Garden Portrait: Knightshayes Court

Driving back from West Penwith to Shropshire takes around 5 hours. It’s a long journey and we usually stop after a couple of hours to stretch the legs and grab a coffee. Gilly the Lucid Gypsy who  lives in Exeter once suggested that we might like to stop at Knightshayes Court, a house and garden run by the National Trust which is about 5 miles off the M5 near Tiverton in north Devon. So far during our forays south the car has been full of ‘stuff‘ and on the return journey the weather has not been conducive to more than a quick pit-stop.

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However, last Sunday the weather was perfect albeit very hazy. I love the drive through Cornwall and Devon – Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor (which two weeks ago was dusted in snow) rolling countryside and glimpses of the coast. Time to visit Knightshayes. Arriving there we were surprised to find that they serve a Sunday carvery (between 12 noon and 2:30 pm) so of course we ordered one and devoured it with pleasure. Then time to walk down to the house and have a quick look at the gardens close to the house. Two hours later we returned to the car to continue our journey home(?) – at the moment neither house feels quite like home, more like impersonal hotels without the luxuries and with the hazards of falling over boxes!

knightshayes (20)

Apologies for the quality of these photos. For once I didn’t have my camera with me, but I did have a new phone and one that has a camera (My daughter is so pleased that I have finally got a ‘proper’ mobile phone and is already instructing me about ‘apps’) so I attempted to capture some of the delights of this place. The views in the distance over Exmoor, I imagine, were hazy but beautiful.

The house is beautiful with honey-coloured stonework around the pretty leaded-windows and the bright red doors and gates make quite a bold statement.

Spring flowers were out – purple crocuses, snake’s-head fritillary, blankets of pretty blue scilla verna and dancing daffodils of course.

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The light was clear in the woodland garden and backlit the hellebores perfectly. One or two magnolias were in flower too, though it is still early in the season for them.

knightshayes (31)

And the most fascinating aspect was the abundance of quirky animals in the garden

OK. I admit to breaking my own rules, but blame it on the restless one who challenged me 🙂

Thanks Gilly. A perfect stopping spot ❤

And more lovely walks can be enjoyed over at my friend Jo’s place.


53 Comments Add yours

  1. Sue says:

    Ah, thanks for the virtual wander, Jude, and reminder of this place….

    1. Heyjude says:

      One for you to visit perhaps next time you are in Devon.

  2. The light. The light! What sort of magic camera-phone do you have? Your collages are beautiful colour symphonies and the header is superb.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Photography is all about the light – and that day was luminescent. I try hard to coordinate the collages – it’s the organised bit of me, can’t help it!

  3. What a delightful place! I’m adding it to places to visit on our next trip down to Cornwall.
    The photos are fabulous. The quality that the latest phones can offer is amazing – I may have to upgrade my phone just to enjoy that benefit.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I left my new camera in Ludlow and took the old camera to Cornwall to leave there. So cameraless on the way back. I’m quite impressed too, though you wouldn’t want to enlarge a lot of them!

      1. A camera in each camp… The close ups of the flowers in particular are really detailed.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I was quite surprised they came out so well as I had to jab the phone to take the shot!

  4. Tish Farrell says:

    Lovely shots – phone or not, Jude. And thanks for the intro to this beautiful place. We’ll look out for it next time we’re heading to the southwest.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Only 5 miles from Junction 27 M5 so quick to get to from there. And worth the stop.

  5. desleyjane says:

    Gorgeous shots, regardless of camera.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks DJ. I shall have to have a look at the settings of this camera – it is probably better than the first digital we bought back in 2003 at a cost of around £800!

      1. Dina says:

        This progress is amazing, isn’t it? Just as amazing as your lovely shots, Jude. I’d love to visit, one fine day … It definetely looks like it’s worth a visit 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          So many lovely gardens Dina. I love visiting a new one.

      2. desleyjane says:

        I feel your pain. My first digital was $900 in 2004. Youch.

  6. restlessjo says:

    Hooray! Hooray! I love a rule breaker 🙂 🙂 Fabulous photos too, Jude! Your flower close ups are gorgeous and I really like that last one of the naked hedges. I struggle with my phone camera, especially downloading them to use. (Mick says I should read the instructions- his answer to most things 🙂 ) I shall have my shell-like cocked for all the latest gen on Apps, much good may it do me.
    Not long now, Jude, and that old house of yours is history. 🙂 Last lap! Thanks for the mention.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Having a Windows phone means the photos are automatically uploaded to my ‘OneDrive’ which lives on a cloud (apparently) so I can then copy the photos from there onto my laptop. I did manage to have about three copies though so obviously did something wrong 😦

      1. restlessjo says:

        I didn’t even know you could get a Windows phone! Just had a quick word with the son 🙂

    2. Lucid Gypsy says:

      Jo, if all else fails email them to yourself!

