We love the Landmark Trust. The charity offers affordable stays in historic buildings in some of the most picturesque corners of the country. What’s not to like? Its properties add a special ingredient to any UK holiday – making them ideal for a spring break to banish memories of our bleak lockdown winter.
Self-catering holidays will be possible from April 12, and, while many of its most popular options book up months in advance, there is still some availability during those first few weeks of freedom.
1. Nicolle Tower, St Clement, Jersey
Available April 12-16 (£409); 19-23 (£429). Sleeps two.
Nicolle Tower was built as a folly in 1821 with a pretty sitting room on the first floor. The third floor was added in 1943 during the German occupation of Jersey and served as an observation point due to the impressive views.
2. The Georgian House, Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
Available April 16-19 (£1,846); 19-23 (£1,861); 23-30 (£1,661). Sleeps eight.
The Georgian House is an imposing and elegant 18th-century building on the alley leading to Henry VIII’s Real Tennis Court at Hampton Court Palace.
It is sufficiently impressive to be mistaken for a garrison commander’s house, but was in fact built as a kitchen in 1719 for George, Prince of Wales.
3. The Grange, Ramsgate
Available April 16-19 (£1,445); 19-23 (£1,338). Sleeps eight.
Augustus Pugin is regarded as one of Britain’s most influential architects and designers. The Grange was his family home.
In his library, Pugin produced much of his finest work, including designs for the House of Lords and the Medieval Court at the Great Exhibition, but he reserved some of his finest flourishes for his own home. The house has a private chapel and a tower, from whose roof Pugin trained his telescope on ships in distress.
4. Howthwaite, Grasmere
Available April 16-19 (£1,460); 19-23 (£1,372). Sleeps eight.
The Lake District has inspired generations of artists and poets and a stay at Howthwaite is sure to stir the senses.
This solid, unaltered house shares the same views across Grasmere as Dove Cottage, William Wordsworth’s home in the Lakes where he was inspired to write some of his finest poetry.
5. Woodsford Castle, Dorset
Available April 16-19 (£1,516). Sleeps eight.
This is the surviving part of a 14th-century castle, a rambling wing of great interest and charm, deep in Hardy country just outside Dorchester.
Its roof has one of the largest expanses of thatch in the county. Just one side of the quadrangular castle, built in 1370 and probably added to an existing group of buildings, remains today.
6. Woodspring Priory, Weston-super-Mare
Available May 4-7 (£793). Sleeps eight.
Woodspring Priory, an Augustinian house of the rare Victorine rule, has a serene atmosphere, surrounded by a working farm, and lying by the sea.
The priory was a small one but, as elsewhere in Somerset, flourished in the 15th century when the tower and nave of the church, the infirmary, and a great barn were built in beautiful golden stone.
7. Alton Station, Alton, Staffordshire
Available April 18-23 (£870). Sleeps eight.
Alton Station is nestled in the Churnet Valley on the outskirts of the village of Alton. You cook in the small private waiting room, the main waiting room being reserved for a suitably long table to while away your time in front of a fire. A double bedroom has been made in the ticket office, while the rest of you will sleep in the Stationmaster’s house.
8. Marshall Wade’s House, Bath
Available April 23-26 (£851); 26-30 (£791). Sleeps four.
This building is fantastic example of 18th-century urban architecture in the Palladian style. It is situated opposite the Abbey, offering a unique view of the attraction.
It was built for George Wade, a keen architecture enthusiast, but better known for his military career.
9. Plas Uchaf, Corwen, Denbighshire
Available April 23-26 (£679); April 30-May 4 (£905). Sleeps four.
Plas Uchaf is a substantial hall-house, built in about 1400, and situated on the side of a low hill in the Dee valley, an area filled with fine scenery, wildlife and history.
Few houses of this age survive in Wales and the quality of work at Plas Uchaf is exceptional.
10. Bath Tower, Caernarfon, Gwynedd
Available April 23-26 (£721). Sleeps five.
This is one of eight towers built in the late 13th century by Edward I in Caernarfon’s fortified walls to protect the town and secure its strategic position at the mouth of the Menai Strait.
More recently, the tower was part of a Public Bath House, built in 1823 to attract tourists to the town. Its offers views of the town wall in one direction, and across the Strait in the other.
11. Gurney Manor, Cannington, Somerset
Available April 26-30 (£1,027). Sleeps nine.
Gurney Manor is mainly late medieval and built, unusually, round a courtyard.
Apart from the hall roof, which was renewed in about 1900 and Tudor windows and fireplaces in the adjoining solar block, the best medieval work survives unaltered, including a tiny oratory and a pentice, or covered passage, across the yard.
12. The Steward’s House, Oxford
Available April 16-19 (£606); 23-26 (£606); April 30-May 4 (£808). Sleeps two.
The Steward’s House provides a unique opportunity to stay within the precincts of the Oxford Union, the University’s debating society and one of its most iconic institutions.
It is a thoroughly Edwardian affair, and the generously proportioned rooms will give you a true impression of the Oxford of that day.
13. The Egyptian House, Penzance, Cornwall
Available April 30-May 4 (£516). Sleeps four.
One of three apartments set behind the most extraordinary façade. The Egyptian House is in the centre of Penzance, offering a perfect base from which to explore West Cornwall.
This unusual house is a rare and noble survivor of a style that was in fashion after Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt in 1798.
14. Beckford’s Tower, Bath
Available April 30-May 4 (£1,107). Sleeps four.
Beckford’s Tower was designed by eccentric connoisseur and collector William Beckford as his museum and treasure house.
Perched above Bath, there are fine views of the city from the gilded belvedere tower.
15. Culloden Tower, Richmond, North Yorkshire
Available April 30-May 4 (£1,353). Sleeps four.
Originally called the Cumberland Temple, Culloden Tower (pictured top) was built by John Yorke in 1746 as a monument to celebrate the victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie. On the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it is built over four floors and 66 steps take you to a wonderfully grand bedroom.