National Trust Sites are a great way to explore some of Britain's finest countryside and historic buildings. From castles, gardens and mansions to ancient monuments and nature reserves, there is something for everyone.
It is Europe's largest charity dedicated to the protection of historic sites, buildings and rural areas. They help maintain these properties and may receive visits, membership fees, and donations.
The Trust looks after miles of coastline, common land and smaller historic properties of national importance and interest to British and overseas visitors alike. They are one of the largest land and building owners in the UK.
Disclaimer: Hello! This post may contain affiliate links that direct you to online merchants who sell products and services. If you click on one and buy something I may get a commission see mineAffiliate Disclosurefor more details.
This list of the National Trust's best places is a great way to start exploring. Why not get one?Annual subscription if you live in England that ofTourist Passes for Travelers.
National Trust houses
most beautiful gardens
Explore the grounds of this beautiful 17th-century Grade II listed manor house in Belton Parish, Lancashire.
Built between 1685 and 1688 by Sir John Brownlow, Belton House is the perfect place for a warm summer's day exploring the lively gardens and surrounding woodland.
Discover the fascinating history of this ancient building on a tour of the home before visiting the stunning lakefront home. Children will fall in love with the fabulous adventure park and the enigmatic maze. But will they get over it?
Access to this website is free for members of the National Trust Education Group. However, there is a small charge for facilitated sessions of between £1 and £3 per child.
Petworth House is in the parish of Petworth, West Sussex. This 17th Century Grade II listed building is home to some of the most impressive works of art that are proudly displayed in this magnificent country house.
The remarkable collection includes works by Flemish Baroque artists Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Reynolds and Turner and reflects a period of survival and success through the Napoleonic Wars and the Gunpowder Conspiracy.
Petworth Park is home to over 900 fallow deer who rest and graze in the vast 700 hectare park.
The free interactive Park Explorer can be used to discover details about the country and its future projects. Let the children take a trip along the Artist's Trail to draw with a sketchbook and crayons provided by Petworth House staff. There is a cafeteria on site; However, it is recommended to pack a picnic as lines can be long, especially in the summer months, and children can get impatient!
Western Green House
Be amazed by the stunning gardens spread over ten hectares of land. West Green House is an 18th-century country house in leafy Hampshire.
Over the last twenty years the garden has been redesigned by Australian garden designer Marylyn Abbott who has restored the gardens to a truly exceptional standard.
Take a stroll through the tranquil gardens to see some stunning features and vibrant flowers. Be sure to visit the Walled Gardens to see the interesting design and check out the Vegetable and Spice Garden to see how easy it can be to grow your own vegetables!
Unfortunately West Green House is not open to the public as both the house and garden are privately owned. You can use your National Trust membership for free entry, but guest passes are not valid.
Click hereto view a list of properties excluded from the Guest Pass promotion.
Castleton House and Garden
Owned by the National Trust since 1991, this Grade II listed Jacobean house is situated in the beautiful county of Oxfordshire. With its impressive topiary and picturesque gardens, Chastleton House can be used by young and old alike for a memorable day out.
Both the house and garden have been slowly restored over the past 30 years and it is true that this charming country house is a time capsule of living history. The National Trust team did a great job of preserving Chastleton in the condition in which it was found.
The areas of the house are over 400 years old and are considered uninhabitable. Therefore access is prohibited.
Although there are no on-site dining options, you are welcome to stop by the nearby Marienkirche for tea and cake.
Fenton House is a 17th-century manor house formerly known as Ostend House.
Not much is known about the owners who lived here. However, the earlier name suggests links to Flemish trade, and it probably belonged to a merchant from the town.
The house is in Hampstead, just a 5 minute walk from the tube station. Stroll down the narrow lane and discover this charming town house, decorated with antique artworks, myriad porcelain and china ornaments and (oddly) an assortment of carnations scattered throughout the gardens.
Visit the penthouse for stunning city views before exploring the apple orchard and lush manicured gardens. Soak up the sun or have a picnic in the vibrant sunken garden of this beautiful historic building.
Still inhabited by the owners.
