Arlington Court

Historic Building in Barnstaple

The honey-grey Regency manor house of Arlington Court exudes charm, from the model ships and shells collected by the owners, to the produce-packed walled kitchen garden. Its stables house the National Trust Carriage Collection, and the burnished leather and plush fabrics of its 40 vehicles summon up an era of stately transport. Arlington Court is 8 miles north of Barnstaple on the A39.

Search out the replica carriages (which you can bounce about in) and the frequent harnessing demonstrations. Also track down the tiny Pony Phaeton, a four-wheeled carriage belonging to Queen Victoria. Her Majesty drove it herself, but a servant walked alongside, ever ready to apply the handbrake (think Billy Connolly's Mr Brown to Judi Dench's Queen Victoria).