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
The onset of autumn is now undeniable here at Endsleigh, the nights are drawing in, the temperature is dropping and the aroma of woodsmoke and gentle decay hang heavy in the air.
All is not lost however, for whilst autumn does not boast the exuberance of summer, it holds subtler, more reflective, charms. Autumn has a much more elemental feel to it as the trees and shrubs take on the hues of the very earth from which they hail. The yellow ochre, burnt sienna and cadmium red in the tree canopy bring the landscape to the fore, the whole, rather than the detail becomes the object of attention and consequently one’s place within it becomes apparent, no longer the master of one’s surroundings but merely a player within them. This is important for any gardener but especially here at Endsleigh, for it is easy to lose oneself in the charms of individual plants and the trials of growing them and forget about the picture as a whole and here the genius loci has always been the driving force behind the gardens. Even at the garden’s inception in the early 19th century, Humphry Repton doubted his ability to do justice to the naturally occurring beauty and described the site as “the most picturesque subject upon which I have been professionally consulted”. It is this natural beauty which dictates everything we do at Endsleigh and whilst we can try to enhance and embellish we can never hope to dominate it.
Come and see for yourself…
In November, December and January book three nights and receive the third night free. This offer is available to guests staying on a Bed and Breakfast basis from Saturday 2 November 2019 until Wednesday 5 February 2020. Excluding 20 December 2019 until 5 January 2020.
This year we learned that we used to have a three story glass-house, heightened for the growth of a specimen of Araucaria Excelsa.
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.