For many years I have been visiting Dartington Hall in Devon, twenty five miles from home and have often raved about it to my friends. It’s a stunning place held as a trust began by the Elmhursts, a visionary family since the 1920’s. Part of the estate is farmland and woods as well as a landscaped garden. It’s a major centre for education and performance of arts and until last year was home to Dartington College before its move to Falmouth. Each summer it hosts a literature festival, Ways With Words, when for two weeks the grounds are filled with people relaxing between events. The festival attracts world class writers from all genres and my only criticism is that perhaps it is becoming increasingly high brow. I’ve photographed the grounds in all seasons, there is always something to see.
I think one of my favourite times to visit is February when the scent of witch hazel assails you before you can find it – unless like me you know just where it is.
But of course I’m really fond of snowdrops
Followed by the crocus
While I’m here, this is my dream office, it has the most amazing view of the valley and I’m sure I could be incredibly creative here if only they would let me have it instead of filling it with garden tools.
No prizes for guessing the sculptor!
It’s a permanent feature
unlike this one, resident for a few months and that I took lots of photos of.
Dartington has plenty of space for performance rehearsal
The planting is elegant and striking
There’s a restaurant and bar,The White Hart, it’s name may have been inspired by this detail on the ceiling of the hall itself.
Abundant summer flowers
But don’t let the gardener catch you doing this!
unless you can think of an excuse very quickly!
Dartington is special, I’ve loved sharing it with you and hope that you get to visit one day.