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Broomhill Art Hotel sculpture garden

Updated on May 5, 2014
Striking artwork amid natural beauty
Striking artwork amid natural beauty | Source
Even the driveway has exhibits
Even the driveway has exhibits | Source

The Sculpture Garden at Broomhill Art Hotel

While staying in North Devon, a visit to Broomhill Art Hotel's beautiful sculpture garden was high priority. We'd been to the garden several years ago, and had fond memories. This was a chance to see what changes had taken place in the meantime.

Around 95% of the exhibits seemed to have changed. The viewing grounds have extended, and the number of sculptures is incredible. Many have to be seen in situ to appreciate their presence. I don't claim to like every item, but do enjoy the variety on offer.

Some exhibits are for sale, price on application. Commissions are taken by many artists who have items on display. There are a number of distinctive styles throughout the garden, surely with something to suit all tastes.



A section of the gallery
A section of the gallery | Source
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Lunch at the hotel

The hotel's Terra Madre restaurant offered a good selection of meals, using locally sourced produce. We sat on the sunny terrace outside to enjoy our lunch. It was easy to see how they have won North Devon Good Food Awards five times.

The atmosphere was relaxing, making a good start to our visit.

Accessability

There is a car park around 200 yards from the hotel, the driveway is on an upward slope, with a fairly steep incline. Disabled parking is available higher up.

The grounds of the hotel are hilly, with some narrow, winding paths through the trees.

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Once you leave the lawned area, expect to watch your feet. People with limited mobility would have a problem accessing all the grounds.

I currently have a knee problem, but with so many interesting things to see, a slow pace is appropriate. One run of deep steps was difficult, but on other sections I could take an alternative route, avoiding steps.

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Value

Visitors can view the hotel's well presented art gallery free of charge. We then paid £4.50 per adult (2013) entrance to the gardens. Considering the numerous exhibits, this seems good value. We spent around ninety minutes wandering through the impressive grounds, finding interest at every turn.


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Unfortunately it started to rain towards the end of the trail, so we didn't spend as long there as we may otherwise have done. I'd foolishly left my umbrella in the car.

While the trees provided some cover, it would be useful if there were a few shelters throughout the grounds.

Yielding Ash by Oliver Adams
Yielding Ash by Oliver Adams | Source
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Thought provoking

Seeing so many works of art made me start to look at everything in a new light. Even the benches, rocks and trees seemed worthy of closer inspection. Some of the metallic sculptures may have been less striking in urban settings. Here, they contrast wonderfully with nature.

One of an amazing group of Third Millennium figures by Mike Roles
One of an amazing group of Third Millennium figures by Mike Roles | Source

The gardens are a popular attraction, though as the grounds are spacious, it didn't feel crowded. We often had a whole section of garden to ourselves.

A party of school children were excitedly enjoying the experience. It was lovely to see their enthusiasm.


A beautiful floating sculpture
A beautiful floating sculpture | Source

The last section of the grounds took us back to beside the car park. As it was raining by this time, we were disappointed to find we should back-track part way up the hill to exit. I followed my husband in an ungainly squeeze through some fencing to reach the car, while our son was happy to jog back on the official route - possibly to avoid being embarrassed by his parents!

Makes me want to stretch
Makes me want to stretch | Source
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One of a collection of "couples" sculptures by Carol Peace
One of a collection of "couples" sculptures by Carol Peace | Source

In conclusion

We found the sculpture garden at Broomhill Art Hotel great value for money, a relaxing and enjoyable excursion. Staff are helpful and welcoming. The grounds offer freedom to wander and explore, though, due to the hilly terrain, are not suitable for everyone to access fully.


Comfortable footwear is a must if you plan on touring the garden. You'll be on your feet for some time, covering uneven ground.

It was a real pleasure to investigate the area, discovering impressive works of art. I'd certainly want to visit again when we're next in the region.

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A markerBroomhill EX31 4EX -
Broomhill Lodge, Muddiford, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4EX, UK
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    • innerspin profile image
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      innerspin 3 years ago from uk

      Thanks for commenting, grand old lady. The sculpture garden works well on various levels, as you say, and is a real treat to visit.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Lovely works of sculpture and art. My favorite is the couple. It is such a nice idea that you go searching through a garden for sculpture, like a scavenger hunt, a game I used to love as a child. And it's nice to know that the pieces are for sale, so the display changes regularly, giving you a reason to keep coming back. At the same time, artists have a chance to showcase their work and to earn as well.

    • innerspin profile image
      Author

      innerspin 3 years ago from uk

      Hi tirelesstraveler, yes you can stay in the hotel. If you Google the name plenty of details are available. The building is lovely, with a nice atmosphere, and the gardens are great. If we lived nearer, I'd be there every weekend!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Is it actually a hotel you can stay at? This is a really interesting place.