Both physically and mentally, beautiful spaces, indoors and outdoors, are essential for the nation's health and happiness

Yoga at Powderham Castle in Devon

The pandemic brought home more than ever the value people place on parks and gardens, and calming, relaxing, fun, entertaining, and informative historic spaces. Heritage is routinely recognised as one of the best ways to generate pride in place, and YouGov research shows that living in a historic environment is linked to greater community engagement in local decision-making – it helps people care about the places they live and to want to participate in shaping their future.

We continue to remind Government of the enormous wellbeing benefits our member houses and gardens can offer. These special places are cultural lynchpins for their local communities, bringing together opportunities for access to great art, architecture and craftsmanship with the creative industries, fitness and mindfulness activities, community engagement and access to beauty, nature and open space. 

Many of our members offer opportunities people of all ages to volunteer, come together in community activities, and some also pilot social prescribing projects. Others simply offer a warm welcome, a cup of tea and cake, and a chance for people to stretch their legs, chat, and spend time with family and friends.

In our recent assessment, using HM Treasury cost/benefit analysis rules, of the added value that reforming Heritage Maintenance Funds would generate, the boost to the nation’s physical and mental wellbeing was one of the largest sources of savings and benefits. 

The 'wellbeing value' of historic building visits is


per year for an average individual
Marchmont House - Artist Julia Alexandra Mee - Colin Hattersley Photography

Nurturing Creative Heritage at Marchmont

From its origins in the mid-18th century to the present day, the story of Marchmont House combines history with innovation and tradition with renewal. Many of those who have lived at this spectacular Palladian mansion, near Greenlaw, in the Scottish...

Prince Charles at Dumfries House

HRH The Prince of Wales opens community fridge at Dumfries House

HRH The Prince of Wales and Duke of Rothsay opened the Community Fridge Network’s 100th fridge at Dumfries House today to help bring together the local community of East Ayrshire to tackle food waste.

Bowood House and Gardens

The Most Huggable Trees at Bowood

With human touch and hugs in shorter supply since March, the boost to body and soul that comes from tree-hugging is being encouraged far and wide.

Blenheim Palace bike ride

Heritage & Health report launch

The report featured highlights from many of our own members’ wellbeing initiatives, from fireside yoga and mindfulness sessions at Powderham Castle to dyslexia and literacy support programmes at Bell House.

Kiplin Hall and Gardens in North Yorkshire

Kiplin Hall sets new visitor records

With the end of the open season fast approaching this historic house museum, garden and tea room counts its blessings. After re-opening post lockdown Kiplin Hall and Gardens has reported record-breaking visitor figures as its popularity with local people grows.