For a holiday like no other why not stay at one of 400 exclusive National Trust holiday venues; whether that's experiencing what life would have been like for a lighthouse keeper, staying on the film set of a Hollywood blockbuster, or getting after-hours access to a 12th century Cistercian Abbey, you will create memories that last a lifetime.
Throughout August the National Trust is offering 15% off selected last minute breaks, with some of the best below. For more last minute deals visit our inspirational holidays website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays.
Built in 1871 this white-washed cottage would have once been the home of the lighthouse keeper and his family. Now a comfortable two-bedroom holiday home, enjoy a cup of tea in the garden and soak up the sweeping views of the coastline.
Stretching north from Souter Lighthouse is The Leas, a two and a half mile expanse of limestone cliffs, wave-cut foreshores and coastal grassland, perfect for blowing away those cobwebs.
Newcastle, with its shops, museums, galleries and award-winning restaurants, is just a 15 mile drive from the cottage.
Price: Example for 3 nights from Mon 21 Aug, £610.30, saving £107.
Best for after-hours access - West Gate Lodge, Ripon, Yorkshire. Sleeps 2. NEW
Looking over the ruins of Fountains Abbey, guests will enjoy a cosy cottage furnished with handcrafted oak furniture and original Victorian features such as diamond leaded windows – perfect for framing the beautiful views.
For alfresco dining, or simply relaxing with a good book, guests can head down to their own secluded, and naturally wild, strip of riverbank garden bordering the Skell.
With the Abbey, 700 acre Studley Royal deer park and grounds on the doorstep, guests are able to explore this incredible location once visitors have gone home. For those with an artistic flare, there are materials and an easel waiting; perfect for painting the Abbey at sunset.
Best for TV and film star moments - 2 High Street, Lacock, Wiltshire. Sleeps 6
It's been 20 years since Harry Potter and his magical friends, burst into our consciousness. For those who want to experience life inside the mystical halls of Hogwarts, a stay in Lacock Village has to be high on the wish list.
Just a short stroll from this charming 15th century-cottage, with its wonky timber frames, slate floors and low ceilings, is Lacock Abbey, where the 12th century cloisters were the location for many scenes.
If you prefer your TV and film to be less fantastical, Lacock village also featured in Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Cranford, and this cottage was used by the stars to relax in during shoots.
On a sunny day perhaps take a walk through the rolling countryside or visit some of the country's most significant prehistoric landmarks including Stonehenge, Avebury and the chalk horse in Uffington, and then settle down in the cottage's secluded rear garden to soak up the sunshine – it's a real suntrap on bright days.
Price: Example for 2 nights from Sat 5 Aug, £847.45, saving £149 (Guests also enjoy free access to Lacock Abbey).
Best place for everyone to gather - Norbury Manor, Ashbourne, Derbyshire.Sleeps 12 and 2 dogs
Norbury Manor really lives up to its name, with fine period furnishings, dark panelled walls and stained glass windows. As a Grade I listed building, it's of exceptional historical interest. Although the manor is large, it oozes cosiness in its 'snug' where a large open fire warms the room – something that might even be needed in summer!
The manor sits in a medieval knot garden with views over the Peak District. Guests can walk around the garden, into the woodlands, or venture out to the White Peak area of the Peak District, to discover lush green valleys and limestone caves.
Kedleston Hall and Winster Market House are also nearby. Guests also enjoy free entry to Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood.
Price: Example 3 nights from Sat 26 Aug £1701.70, saving £300.
Burrowing amongst the trees above Penarvon Cove is this romantic hideaway. Guests will be practically undisturbed on this small secret beach with only the sound of the waters lapping the shores breaking the silence.
Inside the tiny wooden cabin is a snuggly open-plan kitchen, dining and living area complete with a log-burner. The double-bedroom has views over the Helford River and beyond.
