Arlington Court – Review for families

We've got everything you need to know for a fun family visit to this countryside manor

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What is it?

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Arlington Court and the National Trust Carriage Museum is a country home and estate with a variety of antique and carriage collections. Find it on the edge of Exmoor, 5 miles from Barnstaple, North Devon. The postcode is EX31 4LP.

Best for:

Toddlers & Preschool / 5 – 8 / 9 – 12

OK for:

Babies / 12 +

Cost

££ – The pricing system is quite specific depending on whether or not you’d like to gift aid your ticket and whether or not you’d like to visit the whole property or just the museum and grounds. Even with gift aid, for the whole property, an adult pays no more than £10 and no child ticket is more than £5. Family tickets are available.

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What’s on offer

Arlington Court is an estate and country home built between 1820 and 1823 for the Chichester family, which was donated to the National Trust in 1949 by Rosalie Chichester, he great-granddaughter of the first Chichester who had lived there.

Now, the mansion is home to the Chichester’s collection of antique furniture and has displays of various other interest and unusual antique items, including some family memorabilia and surprisingly, a lot of stuff about ships. In the stables you’ll find the National Trust Carriage Museum, which is home to vehicles from the past, from every occasion.

The estate contains gorgeous Victorian gardens and over 20 miles of walkways to explore including plenty of wildlife to explore and a walk along a beautiful lake.

General facilities include toilets, tours for pre-booked groups, a little tram carrier service from the house to the museum, free parking, an information point, a gift shop and a tea room.

Arlington Court is well prepared with facilities and extras suitable for families, including baby-changing facilities. Front carrying baby slings and hip carrier seats are available to borrow. They also have rain covers on offer, along with a children’s play area and special I-spy worksheets for the house and carriage museum. Finally, there are activity workshops for children on school holidays.

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Highlights

For children, one of the biggest highlights of the visit will be entering the bat room and viewing through the bat-cam, a rare colony of bats that have made their home at Arlington Court estate. Especially if they’re animal lovers. There’s lots for them to do – little trails and little challenges – such as the quiz during the tour of the house! They can become one with nature and get crafty; there’s space for them to build a mini den.

The Carriage Museum is really well laid out and full of relevant and useful info.

Wandering around the grounds is a really lovely family walk. There are lots of places to sit and take a breather and as an added bonus, staff are friendly and the tea room is excellent.

What to watch out for

– It’s busy on a rainy day, especially during peak periods!

– You most likely won’t need to spend longer than 2 hours here, so you might want to plan another attraction or adventure on the same day. 

MFM tips:

– If you enjoy this, you’ll love Watermouth Castle.

– This is a great stop on your way to a family holiday in or as part of a trip to Lynmouth. 

What the owners say

“Arlington Court is an unexpected jewel on the edge of Exmoor, a complete family estate held by the prestigious Chichester family for over five hundred years. The collection consists of treasures for all tastes, from model ships to shells, collected over several generations. The house itself, built in 1823 and extended in 1860, has an austere facade. However, inside the cosy rooms purvey a homely, family atmosphere.

The Carriage Museum in the stables has a vehicle for every occasion from cradle to grave. Currently on loan from the Houses of Parliament is the Speaker’s State Coach, a glorious, gilded carriage with over 300 years of history.”

Visit the official Arlington Court website

Want to get the most out of your holiday? More family attractions in North Devon…

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Clovelly Village
Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park
Powderham Castle
Haldon Forest Park
Exmoor Zoo
Lundy Island
Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway
Woolacombe Beach

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