't forget your binoculars.
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Upton Country Park
Upton Country Park in Poole has over 140 acres of beautiful award-winning gardens, open parkland, woodland and shoreline, with stunning Georgian Grade II* listed Upton House as the centrepiece. Something for everyone to enjoy, whatever the season, so come along and see what has made Upton Country Park one of Poole’s premier attractions! The Country Park is open seven days a week from 8 am – 6 pm (winter timetable) or 8 am – 9 pm (summer timetable). Winners of two Dorset Tourism Awards 2017 - Venue & Busines of the Year and Dog-Friendly Business of the Year.
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Pensthorpe Natural Park
The former home of BBC Springwatch, Pensthorpe Natural Park is a modern-day nature reserve with a focus on inspiring the next generation to enjoy wildlife and the great outdoors. With its diverse attractions and activities, it offers a fully immersive day out for families, bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts and garden lovers. Explore 700 acres of woodland walks, nature trails, lakes and a variety of habitats teeming with wildlife including wetlands, woodlands, farmland and grassland. Enjoy the tranquillity of five stunning gardens, encounter Pensthorpe’s hugely popular Flamingo flock and cute ducks that will feed out of the palm of your hand and hop on the behind-the-scenes Pensthorpe Explorer* to discover the secret side of the Wensum Valley. Adventurous families can take a walk on the wild side and join Hootz the owl on a journey around his magical outdoor adventure play area, WildRootz and the award winning indoor play area, Hootz House, which is perfect even on rainy days and comes complete with soft play for the under 5s. During the school holidays hands-on activities such as wildlife spotting, pond dipping, den building and nature-inspired crafts enable visitors to get closer to nature.
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Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island is a wildlife sanctuary that’s easy to reach but feels like another world from the moment you step ashore. There is wildlife to spot and woodland to explore; outdoor activities to try and beaches to picnic on; birds to watch and trails to wander. Sample the scouting life at the Outdoor Centre; spend a night under the stars on our Eco Adventure Camping experience, or learn about intriguing tales of survival and adventure at the Trading Post. Wildlife spotters can follow waymarked routes through a wealth of different habitats from the sheltered lagoon and sweeping shorelines, to woodlands and heathland. As you wander, keep an eye out for the famous red squirrel.
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National Trust Killerton House & Gardens
A family home and a great estate. Glorious landscape garden surrounded by parkland with fine 18th-century house Would you give away your family home for your political beliefs? Sir Richard Acland did just that with his Killerton Estate when he gave it to the National Trust in 1944. Today, you'll find a friendly Georgian house set in 2,600 hectares (6,400 acres) of working farmland, woods, parkland, cottages and orchards. There's plenty of calm space in the glorious garden, beautiful year-round with rhododendrons, magnolias, champion trees and formal lawns. You can explore winding paths, climb an extinct volcano, discover an Iron Age hill fort and take in distant views towards Dartmoor. Off the beaten track, you can discover three of Killerton's hidden gems. Nestled by the River Clyst sits Clyston Mill, a working watermill. In the heart of Broadclyst you'll find Marker's, a medieval house steeped in history, and just a stone's throw away from Killerton House is a 1950's post office with a charming cottage garden.
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The Donkey Sanctuary
No trip to Devon is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary. There’s a tranquil corner of the Jurassic Coast near Sidmouth that hundreds of donkeys call home, and they’re all waiting to meet you. This free-to-visit, the award-wining attraction has something special to offer, whether you’re looking for quality time with the kids, or somewhere calming to kick back with coffee and cake. Explore everything the sanctuary has to offer, from award-winning gardens and scenic coast path walks to engaging exhibits and losing yourself in the maze - all year round, whatever the weather. With activities, trails, tours, talks and demonstrations, there’s so much to explore with your own herd. Friendly dogs on leads are welcome too! And there are lots of family events and donkey experiences throughout the year, including overnight camping if you fancy a ‘Bray and Stay’! Take sanctuary in the Taste of the West award-winning restaurant and enjoy fresh, local, seasonal produce while soaking in the unparalleled coast and country views. Hearty breakfasts, luscious lunches and tempting afternoon treats are dished up daily - best served with friends, family and fabulous views.