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Conserving unique buildings

The garden and exterior of The Water Tower, Trelissick, Cornwall  © Mike Henton

The garden and exterior of The Water Tower, Trelissick, Cornwall © Mike Henton

The National Trust is responsible for the care of an eclectic mix of holiday retreats, including manor houses, alms houses, fisherman’s cottages and follies.  In the 1950’s we first offered holiday cottages to paying guests in order to preserve many of our most characterful small buildings and cottages

Every penny you spend directly helps the National Trust protect, restore and open up places for everyone to enjoy forever. In 2014 holiday guests contributed 2.5 million pounds towards the restoration of landscapes and buildings in which they stayed.

We are one of the UK’s greatest supporters of traditional building techniques such as lime plastering, thatching and lead working. Our partnerships with local craftspeople and the diversity of properties we care for, ensures that these skills are preserved and passed on to the next generation.

The art of conservation is not only about protecting the fabric of the building, and sustainably managing land and coastlines, but also bringing their stories to life.

Here is a small taste of properties which have played an important role in historic events and are now relaxing holiday retreats.

  • Wireless Cottage, Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall – Built by Gugliemo Marconi in 1900 for his early radio experiments.
  • Nant Las, Snowdonia National Park, Wales – Built in the nineteenth century as an observatory housing a telescope for nearby Dolmelynllyn Hall.
  • The Tower, Blickling Estate, Norfolk   - used as the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire’s race stand with grand views across fields and woodland towards the coast.

As new properties come under our stewardship, care is taken to not only create a cosy getaway but also to ensure that each building has its character preserved. In addition to the preparation of our new cottages and our major refurbishment projects, all our properties require on-going care to ensure that they will be enjoyed by future generations.

In 2015 we unveiled Malt House at Cotehele Quay, Cornwall, a Grade II listed building which has been lovingly restored to provide accommodation for up to 6 people. We were also delighted to open Treleddyd Fawr, a traditional Pembrokeshire cottage creating a cosy base for two. In 2016 we completed Gordon's Cabin, the former linhay which is now a s cosy cottage for two.

Our selection

  • The exterior of The Tower, Nr. Aylsham, Norfolk. © Mike Henton

    The Tower

    nr Aylsham , Norfolk

    Set on the real estate around Blickling Hall in the glorious part of north Norfolk.

  • The exterior of Nant Las, Nr. Dolgellau, Gwynedd. © Mike Henton

    Nant Las

    near Dolgellau , Gwynedd

    This cottage stands in a secluded woodland setting within the Snowdonia National Park.

  • Aerial view of Wireless Cottage, Housel Bay, The Lizard, Cornwall

    Wireless Cottage

    Helston , Cornwall

    Historic Grade II listed Wireless Station, dating back to 1900 in fantastic cliff-top location.

  • The exterior of Malt House, Cotehele, Cornwall © Chris Lacey

    Malt House

    Saltash , Cornwall

    A spacious cottage with far reaching views across the Tamar River

  • The exterior of Treleddyd Fawr Cottage, St. Davids, Pembrokeshire © Mike Henton

    Treleddyd Fawr Cottage

    St. Davids , Pembrokeshire

    Traditional Pembrokeshire farm cottage providing great access to the coastal countryside.

  • The exterior of Gordon's Cabin, Woolacombe, Devon © Mike Henton

    Gordon's Cabin

    Woolacombe , Devon

    A former linhay, the cosy cottage is on the outskirts of Mortehoe village in North Devon.