Mothecombe House and gardens are situated above Mothecombe beach, at the mouth of the Erme estuary on the Flete Estate. They are tucked under one side of a valley running down to the beach, so they are several degrees warmer than the village of Holbeton, two miles inland, and they are sheltered from the prevailing south westerly salt laden winds, allowing tender plants to flourish.
Overlooking the whole garden is Mothecombe House, a Queen Anne house with additions by Sir Edwin Lutyens. On the south front there is a walled garden with Lutyens Terraces planted with wisteria, irises and agapanthus, and a lawn with herbaceous borders. A door leads to an orchard underplanted with daffodils, with a camellia walk to the woodland garden. Grassy paths lead up to the Duchess’ Walk and hazel tunnel to Mothecombe Grove and the Autumn garden and back past the eucryphia which absolutely hums with bees in August.
The camellias, magnolias and cherries are underplanted with masses of snowdrops and hellebores followed by primroses, Solomon’s seal and sheets of bluebells, foxgloves and campion as spring advances. As the camellias lose their blooms, the rhododendrons and ornamental acers take centre stage in the bluebell woods. Turning the corner one suddenly hears the sea, and can glimpse the waves through the trees.
Returning along the bottom path, two giant gunnera of elephantine proportions flank a pool, and a thicket of brilliant willow and cornus appear luminous in the low winter sunshine, followed by Pieris forestii and deciduous azaleas. The next blaze of colour is in the bog garden, with masses of cool green ferns and huge arum lilies, skunk cabbage, iris, primulas, astilbes and hostas. A massive Magnolia Campbellii flourishes beside the stream in front of Garden Cottage, whilst an ancient multi stemmed Judas tree sprawls over snowdrops and hellebores and a thicket of Fuchsia magellanica. A second walled garden has been filled with rows of lavender and other pollinator friendly plants which replace a massive soft fruit cage, and rows of flowers which supplied the house when it was filled with guests in the summer months.
The gardens are every Tuesday, 10-4pm from 5th of March to 27th of August 2024.
Snowdrop festival 13th & 20th Feb 2024
Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times.
There are also some charity open days too, the dates are below;
National Garden Scheme (NGS) – 5th May
St Luke’s Hospice – 19th May
Did you know you can also now hire the stables for a variety of events including; exhibitions, art workshops, team meetings etc. with exclusive access to the gardens as well as kitchen facilities and toilets. For any enquiries please email Izzy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parking & Access
Parking is at the Mothecombe Beach Car Park PL8 1LB
Adults: £6 (£3 with a valid car parking ticket)
Children 17 yrs – 5 yrs: £3
Infants 4yrs and under: Free
To access the gardens, walk through Mothecombe village and enter through the stable doors as signposted. There is no access to the beach through the gardens.
We have an off-road wheelchair available for use by those with mobility issue. However, certain areas of the garden and woodland will not be accessible due to the steepness of the terrain.
A guide and map of the garden can be downloaded here.
Refreshments and Toilets
Tees, coffee, cake and ice cream are available in the garden.
More substantial meals are available at the School House restaurant in Mothecombe car park. For details of opening times visit The School House.
Toilets and baby changing facilities are available in the gardens.
You are welcome to bring your own picnic or take away and enjoy in the quiet of the garden.
Dogs on leads are welcome. Please pick up mess and put in the bins provided.