Muddy says: A historic 14th century castle with a modern indie vibe. The home to Let’s Rock Exeter and Radio One’s Big Weekend in 2016, with centuries of stories behind it and an exciting future as a cultural hub ahead.
A 14th century castle owned by Devon’s best-looking power couple, Charlie and AJ Courtenay, aka the Earl and Countess of Devon. He’s a lawyer and she’s a Hollywood actress from California with two kids and 12 businesses to run, so this is a family home, not a museum-piece. It’s fun (and getting more so all the time), awake to the world and full of life. A community-spirited space for yoga, festivals, weddings and live music – notably Radio One’s Big Weekend came here in 2016, when 50 thousand glitter-clad fest-goers rocked up for Coldplay and Mumford & Sons.
There’s always something to do, with themed weeks during kids’ holidays and guided tours of the wood-panelled castle (Remains of the Day was filmed here). Wander the 3000 acre estate to see fallow deer Bambi’ing under the holm oaks; take littlies to the Victorian Walled Garden to pet the cute animals; or stomp to the Woodland Garden, a destination for romantic proposals. The Belvedere is newly restored and opened for intimate weddings overlooking the sparkling Exe Estuary. And lately, there’s been Medieval jousting and aerobatic displays over the park.
Oh, and the Earl is a big cream tea fan, so don’t miss a trip to the courtyard cafe for your slathered Devon scones. They’re yum.