I have made no secret of my love of the National Trust. I spent my childhood weekends visiting varying NT places and I knew it was something I wanted to do with my own children.
We’ve been members for a few years now, and to us it’s a complete no-brainer as to whether we renew our membership each year. Annual prices start at £69 for an indiviual adult, £114 for a joint membership, and £120 for families. The family membership is fantastic value. It includes two adults, plus up to ten children up to age 17. Plus under 5’s are free!
You can pay for your membership in full or you can pay by monthly direct debit at no additional cost. A lot of companies charge interest or some kind of administration fee for direct debits so it’s great that families can split the cost with no extra charge.
As a family of five we pay £10 a month for our membership. This entitles us to unlimited visits to the sites all over the country. Where else could a family of five spend the day for just £10?! During the summer months we tend to visit at least two NT sites a month so the savings really rack up. Especially when the admission prices for families without membership can cost up to £40 per visit.
Last year the National Trust reached over 5 million memberships for the first time, so we’re obviously not the only one’s reaping the benefits! So other than the obvious financial benefits, why else should you join the National Trust?
In a world of iPads and computer games it’s all too easy to become couch potatoes and stay indoors. Having the membership encourages you (and the kids!) to get out there and explore.
The NT offers outdoor activities and experiences for all tastes, from beaches, woodlands and tranquil gardens, to castles, mazes and adventure play areas.
National Trust’s chairman Tim Parker sums it up perfectly when he says “a visit to a trust property can be a real tonic – you get to see real beauty, not virtual beauty.”
Learn about local history
Not only are the NT properties visually stunning, they’re educational too! It’s the perfect opportunity to teach the kids about local history away from the constraints of a classroom. A lot of the properties we have been too have offered tours, which have all been kid friendly. During our visits the kids have learnt what it was like to be servants and mill workers, they’ve been in castle dungeons and tried on heavy armour.
It’s a good reminder to them just how lucky they are to be born in today’s generation!
Perfect for families of young children
When I’ve spoken to other parents about the National Trust, is seems have a bit of a reputation of being a bit stuffy and old fashioned. We haven’t found that at all! The volunteers have all been friendly and go out of their way to involve and interest the children.
There’s a 6 year age gap between my oldest, and youngest and it can be difficult to find places to entertain all three of them. That’s never an issue with the National Trust. My eldest is 9 and is just as happy as his younger siblings to run around and explore. He is interested in the history of places, and learning new facts, and they are presented in a way through tours and activities that even our three year old is entertained too.
There are over 350 National Trust sites across the UK. Whenever we visit a new place on holiday we always check what National Trust properties are nearby. It’s really handy to have if the weather isn’t great, or we’re struggling for a way to entertain the kids without breaking the bank.
The most popular attractions include –
- Giant’s Causeway, Antrim
- Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire
- Attingham Park, Shropshire
- Belton House, Lincolnshire
- Larrybane, North Antrim
The National Trust quite often runs different activities during bank holidays and school holidays. At Easter they run Easter Egg hunts which the kids obviously love! We’ve been to Roald Dahl themed activities, a scarecrow festival and a lego exhibition amongst many more.
Most of the activities are included in the price of entry (so free if you’re a member!) whilst others have a small extra fee. The Cadbury Trails were around £2 each, basically to cover the price of the egg the kids are gifted on completion.
We honestly believe our National Trust membership is one of our best buys and haven’t regretted it for a moment. They’re currently giving away free binoculars if you sign up by direct debit. What are you waiting for?!