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FRIDAY, 11TH MARCH 2011
Five Fab National Trust Properties

Like fish and chips, the WI and rainy weekends, the National Trust is something of a British institution. Protecting the UK's heritage, the National Trust looks after more historic houses and gardens than you can shake a stick at. Next time you're on your UK holidays, take time out to visit some of these architectural gems. We've listed our favourite five below, but there's plenty more where these came from: visit the National Trust website to gen up on hundreds more houses!

Erddig scullery 1 - flckr - minkymonkeymooErddig - Wrexham, Wales
If you ever feel put upon, rent one of our North Wales cottages and take a visit to Erddig. Offering a fascinating insight into the 'upstairs-downstairs' life you'll be able to empathise with your 18th century counterparts. Erddig's downstairs area is home to an extensive collection of servants' portraits, while upstairs you'll find items that bore witness to a more luxurious lifestyle - fine furniture and textiles, opulent wallpaper and more await. Outside, you'll find an 18th century formal garden as well as acres of parkland. Pack your parasol and take a carriage ride around the grounds. Or if that's a bit too dainty for you, there are miles of cycle paths to explore (bikes can be hired if you don't have your own wheels). www.nationaltrust.org.uk/erddig/  For holiday accommodation in North Wales.

 

Sissinghurst Castle 1 - flckr - ahisgettSissinghurst Castle - Kent
This is one for the romantics out there. Sissinghurst boasts a stunning garden in the ruins of an Elizabethan house. The garden was created in the 1930s by the poet and gardening writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson. These days visitors flock from all over the world to see the garden, which is designed as a series of 'rooms', each with its own character. Venture further afield to explore the estate, where you'll find woodland, streams and wildlife galore. There's also a working garden - chow down in the restaurant and you'll be eating produce fresh from the grounds. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst/  cottages in kent.


Greenway House, Galmpton, Devon - flckr - Lincolnian (Brian) - BUSYGreenway - Galmpton, Devon
Got writer's block? A trip to Greenway should sort that out. This 1950s nostalgia-fest was the holiday home of Agatha Christie and is set amongst a woodland garden. You can really get into the spirit of things with a quick game of croquet on the lawn if you want to go all out! Take a stroll around the grounds and discover the vinery and peach house. Be sure admire the work of the artists in residence and, of course, there's the chance to stock up on all things Christie in the shop. The National Trust encourages visitors to arrive in a 'green way' - amble along the paths by foot, get in the (bike) saddle or you can even take the ferry to Greenway Quay.  You can take the car, but you'll need to book in beforehand as parking is very limited. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway/  Holiday homes in South Devon.


Ickworth House - flckr - artorusrexIckworth - Horringer, Suffolk
If you think you're in need of a bit of clear out at home, consider the poor 4th Earl of Bristol. He had this imposing rotunda built specially to house the collection of treasures he had accumulated on his travels around Europe. The collection has been added to for the past 200 years and is now a veritable treasure trove of goodies. If you can drag yourself away from this Aladdin's cave, you'll find England's first Italianate garden in Ickworth's grounds. Need something special to quaff while residing in your very own manor (read UK holiday home)? Then look no further; Ickworth wines are available to buy from the gift shop. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth/  Suffolk Cottages.

 

Waddesdon Manor South Front - flckr - amandabhslaterWaddesdon Manor - nr Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
Ooh-la-la. You may be forgiven for a spot of confusion when visiting Waddesdon Manor. Despite its location in the heart of England, Waddesdon was built in the style of a Renaissance era chateau. Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild used Waddesdon as his pad for entertaining the rich and famous, and its 45 rooms are crammed with priceless artwork and the finest French furniture, including Marie-Antoinette's writing desk. Outside, this French fancy has its own aviary at the heart of its Victorian garden. Fountains, statues and a parterre formal garden add to the elegance.  Wine is a big part of Waddesdon and the wine shop is a must-visit. The link to the Rothschild clan means the place has impressive contacts with some of the best vineyards in Bordeaux. Wine tastings are available, before you ask! www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-waddesdonmanor  Holiday Cottages Buckinghamshire.

 

POSTED BY: RACHAEL
AT 12:24

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