Given Herefordshire is such a rural county, the number of National Trust properties locally isn’t huge so it would be easy to get around all of them in a weekend or mid-week stay here at Brinsop Court. Think about your timings though as many of them are closed during the winter months.
The closest National Trust site to Brinsop Court is The Weir, which is a glorious garden on the banks of the River Wye. The site is closed now for the winter, but if you come in the spring when it re-opens, the display of snowdrops and then the daffodils is breathtaking.
The three closest properties are 11, 11.9 and 12.2 miles away from Brinsop with the nearest being Cwmmau Farmhouse which is a superb example of an early 17th century black and white farmhouse. It is only open on eight days of the year, so if you really want to visit, you need to aim for the four days at the end of June or the four days at the beginning of October!
However, Berrington Hall is open at the weekends during December and January and until the middle of February when it stays open seven days a week. It is a neo-classical mansion set in landscape grounds and only just up the A49 towards Ludlow and well worth a browse around. It was saved for the nation because it is one of the few intact surviving buildings by Henry Holland and the parkland around it was laid out by Capability Brown.
Croft Castle is also open during the weekends in the winter months and all through the week during the season. It is a castellated manor house with stunning panoramic views. As you explore the manor house you will learn about the Croft family’s struggle to keep their castle. Talks, tours, costumes and period pieces will bring nearly 1,000 years of history to life!
Also in Herefordshire we have Brockhampton Estate, a farmed estate of 1,700 acres. It is only 16.3 miles from here and a wander around its moated manor house will show what life was like in a medieval manor house, much like Brinsop! Built slightly later than Brinsop and acquired by the National Trust it will feel like a home from home!
The only other National Trust site in Herefordshire is May Hill. The hill is capped by a clump of pine trees planted in 1887 to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria. The May Hill common was acquired by the National Trust in 1988 and is an area of bracken and developing trees that is still grazed by the commoners’ ponies, pigs and sheep! A short walk up to the top will reveal some beautiful views across the county. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – it’s the countryside!
Winter Itinerary: arrive at Brinsop after 3.00pm on Friday afternoon and enjoy a slice of cake and a pot of tea from the welcome hamper. Snuggle down in front of the roaring fire and relax. Saturday, get up and head over to explore Croft Castle before lunch and then go east to take in the delights of Berrington Hall. On Sunday, start off with a bracing walk up May Hill and then head back to enjoy lunch in Ledbury and on to the Brockhampton estate. Scoot back to Brinsop for your last night of luxury self-catering!