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Press, TV & Reviews

Hartland Abbey welcomes enquiries from editors, programme and film planners for the use of the estate within their output. For all enquiries please contact:
Lady Stucley Tel: 01884 860225/01237441496/234 Email:
[email protected]

Visitors Comments 2012:

“Fascinating; lovely guides” E & G Allen, Aylesbury

“Thank you for allowing us a visit. Delightful house and guides information very good”. M. Hawkins, Somerset

“Thank you for letting us see your beautiful home and thank you for looking after one of the country’s treasures”. J. Dawson, Cheltenham

“Very helpful guides and interesting house”. E. Vincent, Hampshire

“Lovely and knowledgeable guides”. B & S. Hasty, Hampshire

“Thank you for sharing your lovely house!” E & S Moulsley, S. Devon

“An absolute gem – simply beautiful!” M. & P, Suffolk

TripAdvisor Comments – LINK

Daily  Express 23/05/2013

The fiction of Rosamunde Pilcher is a huge hit on German television with up to seven million people regularly watching adaptations of her work. And viewers are so gripped by her love stories such as The Shell Seekers and Cliffs Of Love they are now making pilgrimages to Devon and Cornwall to see the sights for themselves.

Sven Laux, of tour operator TUI, said: “This series is popular in Germany because it offers comforting cliches about England – green hills, lords and ladies taking tea on the lawn and everybody playing golf.

Pilcher, 88, who was born in Lelant, Cornwall, and began her career with Mills and Boon in 1949, has even been handed a British Tourism Award for promoting the South-west.

She said: “I am more popular in Germany than I am here. It is gratifying. There are weekly Rosamunde Pilcher tours from places like Dusseldorf.

More than 100 of her stories have been adapted for German TV since the 1980s. Although they are made in German, many are filmed in the South-west. The beautiful locations include Blackpool Mill Cottage near Bideford in north Devon, which was the setting for The Shell Seekers, The Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth and large parts of the coastline.

Niall MacDougall, from Urlaub Cornwall, a Truro-based marketing company catering for German visitors, said: “In the summer, you are more than likely to bump into a German film crew and you can’t go out without hearing a German voice. The Germans are keeping some tourism businesses afloat.”

The Telegraph 08/05/2013 Fiona Bruce’s Britain

After the winter that never ended and the spring that never was, why on earth would anyone want to spend time travelling around our blighted isle? It’s hardly surprising if you’re unmoved by the joys of sandwiches in the car overlooking a rain lashed beach, slanting your body into the biting wind on a gentle stroll over Exmoor or always carrying a waterproof for every member of the family – just in case.

But, you know, there are hidden treasures all over Britain that don’t depend on the weather and are just waiting to be discovered. And if the sun does happen to be showing its face, all the better.

Some I’ve stumbled across in the endless quest to find new things to amuse my offspring. Others I’ve encountered as I’ve journeyed to the four corners of our country for the Antiques Roadshow, when I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the most wonderful country houses, stately homes and museums in the world. Some may well be familiar, such as Burghley in Stamford, Leeds Castle in Maidstone or Tatton Park, Knutsford. But what really fascinates me are the places that have somehow slipped under the radar. The little known homes that have been in a single family for hundreds of years and are now welcoming in the public. The small museums kept alive by the passion or obsession of a band of volunteers. The houses of minor aristocrats or former industrialists, tucked away off the beaten track and harbouring unexpected works of art. And they all have a story – like Hartland Abbey in North Devon. Built in 1157, it’s been handed down from generation to generation of the same family ever since and it sits in a wild, flower-strewn valley with its own woodland walk down to the sea. A perfect combination of grandeur and some gentle fraying round the edges, the house is full of fascinating relics from the Tudor years to the present day. Its different architectural styles reflect the style of its various custodians. One in particular stands out — Sir George Stucley , an intrepid Victorian whose knowledge of history came a poor second to his own delusions of self grandeur. He commissioned twelve dramatic murals to enliven the linenfold panelling of the drawing room, each portraying a key moment in Britain’s history and his own role within it. Putting himself at the quayside at the arrival of William the Conqueror may just have been stretching it a bit. Full article at

February 2013

Martin Dorey selects Hartland Abbey as a location for one of his 2013 Campervan Weekends.

You could join him in either your own van or one hired from O’Conners and learn to beach forage, open-air cooking and of course sing songs around the campfire. Further details

The following reviews were printed (external links are outside of our control and may alter or disappear in time)

Daily Mail 18/02/2012

– The long-lost ‘haunted’ painting and strange claims that ghost of Mrs Bell vanished after the picture was put back in its rightful place. By Eleanor Harding.

Read the whole story – LINK

Watch a short film by Chris Machin on his Facebook pageof the snowdrops at Hartland Abbey 2012

Daily Telegraph 29/05/2011

– Jane Newdick’s feature of Gardens to see in north Devon: Hartland Abbey

The house, on the site of a 12th-century Augustinian Abbey, sits in a long valley running to the sea. Post-Dissolution, it was given by Henry VIII to a member of the Stucley family, who own it still.

Read the whole story –LINK

Daily Telegraph 08/04/2011

– A chatty commentary by Clive Aslet discussing whether Prince William had his stag party at Hartland Abbey and then enthuses on aspects of the Abbey – A mystery of the Stag Night

Trip Advisor

DAVID V. Bangkok, Thailand – “Great gardens and a really interesting house”

Reviewed 23 May 2013

One can happily spend a day here….the gardens are great, especially the walled gardens by the entrance, just super. The house (open in the afternoons) itself is packed with real gems, documents going back to the Norman Conquest. Lovely non-fussy and ‘down to earth’ tea room serving good hearty home cooked local foods at good prices. Don’t miss it!!

Angela S Exmouth, United Kingdom – “A beautiful place to visit.”

Reviewed 1 May 2013

We visited Hartland Abbey with our two dogs (it is very dog friendly) and had a wonderful time. There is a relaxing walk of about a mile along a well maintained path to the rugged coastline. It took you through the field with the black sheep, their lambs, donkeys and peacocks and on to the woods that were carpeted with bluebells, primroses and other spring flowers. On the way back we visited the gazebo with it’s stunning views and the summerhouse where the only noise was bird song. We then made our way to the walled garden which was very sheltered, tranquil and full of a variety of interesting plants. We walked back to the house along Ladies Walk where rhododendrons and azaleas were flowering. We could not resist a visit to the tea rooms which we were glad we did not miss out on, the food was delicious! Everybody we met was very pleasant and friendly. We enjoyed our visit so much that we bought a season ticket so that we could see Hartland Abbey through all the seasons.

Visited April 2013

** Note these links are outside the control of Hartland Abbey and can disappear at any time.