- Cafe / restaurant
- Facilities for children
- Free parking
- Pet friendly
- Picnic area
Forde Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery dating back to the early 12th century.
It was converted into a palatial family home during the mid 17th century. The house has exquisitely ornate plaster ceilings throughout the state rooms, together with collection of tapestries woven from cartoons drawn by Raphael for the Sistine Chapel, it is a unique family house.
Throughout the 20th century the 30 acres of gardens that surround this unique house have been transformed by the present owners. The gardens are now a diverse and breathtaking landscape fit for the house that they surround, from the productive Kitchen Garden, to the Arboretum, Rock Garden, Herbaceous Borders, Bog Garden, and Woodland Garden.
There is always something of interest for the visitor whatever the time of year.
Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.
Gardens open daily from 1st of March – 31st of October from 10:30AM – 5:00PM (last entry at 4:00PM)
House open Tue – Fri, Sun, and Bank Holiday Monday, 12pm – 3:30PM.
Coffee shop: Open daily, 10.45am – 4.45pm.
Shop and Plant Centre: Open daily, 10.30am – 5pm.
Eeles Pottery: Open daily, 11.30am – 5pm.
The Coffee Shop, Gift Shop, Plant Nursery and Pottery are open from 1st March to 31st Oct, not open daily.
Historic Houses members visit for free on normal open days.
Gardens only: £14.50
House and Gardens: £18
Single season ticket price: £35
Double season ticket price: £65
Groups and coaches are always welcome at Forde Abbey, where the house, gardens, tearoom, pottery exhibition, plant centre and gift shop provide activities enough for a full day out.
Special rates are available for groups of 10 people or more and it is also possible to arrange for one of our experienced guides to take you around the house.
The make the tours as informative and comfortable as possible they are conducted during hours when the house is not open to other visitors.
Why our members love visiting Forde Abbey
Steve Brown - Visited September 2021
“Forde Abbey and Gardens is our favourite place to visit when in the South West. Set in a remote valley by the River Axe, the House which has developed from a former monastery over the centuries, contains a set of magnificent Mortlake tapestries woven from cartoons by Raphael for the Sistine Chapel. The fabulous gardens were at their best when we visited.
There is so much to see; from the spectacular 160 ft Millennium Fountain, fascinating Bog Garden, colourful massed Borders, Kitchen Garden, Winter Garden, Arboretum and the recently planted stunning Wild Flower Maze. The Tea Room is good too!”
Elizabeth Weeks - Visited September 2021
“This is a favourite Historic Houses property for us. Not only does it have a fascinating and well presented house and Chapel but the grounds are amazing and beautifully maintained. The wildflower garden was a joy to behold and the herbaceous borders were full of colour and variety.”
Carol Stephenson - Visited April 2022
We visited on the first day the house was open for the season. The staff were very friendly and eager to give us a warm welcome. The brass had all been polished including a beautiful Dutch chandelier in the Great Hall; the furniture gleamed and you could still smell the polish. This was no fusty museum but a very serene and elegant home. The addition of a dozen or more wedding dresses kindly donated by local ladies was a lovely surprise. After a light lunch in the coffee shop we also explored the gardens full of daffodils, early blossom and tulips about to burst into bloom. Do take your time.
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