If wandering around a windswept bit of British countryside in the middle of autumn sounds like something you’d like to do, then the National Trust will certainly oblige — and it even has a free iPhone app to help.
National Trust Gardens costs nothing to download from the iTunes App Store and, once installed, uses the iPhone’s GPS location feature to pinpoint the nearest National Trust garden to your current location.
In addition to locating each garden on a map, the app also gives a basic overview and contact details, plus links to the Google Maps app for driving directions. Gardens can also be viewed according to the best time of year to visit.
The National Trust Gardens app also includes the option to download much more detailed guides for each of its locations, though this initial version only offers a guide to Stourhead.
The Stourhead guide provides an annotated map of the garden itself showing the various areas of interest, along with an alphabetical list of plants.
There’s also an ‘augmented reality’ option that combines the view from the iPhone’s camera with overlaid graphics to make it easier to find something when wandering around the Stourhead garden, though it’s best to keep one eye on the real word when trying this kind of technology.
Another 20-odd similarly detailed garden guides will be available over the next 12 months, including Cliveden, Hidcote and Waddesdon.
Mike Calnan, Head of Gardens at the National Trust, said: “The app is a fantastic new way to explore our iconic gardens.
“It is easy to use and packed full of useful information and beautiful imagery giving users a tantalising glimpse of what they can expect.
“We hope it will encourage people to visit National Trust gardens more frequently and to explore some of our less well known properties.”
The garden app follows the successful launch of the National Trust iPhone app last year. The app is number one in the top 10 travel app chart and has a 4.5 star rating. To date it has been downloaded over half a million times.