Antony House is still largely occupied by the Carew-Pole family, who have kindly allowed visitors to tour areas of this historic mansion. Situated between the Cornish towns of Torpoint and (appropriately named) Antony, this Grade I listed building was built in the 18th century.
Film director Tim Burton shot parts of Alice in Wonderland at the Antony House after searching for a "perfect little mansion" with "intimate interiors" and "landscaped gardens". Luckily, Antony House ticked all the boxes!
The house itself is filled with a wonderful collection of family paintings as well as interesting modern pieces. Drinks are available in the luxurious tea room, where tables are set in arches so guests can see the house.
Explore the fabulous mix of formal gardens and wild woodland, which is particularly impressive in the warmer months when the wide variety of flowers are in full bloom.
Located in the village of Corfe on the Isle of Purbeck, this enchanting castle has reigned supreme for over 1,000 years.
Historically it was a Saxon stronghold, a Norman stronghold, a royal palace and a great family home. The war-torn ruins are a product of the English Civil War. The destruction of Corfe Castle is apparently bittersweet as it is one of the finest attractions on Devon's Jurassic Coast.
Children will love taking part in a variety of medieval games including hand tennis, low-impact archery and Nine Men's Morris, a traditional board game.
Visitors can explore the ocean views and incredible wildlife along the Purbeck shoreline.
Enjoy a cream tea on the terrace before visiting the charming model village to see what the castle would look like once completed. The Corfe Castle tour takes about an hour to see everything and is a great attraction for serious sightseeing.
Wide range of activities.
This 14th-century moated medieval castle is in Robertsbridge, West Sussex. The magnificent ruins are interesting to explore and medieval activities are on offer.
The castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dallingridge and his wife Elizabeth Wardedieu to defend the area during the Hundred Years' War.
While the interior of the castle is uninhabitable, the exterior has weathered the years well and is an amazing ancient monument. Join the fun summer holiday activities where kids and adults alike can take part in the games.
Why not try mini-tournaments or archery? Learn about this epic moment in history through engaging storytelling and armor displays. The new Castle Characters Trail is an exciting journey through history to learn more about the people who worked and lived at Bodiam Castle.
Admission is at 10:30 a.m. M. to 17:00 m. and there is a lovely tea room serving refreshments so you can pause and admire the beautiful surroundings.
Dunster Castle and Watermill
Throughout its history, Dunster Castle has belonged to only two families. Originally a fortress, the castle has now been converted into a family home and has been in the hands of the National Trust since 1976.
A fun fact about Dunster Castle is that the bill for repairing the gate was only £1 in the 1470s and it is still valid.
Explore the working factory and its traditional machines spread over three floors. More than 18 tons of wholemeal flour have been produced here since it opened in 2014 and can be bought at the watermill.
The Great Dunster Stables dates from the 17th century and is one of the earliest surviving stables owned by the Trust.
After exploring the castle and its fascinating history, you can relax in the manicured gardens with an impressive variety of tropical plants. Drinks are available at the lovely outdoor pop-up cafe, or you can head to nearby Dunster Village to take a look.
This impressive monument has an interesting history that begins with its construction in 1550.
Historically, the castle was built to house soldiers, who used the building to practice shooting and to keep an eye out for any trouble that loomed on the horizon.
It was only when it was bought in 1901 by Country Life magazine owner Edward Hudson, who enlisted the help of a young architect, Edwin Lutyens, that the castle became a holiday home.
Although many of the original features were lost during the renovation period, if you look closely you can still find traces of the original design. The dining room is probably the best preserved example, and there is also an original staircase leading to the upper battery.
To get to the castle you must cross a tidal passage, so checking when it is safe to cross is recommended. Luckily, time is on your side when you visit, as the views from the Holy Island are simply incomparable.
Castillo de Dunstanburgh
more accessible ruins
Perched on a secluded headland in Northumberland, Dunstanburgh Castle is a sight to behold, perched proudly on the seafront.
The history dates back to 1313 when Earl Thomas of Lancaster created it as a fortress which research has shown was built on a much larger scale than originally suggested.
