With its 19th-century parkland and Gothic Revival architecture by Victorian visionary William Burges, nearby Knightshayes Court (12 miles) is a house full of quirks and curiosities. And with 1,200 plant species unique to Knightshayes, its garden is said to boast one of the finest and most varied plant collections in the country. Alternatively, make your way to Dunster Castle (21 miles), a National Trust property that was the lavish country home of the Luttrell family for six centuries. Visit the property’s working water mill and take in views across the Bristol Channel from its splendid gardens. The shopaholics in your group should grab the chance to visit Barnstaple’s historic Pannier Market (23 miles), which is one of Britain’s largest indoor markets. It has remained largely unchanged for over 150 years. Or enjoy a day out in Brickleigh (15 miles), a picturesque village in the Exe Valley where you’ll find lovely thatched cottages, a railway museum, beautiful gardens and a lot of shops and restaurants housed in the 18th-century Brickleigh Mill.