Calm places to pause

If you’re out and about in the car and are in need of a break, why not drop in on one of our special places? Lots of our places are close to main routes, but a million miles away from the rush of motorways. So sit back, relax and watch the world go by in a peaceful setting.

Couple smelling the roses in the Rose Garden

Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

Off exit 14 M11 - approximately 10 miles / 11 minutes

Recharge your batteries in the beautiful 46-hectare garden, with its working water mill, wildlife discovery area and one of the finest collections of historic garden statues in the country.

A couple walking at Baddesley Clinton

Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire

Off M42 exit 5 - approximately 6 miles/7 minutes south; Off M40 exit 15 - approximately 10 miles/18 minutes north.

This picturesque medieval moated manor house is a great place to stop just outside Birmingham. Have tea in the Barn restaurant and then browse the second-hand bookshop – you never know what you might find.

Lady Churchill's Pink Rose Garden at Chartwell

Chartwell, Kent

Off exit 5 M25 - approximately 6 miles / 8 minutes

Escape the bedlam of the M25 with a trip to Chartwell. Bought by Sir Winston Churchill for its magnificent views over the Weald of Kent to Sussex, this was his home from 1924 until the end of his life.

A woodland path at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

Off exit 3 M40 - approximately 4 miles / 7 minutes

This spectacular estate overlooking the River Thames has a series of gardens, each with its own character, featuring topiary, statuary, water gardens, a formal parterre, Octagon temple, informal vistas, woodland and riverside walks.

Nelly's Moss South, Cragside

Cragside, Northumberland

Off A697 - approximately 0.2 miles / 4 minutes

There is much to see in the dramatic garden that surrounds Cragside. Discover one of the largest rock gardens in Europe, a vast woodland garden, as well as lakeside walks, an adventure play area and labyrinth.

 Visitors on the scenic drive down to the east front at Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire.

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

Off exit 18 M4 - approximately 3 miles / 4 minutes

The lavish collections inside this beautiful country house set in extensive parkland reflect the fashion in the 17th-century for all things Dutch. Situated between Bath and Bristol, you would never believe you were just off the M4.

Visitors looking towards the Column to Liberty at Gibside, Tyne & Wear

Gibside, Tyne & Wear

Off A1, approximately 4.5 miles / 9 minutes

This stunning 18th-century landscape park and nature reserve offers a taste of the country on the edge of the city. Discover fine Derwent Valley views, winding paths and refreshing open spaces to stretch tired legs.

The view of Hanbury Hall from across the parterre garden, Worcestershire

Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire

Off exit 5 M5 - approximately 4 miles / 5 minutes

A tranquil setting off the busy M5, this fascinating house has features including an orangery, ice-house, pavilions and even a working mushroom house. There is also a recreated 18th-century crown bowling green available to play on.

Hardwick Hall viewed from the herb garden

Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

Off exit 29 of M1, approximately 1 mile / 2 minutes

Between Nottingham and Sheffield, a powerful Elizabethan lady - Bess of Hardwick - still shows off her wealth at this spectacular hall with huge windows and towers. Explore the fragrant herb garden, orchards and parkland which provide food for the tables.

Ancient Oak tree at Killerton

Killerton, Devon

Off exit 28 of M5, approximately 7 miles / 15 minutes

Six miles from Exeter, this relaxed 18th-century estate makes an ideal place to stop off for a few hours. Rare trees, woodland walks and a summer house known as the 'Bear’s Hut' are just some of the highlights to be found outside.

Man relaxing on a bench overlooking Lanhydrock gardens

Lanhydrock, Cornwall

Off A38 - approximately 1 mile / 2 minutes

Going to or from Cornwall, this is a real treat. One of the most fascinating and complete late 19th-century houses in England, Lanhydrock is full of period atmosphere. There is also an adventure playground and animal sculptures to keep the kids entertained.

A path beside the river at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Mottisfont, Hampshire

Off exit 3 of M27, approximately 8.5 miles / 15 minutes

The perfect pit-stop when heading south to Dorset and the Jurassic Coast, Mottisfont sits just off the M27 and M3, near Southampton. Glorious grounds set alongside the fast-flowing River Test make a tranquil retreat from busy highways.

Mount Stewart House

Mount Stewart, County Down

Off A20, approximately 5 miles / 10 minutes

Find an engaging and relaxing spot for a walk through beautiful grounds at this Neo-classical house, just 15 miles south of Belfast. Take an engaging tour of the opulent house to reveal its fascinating heritage and historic, world-famous artefacts and artwork.

A couple walk in the grounds at Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

Sizergh, Cumbria

Off exit 36 of M6, approximately 5 miles / 8 minutes

At the gateway to the Lake District, Sizergh Castle sits in glorious gardens and a magnificent estate. The imposing house has many tales to tell, while the herbaceous borders in the garden are stunning and include our largest limestone rock garden.

Family enjoying the scenery at Stourhead

Stourhead, Wiltshire

Off A303 - approximately 3 miles / 4 minutes

An outstanding example of the English landscape style, this splendid garden with classical temples is set around a central lake. An ever-changing series of vistas will greet you as you move around the paths.

Visitors enjoying the lakeside walks in the parkland at Tredegar House

Tredegar House, Newport

Off exit 28 of M4, approximately 1 mile / 2 minutes

This fascinating house and garden sits just off the M4 as you enter Wales. The house is a treasure trove of colourful stories. Outdoors, 90 acres of parkland including the great lake and three walled gardens mean there is plenty of room to let off steam.

Tyntesfield meadows

Tyntesfield, North Somerset

Off exit 29 of M5, approximately 4 miles / 10 minutes

Restored to its Victorian glory after major renovations, Tyntesfield’s house, chapel, gardens and woodland make for an inspiring break filled with fresh air and discovery.