8 of our favourite National Trust sites near London

Escursiones fuera de Londres

The National Trust is Europe’s largest conservation charity, dedicated to protecting the UK’s nature and history so that both can be enjoyed by everyone. National Trust sites range from the coastline and green spaces to some of the UK’s most magnificent historic houses and castles.

Take a day trip to a National Trust house close to London for a close-up glimpse of British history. Many of the houses have passed through generations, bearing witness to centuries of precious memories. But you’ll also find magnificent outdoor spaces, blooming cottage and vegetable gardens, and glorious British landscapes. Visiting these places is one of our favourite ways to spend the day, particularly during the summer months. And all of the following are only a short train ride from several main London stations.

Ham House, Richmond

Easily accessible from central London, Ham House is on the River Thames in Richmond. Inside the house, you’ll find a collection of art treasures, but it’s the garden that we love best.  Explore the extensive walled kitchen garden or lounge on manicured lawns filled with wildflowers. Top summer spot? Definitely the Cherry Garden, bordered by tall yew hedges and filled with the scent of lavender.

Getting there: by train to Richmond Station (1½ miles by footpath, 2 miles by road).

Lavender at Ham House

National Trust sites in Kent

Sissinghurst Castle

If you’re a garden lover, a visit to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent is another must. The 1930’s home of poet and writer, Vita Sackville-West, and her diplomat and author husband, Harold Nicolson, is best known for its traditional English country garden. Walk through a series of rooms in the Formal Garden, including the Rose and the White Garden, a Cottage Garden and the Lime Walk. In spring time, carpets of bluebells fill the South Cottage garden, while July brings white irises to the White Garden, Japanese anemones and clusters of small tumbling floral displays. Other highlights include the Tower with its views of the formal garden and entire estate, and the Library.

Getting there: by train to Staplehurst (5 miles) then taxi.

Sissinghurst Castle


Less than an hour’s drive from Sissinghurst, Chartwell was the family home of Winston and Clementine Churchill from 1922. Wander through the house to see their personal belongings and, in the studio, the largest single collection of Churchill paintings. Outside, visit the walled kitchen garden and apple orchard, a formal rose garden, and extensive woodland with children’s play areas.

Getting there: By train from London Victoria and London Bridge to Edenbridge (4 miles) or Oxted (6 miles). Or take a train from several London stations to Sevenoaks (6 miles).

Walk in the beautiful grounds at Chartwell


Home to Queen Victoria’s favourite Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, Hughenden was also a secret World War II operation. The magnificent house is set in a rural valley close to High Wycombe in the Chiltern Hills, surrounded by open parkland and over 600 acres of woodland and farmland. There are waymarked trails through the estate in addition to formal Italianate-style gardens, a walled garden and apple orchard.

Getting there: By train to High Wycombe (2 miles).


Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Just 25 miles to the south of London, Polesden Lacy is an Edwardian country retreat in the Surrey Hills. Formerly home to the socialite and art collector, Margaret Greville, the house features an extensive collection of paintings, ceramics and furniture and looks out over a 1600 acre estate with ancient woodland and several gardens.

Getting there: By train to Boxhill & Westhumble (3 miles), Bookham (2.7 miles), Dorking (4 miles) and Leatherhead (4 miles).

Polesden Lacey

Flatford, Suffolk

The scenic hamlet of Flatford in Suffolk was the inspiration for much of John Constable’s art, including the Hay Wain and Boatbuilding near Flatford Mill. Today, you can immerse yourself in his paintings with a walk through the traditional Suffolk countryside of Dedham Vale or a row along the river. The hamlet is home to several historic buildings such as Flatford Mill, The Granary and Willy Lott’s House. Visit the 17th century thatched Bridge Cottage to learn more about those who lived and worked at Flatford. You can also often pick up a bargain at the second-hand bookshop. And, above all, don’t miss the Flatford tea room where you can grab a sandwich or enjoy a cream tea with views of the river!

Getting there: By train to Manningtree (just under 2 miles).

Scenic Flatford

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

Waddesdon Manor is one of the most magnificent National Trust properties close to London. Built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the 1870’s, the estate runs several spectacular events throughout the year, including Music at the Manor in July, and a wonderful Christmas light trail. But a visit to this French Renaissance-style chateau is a wonderful day trip at any time of the year.

Inside, you’ll find an impressive array of furniture, paintings and works of art. Outside, there are Victorian style gardens, parterres, fountains and statues as well as a rococo style aviary and woodland playground.

Getting there: by train from London Marylebone to Aylesbury Vale Parkway (4 miles) or Aylesbury Town centre (6.5 miles). Taxi transfer to Waddesdon.

Waddesdon Manor
Christmas lights at Waddesdon Manor

Ascott Estate, Buckinghamshire

Not far from Waddesdon Manor, Ascott is a black and white half-timbered manor house acquired by the Rothschild family in 1873. Set on a far smaller scale than its very grand neighbour, the main attraction here is Ascott’s delightful garden. In summer, stroll down the fragrant Scented Walk or along the Madeira Walk amidst fluttering mauve and lilac flowers. Other highlights include the Lily Pond, the landscaped Lynn Garden with its moated islands and infinity pools, and modern art and jagged Cornish slates in the Ascott Circle.

Getting there: by train to Leighton Buzzard (2 miles).

Ascott Estate
Floral walkways at Ascott