Totnes Travel Guide, United Kingdom
This marvelous building with its surroundings is known maybe more by the Engligh, but the film “The Remains of the Day” made after the book of Kazuo Ishiguro and released in 1993, starring Antony Hopkins in the role of the butler who sacrificed body and soul to service the owners of this residence definitely made Dartington Hall famous all over the world.
If you want to come and visit the place where the film was done, head towards South Devon on A38 road to Ashburton and then turn to A384 to Dartington. By rail, you can take the train from Exeter or Plymouth to Totnes.
Even if it is not a castle you will visit a building rich in history, home to many personalities, a place of inspiration and creativity, a cultural hub and a relaxation heaven set in beautiful surroundings that extend to 1,200 acres of woodland, farmland, ancient deer parkland and gardens that are shaped to create a gorgeous atmosphere. The symbol you will see around is the deer, proof that the estate was once roamed by deer.
The gardens are of breathtaking beauty and there is an ancient yew tree reputed to be nearly 2000 years old.
The residence has more buildings that range in age from the Bronze and Iron Ages to the 1950s. They are all interesting but the main Hall, built in 1388 is the central point of the residence.
The beautiful 14th century mediaeval courtyard set you in times long forgotten. From the moment you step on the estate, you enter another world, a world of the past, a world of charm, history and enchantment. Besides the long, relaxing walks, you can take in the gardens, through the woodlands and along the river Dart you can also take part at some great concerts and many other cultural activities organized here.
You can visit the gardens and see all the buildings from the outside but the inside is not for everybody’s eyes. Not all the rooms are opened to the public as the majority of the buildings are occupied by some charitable programs and there are rooms for accommodation. There are lots of weddings organized here, too due to the lovely setting.
What an attractive possibility, to spend a few days in one of the rooms at Dartington Hall! And indeed, you can feel like a royalty staying in single, twin or double bedded rooms all with private facilities. Even if you are in medieval settings, you have the modern facilities like telephone and colored TV.
If you can get accommodation here of course, you can eat here and the food is excellent, great quality, fresh and varied.
The estate has been the site of many events, conferences, and social experiments. The central point of entertainment one the estate is Barn Theater located within the courtyard. It hosts many great concerts and films.
And as a sign that the estate is not torn completely from the commercial world, there is the possibility of shopping at the Cider Press Center where you can buy some nice souvenirs starting with the Dartington crystal and continuing with traditional crafts, jewelry, pottery, books and toys.
Whether you just come to visit or have the privilege to be accommodated here or even study here, Dartington Hall’s image will remain in your memory for a long time.
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