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Best National Trust Property in Somerset [Visited & Explored]

Written by

Edited by Adele Horwood
Fact-checked by Ben Crookes

If you’re looking for the best National Trust property in Somerset, you’ve come to the right place.

In my travels, I’ve discovered that Somerset, a jewel in the heart of England, is home to some of the most exquisite National Trust properties. It’s a county that’s rich in history, culture, and stunning landscapes, making it a haven for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

From medieval castles to Georgian mansions, and lush gardens to ancient woodlands, Somerset’s National Trust properties are a sight to behold. They’re not just about the past, they’re also about the present, providing a sanctuary for wildlife and a peaceful retreat for visitors.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my top picks for the best National Trust properties in Somerset. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an avid gardener, or simply looking for a delightful day out, there’s something for everyone in this charming county.

Exploring Montacute House

Montacute House

Nestled in the heart of Somerset, Montacute House is a gem within the National Trust’s collection of properties. This towering Elizabethan mansion, built entirely of honey-coloured local hamstone, is a testament to the prosperity of the Elizabethan age. It never fails to impress with its elegant architecture, vast collections of paintings, and stunning gardens.

As I step inside Montacute House, its awe-inspiring Long Gallery grabs my immediate attention, holding one of the longest collections of Tudor and Elizabethan portraits on public view in England. This unique feature truly sets Montacute House apart from its counterparts.

Strolling outside, the grandeur continues with the remarkably preserved gardens. They’re great for leisurely walks or for those seeking a tranquil escape. Whether it’s the scent of blooming flowers in the formal gardens or the immaculately kept ‘cloud’ yew hedges in the East Court, these outdoor spaces become an idyllic oasis.

If you’re an avid wildlife observer, you won’t be disappointed either. Montacute House’s parkland and woodland are alive with a variety of wildlife. From graceful deer to colourful birds, it’s a sanctuary often overlooked by visitors yet rich in its biodiversity.

In terms of eating and shopping, amenities here are on par with the property’s charm. You’ll find the Courtyard Shop filled with artisan gifts and local produce, ideal for taking home a little piece of Somerset. Pair that with a much-deserved treat at the café, with food that’s as impressive as the setting.

Exploring Montacute House offers more than an immersion into history; it serves a delightful blend of architectural magnificence, natural beauty and a unique art collection. I find it a quintessentially English experience that certainly merits a visit when you’re in Somerset.

Discovering Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield

Having ventured through Montacute House, I turned my journey northwards, finding myself at another gem of Somerset – Tyntesfield. A spectacular Victorian gothic revival house with beautiful gardens and parklands, it deserves an exclusive spot on your itinerary.

Upon setting foot on the property, the gothic architecture instantly caught my attention. I was awestruck by the soaring pinnacles and fretted balustrades, intricate woodwork and marvellous stonework, combined on a scale rarely seen in the UK.

What sets Tyntesfield apart is its remarkable history. It was once the ancestral home of the Gibbs’ family, famous for its involvement in the Victorian guano trade – a business that saw the family’s wealth skyrocket. The house, thus, is an echo of their prosperous era.

A tour of the house allows you to peek into the Gibbs’ sumptuous lifestyle. The lavish drawing rooms, ornately decorated dining hall, and the grand hall with its opulent staircase are all visual feasts. Yet, it isn’t restricted to grandeur. You’ll also come across rooms like the intriguingly named ‘Bachelor’s Wing,’ which reveals a more private side of the family’s life.

Apart from the house, Tyntesfield boasts vast parklands that encompass an extensive variety of flora and fauna. Meandering paths lead you through enchanting woodland walks dotted with age-old trees. The Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, and Orangery are as splendid as they sound and carry you through the Victorian fad of ‘collecting.’

Furthermore, Tyntesfield isn’t just a static relic of the past. It hosts several events all year round that add to its charm. I’ve enjoyed vibrant rose festivals, traditional Christmas fairs, and fun children’s activities that offer something for everybody.

For those seeking a bite or a token to remember your visit, there’s a café serving delicious homemade fare and a well-stocked shop offering local goodies. It certainly adds to the overall experience.

Overall, I found Tyntesfield to be a perfect mix of architecture, history, nature, and culture. The ornate design works hand in hand with the fantastic landscape, offering a unique blend that’ll leave you pining for more of Somerset. And the best part? There’s always more to discover! After all, every corner tells a tale at Tyntesfield. So, ready for the next exploration?

Roaming Through Barrington Court

Barrington Court

As I continue my journey through Somerset’s best National Trust properties, Barrington Court simply cannot be overlooked. Here’s why this gem is more than worth your time.

I’d describe Barrington Court as a splendid example of Elizabethan architecture, steeped in history and peppered with intricate craftsmanship. Conjuring a world akin to the famous works of Shakespeare, it’s a photogenic Tudor manor replete with opulence and drama. No wonder it’s been a prime location for TV and film productions, including the renowned ‘Wolf Hall.’

Take a wander through the luxurious rooms, each a testimony to the house’s ever-changing story. You’ll appreciate the wooden panelling, vast fireplaces, and carefully preserved furniture that transport you back centuries. Within this treasure trove, a personal favourite of mine is the ‘Great Hall,’ an imposing spectacle with a grand fireplace adorned with intricate carvings.

