Fall into autumn with the National Trust in Devon 

Authored by Mary
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2023 - 09:27

Across Devon, National Trust places are full of warmth as the trees slowly turn to red, orange and gold, enjoy crisp walks with family and friends and steaming cups of hot chocolate. There’s lots on offer this season, from spooky Halloween trails to apple weekends and   

What’s more, every time you experience a National Trust day out, you help care for these special places for future generations. 

Here is what’s happening near you this summer, please check property website for opening days and times:   



Heritage Open Days 

Sat 9 & Sun 10 Sep. 10am – 4pm 

Join us on Saturday 9 September and Sunday 10 September for free entry to Arlington Court. We will be celebrating the history of Arlington and our heritage. There is plenty going on over the weekend, with a big book sale going on in our second-hand bookshop, spinning and weaving demonstrations, free guided history tours, stands and displays exploring our work here at Arlington. 

Price: Free. Booking not required. 


Big book sale 

Sat 9 & Sun 10 Sep. 10am – 4pm 

As well as the second-hand bookshop in our visitor reception, we’ll also have some additional stalls full of second-hand books and DVDs for you to browse. All money raised will go back into looking after Arlington Court, from planting up the gardens, conservation in the house and carriage museum and working on the wider estate, to being able to put on more events like this in the future. 

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking not required. 


Spinning and weaving demonstrations  

Sat 9 & Sun 10 Sep. 11am – 4pm 

As part of our Heritage Open Days free entry event we will be showcasing the journey of wool from sheep to clothing. Join our volunteer Phillipa in the activity room to find out how wool is cleaned, carded (the process of brushing the fibre), spun, coloured and then woven. 

Price: Free. Booking not required. 


October scarecrow trail  

Sat 7 to Mon 30 Oct. 10am – 4pm 

Pick up a free trail sheet from visitor reception and head out to explore the grounds and gardens spotting scarecrows, which have been made by our local schools, as you go. How many can you find? 

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking not required.  


Autumnfest celebrations 

Daily in Oct. 10am – 4pm 

Discover displays around the grounds, visitor reception, tea-rooms and gardens. Take part in fun family crafting and activities in the activity room and walled kitchen garden; make a nature crown, green man mask, nature disc, veg person and more. 

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking not required.  


Windfall: an exhibition by Bobby Mills  

Daily to 29 Oct. 10am – 4pm  

A new exhibition which celebrates the wood of four windblown trees from across the Arlington estate following storms in 2022. This collection celebrates the wood of four windblown trees from across the estate, Ash, Oak, Sycamore and Lime. Each work is an intuitive response to the inherent character of the tree and often changes throughout the making. The exhibition can be viewed in our visitor reception building.  

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking not required.  


Buckland Abbey 


Botanical Inspired Collage Workshop 

Fri 22 Sep. 10am – 1pm 

Join local artist Grace Coombes for a botanical themed collage workshop and be inspired by the beautiful gardens and surroundings of Buckland Abbey. Grace will gently guide you through the process of creating your own collage material using block printing and mark making techniques. The session will explore pattern, form and colour, with a focus on creative play and pressure free making. Be led by instinct and feelings to create your own piece of original collage art. 

Price: £30. Booking essential 0344 249 1985 


History of the Abbey through its Art - guided tour 

Every Mon in Sep and Oct. 2 – 3.30pm 

Discover more about Buckland's history through its art on this fascinating guided tour. 

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking not required. 


Apple Weekend 

Sat 6 and Sun 7 Oct. 10am – 4pm 

Come and join us to celebrate all things apple with us with apple picking and cider tasting this weekend. 

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking not required. 


Harvest Weekend 

Sat 21 and Sun 22 Oct. 10am – 5pm 

Join us for picturesque harvest displays of produce grown at Buckland Abbey and learn about the history of Buckland as a working estate. We'll also have seasonal Tudor Cooking, pumpkin spotting in the Abbey and a food bank collection. The Buckland Cafe will also be selling seasonal treats made with produce grown by the Buckland garden team. 

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking not required. 


Plym Mural Exhibition  

Daily to 29 Oct. 11am – 4pm 

On view for the first time in 10 years, the National Trust’s Buckland Abbey has uncovered all four murals created by artist Roland Pym during the 1950s in the Nave gallery. 

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking not required. 


