Castle Drogo Gardens, Chagford, Dartmoor National Park

Castle Drogo Gardens, Chagford, Dartmoor National Park

Castle Drogo is located on an exposed spur of land that rises above a loop in the River Teign at the mouth of the stunning Teign Gorge. Wind and rain whip over the high moor and rolling farmland around Chagford before battering Drogo's high granite walls.

Members of the team that runs Holiday in Dartmoor live below the castle and winter storms here are unforgiving. The Teign regularly bursts its banks and trees are levelled within the gorge. With this in mind, the gardens at Castle Drogo are remarkably impressive. The highest gardens managed by the National Trust, Castle Drogo is also 'the only significant rose garden in the care of the National Trust in Devon and Cornwall'.

We've positioned Castle Drogo Gardens on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

To visit, head for Castle Drogo Visitor Centre and Cafe that backs onto the gardens. Once you've bought a ticket or shown your National Trust members' card, follow the driveway all the way down to the entrance to Castle Drogo. A path runs to the right and takes you to the bottom of the garden. There are mature beech trees and views to the high moor. You'll see Kes Tor and moorland between Watern Tor and Cosdon Hill.

Wander the garden gates and up onto the first of three terraces. There are lawns and square beds of roses that bloom at different times in the year. A second flight of steps takes you to the middle terrace with seating areas and views right to Haytor Rocks. A third terrace takes you into a round garden where you can play croquet, tennis and other family games. Either side of the round garden are leisure houses. The tiny one to the left is for kids. The bigger one to the right has super photos of the Drewe family at play. Paths run down the sides of the terraces. You can picnic in the orchard. At the top of the garden is the entrance to the shop, visitor centre and cafe. Grab a cream tea.

If time permits, it's also fun to wander down to the Hunter's Path on the northern lip of the Teign Gorge. Apparently, the architect Edwin Lutyens originally wanted to create the garden to the east of Castle Drogo on this lip of the gorge. There are great walks to this area offering arguably the best views of the Teign Gorge and Dartmoor National Park. From the visitor centre, follow signs to the Hunter's Path. You descend steps and come to a gate. To your right, a well trodden path runs under Castle Drogo. At its far end, it narrows through gorse and grass to connect with the Hunter's Path. Walk back to the steps and wander up to the visitor centre.

We'd recommend visiting nearby Stone Lane Gardens as well.