Image: Chris Lacey

Across Devon, National Trust gardens are filling with colourful spring blooms, and houses are looking tip-top after their intensive winter cleans. There’s loads going on this season from Easter adventures and family trails to tree planting and learning about veteran trees to guided art tours and much more.

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 spring, please check the property website for opening days and times: 

Arlington Court

Big Book Sale
Thu 2 to Thu 9 Mar. 10am – 4pm

Take a look through our big selection of second-hand books and pick up a bargain for World Book Day! 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. 

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). No booking required.

Fri 31 Mar and Sat 1 Apr. 6 – 7pm

Pleasure Dome Theatre Company present Rosalie. A one-woman play inspired by the last resident of Arlington Court, Rosalie Chichester - amateur scientist, photographer, explorer, collector, and unapologetic eccentric. Exploring the pressures of female identity and familial responsibility in Victorian England. Please note that while inspiration has been taken from Rosalie, her life at Arlington and her travels, not all information portrayed in the performance is factually correct.

Price: £12.50 per ticket. Booking essential 0344 249 1895.

Dawn Chorus walk
Sun 7 May. 5 – 7am

Set your alarm and join one of our volunteer bird experts for a dawn chorus walk. Find out about the different species of birds you might hear at Arlington on this early morning walk.

Price: Free (normal admission prices apply). Booking essential 0344 249 1895.

Buckland Abbey

History of the Abbey through its Art - guided tour
Every Monday. 2 – 3.30pm

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

Price: Free (normal admission applies). No booking required.

Volunteer recruitment weekend
Fri 3 – Sun 5 Mar. 10.30am – 3.30pm

Ever thought about volunteering? Whether you want to share your skills or learn some new ones, make new friends or spend time in a beautiful place, volunteering at Buckland offers something for everyone. Why not come along and find out more?

Price: Free (normal admission applies). No booking required.

Heddon Valley

Wildlife of West Exmoor family trail
Every Sat & Sun in March. 10.30am – 4pm

Get ready for a fun-filled family day out with our Wildlife of West Exmoor family trail. For just £1 per trail, you can explore the beautiful Heddon Valley and seek out 10 different bird locations, while matching feathers and learning all about the birds that call this area their home. Pick up your trail from our visitor hub, open daily 10.30am-4pm during half-term and then each weekend until Easter.

Price: £1 (normal admission applies). No booking required.


Thirsty for Fashion Exhibition
Daily. 11am – 4pm

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). No booking required.

Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees Course
Fri 17 Mar. 9am – 4pm

Join Killerton ranger, Fi and Mat from East Devon Tree Care on this one day course. When you have completed this course you should be able to do the following:

1. Give a definition of a veteran tree that is of importance for biological or heritage value.

2. Explain why trees can live so long.

3. Describe how and where roots grow and why they are important.

4. Undertake a simple survey of a veteran tree in the field.

5. Assess where management is likely to be appropriate for old trees or their surroundings.

The course is aimed at any person, in any industry, with an interest in trees. This course will provide basic level information on valuing and managing veteran trees.

Price: £75 per person (normal admission applies). Booking essential 0344 249 1895 or via the website.

Natural Flood Management in Ashclyst Forest
Wed 3 May. 10am – 12pm

Join Area Ranger Steve, in Ashclyst Forest to learn about Killerton’s plans for natural flood management. In a guided walk of the purple route in Ashclyst Forest, visit recently installed leaky dams and hear about our plans for future natural flood management. This ranger walk is approximately 2 miles and will take 2 hours. The terrain includes some short climbs, uneven and potentially muddy paths.

Price: £7 per person. Booking essential 0344 249 1895


Easter Egg Hunts with the National Trust 

From Sat 1 Apr
Join us for our Easter adventures in nature trails at many of the places we care for across Devon this spring. There'll be lots of fun for you and your family on your trail as you do your nature-inspired activities. Complete the trail and collect your Rainforest Alliance chocolate egg.

Price: £3 per trail (normal admission prices apply). No booking necessary.