Whatever’s on your holiday wish-list for 2016 you might not know that the National Trust has a whole host of inspiring ideas. We decided to take a closer look.
From cottages crammed with character to bargain bothies and feel-good volunteering breaks, there really is something for everyone.
So whether you fancy lording it up in a stately manor with friends and family, or simply want to get back to basics and at one with nature, every break is enticing and every single one helps the National Trust continue to look after special places for ever, for everyone.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the getaways on offer in 2016…
National Trust holiday cottages
The National Trust has over 400 holiday cottages each with a story to tell. Highlights include Godolphin House – one for Poldark fans this six-bedroomed Cornish manor was owned by a tin mining family and is furnished with plundered goods. Literary lovers will enjoy Monk’s House Garden Studio, a tiny one roomed studio in the garden of Virginia Woolf’s country retreat. While fans of Capability Brown (the landscape architect who celebrates his 300th anniversary in 2016) shouldn’t miss the Triumphal Arch, a Henry Holland designed folly overlooking Berrington’s parkland.
Here are five of the newest additions:
1. Malt House sits above Cotehele Quay with amazing views over the River Tamar and is about 10 miles from Plymouth. The main garden for the cottage is at the top of one of the historic limekilns and provides an exclusive balcony looking out over the river. There is also a small tower, which offers a quiet spot to relax and take in the river views.
As a guest of Malt House, you can enjoy out-of-hours access to the estate and gardens at Cotehele, perfect for a large-scale game of hide and seek after the visitors have left. (Sleeps 6 / 2 dogs allowed / 3 nights from £612).
2. Greenlands is a newly renovated farmhouse on the edge of Poole Harbour, which was built in the 1940s for an Army Major. The cottage boasts views over the harbour across to Brownsea Island (a haven for wildlife, including the rare red squirrel) and inland over the Dorset Heathland.
It’s in the perfect spot for exploring and guests can access the water’s edge from the garden. Nearby you can visit Studland beach, a four mile stretch of golden sands, rolling dunes and walking trails, cycle to Corfe Castle or catch the ferry to Bournemouth. (Sleeps 5 / 2 dogs allowed / 2 nights from £371).
3. A cottage in Aylsham, Norfolk forms part of Itteringham Manor, a grand Georgian Manor House, built in 1707, which is shared with another holiday apartment Barn Owl Loft (which sleeps two).
The cottage is full of character and perfect for those looking for a simplistic getaway – to preserve the building, the cottage has undergone just basic modernisation. The cottage also benefits from a large walled garden to the front and back of the house. The local village pub and shop are within walking distance of the cottage. You’re halfway between the city of Norwich and the coast with its cliffs, sandy beaches and marshland bird reserves. (Sleeps 8 / 2 dogs allowed / 3 nights from £368).
4. Rockside Cottage, Alnwick, Northumberland was formerly a fisherman’s cottage, with views of the sea and the beautiful Embleton Bay.
You will find it nestled in Low Newton-by-the-Sea’s square, which is also home to the famous Ship Inn and micro-brewery (which is said to have been here since the 1700s). The cottage is just a two-minute walk to the sandy, sheltered beach with rock pools and rocky outcrops. (Sleeps 4 / 3 nights from £345).
5. Holeslack Farmhourse, Kendal, Cumbria is on the Sizergh estate and dates back 400 years. It is a lovely spacious farmhouse once possibly used as the dowager house for the estate. It has views over the estates farmland and in the evening deer walk through the surrounding woods and in to the garden.
There are several good pubs to eat at nearby including the estates own Strictland Arms. Kendal is just ten minutes away. (Sleeps 8 / 2 nights from £286).
Other ideas worth a look…
For the sun-lounger averse, or those who want fun and adventure National Trust working holidays offer something a bit different and an opportunity to get outdoors, develop new skills and play a part in looking after the nation’s special places. Popular holidays include volunteering on a fell farm during lambing season and ‘bike and build’ in Yorkshire.
Bunkhouses and Bothies
For a group getaway in a great location, why not take a look at the National Trust’s bunkhouses? There are over 30 to choose from in beautiful coast and countryside locations, sleeping between ten and 40 people in simple comfort, with no-frills kitchens, lounges and heating.
The National Trust also has bothies, which offer very basic accommodation – often in isolated spots; these are the perfect escape for those wanting to get away from the trappings of modern life. Pack as if you are camping but no need to bring the tent.
National Trust glamping
Or why not ditch the tent pegs and enjoy a snug night’s sleep under a starry canopy in comfort with the National Trust?
Camping pods, Mongolian yurts and pitches in spectacular locations are just some of the ways you can enjoy a unique and stress-free camping trip with friends and family.
For more information on all of the above you can telephone the National Trust on 01539 432733 or visit www.ntlakesholidays.org.uk.