By histman (Swarkestone Grandstand) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
May 23, 2016; Fast Company, “CoDesign”

For those of us who didn’t get the memo, modern entrepreneurship has brought a new twist to the European lodging services offered by an established nonprofit, The Landmark Trust, and we all want to go right now.

It appears one of the best-kept secrets in the travel industry (from the Americans) is…a nonprofit. For a number of years, The Landmark Trust has been unassumingly buying, restoring, and renting out historic properties all around Europe to travelers for an affordable price. Want to stay in a romantic lighthouse cottage or isolated castle for your anniversary? Or how about a night in a medieval well chapel? Just click, book, and pack your bags, because you are in. The properties themselves have a rich history that sometimes even collides with pop culture due to their famous guests. Their Twitter feed boasts a photo of the Rolling Stones in front of their Swarkestone Pavilion property for a photo shoot in the 1960s.

The Landmark Trust nonprofit offers a balance between tearing down old buildings or letting them go to pot and the extensive and expensive upkeep of simply preserving them for people to look at or build a museum around. Besides, let’s be honest—people like to touch things they shouldn’t. History doesn’t get any more hands-on than sleeping in a historic cottage and grumbling to your spouse about making weak coffee in it. And we like to stay places that make people jealous when we post about them. The booking menu even tells would-be travelers which properties are dog friendly. This is another example of the nonprofit sector filling a need and beautifully preserving history for all to enjoy in a unique and fun way.—Carrie Collins-Fadell

Correction: The original headline for this newswire suggested a connection with online short-term lodging site Airbnb. No such connection exists, and any similarity between the two is only via analogy. NPQ apologizes to the Landmark Trust for the confusion.