Living in Christchurch, our main National Trust properties are:
Each property is very different and holds a variety of events throughout the year, whether it’s Spring flowers or the beauty autumn sights of Stourhead. Mottisfont holds regular trails and exhibitions with last year’s including the Beano and Flower Fairies. Kingston Lacy has had a Maize Maze and woodland activity walk. Corfe put on some fantastic medieval displays, fire the trebuchet and very importantly host Teddy Zip Wire at Half terms. They are always planning something new, so each visit is very different and the kids are thrilled to go back again and again again to explore another path and enjoy another adventure! In the summer holidays we use our NT membership at least once a week, with so many properties nearby it’s easy to do and you’re not just limited to your local properties you can visit all over the country for nothing more than your membership fee.
Christmas is a fantastic time to be a National Trust Member. One of my favourite Christmas events is the beacons and lights at Corfe Castle.
The smell of the bonfires and beacons, the view looking down over the Christmas lights in the village, adding your dream on a scrap of fabric to the wishing bridge and not forgetting toasting marshmallows on the fire pits to me is definitely a highlight.
Over at Kingston Lacy they have their famous lights! The house is decorated beautifully, the gardens lit up with every colour, it really wouldn’t be Christmas without these visits anymore and these are just 2 of the properties. Visiting the lights at Stourhead is an extra charge but comes under standard admission at Kingston Lacy and Corfe as does the Christmas trail at Mottisfont.
The staff, especially the volunteers are very helpful and always have a great tip to help you get the most out of your visit.
The all important cost:
Membership can be taken out as an individual, couple family or a life membership. As a single parent, we have a 1 Adult Family membership which at the time of writing is only £6.25 per month (2 adults £10.50) and includes up to 10 children on the account. Funnily enough, I don’t have 10 children but this means many grandparents find a Family membership really helpful, especially if they help look after their grandchildren in the holidays as they can take them out for the day and have all the children included on their card. I don’t think I’ve ever come across another membership that offers such good value! You can find the up to date rates for everyone at: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
As well as days out with the children, I use my membership for catching up with friends and visiting places the children might not be quite as interested in, sitting down for a cream tea so it is much more than just family days out.
At the time of writing, the country is still locked down but restrictions slowly lifting which means NT have been able to open their gardens and parks. We’ve ventured out a couple of times, Corfe Castle first and the woodland walk at Kingston Lacy secondly. Both times we book a slot through their website and enter our membership number which means when we arrive we simply give our surname and there is no unnecessary contact to get in. I was really impressed with how well managed the re-opening has been. There was clear one way systems, numbers were managed so it wasn’t busy and we were able to have a great afternoon while feeling safe.
This article does include an affiliate link but these are our honest opinions and are happy to recommend the membership which we pay for ourselves. www.nationaltrust.org.uk