Hartland Abbey is a fascinating house. Built across a narrow, wooded valley leading to an Atlantic cove a mile away, Henry VIII gifted the Abbey to The Keeper of his Wine Cellar, whose descendants live here today.
Not only can visitors experience the stunning interiors, collections, beautiful gardens and walks but the Abbey exudes the warmth and friendliness only found in a family home cherished for generations. Close family connections to Poltimore House and Clovelly Court nearby are evident.
Amongst the impressive interiors spanning Mediaeval, Queen Anne, Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods you can see the three main Reception Rooms, the fabulous Alhambra Corridor by Sir George Gilbert Scott and the Gothic Library by Meadows with its fireplace by Batty Langley. Important paintings by artists including Reynolds and Gainsborough, furniture, porcelain, early photographs, a museum of documents from 1160 and changing displays of family memorabilia fascinate visitors.
Much of the 50 acres of gardens and woodland walks had been lost since the First World War but since restoration began in 1996 once again there are beautiful paths through bulbs, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas; the Bog Garden and Fernery, by Gertrude Jekyll, thrive again.
In the three 18th-century Walled Gardens climbers, herbaceous, tender perennials and vegetables delight and glasshouses protect stunning plants for display in the house. Walk through carpets of primroses, historic daffodils, bluebells and wildflowers to the newly restored Summerhouse in the woods, the Gazebo and Blackpool Mill with its beautiful beach and cottage, a popular film location.
Home to the Dashwood family in Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’, it has recently been the location for Rosamunde Pilcher’s ‘The Shell Seekers’and the Lanyon in ‘The Night Manager’ with Tom Hiddleston. In 2017 the Hartland Abbey Estate was used for the filming of ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ starring Lily James.
Donkeys, black sheep and peacocks roam. Children’s Quiz. Holiday cottages to rent. Hartland Abbey adjoins the SW Coastal Footpath in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Free parking. Gift Shop. 1 mile from Hartland Quay and St. Nectan’s Church, the Cathedral of North Devon.
31 March to 29 September: Sundays to Thursdays.
House: 2pm to 5pm (last entry 4pm).
Gardens: 11am to 5pm.
Old Kitchens Tea Room: Home made light lunches and cream teas 11–5pm.
Five miles west of Clovelly through Hartland Village en route to Hartland Quay. Turn off A39: 15 miles west of Bideford, 15 miles north of Bude. M5: Junction 27 follow North Devon Link Road to Hartland.
Nearest airports Exeter and Bristol. Trains to Barnstaple via Exeter.
Local bus service from Barnstaple station and Bideford to Hartland village.
Historic Houses members visit for free.
House, Gardens, Grounds, Beachwalk, & Exhibitions : Adult £12.50
Gardens, Grounds, Beachwalk, Exhibitions only: Adult £9
Guided tours of the house are available by prior request and take approximately 45 minutes- 1hr. Allow extra time for the gardens, woodland walk to beach, lunch and cream tea. (Average visit 2½ – 3 hours inc. gardens, grounds).
If you are a special interest group please tell us so that we can arrange a tour with either Sir Hugh or Lady Stucley, or a guide with specific knowledge. For tours with Sir Hugh or Lady Stucley there will be an extra charge.
Sir Hugh and Lady Stucley now welcome private groups of 12-60 people at times other than when we are open to the public. Lunches and dinners for special occasions in the panelled Dining Room with its huge, circular, segmented table by Jupe, specialist tours or small conferences can be catered for.
Hartland Abbey, with its dignified rooms steeped in history and its beautiful gardens and grounds leading to a remote Atlantic cove, is licensed for civil ceremonies. In its magical setting, this North Devon venue provides a romantic and beautiful setting for your very special day. There is an abundance of good accommodation nearby ranging from hotels, B and Bs, holiday cottages and large houses to rent, some of which is within walking distance.
Couples are able to choose from five different venues.