Whilst taking some time away at Apple Tree Hotel, there are ample things to do within surrounding locations. Whether you are partial to a serene country walk, or an action-packed excursion, Somerset has plenty to offer you and your family.

Nestled in the picturesque town of Ilminster, Somerset, Barrington Court pays homage to the rich history of the south west. A breath-taking house complimented with Idyllic Gertrude Jekyll- inspired gardens, Barrington Court offers an unforgettable day out.

Located less than 1 hour away from Apple Tree Hotel, Barrington Court is within easy reach of the hotel at just 26 miles distance. Find out more about Barrington Court below to plan your next day out during your peaceful stay with us here at Apple Tree.

The History of Barrington Court

Barrington Court poses as a striking Elizabethan manor house that first began construction in 1538 by the Earl of Bridgwater. After his unfortunate death and bankruptcy, the construction came to a halt, but it was later completed in 1548 by the new owner, William Clifton.

By the turn of the 20th century, the manor house was derelict and its future looked bleak. However, in 1907, Barrington Court was taken over by the National Trust. This was the first country house of its kind that they had purchased- with the only inhabitants being a group of chickens.

As the rich cultural history had so far been maintained, Barrington Court was leased to Coln Arthur Lyle in 1920, who took on the colossal task of restoring the manor house. The result was a stunning example of Elizabethan architecture, equipped with a Gertrude Jekyll-inspired garden.

Barrington Court Officially opened to the public in 2009. This allowed the general public to take in the beauty of the estate for themselves whilst learning more about the history of the building, its gardens, and previous residents.

Residents of Barrington Court

Over the years, Barrington Court has forged a rich history through an extensive roster of residents, who include the likes of:

  • The Daubeney family- they lived at Barrington for 200 years during Anglo-Saxon times starting in 1236.
  • Earl of Bridgewater- 1538
  • William Clifton- who worked to finish construction of the estate.
  • Sir Thomas Phelps of Nearby Montacute
  • William Strode- 1625
  • National Trust takeover- around 1907
  • The Lyles at Barrington- starting with Coln Arthur Lyle

Barrington Court Gardens

Barrington Court prides itself on the well-kept gardens and peaceful settings of the manor house grounds. Visited by countless groups of people every year, Barrington Court hosts a cluster of eye-catching and historical gardens. Each garden holds its own unique story and background.

Every garden provides the perfect opportunity to take in the sights of beautiful, homegrown plants and flowers. Some plants have even been specifically bred to feature in these gardens- providing the perfect opportunity to snap up some pictures and extend your horticultural repertoire.

The Rose and Iris Garden

Inspired by the work of renowned garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, the carefully planted rose garden follows the same scheme used by the garden designer herself in order to create an eye-pleasing abundance of roses. The iconic garden displays arrangements of historically bred roses, including ‘Felicia’ and ‘Penelope’.

The Kitchen Garden

Created in 1921 by the Lyle family, the kitchen garden was formally the larder for the house. After generations of fruitful harvest from the garden, the walled garden is now home to a myriad of fresh, carefully grown fruit plants, strategically trained to trail along the walls of the Kitchen garden.

The Lily Garden

The lily garden is the largest garden within the grounds of Barrington Court. Once again, the garden closely follows schemes of Gertrude Jekyll to create bountiful displays of richly coloured plants.

The South Lawn

The South Lawn remains simplistic yet beautiful; a vast stretch of lustrous lawn covering the south side of the court. This is the perfect place to take in the views of the ground and set up for a picnic.

Facilities at Barrington Court

Barrington court hosts a vast array of amenities and facilities to make your visit as pleasant as possible.

  • Book Shop- why not stop off to pick up your next new read? The Barrington Court book shop offers a selection of reading material to suit the taste of all.
  • Café- if you didn’t opt to bring a picnic to enjoy on the grounds, you can tuck into a delicious meal or light bite at the Barrington Court café.
  • Shop- The Barrington Court shop allows you to purchase a souvenir or perhaps pick up something you forgot to bring along with you.
  • Dogs are allowed- you are permitted to bring your four-legged friends along with you to the grounds however, they are not permitted in walled gardens or formal areas.
  • Toilets- Across the ground, toilets are easily accessible to everybody at their convenience.


After a day exploring the grounds of Nation Trust- Barrington Court, you and your family or friends can enjoy a stay at Apple Tree Hotel and Restaurant. Providing a selection of comfortable rooms and a delicious menu, Apple Tree Hotel is the perfect place to dine and unwind after a day trip.

Apple Tree is a family-run hotel and restaurant where a warm welcome and exemplary hospitality are at the core. Whether you require a short stay or an extended break in the charming vicinity of Somerset, we can offer outstanding service to suit the needs of you and your guests. Great value is always offered with no compromise on quality.

Within a stone’s throw of countryside walks and eye-turning views, Ilminster is a hidden gem within the Somerset countryside. Not to mention, the friendly community within the town, making this the perfect place to relax and unwind with your friends and family.

Opening Hours

Barrington Court is now open 7 days a week.
In order to get the most out of your visit, you can find the opening times for each facility at Barrington Court below:
  • Gardens- 10:00 AM – 17:00 PM
  • Parkland- 10:00 AM – 17:00 PM
  • Beagles Café- 10:00 AM – 16:45 PM
  • Shop- 10:00 AM – 17:00 PM
  • Book Barn- 10:00 AM – 16:00 PM
From time to time, opening times may change. For accurate updates on opening times, you can check here.

How Much Does it Cost?

National Trust members are permitted to enter Barrington Court free of charge.

For members of the general public, official pricing can be found here.

Accessibility at Barrington Court

Barrington Court offers a range of amenities to accommodate the needs of disabled visitors, which include:
  • Blue badge parking
  • Accessible toilet
  • Accessible drop of points
  • Transfers available
It is important to note that some areas of the grounds have uneven terrain.

Getting to Barrington Court

If you are planning to travel from Apple Tree Hotel to Barrington Court, it’s roughly a 50-minute drive from the hotel, via the A358. Approximately 26 miles from Apple Tree Hotel, Barrington Court offers ample parking for those who are driving to and from the estate.

Apple Tree Hotel

Apple Tree Hotel offers spacious rooms and delicious food at affordable prices for you and your guests. Situated in a cosy location with plenty of attractive views and nearby walks, we can promise an unforgettable stay.

For those looking for a longer stay, there are plenty of things to do around Somerset, including a series of visits to historical houses and buildings such as Barrington Court, Montacute House, and Dunster Castle.

To learn more about staying and dining at Apple Tree Hotel, visit our website today and book your next stay. We look forward to meeting you!