Would you give your family home away in the name of your beliefs? That’s exactly what Sir Richard Acland did with Killerton near Exeter, and it’s still owned by the National Trust today. Killerton is a grand 18th century house enveloped by a landscape garden and parkland that make it a pleasure to visit.
The house was built in 1778 and was home to one of the oldest families in the county. Its true masterpiece is its garden, and no matter what time of year you visit you’ll find it breathtaking. Look out for the summer house which was actually used to house the family’s pet bear called Tom! As well as the bear’s house, the gardens are also home to a selection of rare trees, magnolias and rhododendrons.
Killerton is also home to a huge collection of historic clothing, and each year’s new exhibition is always a highlight of any fashion lover’s visit. There’s also the chance to try on some replicas of the dresses, so you can see how you might have looked as lady of the house. You’ll also see beautiful ceramics and paintings throughout Killerton, so there’s something to impress every visitor. The Killerton Estate is one of the National Trust’s larges, and there are 60 miles of footpaths on the estate so bring your walking boots.