Life-changing visits

The places we look after play an important part in many people's lives. Personal stories unfold at our places every day, and we love hearing them. We all have a place that means something special to us. Whether it's somewhere to relax or a place that inspires you. Here are a few of our favourite stories.

Butler's Walk in the garden at Dunster Castle, Somerset

Dunster Castle, Somerset 

‘Dunster Castle is a very special place for me. I fell in love with the gardens there and the man who tended to them so passionately. I have very special memories of courting at the castle. We’ve now moved to the Midlands, where I work at Charlecote Park. This is another of my special places as it is where that same gardener proposed to me. Our son loves to explore the deer park there. ’ - Ruthie W

A close up view of puffins sitting on the rocks of the Farne Islands

Farne Islands, Northumberland 

‘The Farnes are breathtaking. When we last visited I was in the middle of having chemo and it seemed like I was never away from hospital. The family were all so worried. Words can’t really describe what a difference that trip made to us all. The wildlife there is incredible. That day gave me the strength to keep going through the remainder of my treatment. It’s a magical place and will always hold terrific memories for me.’ - Amanda G

The view from the western edge of Dinas Island looking towards Mynydd Dinas, Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire, Wales 

'During the war I was evacuated to a farm in Pembrokeshire. Even with the Blitz going on, Wales seemed a peaceful haven. I remember spending time in the tide pools and watching the sea life. In those days there was barbed-wire on the beaches because of landmines. We had no electricity and petrol was rationed so we used to travel by bicycle, by foot or by horse and cart. Whenever we go back to old Blighty we always visit the place where I spent those gentle formative years.’ - Maureen B

A visitor in the gardens at Saltram, Devon

Saltram, Devon

'I had always wondered if I'd properly fall in love. Then with the arrival of spring I knew in my heart that I was in love for the first time in my life. It was in the garden at Saltram that I first met her. Every visit there makes me smile.’ - Martin S

Cows grazing in front of Sheringham Hall, Norfolk

Sheringham Park, Norfolk 

‘One morning I saw lots of people in running gear at Sheringham who were taking part in a weekly parkrun. When I got home I talked to my 15-year-old son David about it. He was recovering from a liver transplant and wanted to re-build his fitness: we talked each other into going. The first week was a struggle. We came last, but it was a big achievement, and each week after that got easier. David has recently finished a sprint triathlon and is now volunteering at Sheringham Park.' - Janet A

The Temple of Apollo reflected in the lake at Stourhead, Wiltshire

Stourhead, Wiltshire 

‘I love Pride and Prejudice, especially the scene in the film at Stourhead where Darcy proposes to Elizabeth in the rain. So, one rainy day my husband took me to that exact spot and asked me to marry him. Lizzie might have said no, but I said yes. It was one of the best moments of my life, and the beautiful setting added so much to the joy of it. Every time I see a photo of Stourhead, or revisit it, I am reminded of the day my life changed.’ - Stephanie S