The 190 properties are all owned by the Landmark Trust and many are open once a year to day visitors too.
The Landmark Trust is a building preservation charity, founded in 1965 by the late Sir John Smith and Lady Smith and its property portfolio is a well kept secret.
It was established to rescue historic and architecturally interesting buildings and their surroundings from neglect and, when restored, to give them new life by letting them as places to experience for holidays.
The Trust aims to promote enjoyment of historic buildings by enabling as many people as possible to experience living in them for a short time. The letting income raised from holiday bookings then pays for the future maintenance of the buildings.
The open days held at many of the properties are free and you can get a great idea of what life was like long ago simply by looking around the buildings.
So, if you are planning a Suffolk weekend break for example, you could incorporate a trip to a Landmark Trust property and get a free history lesson!
Why not start your magical history tour with a trip to Freston Tower, near Ipswich, Suffolk which will be open from Friday, September 7 to Tuesday, September 11?
Freston Tower was given to Landmark by its owner who wanted to secure its future and ensure it was enjoyed by many people.
Set in old and undulating parkland of oaks, sweet chestnuts, cedar and beech trees, the tower was built in the mid-1550s overlooking the broad expanse of the River Orwell estuary.
The origins of the tower are uncertain but its most likely builder was a wealthy Ipswich merchant, Thomas Gooding, who bought Freston Manor in 1553.
Freston Tower was built both to admire from the outside and to look out from on the inside; with no fewer than 26 windows dotted over its six storeys it is certainly eye-catching!
It may also have acted as a lookout tower for Gooding’s returning ships, or simply as an extravagant folly. Historians have also suggested that it may even have been built to coincide with Queen Elizabeth’s progress to Ipswich in 1561.
The tower has been carefully restored to the highest standards of craftsmanship. Using early photographs as sources, the Landmark Trust re-rendered the brick and window surrounds.
The tower will now hopefully dominate the beautiful Suffolk landscape for many years to come.