2020 marks the 125th anniversary of the National Trust in the UK, an independent charity and membership organisation for environmental and heritage conservation. It also offers accomodation in a range of historic proprties, and in honour of its anniversary, we have chosen some of our favourite quirky places to stay.

The Water Tower in Cornwall
The Water Tower in Cornwall © National Trust Images/Mike Henton

The Water Tower, Cornwall

At four storeys high with only one room on each floor, The Water Tower’s interior is just as intriguing as its exterior. You can live out your own romantic fairytale in its Rapunzel-esque tower, once used as a reservoir in the 1860s. You’ll enter through arched barn doors and climb its winding staircase to intriguing, circular-shaped rooms with gothic-style windows. Standing proud on the Trelissick estate in Cornwall, it’s a fine example of the Victorian obsession for embellishing utilitarian buildings.

The Birdcage in Cornwall
The Birdcage in Cornwall © National Trust Images/John Miller

The Birdcage, Cornwall

The Birdcage is a quirky three-storey cottage in one of Cornwall’s most iconic villages, Port Isaac. The three-storey Grade II-listed former cobbler's shop is pentagonal shaped, and its interiors are intriguing, with snug rooms, exposed beams and a narrow staircase. Guests will be able to chill out on its terrace and listen to the chime of fishing boats on the harbour, and winding lanes will lead them down to upmarket fish restaurants and a small beach.

Mustard Pot, Norfolk.jpg
Mustard Pot Cottage in Norfolk © National Trust Images/Mike Henton

Mustard Pot Cottage, Norfolk

The cosy and quirky Mustard Pot Cottage in Norfolk is situated in the woodlands of the Felbrigg estate, in the privacy of its own lawned garden. The two-bedroom cottage has a modern interior and oozes lots of quirky character. Intriguing octagonal-shaped rooms, narrow winding stairs and arched doorways add to its charm, while bright and modern interior styling and an open fire in the lounge make for a comfortable stay. The sweeping parklands, woodlands and lake of the estate are on your doorstep, and there are lots of waymarked trails to follow and a walled garden to explore.

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Pontbrenmydyr in Caredigion © National Trust NTE Ltd

Pontbrenmydyr, Ceredigion

Pontbrenmydyr is a 17th-century mud-constructed cottage in Ceredigion with history in its nooks and crannies. One of the last surviving Welsh Cloms, it has been transformed into a one-bedroom retreat brimming with character. Guests will still be able to appreciate its vernacular detail, with original cow stalls, cobbled stone floors and smoke-blackened oak trusses all preserved, while modern technologies have been added to create a sustainable and comfortable stay. The cottage sits on the edge of the Llanerchaeron parkland, with its pleasure gardens, ornamental lake and elegant Georgian manor nearby.

The Round House in Suffolk
The Round House in Suffolk © National Trust Images/Mike Henton

The Round House, Suffolk

The Round House is located deep in the woodlands of the Ickworth Estate in Suffolk. A mini and more folky version of the nearby Ickworth rotunda, the former gamekeeper's cottage is deceptively spacious and can accommodate up to six people and two dogs. The main house, Italianate gardens and sweeping parklands are all within a stone’s throw, and guests can explore the extensive hiking, running and cycling trails that wrap around the estate.

The Triumphal Arch in Norfolk
The Triumphal Arch in Herefordshire © Chris Lacey

The Triumphal Arch, Herefordshire

Accommodation at The Triumphal Arch in Herefordshire is situated in one half of the entrance archway to Berrington Hall. Formerly a coachman’s home, the spacious holiday home, designed by Henry Holland, enjoys views across the Capability Brown gardens and parkland. As a guest at The Triumphal Arch, you can enjoy free access to the estate whenever you please, as well as access to the neo-classical mansion when it is open to the public. Alternatively, take a picnic and explore the garden and landscape.

The Turret in Warwickshire
The Turret in Warwickshire © National Trust Images/Mike Henton

The Turret, Warwickshire

Stay in one of Warwickshire’s grandest homes and live like its former Victorian owners. Located on the second floor of the grand Charlecote Park, you’ll climb a spiral staircase to reach this three-bedroom apartment in The Turret. Inside, you’ll find classic interiors with interesting period features including exposed beams and latticed windows. The view from the apartment is quite impressive too, with the Gatehouse just in front and the parkland beyond. You can explore Charlecote’s garden and grounds and may even spot fallow deer that roam freely on the parkland.

The Lighthouse Keepers Cottage
The Lighthouse Keepers' Cottage in Devon © National Trust Images/John Miller

The Lighthouse Keepers' Cottage, Devon

The Lighthouse Keepers' Cottage in Devon is a dramatic cliff-edge cottage built behind a lighthouse which still works today, minus the loud foghorn. Experience the thrill of living on a cliff-edge in the cottage, which is made up of six bedrooms for large groups and has a balcony area for everyone to congregate and watch the birds fly past. The Lighthouse Keepers' Cottage is based on the Exmoor Heritage Coast, and you can pick up the South West Coast Path for hikes to Lynmouth and beyond.

Choristers' House in North Yorkshire
Choristers' House in North Yorkshire © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Choristers' House, North Yorkshire

Choristers' House in North Yorkshire was designed by the acclaimed architect, William Burges, and its name stems from its use as a music school. With five large bedrooms and beautiful communal areas, it can accommodate ten guests. It sits within the 400-acre deer park of the Fountains Abbey estate, and guests will have free access to the Studley Royal Water Gardens as well as the ruins of Fountains Abbey.

The exterior of The Tower in Norfolk
The Tower in Blickley, Norfolk © National Trust Images, Mike Henton

The Tower, Norfolk

Formerly an ornate race stand for the Earl of Buckinghamshire, The Tower in Norfolk now offers the opportunity to experience life in a mini castle. The luxurious accommodation comes complete with a Rapunzel tower and rooftop terrace offering panoramic views across Blickling Estate and the coast beyond. There are walking and cycling trails to explore and beyond the estate walls, the sandy beaches and clifftop paths of the Norfolk coast are within a 20-minute drive.

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