The National Trust is a UK-based charity founded with the main aim of protecting and preserving historic places and nature reserves in the country. They work hard to preserve the British heritage and bring places of interest closer to the public.
The protected places make for an excellent one-day trip where you can travel back in time or get a breath of fresh air in spectacular gardens and forests.
Here is our choice of amazing yet quirky places under National Trust protection to visit this spring. Given the variety of what’s on offer, we must say it was a really tough decision. Of course, other historic houses, forests, the coastline, moors, villages and pubs still rank high on our must-visit list.
Everything antique will inevitably bear a rich patina of mystery, antiquity and subtle secrecy. Such places are so tempting to explore, aren’t they?
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
In the early 12th century, 13 devout monks founded Fountains Abbey on their quest for a simpler way of living. Several hundred years later Henry VIII imposed the closure of the monasteries, which drew the monks out of the beautiful abbey. What they left behind has turned into much visited ruins that attract visitors eager to glimpse into what life was like during medieval times.
One of the most impressive Georgian water gardens in England perfectly complements the abbey, along with a deer park, herb garden and an ancient abbey mill.
If you are lucky enough, you may hear a eerie chant from the monks of the Chapel of Nine Altars, or catch sight of a blue figure said to be haunting the hall.
Powis Castle, Powys
Perched high on a rock, Powis Castle dominates the spectacular view rising above beautiful terrace gardens shelving down the hill.
A once-upon-a-time medieval fortress saw generations of a well-off family slowly transform it into a lavishly decorated castle in Baroque style. Each of them added something to its richly designed interior. You are welcome to pay a visit to the rooms in the castle where you will most certainly be impressed by the remarkable collection of the finest paintings, art sculptures and statement furniture pieces.
You may encounter a “former” man dressed in a gold-laced suit with a hat, or hear music coming from an empty piano stool. If you are lucky (not).
Unlike the previous estates we have presented, this 15th century manor house is not known to have been haunted by otherworldly creatures. Throughout the past centuries, the stylish house has retained its historic charm, mostly thanks to the wonderful architecture and a moat that encompasses the castle and sets its tone.
The castle is distinguished by beautiful late medieval brickwork and the chambers used by Kings and Queens during their visit. Rare pieces of needlework art created by Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick are part of the castle’s artistic collection.
Curiously enough, the castle hides a disguised chamber called priest’s hole, used by Catholic priests during raids in the past. This small room can be reached via a trapdoor, which blends with the tiles on the floor when closed. Oxburg Hall is notable for keeping this attraction open to its visitors.