Canonteign’s seven lakes meander lazily through the fields and meadows of the Estate.
Lily Lake with its beautiful pagoda sits in the centre of the site, surrounded by rhododendrons.
It’s home to some spectacular waterlilies and an abundance of wildlife including ducks, Canada geese and kingfishers. Sit outside the cafe and take it all in or walk around the edge to find hidden viewpoints and more secluded spots.
Swan Lake sits to the west of the cafe and used to be home to a group of rare black swans which were introduced to England from Australia, around the time Canonteign House was built in 1816. Just past this lake, you’ll find our Green Ship – inspired by the Quentin Blake book. Children are invited to climb and explore on its lifesize deck. The rest of the ship is a garden planted with aromatic herbs and shrubs, making a wonderful natural playground.
The Lower Lakes were created in the late 1990s by the current Lord Exmouth and are the perfect spot for wandering peacefully by the water, over small bridges, onto islands and back into the large green meadow. These lakes provide a natural habitat for huge numbers of wildlife, including kingfishers, bats, butterflies, wildfowl and otter.
In spring and early summer, this area is particularly beautiful with carpets of yellow buttercups and orchids across the grass. In autumn, see the leaves change in the trees lining lakes, creating a riot of colour.
Seek out Poets’ Corner and take a bench beneath the ancient oak tree to read some old favourites and discover new poetry. Head to the far end of the meadow and find a small circle of standing stones and a spectacular view back across the whole Estate.