Powderham Castle Review
Seat of the earls of Devon, this notable stately home 8 miles south of Exeter is famed for its staircase hall, a soaring fantasia of white stuccowork on a turquoise background, constructed in 1739–69. Other sumptuous rooms, adorned with family portraits by Sir Godfrey Kneller and Sir Joshua Reynolds, were used in the Merchant-Ivory film Remains of the Day. A tower built in 1400 by Sir Philip Courtenay, ancestor of the current owners, stands in the deer park. "Safari" rides (a tractor pulling a trailer) to see the 600-odd fallow deer depart daily during school vacations, and October sees daily "Deer Rut Safaris." There are also falconry displays in summer. The restaurant serves light lunches, and there's a children's play area, a pets' corner, a farm shop, and a plant center.