Summer Open Day

Sunday 3rd July 2016 - 10.30am - 4.00pm

Join us for a packed day of activities and the chance to enjoy the splendour of Sharpham House and Gardens at our Summer Open Day.

Capability Brown logoWander through the formal and woodland gardens of historic Sharpham House, set in a Capability Brown parkland landscape - in the 300th anniversary of the famed garden designer's birth.

The day includes a host of activities for all the family including arts and crafts, poetry, music, kayaking, storytelling, nature connection and mindfulness workshops and beer tent (see full schedule on the tab above). The historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House and Gardens will be open for people to explore.

Visit Sharpham House on our open day

In the run-up to the day, there are interactive performances in the grounds of Sharpham House, inviting you and your family to go on a mysterious Quest for Capability Brown. Click here for information and ticket-booking

The Quest for Capability Brown at Sharpham

All day activities 10.30-4.00pm

Sharpham Gardens - Open to sit, wander and explore

Sharpham House – The principal rooms will be open to visitors (suggested donation £2). Set entry times and heritage introduction talks to a limited number of visitors every 30 mins - sign up at the info desk

Sharpham House Café - Open all day for teas, coffee and tasty lunch

Marquee Bar – Local real ale and Sharpham wines in the music & poetry marquee

Under the Yew Tree – Campfire cooking and nature arts & crafts. 

Rattle Box StorytellingFree performances for all the family throughout the day – see outside the Rattle Box tent for show times

Willow weaving with sculptural artist Anthony Barclay - help us build some giant willow structures!

Canoe Paddle Taster Session with Sky Blue Canoe. Cost £4.50 (adult), £3 (child under 12) 45 minute paddle (please visit info table for times and sign-up)

Meet Spike the Thistle at Sharpham's Open Day

Stiltskin street theatre – meet Spike the Thistle and the Sharpham hobgoblin

Swimming pool (10m x 5m x 2m deep) – open all day with lifeguards in attendance  

Swim in the pool at Sharpham on our Open Day

Lower Sharpham Farm – find out about the Share the Sheep scheme, and bug hunting in the orchard at set times during the day.

Sharpham Wine & Cheese Shop & Tours (please visit the Sharpham Wine & Cheese Shop for tour times and sign-up)

Anchorstone at Sharpham Vineyard Café open for lunch with fantastic local menu including seafood and Sharpham wines

For full programme of music, workshops, talks and tours click on schedules tab above.

Or click here to download a PDF of the programme

We are looking for volunteers to help on this day so if you would like to lend a hand, please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator on [email protected]

We are sorry but we do not allow dogs (except for guide dogs) 


Free Entry, £4 per car for parking. Please consider arriving by other means, see below. Small charges for selected activities (see schedule on tab above).

Parking / Transport / Directions

Limited hard parking and field car parking at Sharpham will be available (cost £4). 

Please help us to reduce the impact of cars by considering car sharing or parking in Totnes and using the FREE Bob the Bus Shuttle Service: 

Sharpham Summer Garden Open Day Bus Shuttle Timetable
(subject to change)

Main Bus Stop
- Opposite Seven Stars in Totnes - Coronation Road bus stop E

From Sharpham
- 3-way junction

10.15am (first bus)


10.30am 10.45am
10.45am 11am
11am 11.15am
11.15am 11.30am
11.30am 11.45am
11.45am 12pm
12pm 12.15pm
12.30pm 12.45pm
1.15pm 1.30pm
1.45pm 2pm
2pm 2.15pm
2.15pm 2.30pm
2.30pm 2.45pm
2.45pm 3pm
3pm 3.15pm
3.15pm 3.30pm
3.30pm 3.45pm
3.45pm 4pm
4pm 4.15pm
4.15pm 4.30pm (last bus)



The Summer Open Day event runs from 10.30am to 4pm

Click here to download a PDF of the programme

The Marquee – Music & poetry

11.45am – 12.30pm     Cosgrave and Banks

Two of Devon's finest acoustic musicians, Mike Cosgrave (accordion, guitar, whistle) and Steve Banks (fiddle, vocals, guitar) with a rich smörgåsbord of beautiful music from Britain and Europe.

