10 Ways Becoming a National Trust Member Might Change Your Life

Pink waterlily Hidcote Garden - National Trust

Pink waterlily in the pond at the National Trust’s Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire – Green Abode images/Chris P King

If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know that we are big fans of the National Trust as it ticks all the right boxes. Here’s 10 ways that becoming a National Trust member might change your life.

1. You Become an Ultimate Explorer

As a National Trust member, you have unlimited access to over 500 places, including houses, nature reserves, castles, woods and even gold mines. With so much variety, it’s easy to become hooked on exploring. But don’t worry, you’ll never be lost for new sights, sounds and stories to discover.

You know it’s happened when: You can’t squeeze any more maps into your glove compartment.

2. You Get the Beach Bug

From secret coves and crystal waters to wild sands and towering cliffs, we look after 10% of the whole of the England, Wales and Northern Ireland coastline. So whether you’re into walking boots or flip-flops, rock climbing or rock pooling, there’s a bucket (and spade) load of reasons to head to the seaside. Who knows, you might even spot some of the dolphins, seals and other marine life that visit our shores.

You know it’s happened when: You start decorating your bathroom with pebbles, shells and driftwood.

3. You Turn Into an Amateur

Attenborough On Brownsea Island, you’ll find pine trees alive with red squirrels. In Ennerdale, you’ll spot birds with names like goldcrest, goosander and redstart. Visit the Farne Islands, which are home to 37,000 pairs of puffins and a colony of Atlantic grey seals. Or climb Collard Hill to find Britain’s largest and rarest butterfly. You don’t have to be a famous naturalist to appreciate wildlife like this.

You know it’s happened when: You spend more time whispering than talking.

4. You Remember That You’re Just a Big Kid at Heart

This morning they were wild things, building a den from sticks and leaves. Now they’re squirreling around in the branches of a mighty oak. Later they’ll be damming streams with clay and stones. It’s all in a day’s play for your children. So to make sure you’ve always got an idea up your sleeve, we created 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4. Available online, in print or as a smartphone app, it’s full of inspiration for budding explorers.

You know it’s happened when: Your knees are just as muddy as theirs.

5. You Become a Time Traveller

From human footprints preserved for thousands of years to the secret WWII airbase that helped the allies win the war. A Roman villa full of incredible inventions to the one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria. All these stories and more are waiting for you to uncover them, told by people who really know how to bring history to life.

You know it’s happened when: You have a ‘favourite’ historical king or queen.

6. You Fall in Love With Adventure Sports

Fancy pedalling your way along miles of dedicated cycle trails, surfing some of the North Atlantic’s best breaks, or canoeing Britain’s great rivers? As a National Trust member, you’re never short of activities. And not only will you have access to all the outdoor places but visitors are able to hire sports equipment at many spots.

You know it’s happened when: You have a whole section of your wardrobe just for Lycra.

7. You Discover Your Inner Foodie

Let’s take a moment to talk about cake. And pies. And salads. And…well, all the dishes served in the places we look after, actually. Wherever possible, we aim to use sustainable, local and seasonal ingredients. And many of them are grown on the farms and gardens in our care. Because whatever’s best for the environment is usually best for your tastebuds too.

You know it’s happened when: You head to the café before looking around the place you’re visiting.

8. You Become a Bargain Hunter

Living well, entertaining the kids and discovering special places shouldn’t cost the earth. So with monthly payments, you can enjoy membership from as little as £5 per month. That’s less than the cost of a cinema ticket. Or two Sunday papers. Or three cups of coffee. Or… well, you get the idea.

You know it’s happened when: You start telling your friends what great value membership is.

9. You Turn Into a Treasure Seeker

As well as caring for special places, we also look after the collections of art, furniture and historical items inside them. Many have incredible stories to tell, like the ring that inspired JRR Tolkien to write Lord of Rings, the cabinet made for Pope Sixtus V in 1585 and a golden winkle that belonged to Winston Churchill. As a National Trust member, you can unlock the secrets of all the treasures we care for.

You know it’s happened when: Everything in your home has a story behind it.

10. You Decide to Be a Conservation Champion

As a charity, we don’t receive any government funding. Instead, we rely on membership subscriptions, donations and volunteers to look after all the places we care for. So you’ll be directly contributing to the protection of over 257,000 hectares of land, over 300 historic houses and gardens, and 775 miles of coastline. And we speak for everyone who loves these places when we say a very big thank you!

You know it’s happened when: You find yourself restoring the footpaths on your favourite walk.

Feeling inspired about all the positive and exciting things that you can do? Joining the National Trust is probably the best value thing you can do in Britain today.

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