If you are interested in a holiday with a difference, the
Landmark Trust may have just what you are looking for.
Founded in 1965, this building preservation charity owns 180
historic buildings throughout the UK.
Whether you want a cosy weekend away for two, or a fun getaway
for the whole family, the Landmark Trust has a range of places to
choose from, accommodating from one person, to a party of 16. You
can discover castles, towers, banqueting houses, cottages and even
a converted pig sty.
I stayed at Laughton Place in Sussex, a 16th century tower which
was once part of a much larger manor house. It was built in 1534 by
Sir William Pelham, a companion of King Henry VIII. The house and
land was sold by the Pelham family in 1927 and the new owner
demolished the wings of the house, leaving only the tower.
When the Landmark Trust bought Laughton Place in 1978 it was in
a state of complete disrepair; the tower had great cracks in its
sides, and the floors had fallen in. The three-year restoration
that followed was one of the trust’s most challenging projects to
Today the tower has two twin bedrooms, a kitchen with a large
dining table, a living room and shower room. Inside it is
surprisingly warm and cosy. The rooms are plain, but comfortably
furnished, with attention to detail in the restored terracotta
windows and the curtains which have been hand-printed with the
family emblem, the Pelham Buckle.
The bedrooms offer spectacular views of the surrounding
countryside and if you are feeling adventurous you can climb the
winding stone staircase (with its 80-plus steps) to the top of the
Laughton Place is set at the end of a long, private drive and
surrounded by just a few farmhouses. Mums and dads will love the
peace and quiet, while children will enjoy staying in their own
fortress, complete with battlements and a moat. The tower was the
perfect place to get away from it all for the weekend.
Laughton Place sleeps up to four people and costs from £413 for
a three-night weekend (Friday to Monday), £278 for a four-night
midweek stay (Monday to Friday) or from £553 for a week.
For further information, go to www.landmarktrust.org.uk or call the Landmark Trust booking office on 01628 825925.