101 things to try before you die: National Trust Top 12

Happy St George’s Day! To celebrate, Visit England has unveiled 101 Things To Do Before You Go Abroad: England’s ultimate bucket list to discovering the very best our country has to offer.

And we have decided to take a look at the top 12 National Trust places on the list…

Sissinghurst Castle

Sissinghurst Castle is a ruin of an Elizabethan manor house situated in the beautiful Weald of Kent. The gardens at Sissinghurst are internationally renowned for their architectural planning and vibrant planting scheme created in the 1930’s by the legendary poet and writer Vita Sackville-West and her diplomat and author husband, Harold Nicolson. The beautiful gardens for all seasons include the White Garden, Rose Garden, Herb Garden and the Spring Garden. See the Sissinghurst Garden Blog for more info!

The White Garden at Sissinghurst

The White Garden at Sissinghurst ©NTPL Jonathan Buckley

Hadrian’s Wall & Housesteads Fort

Running through the wild landscape with historic panoramic views, the wall was one of the Roman Empire’s most northerly outposts.  Become immersed in history and discover the past behind the archaeological remains by experiencing life at a Roman Fort.

Stonehenge Landscape

Within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, the National Trust manages 827 hectares of downland surrounding the famous prehistoric stone circle. Walking across the grassland, you can discover and enjoy other Bronze Age monuments such as King Barrow Ridge and its burial mounds.

St Michaels Mount

St Michaels Mount is an iconic rocky island crowned by a medieval church and castle with the oldest buildings dating to the 12th century. The island is the home to the St Aubyn family as well as a thirty strong community of islanders. Via the Ancient Causeway, discover this iconic rocky island with it’s subtropical garden and spectacular views of Mount’s Bay.

“The best thing about St Michaels Mount is the uniqueness of the island’s location. It’s a tidal island which means even just getting here is an adventure. The second part of the adventure which makes it special is climbing up to the castle as well as enjoying cream teas on the village green.”

– Pete Hamilton, Visitor Reception Manager

 Farne Islands

The Farne Islands consist of two Islands, Staple Island and Inner Farne Island, and probably have the most exciting seabird colony in England. Accessible via a short boat journey, the Farne Islands take you to a different world, filled with stunning views and a diverse array of nature.

Family Birdwatching, Farne Islands in Northumberland

Family Birdwatching, Farne Islands in Northumberland ©NT Images, Joe Cornish

Lundy Island

Lundy Island, designated the first Marine Conservation Area, is a wildlife rich unspoilt island offering breathtaking views and dramatic scenery amongst an abundance of flora and fauna. Undisturbed by cars, this beautiful island encompasses a small village with an inn as well as a Victorian church and 13th century Marisco Castle. Stumble upon the Old Light, a disused lighthouse, and enjoy superb views over the north part of the island.

“Lundy is a spectacular and intriguing island positioned between the Atlantic Ocean and Bristol Channel with a small community of around 28 people. The warmth and friendliness of the community is one of the many reasons that thousands of people visit this little island every year and why I now call it home. Each day on Lundy is as unique as the place itself.”

– Beccy MacDonald, Warden

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island is a peaceful island of woodland, wetland and heath with a rich diversity of wildlife. Dramatically located in Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island offers spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills. Brilliant for those who love the outdoors, Brownsea offers thriving natural habitats – including woodland, heathland and a lagoon – creating a haven for wildlife for you to spot, such as the rare red squirrel and a wide variety of birds, including  dunlin, kingfishers and oystercatchers.

 “Brownsea Island is a jewel set in the beautiful Poole Harbour and in 2013 it celebrates 50 years of being open.  Rich in wildlife, history and adventure it is the perfect place to visit.”

– Claire Dixon, Visitor Services and Enterprises Manager

Wicken Fen

Wicken Fen is Britain’s oldest nature reserve and one of Europe’s most important wetlands. It supports some amazing wildlife including 8,500 species of plants, birds and dragonflies. The Wicken Fen Vision, an ambitious landscape-scale conservation project, is opening up new areas of land to explore.

Hunting Bugs at Wicken Fen

Hunting Bugs at Wicken Fen

 Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge is one of England’s most iconic landscapes with dramatic views and one of the National Trust’s most spectacular natural sights. At almost 400 feet deep and 3 miles long, the gorge is England’s largest and was formed around a million years ago during the last ice age. The Cheddar Yeo River gradually made its way underground creating the famous bat-filled Cheddar Caves.

Fountains Abbey

The breathtakingly designed landscape of the Aislabies, now a World Heritage Site with more than 800 years of history, includes the ruins of the once-wealthy and powerful Fountains Abbey. Discover the magnificent 12th century ruins, beautiful flowers and the only surviving Cistercian corn mill situated in 323 hectares of medieval deer parkland.

Uffington White Horse Hill

The internationally renowned Bronze Age chalk White Horse can be seen from miles away and is part of the unique complex of ancient remains found on the hill, which also include Neolithic burial mounds. The valley is crowned by Uffington Castle, an Iron Age hill fort made up of a simplistic rampart and ditch, with stunning views for miles around.

The Beatles’ Childhood Homes

The only opportunity to see the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, where the Beatles met, composed and rehearsed many of their earliest songs. Experience a trip down memory lane in these two atmospheric period houses, 20 Forthlin Road and Mendips, typical of Liverpool life in the 1950’s. Take the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour around Liverpool and stop for some snaps of these two famous homes.

The National Trust tour minibus at 20 Forthlin Road

The National Trust tour minibus at 20 Forthlin Road ©NTPL Arnhel de Serra

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