5 reasons you need a National Trust membership

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Family days out are just the best, aren’t they? There is nothing like getting everyone in the car and heading off somewhere in search of adventure and fun. There are loads of free things you can do as a family out of the house, trips to the beach, country walks and so on, but some days out can cost a small fortune. I don’t even want to work out how much money Oli and I have spent on trips to the zoo, farms, aquariums, theme parks and activity centres since we had Leo 3 years ago. My guess though is that it would be a lot! When my super generous sister bought Oli, Leo and I an annual membership to the National Trust earlier this year I was so happy. What a fantastic way to get us out and about and exploring new places as a family. Since March we have visited lots of National Trust properties and we will most certainly be renewing our memberships when they expire next year. If you don’t know what the National Trust is all about you should check out their website and see if there are any properties near you waiting for you to explore. I love my National trust membership and here are 5 reasons I think you might just love having one too.

5 reasons why you need a National Trust membership.

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Exploring the beautiful gardens of Hinton Ampner in the summer

1. Lots of outdoor space – The majority of National Trust properties are surrounded by beautiful country walks and gorgeously maintained and designed gardens. With all this outdoor space there is no better day out for a toddler, all that nature around them is just waiting to be explored. Some properties even have their very own lakes and ponds and you can often find ducks and swans hanging around. We loved strolling round all the different gardens in the spring time and seeing all the flowers in bloom. Leo really enjoyed taking in all the bright colours and looking at all the different flowers. You also get free parking at all National Trust sites and this includes several coastal walks and woodland areas, even more outdoor adventures can be had at no extra cost to you.

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Running across the bridge for an adventure in the woodland at Mottisfont Abbey.

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Sitting amongst the lavender on a sunny afternoon at Mottisfont.

2. Fun things to do – During the summer holidays and in half term many National Trust properties hold special exhibitions and events to make a visit even more enjoyable for the kids. Over the summer Leo and I had fun exploring the world of Beatrix Potter at Mottisfont Abbey and we had a fun family day out to Basildon Park where several ball runs had been set up around the site for the kids to play with. Many properties have special events and trails running over Christmas too, it is always worth checking your local property’s webpage to see if there is anything fun going on – to get a pack to do the trails properly usually costs about £2, a small donation I am happy to pay. The activities are always something a little bit different and make a fun refreshing change to a trip to the playground or your local soft play.

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Having fun finding Peter Rabbit and friends on the Beatrix Potter trail at Mottisfont.

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Chasing his ball along the ball run at Basildon Park.

3. Cute tea rooms – I just love a tea room. Maybe it is because I am a cake obsessive but if we visit somewhere and it has an adorable tea room then it is safe to say I will immediately fall in love with it. All the properties we have been to have never let us down when it comes to food and the tea rooms are always so well designed, clean and feel like they have always been a part out the beautiful properties they are found in. You can obviously take a picnic with you if you want, we do usually, but sometimes it is nice to treat yourself to something yummy.

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Yummy afternoon tea at Basildon Park.

4. Lots to learn – Of course, I can’t sit and talk to you about the National Trust without mentioning the actual properties. There are abbeys seeping in history, stunning stately homes, castles, Tudor houses and the list just goes on. If you love learning about heritage and want an exciting hands on way to get your kids interested in  history too, then exploring the hundreds of National Trust properties across the country is a great way of doing just that. When exploring the grand, beautifully impressive buildings I often find myself imagining what life would have been like living there, hosting big feasts and mingling with royalty.

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One of the fancy rooms at The Vyne in Basingstoke

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Beautiful Mottisfont Abbey

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Gorgeous Hinton Ampner house.

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Henry VIII bust in the gallery at The Vyne.

