With UK holidays becoming more popular than ever and summer around the corner, think about where you can take your campervan or motorhome this year. The advantage of owning a motorhome or campervan is that you have unlimited flexibility: you can pack up and leave whenever you choose, which is why campsites near National Trust Gardens are the perfect holiday destination.
So let’s dive into the list of the best National Trust Gardens across the UK that are only a short distance away from motorhome camping sites.
Powis Castle Gardens
Among the great Welsh homes, Powis is a little battleship. On a hill overlooking the upper Severn, its red stone walls rise like a mediaeval apparition. It was the Welsh Marches’ stronghold, located five miles from the English border. Today, their stronghold, which is generally open to the public, guards the valleys going into Wales, which was formerly impenetrable.
Over the years, landscape experts have created some of Britain’s most spectacular terraced gardens. Rich borders are hidden between clipped yews. The views from the terraces are breathtaking, gazing out over the Severn Valley’s lush hills and meadows. The gloomy forests of Wales, though, remain in the background. Although the castle, café, and shop are closed, the gardens are open from 10am to 4pm.
This is the ideal National Trust park for motorhome holidays as there are camping sites surrounding the area from just 5 minutes away. Fancy a trip to Powis Castle Gardens? Take a look at motorhome sites around the area:
- Severn Lodge
- Maes Yr Afron Caravan Park
- Rhyd-y-Groes Caravan Park
- Derwen Mill Holiday Park
- Hidden Valley Holiday Home Page
If you like the look of Powis Castle Gardens, check out other great campsites in Wales.
Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
Ashridge is a National Trust Garden with 80 miles of authorised footpaths, horse walking routes, and four-mile bike trails across 5,000 acres of historic woodland on the Hertfordshire-Buckinghamshire border. Although the visitor centre and store are now closed, there are nine self-guided walks and four waymarked hikes, ranging from Ancient Trees to the Battle of Berkhamsted Common (no map required).
The area was first established by Blue Friars in the 13th century, and Capability Brown expanded it in the 1760s. The blue cassocks are long gone, but the woodland is alive with bluebells and wild garlic in the spring. Even fallow deer can be clearly seen. For ancient and veteran trees, Ashridge is a nationally significant site.
The woods were used in the 2012 Les Misérables film, with synthetic snow added, and an old yew starred in Harry Potter.
With plenty of motorhome sites surrounding the National Trust park, there’s no excuse not to visit this beautiful garden with your loved ones. Campervan parks near Ashridge Estate
If you like the look of campsites around Ashridge Estate, we think you’ll love camping in the Cotswolds.
Aira Force and Ullswater, Cumbria
Aira Force Waterfalls, nestled in the Ullswater Valley, is one of the most beautiful sites to visit in the Lake District. Rainwater cascades down from the fells into Aira Beck, plummeting 67 feet that make Aira Force one of the most magnificent single drop waterfalls in the UK. Follow the signs to the falls from the National Trust car park, and the roaring sound serves as a definitive map to the falls.
Aira Force waterfalls are still largely unknown among tourists, despite the fact that the fells and valleys have drawn people and poets for almost 300 years. On the plus side, there isn’t as much of a crowd, and you can enjoy the pure tranquilly that the location provides.
From there, you can follow the Gowbarrow trail to the peak, where you may take in the expansive views of Ullswater Lake. The woods are densely forested with Himalayan firs, and the lush green trees provide the forest with a superb canopy. Just a couple of reasons why this blog is on our list of the best National Trust gardens.
The boat voyage from Glenridding to Aira Force, a new route with limited operation, is also an option you can take. Alternatively, Ullswater Steamers are available. This is a wonderful opportunity to take in the beauty of Ullswater (the Lake District’s second-largest lake). Aira Force also has a number of walking routes, making it a popular destination for all kinds of walkers and hikers.
Horsey Windpump, Norfolk
Horsey Windpump is an iconic grade II listed National Trust building in the community of Horsey. Climbing up the Windpump, which is surrounded by the strange terrain of The Broads National Park, provides spectacular views. Norfolk’s famous windmill was built in 1912 on the ruins of the Horsey Black Mill, which was established in the 18th century.
The Windpump, owned by the Buxton family, was operational until 1943 when it was damaged by lightning. Since then, it has been owned by the National Trust and has undergone many upgrades, including the improvements of the sails in 2019.
At Horsey Windpump, there is a National Trust car park, restrooms, and a café. There are numerous paths around the Windpump, as well as numerous windmills in the region, making it a photographer’s dream. This is a particularly unique spot in the Norfolk area. Horsey Beach, one of Norfolk’s sandy and pristine beaches, is a 3-mile round walk. The beach is also a famous area for seeing seals throughout the year.
Because it is seal mating season in the winter, access to the beach is limited. When the baby seals are able to swim, the mother seals come to the shoreline to deliver their pups and stay on the beach for up to 8 weeks. Pup season in Horsey begins in late October and lasts until early February. Therefore, winter may not be the most ideal time to visit, but when you do in the warmer seasons, there are many camping sites nearby on the coast which offers you even more scenic views.
Kingston Lacy, Dorset
Since the 1600s, the Kingston Lacy house has been rebuilt and expanded with additions before being left to the National Trust in 1982. The Bankes family, who previously owned it, collected various art antiquities over the years, with the library being one of the most famous rooms in the home, as it houses the keys to Corfe Castle.
As one of the best National Trust gardens, Kingston Lacy offers plenty of activities for the whole family, besides touring the house. If you prefer walking, there is a dog-friendly woodland walk that circles the perimeter of the property, complete with a wooden play area and seating.
If you’re travelling with dogs in your motorhome or campervan, click here to view the ultimate guide.
The rose garden, formal garden, kitchen garden, and Japanese garden are among the many beautiful gardens on the grounds of Kingston Lacy. Visit in January and February to see the snowdrops, or choose to visit in late April to late May to admire the bluebells.
The stables are a fantastic place to stop for refreshments after you’ve seen the National Trust park home and gardens. While driving in your motorhome from the campervan park you’re staying at is the ideal choice, there is a direct bus service if you prefer from Bournemouth and Poole to Wimborne (3 miles away), from where you will need to take a taxi.
There are multiple camping sites you can stay at that are close by to the garden that gives you views of field landscapes, so you can embrace nature, feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere (because you technically are).
That brings us to the end of our list of the best National Trust gardens, and it’s tough to do justice to the rest of the lovely residences and attractions around the UK. These are, nonetheless, excellent guidelines for beginning to explore our own backyard.