Monday, December 05, 2005

Plan to Visit English Mansions

Good morning, Happy Mansion Lovers!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am!

England has long been well-endowed with mansions. As you know from past posts, access to the mansions is also well organized through the National Trust (see to get started).

What is probably less well known for those who don't live in England is that your mansion viewing and visiting choices are also very broad in there. Beginning many years ago, high taxes, skyrocketing heating cost and challenging upkeep forced many mansion owners to make their homes available to the public. At first these visits were brief and just one day a month. Gradually, access widened . . . and the properties that are now owned by the National Trust make themselves as available as is reasonable.

Here are some dimensions of English mansions that you may not have considered:

1. Plan a holiday visit.

For instance, many of the mansions are opening in December for Christmas festivities. To find out about such seasonal opportunities visit
Here is the link for December's Christmas activities:
The choices can be fascinating. For instance, you can enjoy Christmas carols in a variety of venues and styles. See

2. Plan an important family event in an English mansion.

Weddings and wedding receptions are both frequent choices. Many mansions are now licensed for civil ceremonies, or you can arrange to be married nearby and hold the reception at the mansion. Here is the link for wedding reception choices:

3. Pick a theme and explore it.

Did you know that many English mansions have been featured in various movies and television shows? Here's a link to give you some ideas to see your favorites:
It sounds like Cliveden is the one to be sure to see. Here's a link:

If you are a writer or just like good writing, you may also want to visit the places that have inspired some of the greatest works in English literature. While you are there, you can see various local mansions as well. See

But what if you like ghost stories? England can help you there, as well. See

4. Go on the corporate tab.

Many sites also let companies hold meetings. For more information, see

5. Focus on a region.

If you don't know England very well, you can benefit from the National Trust's many interesting suggested itineraries. See
I was particularly interested in the one for great houses in the London area. See

6. Learn about something that interests you.

The national trust can also help you turn your visit into a learning experience. The choices are many. See for more details.

7. Stay in historic cottages and save a bundle.

Beautiful hotels in England can be pricey. But the National Trust also can point you to historic cottages that it rents out for overnight stays. Here is the link:

8. Get help with bed and breakfasts to stretch your budget.

One of my least favorite trips to England was a time when my wife and I didn't have a reservation ahead. We drove and drove and drove, and couldn't find anyplace that wasn't booked. We ended up in a fleabag and the breakfast bacon had something green growing on it. You can avoid that problem by having the National Trust help you find some lovely bed and breakfast accommodations where you'll start off with a hearty English breakfast. Here's the link:

Could a billionaire do better? I doubt it.

A billionaire finds protecting his or her billions to be an engaging task. The ones who want to build more billions are even busier. While billionaires may well receive invitations to weekend visits in mansions that you'll never see, the odds are that you will be able to spend more time visiting mansions than they will. Can you imagine The Donald taking public tours of the gardens along with a bus tour group? But for many of the loveliest sites, there are no private tours available.


N.B. As you can tell, I'm experimenting with color. Let me know what you like and what I should change about my use of color.

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Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell