The National Trust opens its doors to The Beano

Special 'Gnashional' Trust issue of the magazine hits newsstands today.
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This week's issue of The Beano marks the first time that the National Trust has given fictional characters keys to all of its 300 homes and access to the 617,500 acres of land it cares for.

The aim is to help break down preconceptions of the organisation, with The Beano team of illustrators using characters including Dennis the Menace and Billy Whizz to bring the places to life and show that the National Trust's doors are open to all.

The Numskulls (who live inside Edd's nostrils, obviously) are sneezed out at Edwardian Surrey estate Polesden Lacey into a game of croquet; Minnie the Minx visits Northern Ireland and Giant's Causeway; the Bash Street Kids visit Arlington Court in Devon; and Billy Whizz - the fastest boy in The Beano - explores the country in less than a day.

"We are delighted to open our doors to The Beano and all of its mischievous characters," said Tony Berry, visitor experience director of the National Trust. "The National Trust and The Beano are both British institutions and we are hoping the news that we have opened our doors to them all will encourage families to take a leaf out of Dennis' book and organise a trip to one of our places.

"Wherever we can, we have tried to take away ropes and show the fun side of our places with everything from mazes to talking portraits. We are certain that real life Dennises will find that it is not all 'please don't touch' any more."

John-Paul Murphy, head of brand marketing at DC Thomson, added: "We couldn't think of a better way to prove what fun kids can have at 'Gnashional Trust' properties by letting the world's most famous menace and his friends from Beanotown loose on them."

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