Exploring Lacock Abbey

Our holiday to England was filled with beautiful manor houses, quaint villages, and flourishing gardens, so it's hard to say what was the best or loveliest place we visited...and yet I think that place was Lacock Abbey. The Abbey was founded in the 13th century as a nunnery, although in the 16th century it was sold into private hands and became a residence. So when you visit the Abbey today you feel a mix of that early religious order in the ornate cloisters, but walking into the stone building feels more like an old country seat a far cry from the stoic interior you'd expect from a religious order. If the cloister walk looks familiar then you can probably thank Harry Potter, as several scenes from the film franchise were filmed here. It's funny we *accidentally* visited so many film sets on our explorations of the Wiltshire region. We didn't actually choose any of the places we visited based on films (I didn't even realized Harry Potter was filmed in Lacock Abbey until I saw HP branded things in the gift shop!), but rather were looking for beautiful old houses to visit in the region and largely National Trust properties. We always invest in a National Trust membership, but there aren't that many properties in Northern Ireland, so for us it's typically visiting the same ones again and again for free rather than paying each time that make it a worthwhile. However, the National Trust extends throughout all of the UK, so whenever we visit England or Scotland (and maybe one day Wales!) we look up National Trust properties near to wherever we are staying. Lacock was a National Trust property, so visiting it and a number of other stops (Great Chalfield as well) on our holiday didn't cost us anything extra. National Trust properties are always so lovely; they help preserve old manor houses, gardens, and castles that might otherwise fall into disrepair helping preserve history. Even if you're only visiting the United Kingdom on a holiday it could be worthwhile to look up what National Trust properties are nearby and doing your math about the cost per visit or a membership. Another tip is to visit places "early;" early is in quotations as the grounds of Lacock Abbey didn't even open until 10:30am, but we arrived at that time and had it relatively to ourselves!  lacockabbey-23 lacockabbey-55
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