Lookout Landscapes

Enjoy a visit to the garden that TV presenter Carol Klein described as ‘truly inspirational’ and that Alan Titchmarsh ranked No 2 in his top 10 most challenging gardens for his Britain’s Best Back Gardens TV series.

Open annually as part of The National Garden Scheme, which raises millions each year for charities including Marie Curie, Macmillan Cancer Support and Help The Hospices, the garden at The Lookout, Lympstone is also open by appointment throughout the summer and autumn.

Featured on BBC & ITV Gardening programmes and in national magazines, this 2 acre, wildlife friendly garden sits with its toes in the water close to the mouth of the Exe Estuary.

This vast tidal area, famous for its birdlife, is designated an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an International Ramsar site and National Nature Reserve.  Tucked away on the eastern edge of the picturesque and historic fishing village of Lympstone, The Lookout occupies what used to be the derelict 1920s-built mussel purification station.

The site has undergone an incredible transformation in recent years.  Its garden designer owner has endeavoured to make the house disappear back into the estuary bank, landscaping with natural materials and including numerous indigenous species in the planting scheme.

Beachcombing finds compliment the relaxed naturalistic seaside planting, designed to harmonise the garden with its coast and countryside surroundings. Quirky driftwood sculptures and maritime artefacts sit amongst hummocky drifts of planting to evoke the nearby sand dunes and give that washed up from the beach feel.  Over 200 varieties of carefully selected plants, sea trialled for their salt and wind tolerance, enjoy the challenges of coastal living!

A short circular walk leads you from an area of jungly planting, past banks of ornamental grasses, along the wild flower meadow’s mown paths, past a pond into a fern-filled copse and then back through wilder shore-side planting to a Mediterranean-style courtyard garden.  Take your time… there are numerous places to stop and enjoy the extensive views and estuary birdlife, and take in the salty air.

Visitor Comments

Nearly 5,000 people have visited the garden since it was first opened for charity in 2008. Here are a few of their comments:

“When it comes to challenging gardens it doesn’t get much tougher than this. What I love most about this garden is the ingenuity in the face of such adversity.”

Alan Titchmarsh

“A garden to inspire every gardener”

S Cottman


“A unique and inspiring experience of the estuary framed at every corner.”

A. Long

Royal Institute of British Architects

“Everyone was delighted to see your garden creation… and to hear how you developed the site to produce such a stunning garden. Most of us were overwhelmed by the size of your project and how you had achieved such effective and natural planting. Thank you for your hospitality and an exceptionally interesting tour.”


Topsham Flower Club

“Wonderful garden of seashore plants. A taste of the Scilly Isles.”

A Turner


Private Tours for Clubs, Societies & Groups

May – September. Weekday & evening openings by appointment for Clubs, Societies & Groups of 10+
Admission £6 per person to include a personal tour & talk by the designer. Refreshments can be provided by arrangement. Free on-site car parking. 

To arrange a tour please contact Jackie Michelmore on 07866 580471 or email at lookoutlandscapes@btinternet.com

To arrange a visit

To arrange a visit please contact Jackie Michelmore on 07866 580471 or email lookoutlandscapes@btinternet.com

How to Find Us

The Lookout, Sowden Lane, Lympstone, Devon, EX8 5HE

Please note – There are some narrow gravel paths, slopes & steps so disabled access is limited & stout footwear is recommended. Sorry no dogs.

Media Coverage

Lookout Landscapes
The Lookout at Lympstone is home Jackie Michelmore’s garden design business Lookout Landscapes.

Jackie has been designing gardens locally for over 15 years and is happy to consider projects of any size… from postage stamps to parkland!

Please contact her on 07866 580471 or email her at jm@lookoutlandscapes.co.uk for more information or to discuss your project.

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