Devon

Arlington Court, near Barnstaple

A hidden gem on the rugged fringes of Exmoor National Park, Arlington Court is a gorgeous estate that was home to the Chichester family for over 500 years. Featuring a striking neoclassical country home at its heart and surrounded by sprawling grounds and parkland, it is one of North Devon’s best kept secrets.

Built in the 1820s, the beautiful Arlington Court is a neoclassical-style country house. Commissioned by Colonel John Palmer Chichester and inhabited by his daughter Rosalie Chichester until 1945, it is now managed by the National Trust and home to a large collection of antiques. 

Softened by creepers clinging to its otherwise austere stone façade, the minimalist, symmetrical design of Arlington Court leaves little clues as to the secrets within. In a deliberate architectural move to leave the house’s ornamentation on the inside, the interior’s veritable treasure trove of antiques and collectables makes for a surprising discovery. From seashells to model ships to intricate Beauvais tapestries, the diverse range of artefacts and possessions on show is captivating.

Spend time exploring inside the home and learn all about the formidable Rosalie Chichester, an independent, innovative visionary who broke from tradition and forged a fascinating life at Arlington. As well as the house, you can also enjoy the National Trust Carriage Museum in the old stable block, which houses one of the most extensive collections of carriages in the country with over forty Regency and Victorian carriages.

As well as the interiors, Arlington Court rewards visitors with a vast estate to explore, including 20 miles of footpaths. To get started, enjoy the ever-changing seasonal display of flowers in the formal Victorian Flower Garden, home to multi-coloured borders, arched trellises and water features, before wending your way to the lovingly restored Walled Kitchen Garden to see what delights are flourishing there, from giant vegetables to succulent fruits. 

Further afield, the wider estate invites you to follow a range of paths. Ranging from easy strolls to more challenging stomps, each walk leads you through incredible surroundings. A particularly lovely walk, the Deer Park Walk weaves through ancient woodland and parts of the designated wildlife reserve Rosalie Chichester (a strong opponent of hunting) worked hard to create. Especially ethereal on misty mornings when deer appear through a sun-speckled haze, this is one you’ll want to come back to again and again. 

Once you are ready to sit down with a brew, the Old Kitchen tearoom serves a dribble-worthy range of seasonal hot and cold food and drinks, many of which are created using produce from Arlington's kitchen garden. Treat yourself to a Devonshire cream tea, or if you fancy something on the go in the warmer months, the seasonal, dog-friendly Vine Café located behind the house provides snacks, drinks and, best of all on sunny days, ice cream. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Devon here.

Arlington Court, Arlington, near Barnstaple EX31 4LP | 01271 850 296 

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