Things to do in Tiverton

Tiverton lies in a lovely area of Devon, easily reached from London Paddington with the speedy First Great Western Trains and ideal for a family weekend away.  Here are five of the top things to do and see for the perfect Tiverton trip:

Knightshayes Court – National Trust

A Gothic mansion from the Victorian era, this National Trust property has some of the best gardens in Devon with over a thousand unique plant species. The rich décor of the mansion itself makes it worth a trip in the cold winter months as well. Nice tearooms in the old stables and orangery. Kids visiting with an adult have free entry.

Tiverton Canal Co

The last horse-drawn barge in the south-west, you can float along the Grand Western Canal in style. There’s also plenty of other things to do on the canal, including boats and kayaks for hire, and the Ducks Ditty Café Bar where you can stop for a quick snack and hot drink. There’s a newly opened visitor centre at the canal basin too.

Bickleigh Mill

This scenic spot on the River Exe features three floors of shopping to satisfy your retail cravings. There is also a lovely bistro in the renovated Old Mill House which offers anything from a snack to a 4-course celebratory dinner and a great Sunday roast. The outdoor waterside gardens are lovely during the summer, and the stream flowing through the centre of the building is a point of curiosity.

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

This family friendly museum has much to offer. Packed full of objects and artefacts from the past to present day, and with lots of child-oriented exhibits, it is well worth a visit. Longlisted by the Daily Telegraph for Family Museum of the Year in 2012.

Yearlstone Vineyard

A huge selection of coffee blends as well as homegrown wines makes Yearlstone’s café a great stop any time of day. Currently hosting an art exhibition by a local artist too. You can pick up a leaflet with a guided walk through the (hilly!) vineyard. Amazing views down the River Exe when the mist rises.

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with First Great Western trains.

Advance single fares from London Paddington to Tiverton Parkway are available from £12.50 each way. For the best value tickets and fares buy before you board at or 08457 000125.

Bickleigh Castle, Devon

Bickleigh Castle in Devon is a popular wedding venue but we found this historic hotel ideal for a relaxing weekend away from London. The expansive grounds are beautiful especially in the morning mist, it was immediately obvious to me why so many people choose this place as the location to celebrate their special day.

Just a few hours drive from London, the tranquillity and quiet will instantly calm you. I found the clean fresh air invigorating, after a brief walk through the stunning grounds I felt healthier and happier. Bickleigh Castle offers guest accommodation with 17 bedrooms (twin and double) in newly renovated thatched cottages. Each cottage has its own character, picturesque and pretty, fully furnished with tea and coffee making facilities. For the bride and groom a very special room in the castle is available, completing their fairy-tale weekend. The cottage rooms are homely but luxurious, with soft fabrics in muted colours and fresh pretty décor.

The owners at Bickleigh are very hands on and passionate about their impressive property. Recognising the importance of unique tailored weddings, they ensure every couple receives exemplary personalised service, no challenge is too much, every wedding dream can be realised here. We stayed one night at Bickleigh, visiting a nearby pub for a tasty supper and enjoying a lazy morning at the castle. Our room was very comfortable, with a bath and shower and complimentary toiletries. After a long deep sleep and a cup of tea, we wandered downstairs where guests can enjoy a simple continental breakfast or tuck into a more indulgent full English. After toast and coffee, we were treated to a full tour of the epic site. The castle is full of gems, historic artefacts, paintings and interesting details that illustrate its amazing history. I loved the little chapel, with stunning stained glass windows and a gorgeous little organ. Aside from exploring, it was interesting to learn about the castle’s eventful past, about which our tour guide was impressively informed.

Castles have always been mysterious museums to me, historically important and inspiring buildings for seeing but not touching. At Bickleigh Castle you have the rare and special opportunity to stay in the idyllic grounds only moments away from the epic castle. The perfect location for a wedding or a lovely weekend away.

Visit the Bickleigh Castle website for more information and to book here.