New 2018 series of Secrets of the National Trust with Alan Titchmarsh

We’re back for a second series of Channel 5’s Secrets of the National Trust with Alan Titchmarsh, getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of our most intriguing historic homes and gardens.

Follow Alan as he embarks on the second half of his 12-part journey across the Trust and visits a different property each week to unlock its secrets. Along the way he’ll be joined by some familiar faces, who will uncover tales of high society, life below stairs and the trials, triumphs and scandals of our great estates.

To go behind the scenes with Alan, tune in to Channel 5 at 9pm every Wednesday from the 27 June.

Wednesday 27 June
Alan Titchmarsh outside Erddig with a horse and carriage in the background

Episode 7 - Erddig, Wrexham 

Many stately homes conjure up visions of separate ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ realms, but at Erddig the 18th-century Yorke family took a different approach. Alan learns how they encouraged a romance between nanny and groomsman, immortalised staff in photos and verse and treated them with a respect unheard of among other grand houses. Angellica Bell tries her hand at producing cider from Erddig’s historic orchards, while Miriam O’Reilly visits Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, where the family’s relationship with their servants was very different to that of the Yorkes'.

Wednesday 4 July
Alan Titchmarsh outside Shugborough

Episode 8 - Shugborough, Staffordshire 

Shugborough Hall was the work of two brothers: swashbuckling sailor George Anson who made his fortune on the high seas, and the artistic traveller, Thomas. Alan uncovers their stories and that of another Shugborough resident: jet-setting earl and photographer to the stars Patrick Lichfield. Meanwhile, Miriam O’Reilly seeks out a photographic pioneer at Lacock in Wiltshire, and actor Louis Emerick follows the ale-trail from Shugborough’s on-site brewery to the hop farm at Scotney Castle.

" The enormity and quality of these houses is astonishing. I think in that respect there is something other-worldly about these places."
- Alan on the series locations
Wednesday 11 July
Alan in the gardens at Mount Stewart

Episode 9 - Mount Stewart, County Down 

In this episode Alan learns about the life and legacy of Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry, who transformed both the gardens at her home Mount Stewart, and the political landscape for women in the early twentieth century. Oz Clarke goes behind the scenes of the famous Mediterranean-style garden Edith created, while Alison Hammond visits Cliveden House in Berkshire to find out more about former resident and first female MP to sit in the House of Commons, Nancy Astor.

Wednesday 18 July
Aerial view of Dunham Massey

Episode 10 - Dunham Massey, Cheshire 

Alan uncovers the scandal that rocked local Victorian society, when the seventh Earl of Stamford, George Harry Grey, rebelled against expectations and married a beautiful circus performer. The reaction forced them to flee and leave the estate to decline, until it found a new purpose as a military hospital during the First World War. Louis Emerick and Angellica Bell meet Dunham’s resident bees and historic deer herd while Nigel Havers travels to Smallhythe in Kent to learn about a revered Victorian performer: actress Dame Ellen Terry.

Wednesday 1 August
Exterior of Kingston Lacy and flowerbeds

Episode 11 - Kingston Lacy, Dorset 

In Dorset, Alan unearths the story of William John Bankes, an Egyptologist who filled his family mansion with treasures while exiled abroad, but never got to see the home he lovingly created. At Corfe Castle, Oz Clarke learns about William’s great, great, great grandmother Dame Mary Bankes, who resisted a three-year siege during the Civil War. Meanwhile, Joan Bakewell travels to Cambridge where the secrets of one of Kingston Lacy’s paintings are uncovered using new technology.

" I went up onto the roof at Kingston Lacy and looked out over the garden… It was so clean, and so pleasing."
- Alan at Kingston Lacy
Wednesday 8 August
Exterior of the gothic house at Tyntesfield

Episode 12 - Tyntesfield, North Somerset 

At Tyntesfield, Alan learns about the rise of William Gibbs, who became the richest non-aristocrat in 19th-century Britain through the trade of guano - otherwise known as bird droppings. Meanwhile, Chef Tony Singh and presenter Miriam O’Reilly explore beyond the Victorian Gothic house to discover the estate’s gardens, while Louis Emerick visits Mr Straw’s House in Nottinghamshire where, like Tyntesfield, it seems as though time has stood still for almost a century.

Relive the first half of series two