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.
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
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.
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.
I always found the journey to be part of the buzz as each of the families travelled from different parts of the country and we would meet for the first time in a pub near to the venue, selected at random. You never knew beforehand exactly how long the journey would take as the locations of the properties were often well hidden and they took time to find but that was all part of our wonderful Landmark adventures.
“Would you like to spend Christmas in a Castle?” read the headlines on the Daily Telegraph Supplement way back in the 1970’s (long before I was born). Yes I most definitely would, thought my Mother and plucking up courage asked the gentleman sitting across from her on the train if he would let her have the article. He being a gentleman willingly gave it to her and it all started from there.
I have had unexpected but very welcome news regarding my blog. It has been selected by feedspot.com as one of the top 50 Travel blogs in the UK. I have great pleasure in creating a link to other amazing travel blogs where people are writing about their experiences and adventures https://blog.feedspot.com/uk_travel_blogs/ .