A circular walk behind the cabin leads through woodland and past the commemorative chapel of St Francis on the water's edge. Walk to the local village at Helford for a traditional thatched pub.
Price: Example 2 nights from Tues 15 Aug £510.00, saving £90.
Best for total remoteness - Bird How, Holmrook, Cumbria. Sleeps 4
For a stay truly off the beaten track, this dolls-house-like cottage nestles on a fellside accessed via a farm track. Its remoteness may not be for everyone, but if you're in need of some time away from everyday distractions, Bird How which doesn't have TV or phone signal, offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the Lake District.
Located in Eskdale valley, it is an ideal base for serious walkers and hikers, with many challenging routes starting from the front door. Start the morning with a walk up the steepest road in England, Hardknott Pass, and explore the Roman Fort close to the top. If Scafell Pike is on your bucket-list, its base is less than an hours' drive away.
Price: Example for 2 nights from Sat 12 Aug, £339.15, saving £59.
Best for wildlife - Deer Park Lodge, Sherborne, Nr Northleach, Gloucestershire.Sleeps 4 and 2 dogs
Nestling in the walls of the former entrance gates this two-bedroom cottage comes complete with woodland, wildlife and wonderful views on its doorstep.
Inside, it's a traditional affair with a charming open fire, latticed windows and elegant furnishings. Being single-storey, the cottage is easily accessible to all.
Venturing beyond the cottage, there are three main walking trails through the parklands. You may even be lucky enough to spot deer running through the countryside.
It is an ideal base for discovering the Cotswolds with quintessentially English villages Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the Water less than a 20 minutes' drive away. Also not to be missed is one of the most iconic streets in the UK; Arlington Row in Bibury, just a 10 minutes' drive away.
Best for gardens - 1 Strode House, Barrington Court, Yeovil, Somerset. Sleeps 5.
Originally a stable block, 1 Strode House, stands alongside Barrington Court, a stunning Tudor manor completed in 1550. Now transformed into a luxurious retreat, that retains much of its original character, guests will be transported back in time when they unwind in the sitting room, with its stone fireplace, wood flooring and tall ceilings.
With views across the Arts and Craft garden designed by the famous garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll, guests will be able to marvel at colours and scents from the roses, irises, honeysuckle, and jasmine.
Located in the heart of Somerset, the house is surrounded by countryside with miles of walking routes. The properties of Montacute House, Lytes Cary Manor and Tintinhull Garden are also on the doorstep. The ham-stone village of Barrington is just a five minute walk, where you can stop for a classic pub lunch in its cosy country pub.
Price: Example for 2 nights from Thurs 17 August, £646.85, saving £114
Part of a working farm on the Ysbyty Estate, this 18th century cottage is the perfect countryside spot for exploring Snowdonia. Guests can head straight out into the countryside for hikes, bird watching and fishing.
Eight miles from the cottage is the beautiful town of Betws-y-Coed, nestled in the heart of Snowdonia. Further afield, adventurers can enjoy more energetic attractions including zip wires, Surf Snowdonia, Rib rides and Bounce Below.
Price: Example 3 nights from Sat 19 Aug £544.85, saving £97.
Best for walking and beaches - Dunkery View, Minehead, Somerset.Sleeps 4 and 1 dog.
On the fringes of Exmoor, this quirky cob and thatch cottage is the perfect base for hiking the moors. It has all the features of a traditional country cottage with exposed beams and low ceilings, but uniquely it's built into the 15th Century Tivington Chapel-of-Ease.
Enjoy views of Dunkery Beacon and Exmoor from the country-style garden, before setting off for a walk through the Holnicote estate. Here guests will find 150 miles of footpaths and bridleways through rugged moorland and shingle beaches to ancient woodland and charming thatched villages.
Head to Selworthy for a cream-tea in its pretty thatched tea-room, or Lynton and Lymouth for a ride on the famous cliff railway.
Price: Example for 2 nights from Mon 14 Aug £603.50 saving £106.