In Secrets of the National Trust, Alan Titchmarsh explores the houses, landscapes and coastline looked after by the conservation charity.
From the magnificence of a French Renaissance-style château built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to a ‘Capability’ Brown masterpiece, the Channel 5 series travels the length and breadth of the UK, delving into the nation’s history.
Here he tells us about three of his favourite days out, from Churchill’s country home in Kent to a rugged beach in Cornwall.
“It’s fashionable to knock Sir Winston Churchill, but he was a fascinating man — the most influential Briton of the 20th century — and so Chartwell, his country home, is of enormous interest. When you go to his studio and see his paints, or his bathroom, or the dining room where his wife Clemmie threw a bowl of spinach at him, you get a real feeling of what the man was like off-duty.
“The National Trust has some wonderful walks. There’s a lovely two- to three-hour walk from Sennen Cove to Porthcurno and back — though it’s overrun with Poldark fans! It’s fantastic for wildlife, surf crashing on rocks and tiny sheltered coves. In the evening, return to the outdoor Minack Theatre, which overlooks the ocean. Above it is the most beautiful sloping garden.”
“Corfe Castle sits on this knoll, and you can see it from the road. It’s just so statuesque. You could park your easel and draw it from 100 different angles. I think you could spend a week there and not paint the same view twice.”