Holidaymakers are to have the chance to stay at the heart of historic buildings and estates, one of the country's leading conservation organisations reveals today.
English Heritage is offering tourists the chance to stay in self-catering holiday cottages, part of a new portfolio aimed at the luxury end of the market.
It will offer contemporary 21st century interiors within dramatic heritage environments.
Prices start from £485 - roughly £120 per person - for a week-long rental of Fort House at St Mawes Castle in Cornwall, which sleeps four people.
The first phase of the programme sees six properties available for hire with further cottages being added over the course of the year.
The accommodation is currently going through a renovation programme and English Heritage said that, once complete, it should achieve Visit Britain's five star rating.
There will be a total of 30 properties ready for rental by 2008.
Rob Parkes, head of property development for English Heritage, said: "This is an exciting new initiative for us. We are delighted to welcome guests to stay at the heart of the historic properties in our care.
"The buildings being developed in this programme were formerly redundant and are being bought back into beneficial re-use, giving our visitors the chance to experience English Heritage properties in a unique way.
"They will generate income which will make a significant contribution towards our aim of reducing our operational deficit to zero."
Holidaymakers can choose from the elegant four-storey former residence of the Battery Sergeant Major of Dover Castle or Pavilion Cottage in the grounds of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, which was used as a cricket pavilion by the Royal Naval College.
Other properties in the first phase of the programme include the Custodian's House, perching on the ramparts of Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, Fort House at St Mawes Castle, also in Cornwall, Abbey Cottage at Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire and Field Hall Lodge at Belsay Hall in Northumberland.
Reservations can be made from February 27 by calling 0870 333 1181.
Full details of the holiday cottages and prices can be accessed from February 27 via the website www.english-heritage.org.uk/membership quoting EVEN. ..SUPL: