Romantic escapes

Take a romantic walk and discover breathtaking landscapes and gardens at these special locations across the country.
Stourhead
© NTPL/Nick Meers
The romantic 18th-century gardens at Stourhead include a magnificent lake, classical temples and enchanting grottos
Get away from it all this weekend at one of these five magnificent National Trust Properties.

1. Stourhead, Wiltshire


The 18th-century gardens at Stourhead, near Bath, are the perfect place to enjoy a day exploring the timeless wonder of this fairytale estate.

Take a romantic stroll along the lake, passing temples and follies, not to mention the odd grotto or two, and finishing with the awe-inspiring views from the Temple of Apollo - a place so romantic that it was used as the location for Mr Darcy's declaration of love for Elizabeth in the recent adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, starring Mathew McFadden and Keira Knightley.

The garden is open daily, from 9am-6pm, and the house opens on 13 March 2010. For more information call 01747 841152

Killerton
© NTPL
Take a romantic stroll around Killerton's tranquil gardens and sweeping lawns

2. Killerton, Devon


Visiting Killerton feels as though you have just stepped back in time. This tranquil spot, with its sweeping lawns, was the site of Thomas Acland's romantic teenage love affair.

For 17-year-old Thomas, it was love at first sight when, in 1804, he was introduced to Lydia Hoare. The teenagers embarked immediately upon an adolescent love affair and when he turned 21 it was decided that they would be married.

Normal admission charges will apply (see below). The park is open all year and the house is open Wednesdays to Sundays (2-4pm) until 21 February 2010.

From 10 March, the property is open from 11am-5pm daily. For more information contact 01392 881345.

Stowe
© NTPL/Andrew Butler
There are more than 40 temples and follies to discover at Stowe Landscape Gardens

3. Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire


The scale, grandeur and beauty of Stowe has inspired writers, philosophers, artists and all those who have visited this special spot since the 18th century.

Take a romantic spring walk through follies and temples - of which there are 40 so you’ll be spoilt for choice - or take a moment and sit by the tranquil lake.

The gardens are open at weekends until the 28 February and are then open from 3 March, Wednesdays to Sundays (10.30am-5.30pm). For more information call 01280 822850.

Polesden
© John Miller
King George VI and the Queen Mother spent their honeymoon at Polesden Lacey

4. Polesden Lacey, Surrey


This beautifully sunny place is alive with the spirit of its most celebrated owner - Mrs Ronald Greville - whose zest for life and vivacious sparkle made for a whirlwind of weekend parties and the odd spot of romance too.

In 1923, the future George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon nestled in the beautiful landscape of the North Downs.

The garden is open daily from 13 February (10am-5pm), with the house opening on 3 March 2010, on Wednesdays and Thursdays (from 11am-5pm).

For more information and to book, call 01372 452048.

Wimpole
© NTPL/Nick Meers
Wander around the colourful parterre garden at Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire

5. Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire


Cambridgeshire’s grandest country house, Wimpole, was home to a man who had a very important part to play in Britain's romantic history.

Phillip, the first Earl of Hardwicke, purchased Wimpole in 1740 and 15 years later played an instrumental part in the passing of the Marriage Act of 1754, establishing the legal basis for the conduct and definition of marriages in England and Wales.

The gardens are Wimpole’s crowning glory with its trees - oaks, beeches, limes and ashes - providing a stunning backdrop to the gardens. The garden is open now, and the hall opens on 27 February. For more information call 01223 206000.

Normal admission prices
Gift Aid Admission (Standard Admission prices in brackets) Hall and gardens: adults, £9.30 (£8.40), child, £5.20 (£4.65), family, £27 (£24.50). Garden only: adult, £3.90 (£3.50), child, £2.10 (£1.85). Hall, gardens and farm: adults, £14 (£12.60), child, £7.60 (£6.85), family, £36.80 (£33.20). Reduced rate when arriving by cycle or public transport.

For more information on these romantic getaways, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

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