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Marwood Hill Garden

Open to the public all through the summer months and a bit either side – from mid March through until 30th September – Marwood Hill is a picturesque private garden close to Barnstaple which extends over 20 acres and is very welcoming to dog owners and their charges, so long as humans and hounds are connected by a lead. Now staffed by a crew who describe themselves as predominantly dog-owners, the gardens were created by Dr Jimmy Smart VMH in the late 1950s, and they are full of scents to follow for both canines and their masters, boasting a huge collection of plants, shrubs and trees.

It's the peaceful atmosphere that draws many people in though – that and the spectacular views across the valley from the Garden Tea Room (which offers award-winning fare, the profits from the sale of which go towards the maintenance of the gardens). If you're green-fingered, you can buy a range of unusual plants that are for sale too. The gardens host a range of events throughout the summer months, including open-air plays staged by the Folksy Theatre, so if you want to bring out the inner thespian in your four-legged friend, this is a great place to start.

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