  7. Dina says:

    We love rule breakers too! 🙂 And Siri and Selma 👭 love the quirky winged animals in the garden. >3
    “Jude pictured them for us, for us, thank you, Jude!” 🙂 🙂 👯
    Fairydust from Cley ✨🌟💫🌟

    1. Heyjude says:

      Haha, well yes actually I did think of the girls when I saw this 🙂

  8. Anabel Marsh says:

    What a gorgeous place! And lovely photos. I take photos on my phone or iPad a lot and think they are fine – but then, I’m not a photographer and also, you’re right about not enlarging them too much. They never look so good on the PC.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I just think the focal point must move when you tap the screen so difficult to get a sharp image.

  9. What a nice place to stop and stretch your legs. I want to grow some snake’s-head fritillary because they are unusual, but mostly because I love the name.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have never tried growing them, but they do look lovely en masse. Could you grow them where you live?

      1. Don’t know. I will investigate.

      2. The garden guide says they need cool winters and moist springs so they might be okay in a south facing garden bed with shelter. I must look out for them.

  10. Sue Slaght says:

    Jude I am out of the loop. Boxes? Are you moving?
    Glad to hear about your phone. Next thing you will have the WordPress app and be responding to comments on your phone. 🙂
    A beautiful wander too. Lovely to see spring time.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I did download the WP app but haven’t done anything with it! Who knows. Maybe I’ll get more phone savvy. And yes, move imminent. April and I will be in Cornwall, not too far from the sea. Can’t wait! So tired of packing and cleaning 😦

      1. Sue Slaght says:

        Best of luck with the move Jude. By the sea sounds sensational to this landlocked one. I look forward to the updates and may the cleaning and packing soon be done.

  11. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’m so glad you stopped there Jude, it’s a delight isn’t it? Now you’ll have to go in a different season. Great photos, phone or not, mine is my always with me camera, but yes zooming in is limited!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I shall definitely be back for a closer look. Still fancy meeting you at Dartington though. Once I am settled 🙂

      1. Lucid Gypsy says:

        Hahaha, just replied to your other comment, great minds – that’s a must then!

  12. Really pretty! I will have to remember this one when next down that way. Seeing the snakeshead fritillary made me smile 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are pretty aren’t they? I know you have family in Devon, but I have forgotten where.

      1. More to the South near Newton Abbot but I do know Tiverton! We’re going to Somerset for the day next weekend and I’m currently looking for a good NT place to visit there with family. Just hope we get good weather through easter this year!

        1. Heyjude says:

          I shall keep my fingers crossed. We will be down in Cornwall for the last time before the permanent move! Be nice if the sun shines 🙂

        2. It’s my birthday on Easter Monday too so we’re hoping to spend the day at Polesden!

        3. Heyjude says:

          Lovely when all the gardens open again. Sadly I’ll miss the one nearest here as they don’t open until April 1 – I was hoping to get one last visit in.

        4. Oh! I’m used to so many being open year round even if they have restricted visiting times. Which one is that near you then?

        5. Heyjude says:

          Stockton Bury gardens in Herefordshire – they are a real delight

        6. Oh, we went there a few summers ago! Truly delightful place with amazing orchards. I can see why it’s probably not a good year round garden and they work the land there too I seem to recall.

  13. Liesbet says:

    What a wonderful pit stop, Jude! Such a beautiful place and so many flowers that are blooming already. Here in Kent, CT (USA) everything is still “boringly” brown. The atmosphere of buildings and gardens like Knightshayes Court can hardly be beaten and cannot be found in my current neck of the woods, unfortunately. And, that new phone of yours? Who needs a real camera? (Just kidding of course, but the photos you took with it are pretty awesome!)

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Liesbet for your lovely comment. I don’t think I will be using the phone camera too often, but good to know that the pictures aren’t too terrible.

  14. Gorgeous pictures – what a nice way to welcome in Spring! I like how when you hover over a picture, the caption comes up. The Snake’s Head flower is so interesting looking. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like that before.

  15. Such a beautiful place to stop for lunch, Jude. I don’t know how much longer it will be before this house feels like home. Hope your move goes smoothly. Great photos with your new phone. I don’t think that’s a real Iggy is it? 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      We are almost there, once the furniture is in it will feel more homely though we do want to remodel half the house so there will be more disruption and mess! Shame I can’t borrow your hubby 😎

      1. Sorry Jude……not a snowball’s chance in hell, that you can borrow hubby. He’s very much needed here for the forseeable future and even beyond. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          I thought you might say that 😁

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