16 grand properties to visit this summer

Entertain your family this summer with a trip to one of these local National Trust properties


Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire
Train enthusiasts can try out the new land train at Stowe Landscape Gardens that runs between the visitors centre and the gardens. Stowe was created by one of the country’s most powerful families, even richer than the King. On a sunny day children can play hide and seek in the temples with hidden mystical meanings.
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Chartwell, Kent
The family home of Winston Churchill is a blast from the past as the property is keep similar to how it was when Churchill lived there. There are many things for children in search of an adventure. If they are feeling brave they can roam the woods and make a den or explore the grounds and see how many minibeasts can be spotted on the special trail.
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Arlington Court, Devon
Hoarders will love to visit Arlington Court. Rosalie Chichester collected various trinkets such as model ships, shells, silver spoons, snuff boxes and paperweights. Animal lovers will enjoy a visit to see the horses and witness a harnessing demonstration.
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Brownsea Island, Dorset
Brownsea is the founding place of the scouting guiding movement. If your little ones is a beaver or a rainbow, they will love to learn this history of their organisation. The towering trees and shell shores are like scenes straight from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five novels. Children will be transfixed with the tales of smugglers and the trail to find the treasure chest.
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Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
Over 70 years ago a ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon warrior kings was uncovered at Sutton Hoo by archaeologists. To elp get into the spirit children have the chance to dress up in Anglo-Saxon finery and be transported back in time. A full size reconstruction of King Raedwald’s burial chamber can be explored complete with sounds and smells from yesteryear.
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Blickling Hall Garden and Park, Norfolk
Blickling Hall, thought to be the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, is perfect to explore on a sunny day. The orchard is the ideal backdrop for a picnic while spotting the local wildlife such as woodpeckers, herons and owls. If you are feeling adventurous bikes are for hire to discover the grounds. Maybe you will spot the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn riding up to the house in a coach pulled by headless horses.
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Attingham Park
The elegant 18th century Attingham Park mansion has a whole room dedicated to entertaining families. Children can dress up and make tea for Lady Berwick while writing the housekeepers shopping list. After this, relaxation is in order where they can play games from the past. Make sure you take part in the mouse trail, only available throughout the summer holidays.
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Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Largely unchanged from the 1880’s Calke Abbey was the home of the Harpur Crewe family set on a National Nature Reserve. The brave can head underground and explore the twists and turns of the Brewhouse Tunnel. For the less daring, why not have a hunt for ‘the old man of Calke’ tress that is said to be over a thousand years old.
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Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire
The dramatic abbey ruins at this World Heritage Site serves as the perfect backdrop for children to dress up as monks and discover the trough where they washed their feet. They only took their four baths a year! Try to make sense of the centuries old graffiti at Fountains mill and discover the history of the Abbey.
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Cragside, Northumberland
Cragside is the home of Lord Armstrong, a Victorian inventor who crammed it full of gadgets. It was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. Try your luck at Nelly’s Labyrinth, will you managed to find your way out? Make sure that you take advantage of the gardens; it is home to one of the largest rock gardens inEurope
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Quarry Bank Hill and Styal Estate, Cheshire
Times were hard at this 18th century cotton mill. Watch demonstrations of spinning and weaving as you soak in the atmosphere of the industrial revolution. Make sure you watch the most powerful water wheel inEuropehard at work as it churns through the water to power the mill. Children will be intrigued by the guided tour and experience how young people their own age coped with life in a working mill.
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Lyme Park, Cheshire
The former Tudor house is surrounded by 570 hectares of medievaldeer parkwith an orangery and ravine garden, making it perfect place for a family picnic. Burn off energy afterwards in the Crow Wood playscape or take the family quiz if you fancy a sit down.
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Erdigg, Wrexham
The Yorke family, who lived at Erdigg, were a rather eccentric bunch who first finished the house in 11697. They chose not to install electricity, gas or mains water until well into the 20thcentury. The family were very fond of their servants, try and spot the gamekeeper, housemaid and blacksmith among the portraits on the wall with a verse penned by the family.
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Powis Castle and Garden, Powys
The medieval castle was originally built as a fortress for the Welsh Prince of Powys. Today the 26 acre gardens are brilliant for young explorers. Make sure you head to the igloo shaped ice house to see how ice was stored before fridges were invented. Why don’t you also have a wander around and see if you can find the giant stone foot sculpture in the wilderness garden.
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Carrick-a Rede, Co Antrim
Face your fears and take the exhilarating rope bridge to Carrick-a Rede Ireland and take in the views of theScottishIslandsand Rathlin. The 30 metre deep and 20 metre wide chasm is brilliant for bird watching and why not have a competition to see who can spot ten different types of birds on the horizon.
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Florence Court, Co Fermanagh
Throughout the summer Florence Court is holding special theme weekend activities for families. Children can take a tour of the house and hear the story of a time when boys started to wear trousers instead trousers
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