12.30pm – 1.15pm     Poetry with Jackie Juno

Jackie is a skilled performer of funny, observational, tender and insightful poetry to make you laugh, cry, think, and see the world in a new way. Be prepared to be entertained!

1.15pm – 2pm     Harbottle & Jonas

A stunning acoustic folk duo based in the wilderness of Totnes. They paint pictures with their words and share stories of folk old and new, placing emphasis on musical independence, originality and breathing new life into traditional English Folk songs.

2pm – 3.15pm     Cosgrave and Banks second set

3.15pm – 4pm     Harbottle & Jonas second set

Workshops & Talks

(free of charge but sign-up essential for some activities)

11am– 12pm     Garden Tour

with Jesse Hammond, Sharpham Trust Gardener. Meet at the front of the House.

11.30 – 12.30pm     Mindfulness Taster Session

Join Katherine Weare to find out more about Mindfulness at Sharpham and how the practice of mindfulness can be of benefit to everyday life. Limited spaces – please sign up at the Info Table.

11.30am – 12.30pm     Into the Woods

Join Brigit-Anna McNeill on a woodland walk and adventure and try your hand at environmental arts and crafts – for children and playful adults. Children must be supervised at all times. Meet under the Yew Tree. Sturdy footwear recommended.

11.30am – 12.30pm    Bug hunting with Lower Sharpham Barton Farm

Join the Lower Sharpham Farm team in hunting for bugs in the Sharpham Orchard. Orchards are a biodiversity hotspot, and the Sharpham orchards are being grazed by a small flock of Shropshire sheep - the best variety of sheep to graze amongst trees - to encourage wildlife. Learn about this wildlife friendly management practice of the orchard, whilst identifying the wide diversity of creepy crawlies that live here. Family friendly. 

12.30pm – 1pm     Acoustic performance

Harmony voices, violin, flute, mandola & guitar music with ‘Miscellany’ (Sue, Liz, Kate & George). Under the Yew Tree.

1pm – 2pm     Sharpham Landscape Tour

with Richard Soans – learn about the history of the landscape of the Estate and its connections to Capability Brown. Meet at the front of the House. Sturdy footwear recommended.

2pm – 2.30pm    Bug hunting with Lower Sharpham Barton Farm

1.30pm – 2.30pm     Mindfulness Taster Session

with Katherine Weare. Limited spaces – please sign up at the Info Table.

2pm – 3pm     Sharpham Mud Meadow Map Walk

Join Charlotte Rathbone on short meadow walk colouring a map with natural materials found on your way around the Estate – suitable for children and adults. Meet at the front of the House. Sturdy footwear recommended.

2.30pm – 3pm     Acoustic performance

Harmony voices, violin, flute, mandola & guitar music with ‘Miscellany’. Under the Yew Tree.

3pm – 3.30pm    Bug hunting with Lower Sharpham Barton Farm

2.45pm – 3.45pm     Wild food and medicine walk

Connect with nature and take a walk on the Estate to explore medicinal and wild food with Brigit-Anna McNeill. Meet under the Yew Tree. Sturdy footwear recommended.

2.30pm – 3.30pm     Poetry workshop with Jackie Juno

Join Jackie for a ‘poetry mash-up’ workshop, involving group interaction, found words and cut-up techniques to create zen-like poetic masterpieces – no experience necessary just a willingness to be creative! Limited spaces – please sign up at the Info Table.

------------------------------------  OPEN DAY ENDS ---------------------------------------------------------

4.30pm – 6.30pm     The Quest for Capability Brown - haha! (*)

(*) This is a separate event in partnership with Play Torbay and will run straight after the open day – limited spaces available, bookable in advance here or at the information desk. Cost: £4 (adults), £2.50 (ages 5 – 15), £12 (family – 2 adults, 2 children), Under 5’s free, limited number of free concessionary tickets available on a first-come-first serve basis.


 Click here for directions to Sharpham House

We are sorry but we do not allow dogs (except for guide dogs)

Retreats & Events

Entry to this event is free, although there is a cost of £4 for parking. Small charge for certain activities/workshops (see schedule for details)

Do check our Calendar, to see and book for our events - or join our mailing list by clicking here to be kept in touch about Sharpham Trust news, retreats & events.