‘An outstanding country-house for the 21st Century’ Michael Caines MBE.
The 28 acres of garden, grounds and parkland at Lympstone Manor extend from the Georgian manor house down to the foreshore of the Exe estuary with views from each direction enveloped by the rolling green Devonshire hills.
Lympstone Manor is set in 28 acres of beautiful East Devon countryside, nestled between the biodiverse Exe estuary and the raw, untamed wilderness of Woodbury Common. Having been originally established In the late 1700s by the Baring family, much of the landscape has since changed, either by nature or owner. Now, a small team of dedicated groundsmen look after the estate working tirelessly to continuously regenerate and improve the grounds to beyond their former glory.
Entering via our main entrance, marvel at how the stunning estuary views unfold before your eyes, before the Manor proudly sneaks into view steeped in a warm, country-house feel. The grounds give way to our vineyard, a gentle flowing ensemble of vines, which guests can explore with our groundskeeper, before reaching the estuary and the world beyond.
Guests can view all parts of our gorgeous estate from The Lady’s Walk, details of which can be found below.
Vineyards inspire romanticised thoughts of winding through Italian hillsides, the sun gently setting on excited guests as they pull up to a hillside villa with views overlooking the Mediterranean or of a grand French chateaux perfectly placed in the rolling Loire Valley. At Lympstone Manor, we feel privileged to offer guests a comparable experience within the British Isles.
It is often said that East Devon is situated within a ‘micro climate’ and so Michael decided to grasp the opportunity the Manor presented and embark upon a lifelong, wine infused, quest of owning a working vineyard.
Within the estate, 11 acres of grounds have been lovingly planted with 17,500 vines of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay allowing us to craft our own English Sparkling wines. Our crop was planted during May 2018 with the hope and dream that the fruits of our labour will produce their first harvest in 2020 where we can allow guests to be part of the harvesting process.
Find out more about our vineyard here.
At the foot of the grounds, beyond the vineyard, guests will find a wooded area consisting of our recently refurbished ponds. In 2018, having planted the vineyard the grounds team turned their attention to the old ponds which would have been a focal point of the Lady’s Walk from its inception early in the Georgian period. Over time, they had become stagnated and poorly habituated despite the abundance of wildlife nearby, but are now an important element in our long-term plan for the Manor and a feature that we are continuously working to revitalise.
Throughout 2019, we watched on in glee as wildlife slowly crept from the undergrowth to explore their new habitat. Dragonflies merrily danced about, their flashes of colour reflecting in the trickling water, while rabbits and squirrels warily approached as though beasts of the Serengeti had discovered a new watering hole.
We aim for these beautiful oasis’s to grow further throughout 2020 to bring further wildlife to the haven and provide guests with a romantic, intimate setting or simply a place for some time out or well earned rest and reflection.
Dotted around our intimately beautiful estate are 53 sculptures created by more than 20 sculptors from around the country. Each stand proud and resolute, happily positioned amongst their surroundings to provide guests with a unique experience to appreciate not just the natural beauty of our grounds, but of these strikingly poignant and beautiful constructions too.
The variety of works on display throughout our Sculpture Park is truly remarkable, from abstract to figurative and conceptual genres, covering a range of different subjects techniques, styles, materials, methods of creation, scale and underlying philosophy. This is a carefully curated collection, with the placement of each work in the natural setting of our estate precisely considered by the artist, curator and Michael himself. The overall effect is hugely impressive, taking the concept of environmental art to another level.
Guests are invited to use their smartphone camera to scan the QR code positioned next to each piece of art which will reveal further information on the piece.
We currently run Sculpture Park tours, these run every Tuesday from May 2020 until September. Please speak to reception for more information.
In the days before WiFi, smartphones or televisions, when boats were places of work and cars had yet to be invented, leisure time was spent in a much simpler fashion. Men would retire for whiskey, billiards and a cigar whilst women would take a leisurely stroll around the grounds via the Lady’s Walk. Throughout the years, the simplicity of our Lady’s Walk has remained and become embedded into the landscape and is now lovingly used by all guests.
The Lady’s Walk is a circular route developed in 1760 which extends around the boundary of our estate, skirting to the edge of the estuary where you can head out onto the shingle foreshore, or follow the track around and join the modern Exe Estuary Trail. The purpose built bicycle and pedestrian trail spanning from Exeter to Exmouth allows guests to continue their walks further in either direction on a route which won’t disappoint.
The Lady’s Walk around the grounds takes around half an hour at a leisurely pace and so is perfect for a lunch or before your evening meal. On your stroll, take note of the wonderfully picturesque ‘Marry Me’ swing; an ideal location for those intimate, romantic occasions.
Lympstone Manor is blessed with an abundance of views at all times of the year. In the winter months, guests can look over to Starcross as a sleepy mist eagerly hugs the shore, while trains to and from London can be seen weaving their way along the coast, happily going about their business. Powderham Castle stands tall and proud, it’s head peeping out from the trees while the wild, untamed beauty of Dartmoor rises majestically in the distance.
To the left, the estuary gives way to sea and the rare, beautiful Dawlish Warren spit beyond which Berryhead rises dramatically while further left still, Exmouth, with it’s stunning Nordic marina also sneaks into view. To the right, Exeter looms in the distance with the lights of Exeter Chiefs rugby ground easily visible at night. In the summer months, guests can watch as this stunning paradise becomes transformed with windsurfers, pleasure crafts, and small, local cruises showcasing why the estuary is so special to many people.
Yet Lympstone Manor sits in a quiet splendour. A picturesque country-house which fits into the landscape and allows guests to feel that they are a part of the view, not merely spectators.