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National Trust – Dunster Castle

Dramatically sited on a wooded hill, a castle has existed here since at least Norman times, with an impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history. The castle that you see today became a lavish country home during the 19th century for the Luttrell family, who lived here for 600 years.

The terraced garden displays varieties of Mediterranean and subtropical plants, while the tranquil riverside wooded garden below, with its natural play area, leads to the historic working watermill. There are panoramic views over the Bristol Channel and surrounding countryside from the castle and grounds.

National Trust – Greenway

Often referred to as ‘the loveliest place in the world’, Greenway House was once the beloved holiday home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie.

This relaxed and atmospheric house is set in the 1950s, when Agatha and her family would spend summers and Christmases here with friends, relaxing by the river, playing croquet and clock golf, and reading her latest mystery to their guests. The family were great collectors, and the house is filled with archaeology, Tunbridgeware, silver, botanical china and books.

In the garden a large and romantic woodland drifts down the hillside towards the sparkling Dart estuary. The walled gardens are home to a restored peach house and vinery, as well as an allotment cared for by local school children. A visit to Greenway isn’t complete without seeing the Boathouse, scene of the crime in ‘Dead Man’s Folly’, and the battery complete with cannon. Greenway has been accredited by the International Camellia Society as a ‘Garden of Excellence.’ It is the first National Trust garden with this accreditation, and one of just seven gardens in the UK to be recognised as a ‘Garden of Excellence’ by the International Camellia Society.

National Trust – Tredegar House

Tredegar House is one of the architectural wonders of Wales and one of the most significant late 17th-century houses in the whole of the British Isles.

Situated within 90 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland, this delightful red brick house provides an ideal setting for a fantastic day out.

For more than 500 years the house was home to one of the greatest Welsh families, the Morgans, later Lords Tredegar. The Morgan family owned more than 40,000 acres in Monmouthshire, Breconshire and Glamorgan at the end of the 18th century. Their lives impacted on the population of south-east Wales socially, economically and politically and influenced the heritage of the area.

National Trust – Coleton Fishacre

At the country home of the D’Oyly Carte family you can travel back in time to the Jazz Age.

This most evocative of country homes was built in the Arts & Crafts style, and is imbued with Art Deco elegance. A light, joyful atmosphere fills the rooms, and music plays, echoing the family’s Gilbert and Sullivan connections. You can get an insight into 1920s life ‘upstairs and downstairs’ from the glamorous Saloon and the airy servants’ rooms.

In the RHS accredited garden viewpoints give enticing glimpses out to sea, paths weave through glades past tranquil ponds, and tender plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa and New Zealand thrive in the moist and sheltered valley.

Coleton Fishacre received a bronze award for large visitor attraction of the year at the 2014 Visit Devon Awards, as well as two silver awards at the English Riviera and South Devon Tourism and Hospitality Awards.

National Trust – Castle Drogo

High above the ancient woodlands of the Teign Gorge stands Castle Drogo. Inspired by the rugged Dartmoor tors that surround it, the castle was designed and built by renowned 20th-century architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Nothing is normal at Drogo, as the castle is currently undergoing a major conservation project to save it, by making it watertight. This year inside the castle is a transition year as collection is unpacked and goes back on display, some rooms are back to ‘normal’ whilst others have become storage areas.

Outside the Lutyens designed garden is colourful in all seasons, and there are miles of pathways to explore in the Teign Gorge from along the bubbling river to Wooston hillfort, high above the gorge.

National Trust – Dyffryn Gardens

A peaceful oasis on the outskirts of Cardiff, Dyffryn Gardens covers more than 55 acres. The Edwardian gardens are undergoing an ambitious garden revival project to restore them to their original splendour. With year-round seasonal highlights the gardens feature the best woody collection in the National Trust.

Discover intimate garden rooms including the Pompeiian garden, Paved Court, Reflecting Pool and Mediterranean garden. The enormous great lawn is bordered by seasonal bedding and a croquet lawn. There is also a large glasshouse, statuary collection, and arboretum featuring trees from all over the world as well as the Log Stack play area which is great for kids and adults alike.

Designed by eminent landscape architect Thomas Mawson in 1906, the gardens are the early 20th-century vision of coal magnate John Cory and his son Reginald.

Within the gardens, Dyffryn House, a grand Victorian mansion overlooks the key aspects of the gardens. Parts of the ground and first floors have been restored and are unfurnished.