National Trust: Allan Bank

I love being a member of the National Trust. It makes me feel smug and swotty, as though it's up there with being fluent in 3 languages and a grade 6 on the cello. However, some of the properties have the same stuffy, formal feeling that a grade 6 cellist might. Not Allan Bank!

view of Allan Bank garden

Peeping over the picturesque village of Grasmere, in The Lake District, Allan Bank is both wowing and welcoming. Just stepping into the entrance, you are met with a piano which (careful) visitors are invited to play, while staff encourage you to browse at leisure, and gently remind you of their whereabouts should you have any questions.

Allan Bank doorway and stairs

Looking around, it's hard not to notice that the grand staircase is rather different to the standard National Trust fare. Instead of artisan wallpaper and thick carpets, Allan Bank have kept the shabby chic look that came with the aftermath of a fire many years ago. Instead of being ominous, it's actually more beautiful to see it still standing strong.

Rather than a revered, museum feel to the rooms, they are more akin to visiting a very old and eccentric family member. Visitors are invited to sit by the breathtaking picture windows, play a game of chess, read a book, or even use the views as inspiration to write or paint. 

blue vintage typewriter

Allan Bank is home to a dedicated art room, with supplies suitable to all ages. Each surface is marked by the many visitors that have passed through, as though the building itself has enjoyed their company. Allan Bank even has its own shop, so if you don't fancy creating your own souvenir there are some very sweet alternatives to take home. There is also a self service tearoom, perfect for talking over the best bits of your visit.

Allan Bank shop tearoom and craft room
selection of teas

I still admire the traditional manor houses, with their grandeur and grace, but the informal charm of Allan Bank will always be special to me. I love that it caters to all ages, and really invites visitors to get involved, and add their own pieces to the history it holds within.

pink flowers in jam jar

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