Father Christmas returns to his stable grotto at Arlington Court


Father Christmas will once again be stopping off at Arlington Court on 11 and 17-20 December from 12pm until 3pm.

For the third year running he will base his grotto in the Victorian stable block which is now a carriage museum. With less precious décor, the room can be made very festive and, as a bonus, even dogs will be able to visit and get a little treat. Continue reading…

Christmas comes to Arlington Court

Yvette Jones, Arlington Court's catering supervisor made the gingerbread mansion out of cookies bourbon biscuits & gingerbread, it took around 40 hours to complete and takes two people to lift it!

Yvette Jones, Arlington Court’s catering supervisor made the gingerbread mansion out of cookies bourbon biscuits & gingerbread, it took around 40 hours to complete and takes two people to lift it!

Christmas will take on a whole new look at Arlington Court this year as the house, carriage museum and grounds are decorated with 100 different types of crafted or decorated trees from this Saturday (21st November).

A dedicated ‘Christmas committee’ at Arlington Court have been planning this year’s decorations since February, and creating, storing and installing the trees has been a great team effort.

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Where shall we go today?

There’s over 200 gardens to explore with the National Trust, that’s a lot of choice. If you’re feeling stuck for somewhere to visit, or want help narrowing the choice use our handy flowchart. Perfect for the indecisive garden lover…

Click on the flowchart to expand.

National Trust spring gardens 2015

Like to know more about what’s on offer during spring 2015 at Glendurgan Garden, Arlington Court, Barrington Court, Stourhead, Godolphin and Greenway?

Visit our guide on these spring gardens.

Ewe has five times the charm this Easter

Flora and Verity Sharpe with Arlington's quintuplets

Flora and Verity Sharpe with Arlington’s quintuplets

The team at Arlington Court have just welcome five new lambs to their flock – all from the same ewe.

National Trust Ranger, Murray Sharpe says, “This is the first time in the 15 years I have worked at Arlington that one of our ewes has had five lambs. Despite the eighteen hour days, I always enjoy lambing, but this year it was a real joy to have five healthy lambs born at once.”

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Terrence the lamb lends a hand at Arlington

Terrence the lamb with Head Ranger Murray Sharpe

Terrence with Head Ranger Murray Sharpe

Arlington Court in North Devon has a rather cute new member of staff in the shape of a Jacob Sheep lamb who is being hand reared by the Head Ranger Murray.

Terrence, who was part of a twin born to one of the historic herd of 65 Jacob sheep at the property, was very small when he was born and not expected to live and struggling to walk and so was taken away from his mum and he is now being are now being looked after Murray Sharpe, Arlington’s Head Ranger.

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Forging coastal links


Jeff Cherrington examining the marine life whilst coastering with Outdoor AdventureWorking in association with three outdoor providers in north Cornwall, the National Trust will be showcasing local marine and coastal wildlife, as well as communicate key conservation messages to a wider audience.

Bude based Outdoor Adventure, Cornwall Rock Tors and Cornwall Sea Tours both operating from Polzeath have all become ambassador businesses for the National Trust.

Much of the coastline between Polzeath and Boscastle is cared for by the charity. The aim of the initiative is to encourage those who enjoy taking part in activities such as coasteering and kayaking to gain a deeper understanding of what they can see when out having fun in the water.

Head Ranger for the National Trust, Jeff Cherrington who recently enjoyed a morning coasteering with Outdoor Adventure said “All three providers are well established and are as keen as we are to promote a safe and responsible use of the coastline.”

Ollie from Outdoor Adventure said “It’s fantastic we have become a coasteering ambassador for the Trust, as this gels perfectly with our ethos. It’s so much more than just jumping off rocks. We get people to appreciate how lucky they are to be surrounded by all the amazing wildlife, plant species and spectacular geology and pass on our knowledge of it all, together with our passion to protect it”

Cornwall Rock Tors’ director, Ben who studied at Falmouth Marine School, said “We are so excited to be working in association with the Trust. A key part of the experience we are aiming to deliver to our clients is a deeper knowledge of what they’ll be seeing out there. The work that the National Trust does to preserve habitats plays a crucial part in keeping many species thriving.”

 Several joint events are being organised over the summer with rangers from the Trust collaborating with the providers to add specialist knowledge. Full details can be found on the National Trust  website

Magnificent Speaker’s State Coach to go on display at Arlington Court

A superb state coach – last used at the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 – is to go on display at the National Trust’s Arlington Court in Devon.

The Speaker’s State Coach, a symbol of the power and status of the Speaker of the House of Commons, has been in use for state occasions since the early 18th century.

The loan of the coach by the House of Commons is the first in a series of exhibitions around the country where it can be seen and enjoyed by the public.

The coach will be the star attraction at Arlington Court’s Carriage Museum which houses a renowned collection of historic British carriages and coaches that were used for every occasion.

Still image from a film of the Speakers Carriage taken in 1953, reproduced by kind permission of British Pathe

The spectacular painted and gilded Speaker’s Coach – the work of a number of highly skilled woodcarvers – is believed to have been made in 1698 for King William III. It was presented to the Speaker a few years later by Queen Anne.  You can watch some historical British Pathé footage of the carriage here http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=60904

In the last three hundred years, the coach has been the subject of many repairs and refurbishments.

Last used by Speaker Thomas in 1981, the coach was then displayed at various venues in London before being removed for conservation work to begin.

The conservation now complete, the original and vibrant beauty and colours of the unique coach can be appreciated once more.

Ana Chylak, National Trust Property Manager said:

”Our historic carriages at Arlington range from those used every day to ones reserved for special occasions, so we are thrilled to be able to display the Speaker’s State Coach which is very special indeed. In its restored condition, its detail and decoration are absolutely breath-taking.

“I am sure that our visitors will be enthralled to see such a wonderful part of our country’s heritage in our collection.”

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, said:  “The state coach is a magnificent example of an early 18th century carriage and an important piece of the United Kingdom’s parliamentary heritage. Therefore I am delighted that now it no longer has any practical role in parliamentary life it can be passed into the care of the National Trust and viewed by as wide an audience as possible. The carriage museum at Arlington Court, with its extensive collection, was an obvious place for the coach and we hope it will be the first of a series of appropriate exhibition venues around the country where the coach might be seen and enjoyed by the public.”

The Speaker’s State Coach will go on display at Arlington Court, near Barnstaple, Devon, from Saturday 12 March. For opening times and further information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk or telephone 01271 850296.