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To ask if National Trust Membership is worthwhile?

(107 Posts)
ILoveBray Sat 16-Mar-19 14:53:11

Shamelessly posting for traffic, sorry......

Money is tight at the moment and I am looking for ways to take my children out without spending too much.

I received an offer recently for National Trust Membership for £116 for the whole family for one year.

I am wondering if it is worth the initial layout. We are in North/Mid Essex if it makes a difference.


EnglishGirlApproximately Sat 16-Mar-19 14:56:53

I pay it monthly and have had it for about 4 years now. I don’t use it every month but certainly balances out in the school holidays and I definitely get my money’s worth. It depends what you have locally I guess, my nearest property is a ten minute drive and has a playground, lake, cafe and discovery centre so we use it like a local park. Lots of stuff that do in the school holidays too.

countrygirl99 Sat 16-Mar-19 14:58:27

Depends very much where you live. Nothing at all near us but a friend has loads of places near her and gets good use from it.

Howlingatthesun Sat 16-Mar-19 14:59:05

It can be if you use it. I love wondering around old houses and gardens. Whether your kids do is anothet matter!
They have an app so you can see whats closest.

I’d say its worth it for a year

rose69 Sat 16-Mar-19 14:59:59

If you work in the public sector, local governments or civil service look at membership of the Civil service sports and social club. The benefits are great.

Jackshouse Sat 16-Mar-19 15:01:36

I believe membership of scottish national trust is cheaper and can be used in England but I haven’t done it myself.

Knittedfairies Sat 16-Mar-19 15:04:43

It very much depends on where you live. We have a very good adventure playground in a NT property not far from us, so it would be a good buy.

Mayjane5 Sat 16-Mar-19 15:05:14

Yes we have it, if there are plenty of places near you then it’s a good deal. We go to one or two of the nearer ones each month much more when weather is good so in school holidays is ideal.

BarkandCheese Sat 16-Mar-19 15:13:10

As a pp suggested, download the app and see what’s nearby. I live in Kent and there are lots of places within about a forty minute drive. We use our pass at least twice a month, often more, mostly for dog walking places these days as DD is getting a bit old for the trails and craft activities.

PotteringAlong Sat 16-Mar-19 15:15:47

Plenty of places near us and we use ours lots. You only need to use it four times a year to break even and after that it’s a bonus. Ours more than pays for itself in the summer but I keep a track anyway. Ours starts from jan 1st and I’ve used it 3 times already this year

MereDintofPandiculation Sat 16-Mar-19 15:18:13

Depending on your children, English Heritage can be a better option. Broadly speaking, I'd say NT for stately homes and countryside and EH for castles. So NT for younger children and playgrounds, EH for older ones with historic themed events. But which is good for depends what properties you have near you that you would visit , and work out how many visits you'd have to make in a year to make a profit on the membership.

ethelfleda Sat 16-Mar-19 15:23:30

I love ours - had it for about 6 years now. There are about 10 properties within an hours drive though... we get loads of use out of it. Always love the food in NT places as well.

Iwannasnack Sat 16-Mar-19 15:29:01

Love ours. We use it at least every school holiday. They normally put on children’s trails every half term etc which mine love. Easter we’ll probably do at least 2. Summer we use it loads. We also have lots of friends who are members so meet up there.

Littlechocola Sat 16-Mar-19 15:31:07

I pay ten pounds a month for a family membership.
Sadly we don’t use it much so for us it’s worked out around £120 a visit.

Sparklesocks Sat 16-Mar-19 15:31:56

I think it depends where you live/how easily you can get to the sites, definitely work it if you’re near to some/can get there relatively easily with kids in tow.

angstridden2 Sat 16-Mar-19 15:34:39

Friends put us on to joining the National Trust of was almost half the cost of the English NT and we can use it in England!

dublinmammy1982 Sat 16-Mar-19 15:44:22

I can't get the map to work to get the details, but I know there are at least three places near to you, so if you went to each one just once, thats your membership paid!

JaneEyre07 Sat 16-Mar-19 15:49:35

We've got only a handful near us but we use it a lot of holiday as we mainly stay in the UK with our dogs. I also feel that it's money well spent on keeping history alive so I don't resent the £10 a month.

Our local one thankfully is a bit crap for the main house but has a great walk all around the estate so we use it alot in the summer for walking our dogs. We've met some lovely people walking round there and it's always quiet. The gardens are gorgeous and it's a great place to while away a summer afternoon (Croome Park).

ramonaquimby Sat 16-Mar-19 15:49:52

we had NT family membership since DD (now 17 )was born - we didn't renew when papers came through in January as I couldn't justify the price - it's usually just me now, going for dog walks with friends or meeting up for a nice cake and a cuppa!
When the kids were younger we loved it and was worth every penny - pack up a picnic on the weekends and go for a morning/afternoon or used it when on holiday in Cornwall or elsewhere along the coast. I think for car parking charges alone in Cornwall it more than paid for itself on a half term break.

Makegoodchoices Sat 16-Mar-19 15:53:23

Used to love it but now all the Saturday and Sunday kids sports mean we nearly never go. Worth it if you go about 5 times in a year, but we didn’t manage that. I do love the NT though, used to use them to break long journeys to Cornwall too grin

Littlechocola Sat 16-Mar-19 15:55:22

@ramonaquimby that is why I got it. We live there and it definitely helps!

Saucery Sat 16-Mar-19 15:57:57

We find it worthwhile, with the flexibility to just go for a walk round the grounds of properties within 45-60 mins drive, without feeling like we have to do the whole inside and outside because we’ve paid £50 to get in. They have upped their game in recent years as far as childrens’ activities go. Before we had children we found them a bit stuffy and off putting for families but it’s great to see the effort put into even the more staid houses now to make them more interesting.

havingtochangeusernameagain Sat 16-Mar-19 16:04:42

We don't get our money's worth at all. But we just see it as a charity donation and if we get something out of it as well, that's great. But it depends if you can afford it.

It's often useful if we want to break a journey somewhere and want something nicer than a motorway service area or Starbucks. But properties can have quite weird opening times so always check before you go.

Alsohuman Sat 16-Mar-19 16:21:15

We’re members of the Scottish NT as it’s cheaper. As pp have said, it depends where you live. The two most local to us have amazing grounds and gardens so we often go for a walk followed by tea and cake. My biggest gripe is they don’t give a members’ discount in the shops and cafes.

thereinmadnesslies Sat 16-Mar-19 16:28:47

We are in north Essex. There’s not a huge amount locally. Hatfield Forest is the nearest. There’s also wimpole Hall and Anglesey abbey in south cambs.
I’m not sure we will renew our membership this year. It used to be worth it just for trips to Hatfield forest, but NT now seem to have a policy of discouraging visits to Hatfield forest (winter car park closure/closure in high winds / closure because its wet) so I’m not sure we will bother.

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