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Free Entry Weekend To National Trust Properties

Published 14 March 2010

The National Trust was founded in 1895 with the aim of heritage conservation by three philantrophists. Realising the effects of uncontrolled development and industrialisation of the nineteenth century, they set up the Trust that not only protects special places in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but also educates people about the importance of heritage preservation and environment protection. Run as a charity and working independently from the government, in the last 115 years the Trust could stay alive only with the help and work of generous supporters and volunteers.

This year, as in the previous years as well, the Trust celebrates the start of spring by opening its doors for free on the weekend of 20-21 March. This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy these fresh early spring-days around the walls of historical buildings or in one of the UK’s most enthralling gardens, maybe on the coastline or somewhere in the countryside. Considering that 300 historical properties are under the care of The National Trust, it is worth to do a little research about the participating properties to make the best of the weekend. Quoting Fiona Reynolds, Director General of the National Trust “You are never more than 40 minutes away from a place looked after by the National Trust, wherever you are in the country”.

After registering and submitting your details on their site, do not forget to download the “Bonus Time” voucher you will need to visit any National Trusts properties during the 20-21 March weekend free of charge. All details can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bonus

Although the majority of properties under the guardianship of the National Trust are based in the countryside, if you live in London and do not want to travel out but still would like to see some of these special places, here are a few of the London places available:

1. Fenton House (Hampstead Grove, Hampstead, London NW3 6SP)
This charming 17th-century merchant’s house has remained architecturally little altered during more than 300 years of continuous occupation, while the large garden is also remarkably unchanged.

2. George Inn (The George Inn Yard, 77 Borough High Street, Southwark, London SE1 1NH)
Dating from the 17th century this public house, leased to a private company, is London’s last remaining galleried inn.

3. Sutton House (2 and 4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London E9 6J)
Built in 1535 by prominent courtier of Henry VIII, Sir Ralph Sadleir, Sutton House retains much of the atmosphere of a Tudor home despite some alterations by later occupants, including a succession of merchants, Huguenot silkweavers, and squatters. Discover oak-panelled rooms, original carved fireplaces and a charming courtyard.

4. Morden Hall Park (South-West London, between Wimbledon and Sutton)
Attractive parkland, meadows, wetlands and waterways to explore by foot or by bike, fragrant and colourful rose garden with over 2,000 roses to see in summer, historic estate buildings now used by local artisans.

5. Ham House and Garden (Ham Street, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey TW10 7RS)
A 400-year-old treasure trove waiting to be discovered and one of a series of grand houses and palaces alongside the River Thames.

And remember… don’t forget to print and bring your free entry voucher from the National Trust website. Have a great weekend!

Editor’s tip: If you are unable to see these National Trust properties in person, check out the Houses Of The National Trust book at your local bookstore for some stunning photos. Also check out the National Trust Desk Diary 2010, which has gorgeous images and a map of National Trust properties and houses across the country.

Article written by Adrienn Gecse.

  • Clara Lopes

    Congratulations Adrienne! keep up the good work! xx

  • Adrienn Gecse

    Many thanks, Clara!