Let membership show you the world
You may think that National Trust places are quintessentially British, with stately homes, walled gardens, castles and sandy beaches – but you can also find influences from around the world. From Italian terraces to French chateaux and Chinese bridges to Dutch water gardens, National Trust membership could make you feel like you've travelled the world without getting on a plane.
1. Soak up Italian influences
Pretend you’re in Tuscany at Ickworth’s Italianate garden which brings a little of the Mediterranean to Suffolk with its towering cypress trees, or enjoy a stroll along the terrace at Plas Newydd in Wales. As a member you’re free to explore all these places, so wherever you Rome (sorry, roam), you’ll be feeling buonissimo!
2. Immerse yourself in Eastern delights
If you’re a fan of Chinese style, look out for the beautifully intricate Chinese wallpapers at Saltram in Devon, Erddig in Wales and Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk. And outside, Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire has a Willow Pattern design garden and Croome in Worcestershire boasts a Chinese bridge crossing an artificial river.
3. Live la vie Française
The terraces at Powis Castle in Wales have been blasted from solid rock, and were based on the ones at St Germain-en-Laye near Paris. If they’re not Francophile enough for you, then we challenge you to arrive at Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, and not feel like you’ve stepped across the channel.
4. Seek out Canadian visitors
At Sheffield Park and Garden in Sussex, Canadian troops arrived in large numbers during the Second World War, fascinating the locals with their sweets and tinned goods. A little further back in time, the Bear Hut at Killerton, Devon, housed a large black Canadian bear called Tom in the 1860s. Although Tom has long since moved on, it’s a great spot to discover a fascinating glimpse of times gone by. And when you visit many of our places, there’s free parking for members too.
5. Stroll through tropical gardens
Lush vegetation and vibrant greens conjure up a sense of the tropics. At Dyffryn in Wales you’ll find orchids, cacti and banana plants in the tropical glasshouse, and at Overbecks, Devon, the mild climate helps lilies and echiums grow like they’re halfway round the world. Support from members helps us to care for all of these incredible places and their plants.
6. Be enchanted by German forests
Explore the dark evergreen woods at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire which were inspired by Disraeli’s visits to the Northern Bohemian forests on the German/Czech border. If you can’t see the wood for the trees, then take your next visit inspiration from our newsletter, sent out to members monthly.
7. Go Dutch
Westbury Court Garden, Gloucestershire, is one of the only surviving Dutch water gardens in the UK, which was rescued and restored with help from our supporters. The house at Dyrham Park, also Gloucestershire, is built in the Dutch style, and although its water garden was lost, you can still catch glimpses of it in the gardens. Members can learn more about the places in our care at regular tours and talks, listed in the ‘Near You’ newsletters which are sent to members with National Trust magazines.
With so many adventures possible without even reaching for your passport, becoming a member will help you see the world, as well as look after special places.