Sunday, 12 September 2010

Want to Live in a Castle?
From time to time I have mentioned The Landmark Trust and assumed that everyone knows about it. As this weekend is the Heritage Open Doors Weekend everywhere except London (theirs is next week) perhaps it is an appropriate time to impart a little more.
If you are old enough to remember SS Great Britain being rescued from the Falklands and brought back to UK you will have heard of Sir John Smith who financed this through his Manifold Trust. Sir John's other passion was for vernacular architecture and his aim through the Landmark Trust was to bring this appreciation into more people's lives. This is accomplished by rescuing properties of historical or architectural importance and restoring them as close as possible to their original condition. They are then let for holidays. Unlike the National Trust there is no membership: all these wonderful properties are available to anyone to stay in. Amongst the properties we have enjoyed are a Victorian water tower on the Sandringham estate, a medieval hall-house, a tiny moated castle inSomerset, and a stone tower in the city wall of Caernarfon with views across the Menai Straits and of course Lundy where all the properties are operated by the Trust.
The Handbook is the ultimate coffee-table book: easy to dip into and gloriously illustrated providing a talking point for any winter's evening. (When you book a holiday the cost of the handbook is refunded.)
As we cruise the canals we seek out Landmarks which are within reach some of which are featured here.

Tixall Gatehouse
Sleeps 6
Roof terrace

Staffs & Wors
Viewed from Tixall Wide

Ingestre Pavilion
Sleeps 6
Although the village is accessible from br 78 on Trent & Mersey, the pavilion is easier to get to from Great Haywood

Swarkestone Pavilion
Sleeps 2

Trent & Mersey br 14 (opposite the old Derby Canal)

Lock Cottage
Sleeps 4

Worcs & Birmingham
Lock 31 Tardebigge flight

We haven't yet been down the Stratford-upon-Avon southern stretch where the Trust has a barrel-topped lock cottage.

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