Historic Houses & Gardens Breaks in Torquay
Historic Houses and Gardens in and around Torquay
The English Riviera and the area surrounding it have a superb range of historic houses and gardens. Most of these are open all year round making short breaks at all times of the year a delight. For members of the National Trust, there are five or six properties close at hand.
Located on Torquay seafront this building has had three incarnations in its lifetime. Originally it was built as a religious order and as such became one of the country's wealthiest. It eventually fell foul of Henry's programme of Dissolution of the Monasteries.
It shortly then became the home of the Cary family and remained as such until the early 1930's when the family's declining finances forced them to leave. It then became a municipal building which housed the municipal art collection. In recent years it has undergone two lots of lottery funded renovation and today is an up to date attraction with the added benefit of a wonderful walled garden.
Also, in the gardens are wonderful historic glass houses. One is a palm house and the other is an arid house for cacti.
Perched above the banks of the River Dart a short distance from Paignton, this wonderful Georgian house became Agatha Christie's holiday home in 1938 and remained her sanctuary until her death in 1976. It then remained her daughter's main residence until 2004/2005 when the property passed into the hands of the National Trust.Today, both the house and wonderful gardens are open for most of the year.
This cliff top home was the holiday home of the D'Oyly Carte family and exemplifies the glamour of the jazz age. The house has an arts and crafts exterior whilst the interior is Art Deco. A particular feature of the property are the gardens that run down to the cliff path and to a cove below.
The property is open throughout most of the year and there are added attractions such as the Coleton Aglow experience in the winter of 2017 when the house and gardens were illuminated at night in the period running up to Christmas.
The long and generally peaceful history of the south west means that there are few castles compared to other areas such as the English and Welsh borders or indeed the English and Scottish borders and so Compton Castle is something of a rarity. It is an authentic medieval castle which has been in the hands of the Gilbert family for nearly five hundred years. Perhaps the most famous family member was Sir Humphrey Gilbert who was half brother of sir Francis Drake. Today the National Trust are custodians of the castle although the Gilbert family are still in residence.
Tucked away in a corner of St Marychurch these gardens are one of the secret treasures of The English Riviera. Bequeathed to the people of Torbay, these adults only gardens have been a place of peace and contemplation since the 1930's.
Occupying a commanding clifftop position at the mouth of the Salcombe estuary this National Trust Property is worth the effort of visiting. As the crow flies it is not far from Torquay but narrow country lanes demand real patience. However, the patience is rewarded in one of the most stunningly beautiful gardens. The house is not so interesting But it does contain fascinating items collected by inventor Otto Overbeck.
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Book your Christmas and New Year break in Torquay and celebrate the end to a difficult year. Enjoy all that south Devon has to offer all year round.
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2020 will always be remembered as the year of Covid 19 but even in the midst of all the madness there are good reasons to get away and have a break by the sea.