I was first introduced to the Historic Houses Association membership by Kelly from Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes, one of the few people I know who loves visiting historic properties as much as I do! This membership offers free entry to over 300 of the UK’s privately and charitably owned historic houses, castles and gardens.
I’m already an English Heritage member and one of the perks of their membership is a discount when signing up as a HHA Friend. Even at full price I think the HHA membership offers great value but I was able to sign up for a double adult membership for just £48 (£24 per person). Since most properties cost around £15 to enter, we only need to visit two properties to justify the membership cost.
Of course, I’ll be aiming to visit a lot more than just two properties! I’ve already visited Hever Castle, and here are ten more HHA properties I’m aiming to visit this year:
Strawberry Hill House
Strawberry Hill is considered to be Britain’s finest example of Gothic Revival architecture. Located in Twickenham, the house was built by Horace Walpole, the son of the first British Prime Minister. You can read more about Strawberry Hill House in this post by A Lady in London.
I visited Syon Park when I stayed at the Hilton hotel there but I didn’t get the chance to snoop inside the house. Strawberry Hill House is only 15 minutes away so I’ll probably try and visit both on the same day.
Painshill is an award-winning 18th century landscape garden in Surrey spanning 158 acres. You’ve probably seen photos of the crystal grotto at Painshill before - it often crops up on those ‘Places You Won’t Believe Are Actually In London’ style posts. You can read more about Painshill Gardens in this post by Lines of Escape.
Woburn Abbey is another property that I heard about through Kelly at Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes. It’s close enough to London to visit on a day trip so I’ll definitely be popping in after it re-opens in April. Image source: Flickr.
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter or Downton Abbey then this castle will probably look quite familiar to you! Alnwick Castle is located in Northumberland so it will be a bit of a mission to visit. I’m thinking about basing myself in Newcastle upon Tyne for a long weekend and visiting Alnwick as a day trip.
This is another place on my Harry Potter bucket list. The Yule Ball staircase scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was filmed at Knebworth House. It’s a lot easier to get to than Alnwick Castle though as it’s only an hour away from London. You can read more about Knebworth House in this post by Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes.
Chiddingstone Castle is located in the heart of the National Trust village of Chiddingstone, near Edenbridge in Kent. It’s only 10 minutes drive from Hever Castle so you could combine a visit to both on a day trip from London.
Titsey Place is one of the largest surviving historic estates in Surrey, dating back to the mid-sixteenth century. The house is open for guided tours in the summer months on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Situated in the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire, Ashridge House is another fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. It is used as a management training college, and for weddings and events, but guided tours are open to the public in August. Image source: Ashridge House.
Located just north of Peterborough, Burghley House was built for Elizabeth I’s Lord High Treasurer, Lord Burghley. It is considered to be one of Britain’s greatest non-royal palaces. You can read more about Burghley House in this post by Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes.
Are you a HHA member? What are some of your favourite properties to visit?