The National Trust has revealed that Powis Castle in Wales has been voted the favourite place to walk in an online poll run by the charity.
The castle's parkland was one of eight places championed by celebrities to represent the best walks that can be found across the nation.
Members of the public then voted online for their favourite as part of the National Trust's first ever Walking Festival, sponsored by PruHealth.
The walk round the grounds of Powis Castle was chosen by weather presenter Sian Lloyd. She said: "I'm absolutely delighted by this. I'm thrilled they've won - and deservedly so because Powis Castle is the best castle in the country."
Alison Dyer, the castle's Assistant Visitor Services Manager, said: "We are delighted to win the Walking Festival vote.
"It is a real tribute to the beauty of Powis Castle and the joy that many people receive from exploring our grand Italianate terraces, dancing statues and lavish herbaceous borders, framed by a beautiful red Welsh castle."
Powis won with 40 per cent of the overall vote. Croome Park in Worcestershire, championed by the singer Toyah Wilcox, was second. Newton Pool in Northumberland, championed by crime writer Val McDermid, was third.
Other places featured were Ham House in Richmond, chosen by comedian Omid Djalili, Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland (TV presenter Zoe Salmon), Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire (archaeologist Francis Pryor), Windermere in the Lake District (polar explorer Paul Rose) and The Warren in South Devon (Adam Hart Davis).
The vote was organised as part of the Trust's Walking Festival which was held during the October half term. More than 62,000 people took part in walking-themed events at 376 National Trust properties across the UK.
Many more people took advantage of the mild autumn weather to go for self-guided walks on the Trust’s 250,000 hectares of land and 710 miles of coastline. The Walking Festival is now set to become an annual event.
Videos of all the celebrity walks can be viewed at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/walkingfestival.
There are also more than 700 recommended National Trust walking routes - including the celebrity walks and ideas for winter walks - available to download from www.nationaltrust.org.uk/walks.
Powis Castle is open on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and every day from 1 March. Many National Trust buildings and all outdoor destinations are open throughout the winter. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk for full details.
About the National Trust:
With more than 250,000 hectares (660,000 acres) of countryside and woodland and 710 miles of coastline across England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors with the National Trust. The National Trust cares for 300 inspiring historic houses and gardens across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
From former workers' cottages to the most iconic stately homes, and from mines and mills to theatres and inns, the stories of people and their heritage are at the heart of everything it does. People of all ages, individuals, schools and communities get involved each year with its projects, events and working holidays and over 61,000 people volunterring help to bring the properties alive for the Trust's four million members. Find out more at: www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
PruHealth was launched into the UK market in October 2004 as a joint venture between Discovery and UK insurer, Prudential, in response to a growing need for consumer-directed private medical insurance products.
PruHealth received several industry awards, including the Most Trusted PMI Provider at the 2010 Moneywise Awards, the Best PMI Provider at the 2009 Moneyfacts Awards, Best use of Marketing to Intermediaries (Brokers) at the 2010 Health Insurance awards and the award for the Best Individual PMI provider at the 2010 Health Insurance Awards and 2010 Cover Excellence awards.
The National Trust
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