Part two of the 2017 research
In the second part of the research we surveyed more than 2,000 people, asking about their connections to meaningful places.
For many, childhood memories are important.
For others, a link to loved ones forges a special attachment to a particular place.
More surprising was that for over 40 per cent of those we surveyed, their meaningful places were recent discoveries. Whether it’s with family, alone or just out walking the dog, it seems we visit these places to relax, enjoy nature or simply to get away from our everyday cares.
Whatever they might be, our participants agreed strongly on three feelings about favourite places:
- A feeling of belonging (86 per cent of respondents strongly agreed)
- Feeling physically and emotionally safe (60 per cent of respondents strongly agreed)
- Being driven there by a strong internal pull (79 per cent of respondents strongly agreed)
What else do places give us?
The participants in our survey also told us about the calm and joy they experience. Many people said that a visit to their meaningful place grounds them, helps them ease stress and gives them much needed ‘me time’.
These feelings can be hard to put into words, but all point to a sense of positive wellbeing.
Visiting special places moves people in many ways. Ann-Marie’s mother enjoyed the gardens at Claydon, in Buckinghamshire, while her father enjoyed the buildings and history. For Ann-Marie it was the lives of the people who had lived there; the social history.
‘I like the voices and the stories you hear,’ she says, and this keeps her going back for more.
For many, the strongest feelings they could describe were of calm, joy and contentment, energy and a sense of belonging.
Margaret visits Sutton House in London regularly to spend time with retired friends. She says: ‘You have to go there to know, and then you think – oh yes.'
For everyone, for ever
The National Trust was founded 120 years ago with the belief that access to special places was a human need.
Now, as we use science and technology to explore what these places mean to us, it’s clear that this belief is as true today as it was back then.
Places that ignite our curiosity matter, as do the places that make us feel safe and give us a sense of belonging. With your help, we’ll continue to protect them.