I realised this morning that I’ve used this blog to write about a lot of things I really enjoy but I’ve never written about the Landmark Trust. The Trust was founded in 1965 with the aim of conserving building of architectural interest that fall under the radar of bodies such as the National Trust but are still worth saving. The repair and upkeep of landmarks is paid for by renting out the buildings for holiday rental. The end result is that one can experience living in a historic property for a few days and contribute to saving future ‘landmark’ properties.
We’ve been staying in Landmarks since 1997 and they have been a great jumping-off point to explore the UK (or even further afield if you wish), visit friends, or just as a great location to chill out and do nothing.
As an aside, there is a Flickr group devoted to the Landmark Trust properties and this pool is a great resource to get a flavour for each property. Links below are to the set of photos for that property.
We first stayed in a Landmark — Hanmers — a wooden hut sitting high on a cliff on the island of Lundy back in 1997 and it was a great success, despite some initial reservations. Our concern was that we had never had a holiday where there was ostensibly nothing to do; no exotic location or interesting sites to visit. This was a a leap of faith to rely on our own resources for two weeks. In the end it was a great success but I’m glad the ladies at the Landmark office talked me out of staying in the Admiralty lookout (aka Tibbets) that is about a mile from the ‘centre’ of Lundy and (at that time) had no electricity and an outside toilet!
I think Landmark holidays won’t be to everyone’s taste; the accommodation is rarely luxurious but is always comfortable although you may need to be at the hardy end of the spectrum. A good friend visiting us at Causeway House in April 2002 slept under the moss roof wearing long johns and a woolly hat to make it through the night intact! On the other hand how else would you have the chance to stay in a castle, a water mill or a railway station?
I love that every property has a log book — a huge book full of information, children’s drawings, personal biographies, funny stories and (best of all) blank pages for you to add your own story. On a rainy day you can lose yourself in the book and read about all the visitors who have stayed there before you, or just plan where to go when the weather changes. Landmark properties are generally in fairly remote locations and there is never a television so they are a great way to get off ’The Grid’ and relax, drink wine and read books. The plumbing is always fantastic and I always associate Landmark properties with long hot baths!