Walks through history

The places we look after are steeped in history and each one has its own story to tell. And nothing brings these tales to life like a good walk. With this selection of walks taken from our Great British Walks book you can follow the footsteps of historical figures including a Victorian prime minister, an infamous Tudor queen and a leading light in the birth of green energy.

Two walkers in Dewerstone Wood, in the Upper Plym Valley near Shaugh Prior, Dartmoor National Park, Devon
Walking trail

Follow in Architect Edwin Lutyens Footsteps 

Designed by the great Edwardian architect Edwin Lutyens, Castle Drogo is renowned as ‘the last castle to be built in England’ and was finished in 1930. Set out from the castle on a 3.5 mile (5.6km) Teign Valley walk across Dartmoor taking in Fingle Bridge and the river Teign.

The garden at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Walk in the path of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli Hughenden

Hughenden, a beautiful manor house surrounded by the Chiltern countryside, was home to the Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin from 1848 until his death in 1881. He regularly walked in the woods of the estate and you can re-enact such strolls on our 2 mile (3.2km) Woodcock Wood walk.

The West front of Petworth House and the ha-ha in the grounds in November, West Sussex
Walking trail

Walk the route that inspired JMW Turner 

Petworth House and Park was the home of one of the artist JMW Turner’s greatest patrons – George Wyndham, third Earl of Egremont. Turner was inspired by Petworth’s Upper Pond and often fished at the Lower Pond, both of which feature on a 2.5 mile (4km) walk around Petworth Park as seen through Turner's eyes.

Family visitors walking around the lake at Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Walking trail

Walk in the footsteps of Anne Boleyn 

The quintessentially Norfolk landscape of the Blicking Estate has changed little over the centuries. Once home to the Boleyn family, a 4.5 mile (7.2km) estate walk offers an insight into the childhood of Anne Boleyn, one of England’s most notorious queens.

Willy Lott's House at Flatford and the River Stour, Suffolk
Walking trail

Explore the inspiration for Constable's most famous painting 

The Stour Valley and Dedham Vale were made famous by the paintings of Constable, one of Britain’s foremost landscape artists. A 4 mile (6.4km) Constable Country walk will introduce you to the little riverside hamlet of Flatford, the setting for some of Constable’s most famous paintings.

The south front of the house seen across the lake at Croome Park, Worcestershire
Walking trail

Follow in the footsteps of landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown 

Croome Park was the first parkland designed by the ground-breaking 18th century landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. A 3.5 mile (5.6 km) park walk follows the meanders of Brown’s artificial river towards the centrepiece of his design – Croome Court.

The west front of Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
Walking trail

Walk the same walk as Bess of Hardwick 

Elizabeth Shrewsbury ‘Bess of Hardwick’, rose to be the second richest woman in the country – second only to Queen Elizabeth I – and Hardwick Hall is a statement of Tudor splendour. Marvel at the grand house on a 3.5 mile (5.6km) estate walk following in Bess's footsteps.

The Memorial Stone in Brandelhow Park, commemorating the first National Trust acquisition in the Lake District
Walking trail

Follow in the footsteps of one of our founders, Octavia Hill 

Octavia Hill, campaigned passionately for the protection of Brandelhow on the banks of Derwentwater and it became the first piece of the Lake District to be safeguarded by us from development. A 3.6 mile (5.7km) Brandelhow Park walk takes in lakeside and woodland trails.

Visitors on a stone bridge at Ty Mawr Wybrnant, Conwy, Wales
Walking trail

Follow the trail of Bishop William Morgan 

The Tudor Bishop William Morgan was the first person to translate the Bible into Welsh. Visit the ruins of his birthplace, Ty Mawr Wybrnant farmhouse, on a 3 mile (4.8km) uplands walk through the Snowdonia National Park featuring an old drovers’ road.