5 Best National Trust Places to Visit

speeding train

Written by our Web Team

9 min read | 14 June 2024

One of the best parts about travelling is exploring the world around you. National Trust locations, such as Trust houses and other historic properties, allow people to embrace the history and scenery of the UK. 

Whether it’s on your doorstep or a train journey away, these locations will give you many ideas for days out.

Here we discuss some of the best National Trust places to visit and how you can access each one by train.

Where are the best National Trust places to visit in the UK?

A daytime photo showing a Scottish landscape with a babbling stream in the foreground and green hills in the background.

Across the UK, there are 500 National Trust sites you can visit. Together, they encompass over 250,000 hectares of farmland and 780 miles of coastline, giving you plenty to explore.

From rich history to the most amazing views, you can take a walk through landscaped gardens or watch nature change with the seasons. You can also retrace the footsteps of history's nobility while wandering through castles and estates.

To help you decide where to begin your next adventure, we have created a list of some of the best National Trust properties in the UK.

1. Morden Hall Park, London

Daytime photo of Morden Hall Park, showing a building on the right and the snuff mill on the left as a river runs between them.

Open all year, Morden Hall Park has a little bit of everything. With a wooded riverside, a rose garden, historic bridges, and a meandering river, this site is as visually stunning as it is historically fascinating.

This historic site is home to water mills once used to produce snuff, a smokeless tobacco made from tobacco leaves. Morden Hall Park was also used as a military hospital during the First World War and as a regular hospital after the war.

More recently, the mill has become a classroom and education centre. Here, children can learn about the life of Victorian mill workers through an interactive exhibition.

Morden Hall Park is the ideal place for a family day out, with plenty for everyone to take part in. Collect conkers, spot wildlife, have fun in the adventure play area, or celebrate a birthday with a party.

If you don’t want to leave the family pet behind, the site's three-paw National Trust rating means you can spend time with your dog in most areas. However, some areas, such as the Rose Garden and the Garden Centre, will ask they be kept on a lead.

About Morden Hall Park

Address: Morden Hall Road, Morden, London, SM4 5JD

Opening times: The parkland is open all day. At 9 am, the car park, garden centre, and rose garden will open, with these facilities closing at 5 pm. Closing times do vary depending on the time of year.

Nearest station: From London Euston, take the Northern Line to Morden, then walk for five minutes to arrive at Morden Hall Park.

2. Erddig, Wrexham, Wales

Daytime photo showing the beautifully green gardens of Erddig in Wrexham, showing a wall covered in bright greenery and flowers.

In Erddig, you'll piece together what it would have been like to live as a gentry in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Walking from room to room, you'll find evidence of the lives of both the families and their servants who resided here over 250 years ago. 

Hints to life as a domestic worker are still evident around the house, such as the brass servants' bells. These help immerse visitors and make the past come to life. You’ll learn about job roles and what each servant could expect to earn from their work. 

Perhaps you’d like to dig deeper into the life of Ellen Penketh, a servant whose employers accused them of stealing from them. Discover more about the story of Penketh v Yorke as you weigh up the evidence for yourself.

After spending time around the house, you can explore the gardens. With more than 180 varieties of apple trees, formal hedges, and ivies, all covering 1,200 acres, visitors can enjoy peaceful walks with friends or alone.

Take in the scenery of the woodland or the Clywedog River. For more history, you can also find the Norman remains of a motte-and-bailey castle.

About Erddig

Address: Wrexham, LL13 0YT

Opening times: While the parkland is open from dawn to dusk, the garden, restaurant, and shop all open at 10 am. Erddig House opens at 11:30 am.

Nearest station: Wrexham Central is a 1.7-mile walk to Erddig or a 10-minute taxi.

3. Attingham Park, Shropshire

Photo of the Attingham Park estate in Shropshire, taken in the daytime and showing the entrance and outside pillars.

One of the most popular National Trust properties, Attingham Park is an 18th-century estate in the heart of Shropshire. While the rivers Tern and Severn have shaped the landscape, it’s the rich history that draws people in.

Evidence shows that people settled in the area during the  Bronze and Iron Ages, as well as the Romans and Saxons. The site has seen much development since then. 

Built in 1785 for the first Lord Berwick, Attingham Estate replaced Tern Hall, which housed the Hill family for over 160 years.

For those who want to see the history within the landscape, there is plenty to delve into. Stray from the beaten path and roam the Deer Park, established by the second Lord Berwick in the early 1800s. 

