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NT- Croome, Worcester

Expect the unexpected. Incredible innovation, devastating loss, remarkable survival and magnificent restoration. All in one place

There’s more than meets the eye at Croome. A secret wartime airbase, now a visitor centre, was once a hub of activity for thousands of people. Outside is the grandest of English landscapes, ‘Capability’ Brown’s masterful first commission, with commanding views over the Malverns. The parkland was nearly lost, but is now great for walks and adventures with a surprise around every corner. At the heart of the park lies Croome Court, once home to the Earls of Coventry with four floors to explore. The 6th Earl of Coventry was an 18th century trend-setter and today Croome follows his lead by using artists and craftspeople in the house to tell the story of its eclectic past in inventive ways, perfect for making new discoveries.

NT – Lundy Island

Unspoilt island, home to a fascinating array of wildlife amidst dramatic scenery

Undisturbed by cars, the island encompasses a small village with an inn, Victorian church and the 13th-century Marisco Castle.

There’s also a disused lighthouse to discover. Called the Old Light, it offers superb views over the northern part of the island.

For nature-lovers there are the variety of seabirds, wildlife, flora and fauna. Designated the first Marine Conservation Area, Lundy offers opportunities for diving and seal watching.

Please note this is a long day as we have to get up to Bideford Quay and then take the ferry across to Lundy.  Also the terrain on the island can be uneven so not suitable for those unsteady on their feet.

NT – Antony House, Torpoint

A home with a heartbeat, still lived in today by the Carew Pole family.

Discover the story of a family who became caught up in the extraordinary events of the English Civil War. Their history is bound up in this beautiful house, which is still the home of the Carew Pole family today.

A house of silver grey stone, Antony is a beguiling mixture of the formal and informal. It’s believed to be one of the finest surviving Queen Anne buildings in the West Country.

View the outstanding collection of portraits, including works by Sir Joshua Reynolds and a famous painting of Charles I during his trial. There are also fine examples of period furniture, textiles and tapestries.

Breathe in the sweeping views as you explore the landscape garden, which includes a formal garden with topiary, modern sculptures and the National Collection of Daylilies.

The Woodland Garden, owned and run by the Carew Pole Garden Trust, also has outstanding rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias.

The magic of Antony was captured by director Tim Burton, as a film location for his blockbuster, Alice in Wonderland.

NT – Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum & Village, Chippenham

Country house with monastic roots, once home to William Henry Fox Talbot
The Abbey, located at the heart of the village within its own woodland grounds, is a quirky country house of various architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery. Visitors can experience the atmosphere of the medieval rooms and cloister court, giving a sense of the Abbey’s monastic past.

The museum celebrates the achievements of former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography.

NT – Greenway, Kingswear

At the beloved holiday home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie and her family you can take a glimpse into their lives.

This relaxed and atmospheric house is set in the 1950s, when Agatha and her family would spend summers and Christmases here with friends, relaxing by the river, playing croquet and clock golf, and reading her latest mystery to their guests. The family were great collectors, and the house is filled with archaeology, Tunbridgeware, silver, botanical china and books.

In the garden a large and romantic woodland drifts down the hillside towards the sparkling Dart estuary. The walled gardens are home to a restored peach house and vinery, as well as an allotment cared for by local school children. A visit to Greenway isn’t complete without seeing the Boathouse, scene of the crime in ‘Dead Man’s Folly’, and the battery complete with cannon. Greenway has been accredited by the International Camellia Society as a ‘Garden of Excellence.’ It is the first National Trust garden with this accreditation, and one of just seven gardens in the UK to be recognised as a ‘Garden of Excellence’ by the International Camellia Society.

NT – Snowshill Manor & Garden, Gloucestershire

National Trust property Snowshill Manor is a Cotswold manor house packed with extraordinary treasures collected over a life time by Charles Wade.
Inside these rooms you can discover this eclectic collection that he restored and displayed. They have maintained the atmospheric settings he created with low lighting and few labels. From tiny toys to Samurai armour, musical instruments to fine clocks, thousands of objects are laid out for visitors to see just as Mr Wade intended.

The garden is the perfect place to unwind and explore hidden vistas, quiet corners and unexpected delights including Charles Wade’s uncomplicated home, the Priest’s House.

“Let nothing perish” was his motto, and his life was dedicated to doing just that. From the everyday to the extraordinary, you can discover his passion for craftsmanship, colour and design.

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