Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Being a sea monster...

Here's Alex from our team getting all inspired by our sea monsters above on her recent holiday:

Photo: Sandy Scott

We're hoping our sea monsters will surprise you with the wide range of places we look after in the London and South East region, and hopefully inspire you to find out more.  

So you want to be a sea monster...
We look after 30 miles of coastline in our region including: Birling Gap (pebble beach), East Head (sand dunes – non NT car park), White Cliffs of Dover (cliff tops), ComptonBay, Isle of Wight (sandy beach), St Helen's Duver (sandy beach) and Needles Headland, Isle of Wight, (cliff tops).

Why not visit and practice your sea monster roar? If you'd like to dress up in the sea weed like Alex and the sea monsters in our advert, please can you leave it at the beach when you're finished. Seaweed is part of the habitat at the beach, and it will get really smelly if you take it home. If you're worried that dressing up in seaweed might not be very hygienic, it's no more dangerous than making sandcastles on the beach.

Beach not for you?

Maybe you think your happy place is more likely to be found in wild woods or beautiful gardens? Well, we look after lots of those as well. You can find out more about places near you on our website.

We'd love to see picture of any woodland trolls or fairy dens you might make!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Ham House stars in Disney’s Mars adventure

National Trust places can be many things: places of beauty, of historic significance and with timeless appeal. What they're unlikely to be is part of a sci-fi adventure film, but Ham House and Garden in Richmond-upon-Thames is set to change that with a role in Disney’s action packed blockbuster John Carter.

© Disney
Looking for a grand waterfront house that could double up as a New York mansion on the Hudson River the cast and crew spent six weeks filming John Carter at Ham last January. Released this Friday (9 March) John Carter is a live action film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' 1912 sci-fi comic-book John Carter of Mars, about a civil war veteran who is magically transported to a turbulent new life on the red planet. A sumptuous red-brick Stuart mansion on the southern bank of the River Thames, Ham was transformed into the American home of John Carter

© NTPL Nick Meers
As Camilla Churchill, Assistant House Steward at the property explains, “The look they were going for was a grand house that has been neglected as the owner becomes obsessed with all things related to Mars.”

“The crew set up the Back Parlour as a sort of ramshackle office with a comfy leather chair and lots of paper work; they built in pin boards and covered every surface. The West Passage and Great Hall were filled with glass fronted cupboards for the storage of specimens, there were boxes and packing and a collection of unbelievable artefacts.”

Outside in Ham’s maze-like wilderness a full size mausoleum was built, from 2x4 and plaster of Paris.

Situated within the M25, Ham is regarded as one of the best-kept secrets in the British film industry with location managers appreciating its versatility and directors seduced by its good looks. Recent shoots include Downton Abbey, Never Let Me Go and The Young Victoria.

Commenting on Ham’s role on the big screen, Camilla said,

“Thanks to production companies like Disney choosing National Trust places as locations for their feature films people can follow in the footsteps of the stars and visit the ‘set’. But it’s not just visitors that benefit, as any film location fees earned at National Trust places whether it's a few hundred pounds or tens of thousands, go in their entirety to maintain that specific site, to care for it in the future.”

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ann's #happyplace

Here's Ann Wright's happy place:
Beachy Head by Ann Wright
My happy feel free place is Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters near Eastbourne.
On a windy day - which is often up there - the wind blows away the cobwebs leaving a refreshed and clear mind.
On a sunny day it's just beautiful to gaze out across the sparkling sea to the horizon, whilst a sea mist can leave you wondering what lurks behind the curtain.
Up there, your imagination is blown free to take you beyond the horizon.