Stackpole Estate
Stackpole Estate
The National Trust manages 2000 acres of the Stackpole estate, a wonderful combination of natural and carefully designed landscape. Part of the estate was laid out in the 18th century in Romantic style with water features, bridges, grottos, an ice house, woodland gardens, and a summer house.


The estate centred on Stackpole Court, a stately home which stood just outside Stackpole village. The Court was owned by the Lort family, but in 1698 passed by marriage to the Campbells, Thanes of Cawdor in Scotland. In the 18th century the original Court was rebuilt in Georgian style, surrounded by a walled garden and greenhouses. The estate was used during WWII as a military training area. After the war the Campbell's returned to their Scottish estates, and the mansion was torn down in 1963, leaving the estate's beaches, parkland, and outbuildings to be administered by the National Trust for public enjoyment.

The coastal part of the estate is a picturesque mix of dramatic, rocky scenery and superb sandy beaches. The most popular beach is at Barafundle Bay, where you can often see bottlenose dolphins. Stackpole Quay is a delightful small harbour used by local fisherman and pleasure-boaters.

At the heart of the estate is the village of Stackpole, moved to its present position in 1735 to make room for the Campbell's new mansion house. Just outside the village is the Stackpole Outdoor Learning Centre, run by the National Trust as a multi-purpose venue. At Stackpole Elidor is the delightfully secluded church of St James and St Elidyr, dating to the late 12th century.

The most popular area of the Estate are the Bosherton Lakes, which form part of a National Nature Reserve (NNR). There are 100 acres of lakes, known simply as 'the Lily Ponds'. The lakes were created by the Campbells from 1760, by damming a trio of narrow valleys.

The Lakes are famous for their water lilies, which carpet the water surface during June. The area is home to a huge population of dragonflies, wildfowl, as well as resident otters. Boardwalks extend out into the lakes to allow visitors to see the lilies up close.

Miles of footpaths link the lakes to stands of woodland, clifftop walks, and connect to the South West Coast Path long distance trail.

A historic 18th century walled garden forms part of the original estate. The National Trust has leased the garden to Mencap, who use it as a training centre for local adults with learning disabilities, giving them training in horticulture.

There are visitor car parks at Stackpole Quay, Broadhaven South, Lodge Park Wood, and Bosherston. Seasonal charges apply, but National Trust members can park for free. Admission to the Stackpole Estate is otherwise free.