It doesn't look like much from a distance until you reach it, which requires a one-mile trek from the nearby town of Craster. Don't be put off by the hike if you have young children as they will love exploring the rock pools as well as the different nooks and crannies along the trail.
Most of the ruins are accessible, with the gatehouse being the most intact, so there's plenty to explore.
Dunstanburgh Castle has been featured in many UK travel shows for its beautiful setting and fascinating history. The excellent views are a visitor favorite, and if you look closely you'll also find kittiwakes and fulmars nesting on the cliffs below.
Osterley House and Park
most luxurious house
This impressive Georgian estate dates back to the 1570's and is situated between the London Boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow.
Restored between 1761 and 1765, parts of the property are listed as Grade I and II with the park designated as Grade II.
The neoclassical interiors of Osterley House catch the eye as soon as you enter, including Roman statues, Greek pottery and ceramics that seemed to be all the rage during the Georgian period.
Lavishly decorated with period paintings, tapestries and countless delicate ornaments, the property is truly remarkable and has been beautifully maintained over the years. House tours are self-guided, but feel free to ask a member of staff for more information.
The formal gardens are a great spot for a picnic or bike ride, and children will be kept busy with the adventure trail and fun activities like table tennis. End the day with a visit to the cafe for a cup of coffee before heading to the gift shop to commemorate your day.
It goes without saying that with its countless relics, stunning architecture and fascinating history, Osterley Park and House is one of the National Trust's finest sites.
This cottage is a Grade I listed building between the quaint villages of Upper Basildon and Lower Basildon.
The Basildon Park estate was first purchased in 1771 by a man named Francis Sykes. Sykes destroyed the original house and hired an architect to build the magnificent mansion we see today.
During World War I, the property was used as a recreation facility for soldiers, where they could gather strength, learn new skills, and provide materials for the local community. It also came in handy in the middle of World War II when it was used for D-Day training and later as a POW camp for Italians and Germans.
The house was donated to the National Trust in 1978 and is a popular tourist spot for adults and children of all ages. Explore the history of Basildon Park by stepping inside to see old paintings and sumptuous pieces of furniture.
The impressive gardens with climbing roses and colorful flowers are the perfect spot for a picnic. Look out for the red beech in front of the house, planted in 1850 and harboring romantic memories.
If you enjoy strolling through the park, there are four different walking trails to choose from, which are beautiful at any time of the year.
This Baroque manor house is in the village of Dyrham, South Gloucestershire.
There is evidence from archaeological digs showing that Dyrham Park dates back to the Bronze Age, although the house we see today has undergone many renovations over the years.
The house was first opened to visitors in 1961 after being transferred to the National Trust. Since then the house has been well preserved and is a hidden gem amidst the hustle and bustle of life as we know it.
Enter this magnificent mansion to learn about Dyrham Park's founder, William Blathwayt. Peruse the collection of stunning artwork and furniture for a 17th-century feel.
Go for a walk in the woods or through the gardens (it doesn't matter if you're not very green!). Children will love the wooded play area with arcade tractors, and you can end the day with an ice cream in the hotel's cafeteria.
The best place for children
You won't have to wonder what to do in one of Britain's most historic estates. Tatton Park is located in the town of Knutsford, Cheshire.
With over 50 acres of gardens, an authentic 1930's farmhouse and fun outdoor activities, a visit to Tatton Park guarantees a memorable day out with the family.
Tatton House's history is still unfolding and is home to over 8,000 books, making it one of the largest library collections owned by the National Trust. Discover centuries of history through collections of pottery and ancient art with accounts of working life.
Discover the beauty of the walled garden, products of which can be purchased from the hotel's garden shop. The idyllic Japanese gardens are truly magical and you are sure to see many deer roaming the forest. Be careful not to scare them!
Kids will be exhausted by the end of the day after building a fort in the cave building zone and finding their way out of the corn maze. They will also love holding the newly hatched chicks and feeding the cuddly lambs at the farm.
Hi, I'm Kat, an Australian who moved to London in 2013 for anew adventure.What a roller coaster that was! I love helping othersMove to UKand peopleexplore the world! I would be very happy if you would say "thank you"! with a £3 coffee at Ko-fi.