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This amazing house designed by Edward Lutyens is a property that I have stayed in for a Christmas and a New Year. Nestled in the countryside of Surrey, Abindger Common the huge house has a unique feature that makes this property stand out from other Landmark properties, a skittle alley dating back to 1901. Anyone staying here can still enjoy the very same game played all those years ago. Similar to bowls except using 9 pins in a diamond shape the aim is to knock down all pins with few a balls as possible.

The property sleeps upto 12 people and very expansive throughout and extensive gardens to walk and play in. A highly recommended stay and very cosy with log fires in both the dining area and lounge area. One of the fire places my father managed to hide under during our hide and seek game.


The Italian Gems

The beauty of Landmark Trust is it does not just confine itself to the UK. It does in fact have 5 properties in Italy where people can stay. The reason why these properties have made it onto the Landmark Trust portfolio is due to meeting the criteria of having some historical significance to the UK.

The properties stretch from north to central Italy. They are 2 villas in one property called Mansarda del Frutteto, a fishermans cottage called Casa de Mar, San Fruttuoso on the Med, the Casa Guid near Florence, a Roman villa called Sant’Antonio near Rome and a huge villa that sleeps up to 16 people called Villa Saraceno.

These really are worth a visit? Please let me know if anyone has stayed at any of these?

Escape to the Islands?

Landmark Trust have 2 properties in Channel Islands and 24 on the Lundy Islands.

The most interesting is Fort Clonque on Guernsey. Overlooking the sea an old fort was originally built to fend off the French in 1850s. Sleeps 13 and makes a great Summer get away due to the warmer climate one can get in the channel islands. The rooms are split up into Quarters for example Officers’ and Soldiers’.

Staying here would allow everyone to experience the wonders and splendor of Guernsey and rest of the rest of the channel islands. And take in activities such as as fishing and beach walks.

Lundy islands in the Bristol Channel can be reached by boat or helicopter. Landmark Trust has 24 properties ranging from cottages, to lighthouses and castles that can accommodate from 1 to 14 persons. Also has camping options for upto 40 people.

The islands are a granite outcrop of about 1100 acres and is an important marine reserve area and has many unique wildlife such as the Lundy Ponies. The island has a population of 28 and a single pub. Best to let potential visitors discover the other treasures these islands have to offer.

I regret that I have not been to any of the mentioned islands but have always remained on our radar. Wanted to highlight how spread out and diverse Landmark Trust is as a whole and reaches all corners of the UK.

Staycation Opportunities

With jetting abroad becoming ever more restrictive due to the ongoing Covid crisis staycations have become ever more popular. Even heard that summer 2021 cottages and UK holiday villas up to 70% booked up. And why not? Landmark Trust has hundreds of properties that cater for various numbers of people and are situated the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and many are on the coast. And even though I have stayed in many of the properties over the years there are still many I have not done for example The Grange. But the opportunities these Landmark Properties give really do take you to the most random and adventurous journeys taking in some of the most breathtaking scenery Britain has to offer. As well as seeing different communities.

Im a celebrity get me out of here!!

Based on the popularity of the show and this year the show is set in a Welsh castle it has boosted the interest in castles. I wish to emphasize that Landmark Trust restores many castles so people can stay in them. Please visit the site https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/ for more information on hundreds across the whole of Britain that people can stay in for holidays and create their own games and stories.

West Blockhouse

The first time we saw the West Blockhouse work had not started on the refurbishment.  A dark, dank and dreadful building, void inside of all floors and only a broken rusty spiral staircase hanging down in the middle of the dripping interior.  No way was Landmark Trust going to be able to renovate this building.  Of course we shouldn’t have been there but we had managed to find it.  We departed sorely disappointed – we were never going to be able to stay there.  Twenty-seven months later we spent Easter there.  How does the Landmark Trust manage it!  Hanging over the cliff at St Anne’s point in Pembrokeshire this old fort has a drawbridge, dungeon and roof top.  It is wonderfully warm and ingenuously reinvented.  From the battlements you are able to watch large tankers sailing into Milford Haven.  Well done Landmark Trust you did an excellent job preserving this fort.


Latest news from Landmark Trust

We’re reopening! The UK government has announced that summer holidays are back on the horizon. We’ll be reopening Landmarks from 4 July on Lundy and 6 July in England, and are working towards 13 July in Wales and 17 July in Scotland

The Martello Tower

My favourite Landmark – hmm that’s really hard as I have enjoyed them all so much.  Right, as I can’t make up my mind I am going for our first Landmark (at least 45 years ago) which was the Martello Tower (picture on Home Page) near Aldeburgh, Suffolk.  Being the largest of a chain of towers to keep out Napoleon it is built with nearly a million bricks.

I would suggest that any future Landmarkers do not arrive when it is dark.  Needless to say we did and it took all five of us to dig our car out of the shingle on the beach because we had veered off to the left a bit too much. (Since drafting this I have learnt that apparently it was I who was driving – I don’t think so!) By the time we had trundled all our food and gear across the drawbridge we were exhausted but exhilarated by the sight before us.  A building with at least six feet thick walls, beautifully renovated into living accommodation.   There are stairs to a roof platform and stairs to a dungeon.  We made use of both. 

It was so atmospheric to hear the waves crashing against the walls at night. I hope the hammock is still there – I spent many an hour reading and rocking with the wind howling outside.  Lovely memories.


This stately home in Surrey is a place we have been to a couple of times, once for Christmas and another for the New Year’s celebrations. Built by Edwin Lutyens in 1898 it has lovely gardens through which you can stroll or you may prefer to venture out to the surrounding forests. This property has large rooms, huge fireplaces, heavy old oak doors and stone floors. But the main thing that is unique about this particular property is that it has its own indoor skittle alley with pins and balls. It is similar to ten pin bowling in that you have to knock down the pins in as few balls as possible. This game provided many days and nights of great fun.

My first Landmark

I was nought years old when I attended my first Landmark in Saddell Castle near the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland. Saddell Castle is situated in a stunning location by the sea and you have a beach to yourselves. It sleeps 8 people. I only have family photos of me there as a baby but my family and friends (with whom I have since visited many Landmark Trust places) have told me that with its huge fireplaces, high ceilings, stone floors and lots of mystical nooks and crannies the place is magical. It is not hard to let the mind wander and imagine the types of people who over the years might have walked through the rooms.

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