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Places that could be abroad

A stone house sits above a turquoise estuary, surrounded by green tropical looking trees
The view of Salcombe Estuary from Overbeck's Garden, Devon | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Have you been craving somewhere a bit more exotic to walk and enjoy the great outdoors – maybe sandy beaches and turquoise waters, Mediterranean landscapes or alpine forests? If you think you have to travel abroad to enjoy these settings, think again. You can find places of international beauty right here on your doorstep, at places we care for across the nation. Here’s our pick of the best.

International influence at Biddulph, Staffordshire
A stroll around the garden at Biddulph takes you on a global journey: wander from the Italian countryside to the pyramids of Egypt, then look out from the Chinese watchtower or visit a recreation of a Himalayan glen. There are plenty of exotic plants to discover too, thanks to the work of Victorian plant collectors.Visit Biddulph
Mediterranean planting at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk
With climate change indicating a long-term rise in temperatures, the team at Felbrigg have chosen their planting scheme with warmer weather in mind. The Walled Garden is brimming with Mediterranean plants, including fragrant herbs like sage, lavender and mint. Have a meander on a warm day and you’ll be instantly transported to sunnier continental climes.Visit Felbrigg Hall
German-inspired woodland at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
Delve into the dark evergreen woodland on the Hughenden estate. Inspired by Benjamin and Mary Anne Disraeli's visits to the Northern Bohemian forests on Germany's border, this 1.5 mile walk winds through woodland, valleys and fields, transporting you to the German countryside.Visit Hughenden
Italianate garden at Ickworth, Suffolk
For a taste of Italy, head to the Italianate Garden at Ickworth with its corridors of manicured hedges and towering cypress trees. Inspired by the Hervey family’s travels in Europe, the garden is an ideal place for a picnic after walking up an appetite. You can also find a tranquil hideaway on your stroll around the South Pleasure Grounds.Visit Ickworth
The sun rising behind a windmill stood in a green meadow
Sunrise over the Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman
Explorer's paradise at Kingston Lacy, Dorset
Explore the seven-acre Japanese garden which was created in the early 1900s at Kingston Lacy. You'll see bamboo plants, granite lanterns and an authentic Japanese tea house. Trees from Japan have been planted around the garden, which adds to the feeling that you're exploring somewhere abroad.Visit Kingston Lacy
Vibrant colour at Mottistone Gardens, Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight's warm maritime climate and Mottistone’s sheltered valley setting allow exotic plants to flourish here. Discover magnificent red spider flowers, palms and banana plants. Huge fragrant ginger lilies mingle with the feathery leaves of African grasses and there’s even a small olive grove. In summer, parts of the garden come alive with vibrant red, orange, and blue floral displays.Visit Mottistone
Exotic blooms at Mount Stewart, County Down
Visit the Italian and Spanish gardens at Mount Stewart for a taste of Southern Europe. Lady Londonderry designed the gardens herself, inspired by her travels in Andalusia and the famous Renaissance gardens of Italy. Thanks to Mount Stewart’s mild microclimate, she was able to grow many exotic plants that impart their vivid colour and sweet perfume to this day.Visit Mount Stewart
The inside of a glass house filled with pots of blooming purple and red flowers
The glasshouse at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk | © National Trust Images/Justin Minns
Towering trees at The Pinetum, Cragside, Northumberland
Step into a shaded woodland at the Pinetum at Cragside. Its towering conifers and rugged landscape are reminiscent of the dramatic Rocky Mountains range in North America. You're sure to have a much more peaceful walk here though, without grizzly bears to worry about.Visit Cragside
Golden sands at Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry
The beach at Portstewart Strand is nationally famed for its scenic sand dunes and dramatic cliffs. Enjoying a leisurely afternoon stroll here next to its rippling waves will transport you to tropical island climes, even if you still have to keep your coat on.Visit Portstewart Strand
Italianate influences at Powis Castle and Garden, Wales
Powis Garden is world-famous, and still has many of its original features including seventheenth-century Italianate terraces lined with vibrant herbaceous borders. They're considered to be the most well-preserved terraces of this kind, and if you venture up on them you'll get sweeping views across the garden, deer park, Long Mountain and the Breidden Hills.Visit Powis
Dutch landscapes at Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire
With its flat, open landscapes, tranquil waterways and big skies, Wicken Fen could easily be confused for rural Holland. If you follow the boardwalk trail through the rushes you’ll even come across a historic windpump. Keep an eye out for the Konik ponies too: the same breed used for conservation grazing along the River Meuse near Maastricht.Visit Wicken Fen
A hiker wearing an insulated jacket and a backpack watches the sunset over snowy mountain peaks

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