This is the first year we’ve had National Trust membership and just a couple of months in, we have already visited several of our local sites, taken part in the Cadbury’s Easter bunny hunt and found a hidden treasure in the Lake District.
I grew up thinking National Trust was for old people, boring houses and gardens that I would occasionally get dragged around. In my view the only exciting place was Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal because of the chance of seeing deer and when I was very young, I loved racing around Studley Royal making the Labrador jump fallen tree branches, pretending he was a horse.
Since their launch of 50 Things to before you’re 11 3/4 the National Trust seems to be a far more appealing option to families. So here are my top reasons why we love National Trust family days out:
- Children are encouraged to explore many of the places, they can run on the grass or climb a tree without being told off them off. We loved making noises in the ruins at Fountains Abbey and hearing it echo and exploring ‘Mr McGregor’s’ garden at Hill Top.
- They have child friendly things to do. The top floor of Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens is all interactive and includes a pre-school play area to ward off any toddler boredom.
- Lots of family friendly events, means there’s always a reason to go back to our favourite places.
- The Visitor Passport will be a great keepsake for Monkey and also makes us want to visit more places to fill it.
- The cafés serve delicious food!
- A good range of indoor and outdoor places to visit, perfect for when the British weather just gets too much even with wellies and waterproofs or for when the sun is shining.
- Unique places such as Wray Castle in the Lake District. It may not have much historical content, but it’s great for kids.
- Wonderful campsite and places to stay. We haven’t had the chance to go yet, but we have our eye on several cottages and the campsite at Low Wray.
- Our membership is helping to keep these places alive for future generations
- It makes us get out and explore new places. If we didn’t have membership we probably wouldn’t visit these places as entry fees can add up. We paid by annual direct debit, so got 3 months membership for free. It still wasn’t cheap, but we’ve already recouped the costs in entry fees and we want to make the most of the money spent by visiting as many places as possible.