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“Well worth it!”

Hartland Abbey & Gardens
Ranked #6 of 40 things to do in Bideford
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Only one mile from Hartland Quay, Hartland Abbey lies across a narrow, sheltered valley which winds its way to the spectacular Atlantic Coast. Within a designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ visitors may wander around the beautiful gardens and grounds which lead to the rocky cove. Peacocks and guinea fowl roam at will, whilst donkeys and Black Welsh Mountain sheep graze the Old Deer Park.Hartland Abbey is the lived-in family home of the Stucley family. Although it was built in the 12th century, remaining as a monastery for 400 years and passing through the female line three times, it has never been sold. Consequently, it contains collections of pictures, furniture and porcelain which have accumulated over many generations. The story of the Abbey mirrors local and national history at every turn. It has a friendly and lived-in atmosphere, so often absent in many of our nation’s historic houses, a point continually remarked upon by those who visit us.
Reviewed 1 June 2014

We arrived just before the house opened, so decided to take the pretty walk to the beach. A lovely walk and once past the sheep and inquisitive donkeys, it was an off lead run for the dog too. On our return we had a superb snack from the tea rooms. We sat in the courtyard because we had our dog with us and although it was a little drab, the staff and food more than made up for this. It was all beautifully presented and the coffee cake was to die for. Our visit to the house was fascinating and the stewards were both friendly and knowledgeable. All in all a very enjoyable and worthwhile afternoon.

3  Thank foodyYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"walled garden"
in 57 reviews
"family home"
in 13 reviews
"tea room"
in 33 reviews
"cakes"
in 24 reviews
"interesting house"
in 7 reviews
"bog garden"
in 12 reviews
"room guides"
in 4 reviews
"henry viii"
in 4 reviews
"lovely walk"
in 9 reviews
"cream tea"
in 15 reviews
"quiche"
in 5 reviews
"lovely lunch"
in 4 reviews
"rock formations"
in 3 reviews
"spring flowers"
in 3 reviews
"home made"
in 4 reviews
"lovely place to visit"
in 4 reviews
"walk around"
in 3 reviews
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172 - 176 of 234 reviews

Reviewed 1 June 2014

Popped along here as we were staying in the area and our HHA membership gave us free admission. The house is very interesting, and because it is still in use by the family it felt like a home, rather than the rather museum-like atmosphere of some stately homes. The guides are friendly and informative (it was their suggestion we drove on to Hartland Quay after our visit, which was a very good tip) and although there are no formal gardens near the house, the walled garden was well worth the longish walk to get to it. To sum up: a very pleasant place to while away a couple of hours on a sunny day.

1  Thank DerekW52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

The drive to this attraction is wonderful, the views of the Bristol channel fabulous. The gardens are lovely and very pretty. We got there at opening time -11.30 - to be told the house didn't open until 2 so that was a bit disappointing. The weather was good and the donkeys and peacocks kept us amused while we waited. We went on the hunt for the dog cemetery, climbing trees and statues in the shrubbery but were unable to find them. The only statue we found had lost its head! The house was worth the wait but anyone would be hard pushed to spend more than an hour looking around it. There were lots of lovely old paintings, unfortunately many had no information with them so the connections and history were lost. The original papers and royal seals, going back to Henry VII were fabulous but in all didn't live up to the promise. A bit expensive for just a nice walk.

1  Thank bertrudewigglebottom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2014

I didn't have time to go inside the house itself but visited the gardens. The house is nested at the bottom of a river valley and overlooked by the church and village of Hartland. There are rhododendrons and azaleas, bluebells, a small bog garden, woodland walks and a walled garden the other side of the country lane. All very tranquil accompanied by plenty of birdsong. It is possible to walk through the parkland down to the sea and visit the cottage used in a TV production of Sense and Sensibility. Very pleasant.

Thank jayembee1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 April 2014

Went for the bluebell walk and had a lovely day, beautiful scenery, amazing lady at the hut, great plant sales and , for the grandchildren. a very interesting Easter Egg hunt (there were some left over). We went back later and looked at the walled gardens and it was so nice to sit in the sun and dream.

Thank Mrsheathershaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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