This unique 16-sided house, described by Lucinda Lambton as having ‘a magical strangeness that one might dream of only as a child’, was built for two spinster cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter, on their return from a European grand tour in the late 18th century. It contains many objects and mementoes of their travels, and the extraordinary interior decoration includes a feather frieze from many species of birds, including game birds, fowl, jays and parrots, laboriously stuck down with isinglass. The fragile shell-encrusted gallery, said to contain nearly 25,000 shells, is viewed via a 360-degree touchscreen virtual tour. Non-flash photography is welcome.
Family trail in house, Discovery Room with dressing up, shell and silhouette activities, free garden games on the ha-ha lawn, try wildlife spotter sheets and brass rubbing in the grounds.
Did you know that the diamond windows in the last Harry Potter film were inspired by ours!
Free entry to grounds, shop and tearoom.
Eating and shopping: shop selling gifts, local produce, plants, drinks and ice-cream. Award-winning licensed tea-room with open-air seating and sea views (Trust-approved concession) – morning coffee, home-cooked lunches and cream teas. Orchard picnic area. Second-hand book sales.
Getting here: 192:SY004834. 2 miles north of Exmouth. Foot: East Devon Way alongside. South West Coast Path 2 miles. Cycle: £1 shop or tea-room voucher for visitors arriving by green transport. Bus: Exeter to Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton, stops within ½ mile. Train: Lympstone village 1¼ miles; Exmouth 2 miles. Road: off A376. Parking: free. Caravans and trailers telephone in advance.
Making the most of your day: events, new fortnightly art exhibition, rural skills, nature walks, school holiday craft workshops. Self-guided themed tours, house family trail. Views over Exe estuary.
Dogs: welcome on leads throughout the garden and grounds.
Events and activities throughout the year.
For full details of events, opening times and admission charges please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/alaronde
A la Ronde, Summer Lane, Exmouth EX8 5BD
Tel: 01395 265514