A keen eye will spot a range of flora and fauna, such as bats, birds, fungi, and dragonflies. Those fond of National Trust walks can venture off into 370 acres of woodland on any one of the available trails.

You can also wander through the walled garden or become inspired by the Georgian Kitchen Garden. Visit throughout the year and see the garden thrive in each season. It truly is a work of art.

For families wanting to make the most of their day in Shropshire, we suggest a visit to the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, located nearby. 

One of our must-visit UK UNESCO sites, Ironbridge offers stunning views. If you’re making a day of it, you can even enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants alongside the River Severn.

About Attingham Park

Address: Atcham, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 4TP

Opening times: The park and playground are open from 8 am, and the café and walled garden open at 9 am.

Nearest station: Shrewsbury Station, which is about five miles from Attingham.

4. The Beatles' Childhood Homes, Liverpool

A photo of a street sign saying Penny Lane against a brick wall.

The Beatles are one of the biggest musical acts in history. By 1963, Beatlemania had taken hold, and John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were household names.

Today, fans of the Beatles can visit where it all began. Walk in the footsteps of these two iconic names with guided tours of their family homes.

Visit Mendips, where John lived in 1946 with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George. Then, continue your journey through to 20 Forthlin Road, home of Paul and his family. 

With every room, you’ll understand their roots even more and fall in love with them all over again. You’ll get to stand in the spot where the Beatles met and where they came up with some of their hits.

As far as National Trust experiences go, there are few quite like this one. In fact, in 2022 it won Experience of the Year at the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards.

Begin your visit with excitement and leave feeling humbled and amazed as you consider the band's journey. From writing songs such as “Love Me Do” and “She Loves You” in their teenage bedrooms to playing stadiums worldwide. 

About The Beatles’ Childhood Homes

Address: Tour pickups from Speke Hall, L24 1XD and Liverpool South Parkway, L19 5NE

Opening times: These locations are only available to visit with a guided tour. Tickets will be going on sale in mid-December. 

Nearest station: For Speke Hall, the nearest stations are Liverpool South Parkway and Hunts Cross. For Liverpool South Parkway, take the Northern Line from Liverpool city centre.

5. Sizergh, Lake District

Photo showing a wall going up to a stone keep at Sizergh in the Lake District.

Sizergh is one of the most impressive National Trust houses in the Lake District, which has been the home of the Strickland family for more than 800 years. Here, they have built an impressive collection of items, including boomerangs and artwork. 

The iconic crucifixion painting and the Antony and Cleopatra tapestry are just a few of the pieces that build a picture of the kind of people the Strickland family were hundreds of years ago.

The real magic of this country house is within the landscape itself. Sitting within 1,600 acres of land, including wetlands, woodland, and orchards, there are many animals in the area to call each habitat home. 

Be on the lookout for deer, birds, and other diverse wildlife while following one of the many footpaths that go through the estate.

If you want to learn more about the surrounding countryside, you can join a free guided walking tour and learn what makes Sizergh such a significant site.

Keen gardeners will also love the flora and fauna here. Powered by the idea of self-sufficiency, guests can enjoy Sizergh’s produce in the café, with fresh produce sourced from the Kitchen Garden.

While couples, solo travellers, and dog walkers are welcome, children will also not be bored at Sizergh. They can explore the wild play trail through Chapel Wood, build dens, or hunt for minibeasts. 

As the largest National Park in the UK, there are many other places in the area you can visit to make the most of a Lake District day trip.

About Sizergh

Address: Sizergh, near Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8DZ

Opening times: While the park is open from dawn to dusk, the café, garden, and shop open at 10 am. Closing times vary depending on the time of year. 

Nearest station: The nearest station is Oxenholme, which is just over four miles away. You can take a short taxi ride to Sizergh from here. Alternatively, you can travel to the station in Kendal, where you can catch regular buses to the site.

Explore National Trust properties by train with Avanti

Photo of a girl looking out of the window of a moving train as the woodlands go by.

From London Euston to Glasgow to Edinburgh, Avanti West Coast is ready to take you on your next National Trust adventure.

Whether travelling to one of these sites or exploring each stop along the way, it’s important to plan your trip well. Knowing your route and preparing for unexpected changes will help you to travel with confidence. 

Download the Avanti West Coast App and manage your journey. Buy Advance tickets, amend your booking, check the status of your train, and more with just a few taps.

If you’re using a Railcard, don’t forget to bring it, as our onboard staff will check alongside your ticket.


Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

Avanti West Coast App