Shift your gaze from the internal grandeur to the exteriors. You’ll be soaked in the charm of its enchanting gardens. It’s impossible not to marvel at the symmetry and meticulousness of it all. The immaculately manicured lawns, clipped topiaries, and romantic walled gardens speak volumes about the dedication to perfecting each inch of this celestial space.

As for the kitchen garden, it’s pure magic. Imagine a place burgeoning with fresh produce, from herbs to fruits, including historic apple varieties. Each season brings with it a new palette of colours, fragrances, and flavours, making it a perpetual feast for the senses.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or someone in quest of tranquillity, Barrington Court won’t disappoint. It’s one of those rare places that effortlessly fuses elegance, nature, and tranquillity, leaving an indelible print on each visitor’s memory. So why wait? Step foot into Barrington Court’s universe, delve into its secrets, and let its grandeur cast a spell on you.

Enjoying the Gardens of Tintinhull

Stepping into Tintinhull is akin to walking straight into the pages of an elegant garden-centric novel. The symmetry and sheer tenacity of the whole place whirl around and leave an undisputed mark in the minds.

Tintinhull is a whole different world from Barrington Court. While Barrington captures hearts with its history and grandeur, Tintinhull leaves one breathless with its more understated, but equally captivating beauty.

Every season brings its own charm to Tintinhull. In spring, an explosion of pink and white blossoms greets the visitors. Summer gifts a vivid palette of colours through its school of diverse wildflowers. Autumn’s arrival paints the park in a beautiful contrast of yellows and reds, against the perpetual green. Do not think for a moment that winter makes it bare. Winter showcases the robust structural form of the plants, accentuated by the dusting of frost on the ground.

The well-managed growth across the property hints at the hard work that goes into maintaining Tintinhull. There are different styles of gardens, the Pool Garden, Kitchen Garden and Orchard, each adding a different element to the property. From the fragrant roses in the Pool Garden to the unique apple varieties in the Orchard, each area has something to delight visitors.

With such fabulous sights in store, it is no wonder Tintinhull Gardens fill visitors with a sense of peace and tranquillity, away from the hustle-bustle of their regular lives. It’s well worth taking a moment, seated on one of the benches scattered throughout the garden, to soak in the majesty of nature.

Though I’ve tried to give a brief overview, my words barely scratch the surface. The real joy lies in experiencing Tintinhull in person. Whether you’re here for a peaceful afternoon stroll or a brisk morning walk, the Gardens of Tintinhull offer something for every taste.

Experiencing the Beauty of Somerset

As I tread the paths of Somerset, ancient oaks loom over me, whispering stories of bygone eras. The charm of this county lies not only in its grand National Trust properties like Barrington Court and Tintinhull Gardens but also in its rolling hills, verdant meadows, and tranquil waterways. All these elements come together in a symphony of natural beauty that’s second to none.

Somerset brims with opportunity for everyone, irrespective of age or interest. Enthusiasts fancying outdoor pursuits find plenty of footpaths traversing idyllic landscapes, while history buffs satiate their curiosity uncovering Somerset’s rich past. Those seeking peace and tranquillity, on the other hand, find respite in the county’s picturesque gardens and peaceful parks.

My favourite has to be the Somerset Levels, a unique wetland area brimming with diverse wildlife. Verdant fields stretch into the horizon, sliced by languid streams glittering under the sun. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve stood awestruck by the setting sun painting the skies in hues of gold and crimson reflected in the mirror-like waters below.

A short drive from there lies Cheddar Gorge, a natural wonder boasting dramatic cliffs and fascinating underground caves. It’s a heaven for adventure seekers and photographers alike. The view from the cliff top, a panorama of lush green pastures ticking off into the distance, beats almost anything else I’ve experienced in my travels.

I can’t neglect the mention of Somerset’s towns and villages, each carrying its unique allure. From the medieval town of Glastonbury steeped in Arthurian legends, to Wells with its glorious cathedral and charming market square, and on to the exquisite seaside town of Minehead – Somerset is a kaleidoscope of experiences.

Somerset’s beauty transcends pictures, videos, or words. Yet, it’s perhaps best appreciated through the personal experiences that weave themselves into cherished memories each time I visit. Whether it’s the scent of wildflowers in bloom, the refreshing taste of Somerset cider, or the harmonious tweet of birds taking flight, these experiences etch deep imprints, inviting a return to Somerset’s embrace again and again. To truly grasp what Somerset offers, it begs personal exploration.

My Final Thoughts

I’ve taken you on a journey through Somerset’s best National Trust properties and its stunning landscapes. We’ve explored the grandeur of Barrington Court, the beauty of Tintinhull Gardens, and the unique charm of Somerset’s towns and villages. We’ve marvelled at the Somerset Levels’ wildlife and sunsets, and the cliffs and caves of Cheddar Gorge. I hope you’ve felt the allure of Somerset and are inspired to experience these wonders firsthand. Whether it’s the song of a bird, the taste of cider, or the sight of wildflowers, there’s a piece of Somerset waiting to create lasting memories for you. So don’t wait – Somerset is calling. It’s time to explore, discover and fall in love with this beautiful county.


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