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SIX GOOD REASONS TO BUY AN ANNUAL PASS!

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89f73e7ede06786cc4d898f228399705.jpg​Any membership or annual pass that gives you admission to a wide number of attractions or locations can be really worthwhile, especially ones like National Trust (NT) or English Heritage (EH) passes that allow you entry to a large number of properties across the UK. These are great as they are not just for your local events and activities, but can be perfect for holidaying elsewhere in the UK. NT & EH give you access to castles, houses, coastlines, activities & children’s events all round the UK – NT and EH membership can also give you access to National Trust Scotland, Cadw and Historic Scotland properties.
 
Then there are the attractions annual passes – such as the Merlin group where you can buy one pass for all their attractions, like Sea Life Centres, Alton Towers, Legoland and Warwick Castle, or buy individual passes for the attraction which is nearer to home e.g. Warwick Castle or which you might use more frequently because of the ages and interests of your child(ren) e.g. Legoland?
 
You can also get passes to lots of local days out venues which are great if you go more than a few times a year. Work out the cost – and how many times you would need to visit bb7770c9e85843c4b2ac88924464d407.jpgto recoup the cost. Some you would only need to visit two or three times, others you need to visit once a month to make the outlay worth the spend, but if it’s your child(ren)’s or family’s favourite place – or where you and your friends meet up with your children, then it’s likely to be a good investment! Places like Hatton Adventure World, Umberslade Farm, Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Thinktank Science Museum and Ragley Hall, all offer lots to do across the year and with extra children’s activities in the school holidays.
 
Membership is another option is sometimes offered, often used by charitable institutions so that you can support a cause you might feel deeply about. Ryton Organic has annual memberships giving access to the garden and special events through the year while supporting the work they do. Compton Verney also offers membership options giving access to exhibitions and special events and you can also buy a very reasonably priced family pass for the year.
 
Something that doesn’t seem to be widely known about is the gift aid upgrade passes. These are offered by charitable trust venues, like the Britsh Motor Museum, National Space Centre and Black Country Living Museum among others. Here, if you gift aid your very reasonable entry charge, your ticket is upgraded to an annual pass. This makes for very affordable return dd8eb6329bae7d865075d4bbcc21207d.jpgdays out; effectively a year’s entry for the price of one visit!
 
Finally look out for the passes that give you additional benefits, discounts and offers. E.g. as well as other exclusive benefits, Hatton’s pass gives you money off birthday parties, Ragley Hall’s gives you 20% off boat hire, Thinktank gives you fast track entry and National Trust gives you free parking. It all helps save you extra money. 
 
With all pass types, they represent even better value if there are lots of different things to do at different times of year. This usually means a variety of indoor and outdoor activities and seasonal events laid on, like summer trails, Santa’s grotto, Easter Egg Hunts and half term fun! NT and EH give you this balance, as do lots of the local attractions with annual passes that are mentioned above. Don't forget to keep an eye out for any seasonal offers on membership.
 
Look out for the competitions to win passes to some the above attractions – we often run them in the magazine or online at www.raring2go.co.uk/competitions

Sara Carnduff

Sara Carnduff

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