5. It feels like a free day out – Ok so I know it’s not technically free as you have to pay for a membership but once that’s paid you don’t need to worry about entry fees or parking prices again. Over the summer Leo and I visited our local National Trust property several times, I would pack us some snacks and we would spend the afternoon exploring the house, running around outside and having adventures in the enchanting woodland and  gardens. If you take your own food with you, the only thing you ever have to pay for is your petrol to get you all there. If you don’t want to spend a penny then it is definitely doable with so much to see and do, just steer clear of those tea rooms – those cakes are just too tempting.

Current fees for National Trust membership ..
If my love of the National Trust has got your attention and you are interested in becoming a member too, here are the current annual membership prices as of September 2016 –
Adult £63
Young person (13-25) £31.50
Child (0-12) £31.50
Under 5s Free of charge.

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My family and I really do love a day out to a National Trust property. We have visited lots of local ones but there are still so many in Hampshire we still haven’t seen. Once we have visited all of those we will be venturing off a little bit further in the car to see what else we can find. I wasn’t sure if we would actually use our membership cards when my sister gifted us them but, as it turns out, they have been one of the best presents ever. I will happily be coughing up the cash for a new membership when ours expire next year.

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Do you have a National Trust membership? Do you enjoy family days out like this? What is your favourite National Trust property? We are always looking for somewhere new to go. I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

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15 Comments

  1. September 23, 2016 / 8:09 am

    Becoming a National Trust member is something I always think is a good idea but never get round to. Silly really because we have a National Trust castle just down the road.
    #PicknMix
    suz recently posted…I am Otter: Book ReviewMy Profile

  2. September 23, 2016 / 9:31 am

    We’ve been members of national trust of Scotland for a few years now. Yet we live in south england… We initally bought the membership on a holiday to scotland as it would make the sight seeing cost effective and didn’t even realise they were separate organisations. But we’ve kept renewing it as NTS is a lot cheaper than NT England and you still get access to English castles etc. Shhhh don’t tell anyone I told you…#picknmix

  3. September 23, 2016 / 11:12 am

    Oh, I love our NT memebership – so much so that I knew exactly where nearly all your photos were without having to look at the caption! We must be in the same area 🙂 Mottisfont is my absolute favourite – that water play area is fab! Love Cliveden too, and Hinton Ampner, and we’re exploring lots of the places in Kent lately – Sissinghurst was amazing! #picnmix
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…The Best Instagram Hashtags for Parent BloggersMy Profile

  4. September 23, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    I sold honey! Who doesn’t love a good family day out with space, learning and a scrummy tea thrown in. I wish we were in the UK too! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime
    An imperfect mum (Catie) recently posted…A Blogging Good Time #17My Profile

  5. September 23, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    I love our National Trust memberships, it gets us exploring different places when we go on holidays around the UK too 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…23/09 Pick ‘n Mix Fridays Blog LinkyMy Profile

  6. September 24, 2016 / 8:51 am

    I love those places! We used to have one with Grumpy Boyfriend and we visited the place from your top pic. I loved visiting that kind of place, pretending I am the queen of the castle. We will renew our subscription when Baba is bigger so that he can enjoy it! You have so many lovely old treasures like those in the UK… #fortheloveofBLOG

  7. September 24, 2016 / 12:28 pm

    My friend and I are trying to do more walking and she keeps saying to me I should join the national trust. After reading this I think I am going to join. #fortheloveofBLOG

  8. September 24, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    I am a huge fan of the National Trust and think the membership is great value for money. One of my favourites is Blickling Hall in Norfolk, I used to go there alot as a child growing up and still enjoy it when I go to visit my parents. Otherwise as I live in London now I like to drag the family out of the smoke every now and again and head off to one on the South Coast. #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. September 27, 2016 / 10:56 am

    Visiting National Trust properties is something I do miss now I live in France … but I try to visit one each trip back if I can.
    Rosie (@greenrosielife) recently posted…Animal Tales 82My Profile

  10. September 27, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    I love belonging to the National Trust and this year we are swapping it to my parents getting it us as a family for our Christmas present, it really is a gift that keeps giving as it means we all go out to places as a family and we love the open green spaces and of course the cake! #thelist

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