It’s Little Wonder
That the Duke of Bedford, who two centuries ago owned a third of Devon, chose this spot for his hunting and fishing lodge. Overlooking the River Tamar and beyond into Cornwall, Endsleigh, now owned by Olga Polizzi, is set in 108 acres of gardens, woodlands, follies and grottos created by Humphry Repton.
Designed 200 years ago this was one of Humphry Repton’s last commissions and brings together a multitude of landscaping elements for which Repton was renowned.
Immediately around the house there are formal gardens running down to the River Tamar. There is a picturesque dell with little bridges crossing streams, huge Gunnera leaves and wonderful picnic spots. Beyond the formal gardens is the arboretum which contains unusual trees from around the world, still standing in the spots marked out with bamboo canes by the Duchess. Some of the trees are national champions.
The Endsleigh Gardener
Autumn is always the most atmospheric season here at Endsleigh but I have a feeling this year is going to be better than most, as all the autumn colour seems to be happening at once. Acers, Persian Ironwood, Tulip trees, Gingkos, Swamp cypress, Liquidambar, deciduous Azaleas, Aralias, Enkianthus, Fothergilla, Witchhazel, are all glowing with their autumnal colour and when the low autumn sun shines through the trees the whole garden blazes.
Haws, hips and berries abound this year. Hollies, Viburnums, Hawthorn and Euonymus limbs hang low under the weight of berries. Fir trees are thick with cones and acorns cover the ancient Oaks and the floor beneath them making some of the paths treacherous. Folklore would have us believe that this is a warning of a harsh winter to come but may just be the bounty of the long hot summer.
If ever a hotel were built in paradise it would be like Endsleigh – a fairytale cottage set in an Arcadian landscape with delicious food and blissful rooms. I love it and envy that sublime landscape – the perfect opportunity to step back in time to a graceful age.
Tour of the gardens
with Head gardener Ben Ruscombe-King
The Chelsea Flower Show
The gardens are open everyday
Admittance to the garden is £5 or free to guests joining us for lunch, afternoon tea or one of our eclectic selection of events. There is something happening almost everyday.
Sunday 12 May
Sunday 7 July