9 Reasons To Have A National Trust Holiday
The National Trust are well-known for their historic homes, gorgeous gardens, rugged castles, miles of coastline and wildlife conservation endeavours (and also their excellent tea rooms, if you, like us are partial to the odd slice of cake and a cup of tea). But did you know you can also choose to stay in some of their incredible locations and unique spaces if you’re planning a large group holiday?
From medieval mansions and glamorous Art-Deco houses ideal for celebrating special occasions, to pared-back bunkhouses, perfect for cyclists, walkers and activity-seekers, here are some of our favourite places for group stays.
Be lord (or lady) of the manor
Ancient Horton Court in the Cotswolds is a truly stunning location for a special break with friends or family. The result of a £2m restoration project, and once a filming location for Wolf Hall, this wonderful house is available for large groups of up to 10 people. You’ll adore the sense of history that surrounds you as you pretend to be the lords and ladies of the manor, from the gorgeous kitchen to the sumptuous bedrooms.
Go on walks from the door
You’ll find Dalehead Bunkhouse in an incredibly special location in the heart of the Peak District, miles away from any public roads and surrounded by working farmland. You’ll be raring to get out as soon as you open the curtains each morning to explore the stunning walks from the door. When you return after your adventures, you’ll find simple accommodation across 3 bedrooms that sleep 20 in a mix of bunk beds and single beds. There’s a cosy woodburner in the sitting room, and a dining table big enough for everyone to eat together.
Watch the boats go by
Head to the Isle of Wight with your group and you’ll discover the wonderful Rosetta Cottage on the seafront at Cowes. An ideal spot for watching the ships go by, you’ll find yourselves just across the road from the beach and with the vibrant town of Cowes on your doorstep for maximum seaside fun. Sleeping 10 in 5 bedrooms, this is a great house if you’re taking extended family as there are ground floor facilities too. If you want to increase the size of your party you can also hire East Rosetta Cottage next door.
Explore a grand estate
Head north to the Gibside Stables Bunkhouse on the Gibside Estate. With 600 acres on your doorstep and miles of footpaths to explore, this stunnng location will become your playground when all the day visitors have left. A converted former stable block on the estate is now a cosy bunkhouse, sleeping up to 37 in two large dorm rooms, with two smaller rooms each with a bunkbed. Two dogs are welcome to join in with your countryside adventures as well, and when you come back to the bunkhouse each night you’ll be met with gorgeous wooden beams and floors, and a stylish modern kitchen perfect for rustling up a feast.
Travel back in time
Portland House definitely has the wow factor, and if you’re celebrating a special occasion this Art-Deco mansion should tick all your boxes. Sleeping 12 in 7 bedrooms and packed with original features with a luxurious feel throughout, this truly charming house feels like it would be more at home in the Hollywood Hills than overlooking the harbour at Portland in Dorset. Inside, the glorious interiors are practically begging for a Great Gatsby-style cocktail soiree and lots of the elegant rooms open out directly onto two terraces that have gorgeous sea views, so you can sip your drinks whilst watching the sun set.
Go red-squirrel spotting
The shy, elusive and rather beautiful red squirrels will be your neighbours when you stay at South Shore Lodge Bunkhouse on Brownsea Island, one of the few places in the UK to still have a thriving red squirrel population. And it’s not just the red squirrels having all the fun - your group will love their island adventure too, with the glorious sandy beach just a few steps from the garden. Sleeping up to 24 in 5 bedrooms, the bunkbed-style accommodation has everything you need for a back-to-basics break where you’ll be spending more time adventuring than sleeping.
Step into an Austen novel
When you and your group choose The Old Rectory for your break, then you’ll find you’re staying in a Regency house that wouldn’t be out of place in an 18th-century tale. The 6 bedrooms, sleeping 11 are all furnished in classical style and history lovers will appreciate all the little details from the wood panelling to the period fireplaces. Set just 15 minutes away from the town of Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast, you’ll also find miles of walks through the wolds on your doorstep, perfect for pretending you’re a dashing Mr Darcy or a brooding Heathcliff.
Escape to the seaside
The gorgeous west Wales coast is on your doorstep when your group stay at Gupton Farm Surf Lodge in Pembrokeshire. Perfect for surf fans and outdoor explorers, this comfortable converted cottage is minutes away from one of the best beaches in the country. Even better news is that if the lodge (which sleeps 10 in 5 bedrooms and welcomes two dogs as well) isn’t quite big enough for all your friends, then they can join you in their campervans or tents at the campsite next door before you all hit the beach together.
Get active on the water
Stay at Brancaster Activity Centre on the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and you’ll find you’re in an ideal base for an active group holiday on (or around) the water. A restored flint building with bright and modern interiors on the Norfolk Coast Path will be your home, where 9 dorm-style rooms sleep up to 48, or 22 if you wanted half of the property for a smaller group. With gorgeous views of the marshes and the sea, birdwatchers in particularly will love the skies which are full of our migrating feathered friends, as well as native species.