From secret islands and dramatic coastlines to relaxing riverside strolls and even a castle, there are lots of incredible National Trust Devonshire places to visit.
Here’s our pick of the top ten places to visit with a handy map at the end to help you find your way!
Incredible National Trust Places in Devon
1. Lundy Island
There’s just one small village on the island, as well as ancient buildings and ruins, including a medieval castle, Georgian lighthouse and the remains of Bronze Age settlements.
There’s also heaps of wildlife to see including puffins and seals (at the right time of year of course!)
Lundy is maintained by the Landmark Trust (on behalf of the National Trust) to ensure the island continues to be an unspoiled haven for nature lovers.
From March to October, you can catch a 2-hour ferry from North Devonshire towns like Ilfracombe and Bideford. While in the winter, you can book helicopter rides.
Lundy Island is great to visit as a day trip from Devon or even as a weekend getaway.
2. Bideford Bay and Hartland
Bideford is a North Devonshire town, and all the beautiful unspoiled coastlines, beaches and countryside surrounding it are maintained by the National Trust.
While you won’t find sandy beaches here (they’re usually pebble beaches!), it’s a lovely area of Devon to explore for a weekend getaway or longer trip. I actually holidayed here with my mum many years ago and we spent an entire week exploring the area.
Alongside coastal walks, be sure to visit the pretty fishing village of Clovelly nearby (not a National Trust place) and perhaps even take a trip to Lundy Island (mentioned above).
3. Lydford Gorge
Here, you’ll find the 100-foot high Whitelady Waterfall and a charming 3-mile walk along the winding River Lyd.
Lydford Gorge is also thought to be where the ‘Robin Hood of Dartmoor’ and his violent outlaws called the Gubbins used to live during the 17th century. You can read all about this band of not-so-merry men here.
4. Heddon Valley
Heddon Valley is in North Devon within Exmoor National Park and is a superb place to come for walks and hikes and coastal views.
There’s also a hidden cove here called Heddon’s Mouth Beach, which can be reached via a gentle 1-mile walk.
If you want to take advantage of the dramatic ocean views along the coastal trails, then you’ll need to climb a steep, narrow path.
Trust me, though, the views from up here are well worth this extra effort!
Watersmeet in North Devon is another beautiful National Trust place to visit – especially in the spring and summer months!
There are relaxing riverside strolls to enjoy here as well as woodland walks and fields of foxgloves.
Once you’ve had your escape into nature, head to the Watersmeet tearoom for some tea and cake.
The tearoom sits near the meeting point of the East Lyn River and Hoar Oak Water, offering you a charming place to relax. The name ‘Watersmeet’ makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it?
In the heart of Devon lies Knightshayes – a National Trust estate that’s just as charming as its name.
Here, you’ll find a Gothic Revival house set within pretty formal gardens and a sprawling estate, which are thought to be some of the finest gardens in the South West of England.
When strolling through the estate, you’ll come across over 1200 different species of plants and beautiful views across the Exe Valley.
Woolacombe is just one of many North Devonshire beaches that are beautiful, fun and bustling.
Its large, clean sandy beach and spectacular coastlines are all thanks to the National Trust looking after this area for us!
Woolacombe is perfect for families and beach days, but it’s also popular with surfers and bodyboarders as the waves here are pretty decent.
The beach is also dog friendly, although you’ll need to keep them on a lead.
Croyde Bay (not maintained by the National Trust) is also nearby, so there are plenty of fun-filled beach days to be had in this area.
8. Baggy Point
Baggy Point overlooks Croyde Bay (a pretty sandy beach) and offers some stunning views across the sea and surrounding countryside.
You can park close to Baggy Point and will only need to walk for a short way uphill before seeing incredible views – making it a great day out for young and old alike.
Afterwards, you can keep your car parked here and stroll down to Croyde Bay for some fun in the sun and ice creams on the beach.
This will save you well over £5 in car parking fees – and is just one of many perks of being a National Trust member.
9. Salcombe Hill
Salcombe Hill is on the Jurassic Coast and overlooks the charming Regency seaside town of Sidmouth.
The National Trust looks after all of the beautiful countryside and coastal walks surrounding Sidmouth – and Salcombe Hill was a pleasant surprise when we visited.
From up here, you can look out across Sidmouth’s famous rust-coloured Triassic cliffs, walk along part of the South West Coast Path and even frolic through a wildflower meadow in the warm summer months.
Did we mention the views are incredible from up here?!
10. Castle Drogo
Found in the northern part of Dartmoor National Park, Castle Drogo is a popular National Trust Devon property – and also one with an interesting story.
Built between 1910 and 1930, Castle Drogo is the last castle to be built in England but not for someone of royalty – just for the rather wealthy owner of Home and Colonial Stores, Julius Drewe and his family.
You can easily spend several hours exploring the 600-acre estate and landscaped gardens here. Look out for the hidden Bunty House that Drewe made for his youngest daughter!
The castle itself has been undergoing vast renovation works for some years now to help make it watertight, so it’ll be the gardens you’ll come to see rather than the inside of the castle.
But when I visited a few years ago, you could go up a viewing platform to see out across the countryside, which was beautiful and well worth seeing if you can!
National Trust Devon Map
Here’s a map to show where each of these National Trust places are in Devon:
Discover More National Trust Places
If you liked this blog, check out our other National Trust blogs via the links below:
- National Trust Devon: 10 Incredible Places To Visit
- 33 Best National Trust Places You’ll Love!
- National Trust Bucket List: Fancy A Challenge?
- National Trust Dog Friendly Places (Listed By County)
We hope you’ve found lots of National Trust Devonshire places to add to your wishlist! Which one(s) do you think you might like to visit first? And have we left any awesome places out? Let us know in the comments below…
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