Winter Fair 

Sat 4 and Sun 5 Nov. 10am - 4pm 

Join us for Buckland Abbey's Winter Fair, featuring crafts, food and drink from local businesses, festive music and much more. A park and ride bus service will be running from Harrowbeer Air Field for the duration of the event - please follow event signage.  

Price: Please check website for price. Booking not required. 


Castle Drogo 


Hydro open day 

Sun 10 Sep. 11am – 3pm  

Come and learn about how hydro power has been used at Castle Drogo from 1929 to the present day. Guides will be opening the Hydro for visitors to come and look inside. To get to the Hydro from the Castle Drogo car park please follow the Hunters path down to the Iron Bridge, cross over onto the Foresters track and follow the path towards Fingle Bridge. Alternatively you can access the Hydro from Fingle Bridge by following the Foresters track for around 40 minutes.  

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking not required.   


Coleton Fishacre 


Autumn adventures  

Sat 7 Oct – Sun 29 Oct, 10.30am-4pm  

Discover autumnal displays in the house and garden. Take part in the Wild Colour trail, exploring how different plants have been used to make dyes. During the half-term weeks, there will also activities on Wild Wednesdays (18 and 25), where families can try their hand at natural art or be active with nets, ropes and risky play.   

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking not required.   


Clyston Mill 


Visit Clyston Mill  

Every Friday-Monday until 30 Sep, 1 – 4pm  

This historic water-powered mill is in a picturesque setting by the River Clyst, surrounded by farmland and orchards. Until recently, grain was still ground here to make flour, keeping alive traditional skills Steeped in history, explore the mill and see how the leat would power the watermill. The wheel is in need of some conservation care so is unable to turn at the moment. 

Price: National Trust members visit for free. Non-member Adults £5 / Child £2.50. Please see website for family prices.  




Autumn wonders trail  

Sat 7 Oct – Sun 29 Oct. 10.30am - 4pm 

Embrace the autumn season and explore the garden at Greenway on the Autumn Wonders trail. Discover how the natural world changes from animals getting ready for hibernation to the different colours in the garden.  

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking for the trail not required. If visiting Greenway by car, you will need to book a parking space in advance through the website.  


Discover your inner writer  

Daily Mon 25 Sept – Sun 29 Oct, weekends 4-19 November. 10.30am - 4pm 

Be inspired this autumn at the holiday home of Agatha Christie.Pick up a free red jotter to capture ideas, characters or plot lines. Explore nature themed writing prompts around the garden or try your hand at the outdoor nature poetry board. 

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking for the trail not required. If visiting Greenway by car, you will need to book a parking space in advance through the website. 


Heddon Valley 


Heddon Valley Butterfly Trail 

Daily to 15 Sep.  

Start at the Heddon Valley National Trust visitor hub and follow the woodland trail to find all our butterflies. The trail winds through woodland as it makes its way through beautiful Heddon Valley. 

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking not required. 




Thirsty for Fashion Exhibition   

Daily to 5 Nov. 11am – 4pm(last entry to the house 3.30pm)  

The 'Thirsty For Fashion' exhibition at Killerton explores circular fashion from the 18th century to the present day. Items from the National Trust’s fashion collection, highlight some of the techniques used to repair and reuse clothing throughout history. Work from contemporary designers and makers also feature, showcasing modern techniques for a more sustainable and circular fashion industry.   

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking not required.   


Clothing Mending Surgery 

Sat 30 Sep. 11am – 2pm 

To coincide with our Thirsty for Fashion Exhibition at Killerton and Sustainable Fashion Week (25 September - 8 October), we invite you to drop in and learn more to move away from throwaway fashion. Join Molly from Darn Good Studios and Cat from Mend Assembly who can demonstrate a wide range of skills and answer your questions. This is an informal drop in session and you can stay for as little or as long as you like. The session will be held in our Engine House meeting room before you enter the Killerton pay barrier with parking available. 

Price: Free. Booking not required. 




Heritage Open Day at Old Blundell’s

Sat 16 Sep. 11:00 - 11:45am, 12:00 - 12:45pm, 1:00 - 1:45pm, 2:00 - 2:45pm 

We will be running a series of guided tours between 11am and 3pm on Saturday September 16th around National Trust Old Blundell's. The site is not currently open to the public and is a unique opportunity to learn about the history of Old Blundell's, from 1602 through to the future of the site. 

Price: Free. Booking essential 0344 249 1895. 


