This ten-disc set by SkyArts features documentaries on eleven National Trust properties. These are Hardwick Hall (Derbyshire); Calke Abbey (Derbyshire); The Vyne (Hampshire); Waddesdon Manor (Buckinghamshire); Castle Drogo (Devon); Powis Castle (Powis); Willow Road (London)/The Homewood (Surrey); Ham House (Surrey); Batemans (Sussex); and Castle Ward (County Down).
As you can see, the preponderance of places chosen is in the south of England, with two in the Midlands, one in Wales, and one in Northern Ireland. I suppose the most useful is that on The Homewood; described as "the last country-house" to be built in England, this property in leafy Surrey can only be visited by booked guided tour.
In terms of period and style, we have Medieval (Powis Castle), Elizabethan (Hardwick), Jacobean (Batemans), Palladian/Gothick (Castle Ward), French Baronial (Waddesdon), right up to the Modernism of Willow Road and the Homewood. But most of the properties, of course, are rarely pure in these terms and comprise an agglomeration of features from different parts of its history.
Each episode is about an hour long and consists of a narration by Nigel Havers. He describes each property, its history, many of its interior and exterior features, and how it came to the Trust. Various talking heads - members of the donating family, Trust regional administrators, property managers, volunteers, local and art historians - provide useful additional information.
The whole series is directed by Jon Woods, so each episode tends to follow a set pattern, but that on Batemans (or Bateman's - the series cannot seem to make its mind up about the apostrophe) is really a biography on Kipling. The series is useful in providing a background to a visit, as well as often acting as a surrogate visit itself.
The whole set could quite easily have fitted onto three or four discs, for there are no extras.