Knightshayes Court

Top choice in East Devon

For full-blown Victorian architectural excess, Knightshayes Court delivers in spades. It was designed by the eccentric architect William Burges for the Tiverton MP John Heathcoat Mallory in 1869. Burges' obsession with the Middle Ages resulted in a plethora of stone curlicues, ornate mantles and carved figurines, plus lavish Victorian decoration (the smoking and billiard rooms feel just like a gentlemens club). Outside is a waterlily pool, topiary, formal terraces and a kitchen garden. It's 1 mile east of Tiverton at Bolham.

Bus 55A runs to Bolham from Tiverton (£1.30, 30 minutes, four to seven daily).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby East Devon attractions

1. Grand Western Canal

1.73 MILES

Built in 1814, the canal that meanders around the hills above Tiverton provides an intriguing insight into life on constructed inland waterways. Tub-boats…

2. Yearlstone Vineyard

4.83 MILES

Having been closed for building works in 2017, Yearlstone is due to re-open in spring 2018. It's a picturesque place, set amid an amphitheatre of deeply…

3. Exmoor Pony Centre

10.6 MILES

You’ll see them cantering across the open moor, but this is a great way to get up close to Exmoor’s stubby ponies. Originally bred as beasts of burden,…

4. Tarr Steps


Exmoor's most famous landmark is an ancient stone clapper bridge shaded by gnarled old trees. Its huge slabs are propped up on stone columns embedded in…

5. Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

13.55 MILES

This eccentric museum is a must for cinephiles. It contains a hoard of film-themed memorabilia amassed by Scottish film-maker Bill Douglas, best known for…

6. Castle Ruins


Little remains of Exeter's 11th-century castle except a russet stone gatehouse, attached to a fragment of the city's defensive wall.

7. Underground Passages

14.06 MILES

Prepare to crouch down, don a hard hat and possibly get spooked in what is the only publicly accessible system of its kind in England. These medieval…


14.11 MILES

A fixture on the city's cultural scene since Victorian times, this hulking red-brick museum recently received a £24 million revamp. It's a treasure trove…