Lorna Doone Valley 


Family fun days 

Wed 25 Oct. 11am – 3pm 

Join our free family fun days where there is something for everyone, from crafting to nature discovery. 

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking not required.  


Lydford Gorge 


Time travel trail 

Daily to 3 Sep. 10am – 4pm 

Pick up a free trail sheet from visitor welcome to travel through time to learn how the gorge has been shaped by geology, nature and humans. From its early beginnings over 300 million years ago to how we're helping look after it today. 

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking not required.  


Heritage Open Days 

Fri 15 and Sat 16 Sep. 10am – 4.30pm 

Come for a walk at the gorge for free once more as part of the Heritage Open Day Scheme. 

Price: Free. Booking not required.  


Overbeck’s Garden 


Guided Garden Tour 

Every Wed. 2 – 3.30pm  

Our gardeners will take a small group of visitors on a tour of the garden, offering their knowledge of the horticultural delights, and some of the methods used to make this garden grow. Aimed at NT Members and Non-members, keen and not so keen plant people, the gentle stroll around the different areas of the garden and its planting will offer any visitor a deeper insight into the garden, as well as an opportunity to test their plant knowledge!  

Price: £3 (normal admission applies). Booking essential 0344 249 1895.  




Dear Future: I Leave This Place To You 

Wed 4 Oct. 11am – 2pm 

Without gifts in wills, we simply wouldn’t be able to look after the extraordinary places in our care. This special event will take you behind the scenes to see first-hand how your support is helping us carry out crucial conservation work every day, and how a gift in your own will could help to safeguard the future of our special places. Join members of our expert team as they take you on short "behind the scenes" tours of the house and gardens. Over light refreshments, you’ll have the opportunity to chat further to members of the team and learn more about why gifts in wills are so important to our work. 

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking essential 01793 817703. 


Reynolds 300: The Painter and the Painted  

Daily. 11am – 4.15pm.  

Saltram are celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Sir Joshua Reynolds, highlighting many of his works on display here at Saltram and sharing stories of the close relationship he had with the Parker family in the 18th Century. Start your journey by picking up your free leaflet from the Welcome Centre and discover the man behind the portraits.  

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking not required.   


Myths and Magic trail 

Sat 21 Oct – Sun 5 Nov. 10am – 5pm (last entry at 4.15pm) 

Dress in your spookiest outfit and follow the trail to discover the folklore tales and magical properties of trees here at Saltram. Follow the trail around the garden to discover the folklore tales surrounding the superstition and magical properties of trees. Collect a wand from the wand shop at the Welcome Centre (or bring your own) and cast some spells around the garden at each of the trail points. And of course don’t forget those pesky pumpkins, they’ll be back hiding in the gardens too, can you spot them all again this year? 

Price: Free (normal admission applies). Booking not required.  




Autumn tree ID at Wembury Woods 

Sat 7 Oct. 2-5pm 

Join ranger Jess for a walk around Wembury Woods to discover the best ways to id trees in the autumn and how our ranger team manage the woodlands around Wembury.  

Price: Free. Booking essential 0344 249 1895.  


Guided farm walk at Wembury Barton Farm 

Sun 8 Oct. 2-5pm 

Find out what’s been happening over the summer at Wembury Barton Farm where we’re farming for nature. Ranger Jess will also talk about what’s coming up in the autumn and over the winter.  

Price: Free. Booking essential 0344 249 1895. 


Seed gathering at Wembury Woods  

Mon 23 Oct. 2-4.30pm 

Join the ranger team to gather seeds from Wembury Woods which will help towards our ambitious aim of planting 92,000 trees over 3 years to create the Wembury Community Woodland. We will be looking for conkers, acorns, beech nuts and sweet chestnuts which will then be sorted, stored and sewn ready to be planted once they have grown into small saplings.  

Price: Free. Booking essential 0344 249 1895. 


Forest school crafts at Wembury Woods 

Wed 25 Oct. 1-4pm 

Get creative in nature with ranger Jess and Izzy at Wembury Woods.  

Price: Free. Booking essential 0344 249 1895. 





Summer rockpool rambles at Combesgate Beach 

Fri 1, Sat 2, Sun 3, Mon 4 and Sun 17 Sep. 12 – 1pm 

The rockpools of Combesgate are teeming with life - fish, crabs, sea snails, star fish and anemones. Can you tell your seahares from your starfish? Join our Beach Rangers to seek them out and learn about their lives. 

Price: £3. Booking essential 0344 249 1895.