National Trust recruits famous faces to encourage the country to share favourite places –

Celebrities are used to life in front of the lens but this spring stars from the world of sport, film and TV are taking a turn behind the camera.

Actor Jude Law, chefs The Fabulous Baker Brothers and England rugby ace Austin Healey are among those who have shared photographs of the places that mean the most to them as part of a nationwide initiative by the National Trust to celebrate the importance of ‘special places’ in people’s lives. 

The campaign follows research undertaken by the charity which found that 84 per cent of Brits have a favourite place they go to which positively affects their wellbeing and happiness.

Photographs by the celebrities are being showcased on a new app created by the National Trust to encourage people to share their favourite place and why it means so much to them. The app will also feature places that are important to National Trust staff and volunteers and members of the public.

Included on the app are well-known names such as Nell McAndrew with photographs of Ham House in London, whilst Kim Cattrall shares memories of Blickling Estate in Norfolk, describing it as a perfect day when she visited with family. Other celebrities involved include The Fabulous Baker Brothers, Tom and Henry Herbert, who chose DyrhamPark near Bath after family picnics there and its spectacular views across the South Gloucestershire countryside. Musician Gary Kemp chose the Lake District as his special place after summers spent holidaying in the heart of National Trust countryside, sharing a picture of his son topping a Lakeland Fell.  

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David Gandy comments, “I wanted to share my favourite photograph of Melford Hall as I have such fond and affectionate memories here, from visiting the beautiful grounds and rooms on school trips with all my school friends to family outings.  Luckily my parents live very close to Melford hall and so we tend to visit together quite often. I particularly enjoy the fun event held on fireworks night, as this is when the gardens and park really come to life. Lots of people have special places that evoke happy memories so I think it’s great that the National Trust is encouraging people to share their love and give these places the importance they deserve.”

Celebrity snaps & locations:

1. Jude Law

Cliveden House, Berkshire

2. Naomie Harris, Actress and Bond girl

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

3. David Gandy, Model

Melford Hall, Sudbury

4. Kim Cattrall, actress

Blickling Estate, Norfolk

5. Alex Jones, Presenter

Brecon Beacon’s, Wales

6. Samantha Murray, Olympian

Lacock Abbey, Lacock near Bath

7. Austin Healey, former England & British Lions rugby player

Conwy Bridge, North Wales 

8. Tom and Henry Herbert, The Fabulous Baker Brothers – TV chefs

Dyrham Park, Bath 

9. Johny Pitts, CBBC Children’s TV Presenter

Upper Derwent Valley, Peak District

10. Nell McAndrew, Model & fitness expert

Ham House, London 

11. Tyger Drew Honey, Actor in Outnumbered

Box Hill, Surrey

12. Gary Kemp, Musician with Spandau Ballet

Lakeland fell, Lake District

13. Sienna Guillory, Actress best known for her role in Resident Evil

Blakeney, Norfolk

14. Hugo Taylor, Made in Chelsea star

Carlyle House, Chelsea

15. Nick Moran, Actor, famous for his role in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

The George Inn, London

16. Jacqueline Durran, Oscar winning Costume Designer on recent blockbuster Anna Karenina

Basildon Park, Reading

17. Enzo Cilenti, Actor known for his roles in Wonderland 24 hour party people and Prisoner’s Wives

Cray in Upper Wharfedale, Yorkshire

According to the National Trust study, four out of five people (81 per cent) said visiting their favourite place had a bigger impact on their wellbeing than shopping or going to the cinema. Nearly a third of those surveyed (31 per cent) said their favourite place was where they grew up, while 30 per cent chose a recent holiday spot and one in four (25 per cent) the location of a childhood family outing.

One in ten (ten per cent) are romantically-minded and admitted that their special place was where they were married and five per cent where they were proposed to. 87 per cent said their special place made them happy just thinking about it, with three quarters of those surveyed (75 per cent) revealing the place they love the most reminded them of their family.

The National Trust is now galvanising the nation to discover or revisit their special place and share it with others this bank holiday, wherever it may be.

Laura Malpas, Visitor Experience manager at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire is just one of the Trust’s staff who has shared the place that means the most to her:

“Each of the places we look after has its own individual story but is also uniquely special in thousands of people’s lives for thousands of different reasons. The National Trust is all about championing the importance of special places and we want to get the nation involved in discovering or revisiting their favourite place and sharing it with friends and family.

For me, Canons Ashby will always hold a special place in my heart. I first visited on a magical day with my little girl, aged 3, flying kites and enjoying the spring sunshine. I remember the wide open spaces, big sky, and a fantastic unspoiled view. I fell in love with this secret corner of Northamptonshire, that was so tranquil after all the busyness of my pressured job, and ten years later, after visiting on and off, I started volunteering here. I truly love it here and watching the people who visit fall under the same spell of this unassuming and enchanting place makes my day.”

To explore the National Trust places and find or discover new special places log onto www.nationaltrust.org.uk. The nation can also register their special place and tell everyone why they love it at www.facebook.com/nationaltrust and #specialplaces

Watch the video here to see some of the stars sharing some of their special places:


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