If one can’t be home for Christmas, the next best place is an historic property let through the National Trust. At the National Trust Holiday Cottages website, you’ll find a unique collection of over 370 properties in outstanding locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, available for short breaks, weekends away and holiday lets. Here are just a few:
On the sandy coast between Barmouth and Harlech in Wales, Egryn is a stunning Grade II listed medieval hall house dating from 1510, with 17th century alterations and a mid 19th-century front which looks across farmland to Cardigan Bay. At the heart of the house is the medieval hall with exposed, partially-aisled roof structure and a grand 17th-century fireplace. It has been faithfully restored by the National Trust using traditional building techniques: admire the skill and beauty of this work, providing a rare opportunity to stay in a Welsh hall house of this calibre. It is furnished in keeping with each period of its development. Commissioned by the National Trust, a replica of the original Egryn table dating from the early 1700’s has been made from local wind blown oak and the Trust’s Ganllywd Estate, and now has pride of place in the grand medieval dining room. Egryn is a working farm, through which there is a public footpath which leads past a profusion of Scheduled Ancient Monuments and stretches from the seashore to the uplands of the Rhinogydd Range. It has a wealth of archaeological and historic interest. There is a large private garden with nature trees, shrubbery and patio area. With its grand medieval hall sitting and dining rooms, Victorian parlour, skilled craftsmanship, beautiful furnishings and large private garden, Egryn is the perfect choice for that special occasion, family holidays and get togethers.
An exceptionally pretty cottage lying in the idyllic surroundings of the walled garden on the Florence Court estate, just eight miles from the town of Enniskillen. Rose Cottage is furnished to a high standard with views over the peaceful garden.
Godolphin House – Cornwall -This hugely atmospheric house sits in beautiful gardens and in great walking country. It is also only a short drive to lovely sandy beaches on both the north and south Cornish coasts, so makes a fabulous base for a great seaside holiday with a wonderful house to retreat to, away from the hustle and bustle of the resorts on busy days. The main entrance is via an imposing pillared portico running along the front of the house. There is a rear private garden area specifically for holiday cottage guests, but the main gardens are also available for use when not open to the public.
Housesteads – Northumberland – This Victorian farmhouse, built in the 19th century, was home to the Thompson’s who farmed the area and also played a role as custodians of the Wall. The sitting room in the cottage was used by John Clayton when he was working on the excavation of Housesteads Fort. Clayton was the Town Clerk in Newcastle and was involved in the development of the city in the 1800’s. He is renowned for his interest in preserving Hadrian’s Wall and is credited with being the first person in the world to use his own wealth to buy sites of archaelogical interest. He bought land along the wall to stop the quarrying and removal of stones being taken to be used elsewhere. John Clayton was involved in excavations through out most of his life and was said to be still excavating up to the age of 94. The cottage is located just 100yrds from the ruins of Housesteads Fort and has outstanding views towards the North Pennines and Hadrian’s Wall.
Ho, ho, ho, indeed.