Road trip in Devon & Cornwall. Part 1 – Exeter, Okehampton Castle & The Lost Gardens o
If you have seen my previous post, you will know that in April we have finally travelled to Devon and Cornwall. It has been on my bucket list for long now.
We drove to Exeter on Thursday night and stayed in a lovely hotel just on the outskirts of Exeter – The St George and Dragon (I actually work for this company so it was great to get a bit of a discount as well). First morning we decided to quickly pop in to the actual Exeter as neither of us have been there before. Weather was, well, very very wet! You can see the rain the movie that I have made about our trip.
Exeter is lovely, the cathedral looks amazing and we absolutely loved walking around Northernhay Gardens. After taking lots of photos and having very much needed cup of tea in here (which was great by the way), we started our journey to Cornwall.
On the way we stopped at Okehampton Castle, I know I’ve said this before, but we both do like a ruin. It has been build between 1068 and 1086 following the Norman conquest of England by Baldwin FitzGilbert. William the Conqueror defeated the Anglo-Saxon forces at the battle of Hastings in 1066, but violence continued to flare up periodically for several years after the invasion. This castle was used as a hunting lodge and it has a stunning garden around it. Currently English Heritage looks after it and we ended up signing up for it as well.
During our visit we were the only people there and a guy who works there said that he wasn’t expecting to see anyone that day…what a dream job for an introvert. Anyway the place is incredibly picturesque and definitely a worthwhile stop if you are in the area.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
These gardens were an absolute highlight during our trip! The Gardens have a very interesting history, they were established in 18th century and then fully neglected during the World War I and then fully restored only in the 1990s.
The gardens include aged and colossal rhododendrons and camellias, a series of lakes fed by a ram pump over 100 years old, highly productive flower and vegetable gardens, an Italian garden, and a wild area filled with subtropical tree ferns called “The Jungle”. The gardens also have Europe’s only remaining pineapple pit, warmed by rotting manure, and two figures made from rocks and plants known as the Mud Maid and the Giant’s Head.
We ended up spending a few hours walking around, it was a very quiet Thursday evening so it was very quiet and serene there. One of these places that i wish was a bit closer to home, they do lots of different activities during the year so check the website if you are planning on visiting.
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