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Places with great love stories

Princess Charlotte Augusta and Prince Leopold later King Leopold I holding hands, by J Hinton Fox
Princess Charlotte Augusta and Prince Leopold holding hands, by J Hinton Fox | © National Trust / Volunteer photographic team

Many of the places we care for are brimming with tales of love and heartbreak, from medieval legends to more recent decades. From macaroons sparking romance in Suffolk, to poetry etched into a window at Felbrigg Hall, learn about the houses, gardens and estates with great love stories.

Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey
Princess Charlotte was heir to the throne of England, but her tragic death meant that Victoria became queen instead. Claremont was given to Charlotte as a wedding present in 1816, and it’s where she spent some of her happiest days, walking hand in hand with her husband Prince Leopold.Visit Claremont Landscape Garden
Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
Disraeli’s wife, Mary Anne, trapped her finger in the carriage door when she accompanied the Victorian Prime Minister on his way to an important speech. To avoid worrying or distracting him from the job at hand, she kept quiet. Later, when Disraeli found out what she’d done, he had the carriage door removed and displayed on the wall as a sign of the strength of their love. The door remains there to this day in the servants' corridor at Hughenden.Visit Hughenden
Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson bought Sissinghurst in 1930 and dedicated the following years to making it their home. Their open marriage meant that both embarked on various same-sex relationships over the years (including in Vita's case, Virginia Woolf). Despite this, their letters to each other show the genuine and loving partnership that still existed between them.Visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire
There’s plenty of romance to be found at Waddesdon – a French Renaissance-style château set amid the scenic Buckinghamshire countryside. In 2016 hidden papers were discovered during the refurbishment of the Five Arrows Hotel on the estate. These turned out to be a collection of 100 letters, sent by a teenage First World War soldier to the landlord’s daughter. They had lain undisturbed for almost 100 years.Visit Waddesdon
View of the Library at Ickworth in Suffolk, showing the curve of the rotunda, scagliola columns. The room was created by the 1st Marquess of Bristol.
View of the library at Ickworth in Suffolk | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel
Stourhead, Wiltshire
Sir Henry Hoare was just 29 when he inherited Stourhead. He and his wife Alda devoted themselves to the care and repair of the house for just over 50 years. They died in their 80s, within six hours of one another. Sadly, their only child Harry was killed during the First World War.Visit Stourhead
Ickworth, Suffolk
The Hervey family of Ickworth had a strong romantic streak. Many of the books in the library contain inscriptions of Sir Thomas and Isabella Hervey’s devotion to each other. After she passed away, he continued to write many poems in her honour. Two hundred years later Frederick Hervey and Theodora Wythes defied their family’s wishes to be together. The story goes that they fell in love whilst sharing a plate of macaroons.Visit Ickworth
Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk
If you look closely at one of the windows in the butler's pantry at Felbrigg, you might be able to make out the love poem etched into one of the panes of glass. Dating back to around 1735, it was authored by Benjamin Stillingfleet, William Windham II's tutor. The poem was in praise of Anne Barnes, a local beauty he’d fallen in love with.Visit Felbrigg Hall
The Hardmans' House, Liverpool
Renowned portrait and landscape photographer, Edward Chambré Hardman lived and worked at 59 Rodney Street for 40 years. Although Edward was better-known, his wife Margaret was a gifted photographer in her own right. She was the brains behind the business, and Edward often said that he 'could not have done it without her'. They made the perfect match. She was sparky while he was quiet. Their shared passion for photography drove the business and gave them many happy years together.Visit the Hardmans’ House
View of pink tulips in the Victorian Parterre on a sunny spring day in the garden at Erddig in Wrexham, Wales
Spring planting at Erddig | © National Trust Images/John Millar
Hill Top, Lake District
Probably the most iconic of all places associated with Beatrix Potter, Hill Top was one of the first places she bought in the Lake District. It became her writing retreat and the purchase inspired her to acquire more local farms to protect them from development. This led her to the offices of local solicitor William Heelis. The initial meeting eventually led to their marriage in 1913, and they lived together at nearby Castle Cottage for 30 happy years.Visit Hill Top
Erddig, Wrexham
Thought to be one of Britain’s finest houses, this 18th-century country house is set in a romantic landscape park. The tale of ‘life below stairs’ is captured beautifully at Erddig, with the story of Lucy Hitchman and Ernest Jones, who worked there just before the First World War. They fell in love and took strolls around the park on their afternoons off.Visit Erddig
Small girl running between conical topiary hedges in the Cherry Garden at Ham House

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