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To ask if National Trust Membership is worthwhile?
106

ILoveBray · 16/03/2019 14:53

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.

Thanks!

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HelenaJustina · 16/03/2019 19:27

It is worth it for us. The provision for children is miles and miles better than it used to be.

We have some great local ones that I can pop to and fill an afternoon in Feb half term for instance and we’ll pack a picnic and meet friends at a further away one for a whole day adventure.

If holidaying in the UK we always use them to break the journey and often for days out while there as well. I would say we use the membership at least twice a month probably more.

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cadburyegg · 16/03/2019 19:35

We use it a lot. Even in the winter we use it at least once a month, more in the summer. I have 2 preschool age dc and it’s fantastic. I agree it depends on the age of your dc if you have any and what is near you.

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Jupiters · 16/03/2019 19:45

Like others have said I think it depends where you live. We've got a couple of great national trust places near us so we get good use of our membership.

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seven201 · 16/03/2019 20:08

I don't approve of people doing the Scottish one. National trust is a charity, it just doesn't seem right to me. I'll get off my high horse now!

I think it really spends on where you live or how much you travel as to whether it's worth it. We use our lots. In fact when my garden loving mum died I used a bit of inheritance to buy a life membership. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made and I think of her when I'm there.

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eastereggtime · 16/03/2019 20:16

We originally got our to use for beaches car parks on holiday as in Cornwall there are quite a few NT car parks but have had it for 3 years and use it tons, definitely go at least once s month. If not more. The kids sometimes moan but I just pack a picnic and flask and go any way and once there they love it. I like it as it's just nice fresh air in some lovely places. We also book the Santa visit at Christmas which is nice.

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Toddlerteaplease · 16/03/2019 20:29

Only have to visit about 1 property a month and it's paid for itself. It's great for a cheap day out.

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thenewzealandstory · 16/03/2019 20:38

We have in the past had memberships and enjoyed them but with the fact they allow fox hunting on their land we felt we could not continue. We're in Wales so Cadw membership has been a great substitute.

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Iwannasnack · 16/03/2019 22:48

I forgot about using it to break up a journey. I remember a few summers ago I was driving DCs, who were 4 and, 1 down to Dorset alone to meet up with DH and his extended family. We had a holiday house booked. It was a baking hot day, traffic meant it took double the time it should have and the kids were going mental. Saw a sign for a NT property so made an impromptu stop. We had an amazing hour having ice creams and a run around. I’ve got some beautiful photos of them playing with some bubbles I found in the bottom of my bag. That one stop probably made membership for me!

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BackforGood · 16/03/2019 22:59

Thanks for that link MrsWombat - never heard of it, despite working in public services for over 30 years!

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Smelborp · 16/03/2019 23:05

We like it. Also when we go on holiday, we look at NT stops along the route. The food is lovely but can really push the price up, and queues at some places have been horrendous. There’s usually a spot for a picnic so taking your own food might be wise.

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Sewrainbow · 16/03/2019 23:27

Definitely is for us, loads near us but we also plan days out/ hols near places and have seen lots more than we would have done if we'd had to pay for them. Both our mum's have now joined, even they are in the East where there are less properties around, they get to do days out with us and with friends of their own but you only 3 or 4 trips a year to get your money back, plus I'm happy to help fund the lovely places.

As pp said the parking alone in Cornwall or the lake district is worth it!

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aspoonfulofyourownmedicine · 17/03/2019 00:07

I think it depends on where you live & how accessible properties are for you.

We have a family membership, I pay £10pm. Nearby or within an hours drive we have Seaton Delaval Hall, Washinton Old Hall, Cragside, Wallington, Souter Lighthouse, Ormesby Hall.....

It's beneficial to me as I use it lots in school holidays with DS as he loves visiting them and it's 'paid' for so don't have fork out for days out when DH is at work

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elfycat · 17/03/2019 00:25

DH and I have had life membership to EH for 12 years now, we got the DDs NT life membership 4 years ago (they're 10 and 8). They come in free with us, and at the moment we go in free with them.

We do UK days out/weekends more than week-long holidays and often plan to stop for lunch at a castle or stately home, even if just for a brief stop. If we go away we look at places to visit using both memberships.

On receiving her NT membership DD2 (then 5yo) immediately took herself off to the coffee shop for coffee and walnut cake. I think she understood.

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WhatWouldChristineCagneyDo · 17/03/2019 00:39

As a non driver it's not worth it for me. There are very very few places to visit with viable public transport. It's a shame.

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Talkingfrog · 17/03/2019 00:42

As others have said it all depends on if there are any places near you to visit.
We first took out membership when on holiday in Dorset as we got entry to brownsea refunded, and visited one it two other places on the same trip.
In the last few years nt have taken over two properties near us that were run by councils. As a result we have one property about 15 mins away and one 30 mins. We also have about 4 others within a 1.5 hour drive and some coastal areas with my car parks.

2 years ago we used it for our stop off points on holiday. We stopped at 2 properties, 1 for lunch (but looked around too), the other for tea and cake (and looked around the gardens). It broke up the journey which was 6 hours of driving. We visited a property whilst we were there too.
Dh and I actually work next door to a nt property. It used to be owned by the council and although managed by nt, the main parkland and lake area is still free to access. We have a gate in the fence and so can go in and walk around the lake lunch time. In the summer hols, I took our daughter to visit, and lunchtime my husband walked over and joined us for lunch. Die yo tge lack of parking at a nearby business park, some people have bought membership, just to leave their cars in the car park and walk over. (we can't do that - the gate is only open at lunch, and the walk all the way around is about 30 mins on a busy road with a narrow path).

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Staycalmandscream · 17/03/2019 00:54

Yes I love ours. Always look for NT places near where we go on holidays or break up longer journeys with a stop at an NT place if possible. The kids love it & have learnt loads from the olde houses.

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MerlinsBeard87 · 17/03/2019 08:26

If you do choose to buy then support your local property and buy your membership from them on site. It helps them with their targets and brings more money to your local property. If you buy Scottish membership your money won't support properties in England

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EmpressJewel · 17/03/2019 08:47

I second joining CSSC if you are a public sector worker.

I have been a member for years and we have made great use out of the English Heritage and Historic Royal Palaces membership.

It's great knowing that we have cheap days out available, where we only have to factor in petrol costs. What I like about the property's is that the grounds are often spacious, so they don't feel over crowded.

The event days at English heritage are great.

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LakieLady · 17/03/2019 08:49

Ours is definitely worth it. There are 5 beautiful NT gardens within a few miles of us, so we'll pop in several times during the year and see them in all seasons. One has a fantastic rose garden, last year we went 3 or 4 times when the roses were out, to see the ones that weren't fully out the previous week. Which seems rather sad, now that I think about it.

It's also great for finding somewhere to go when on holiday when the weather is shite. And at one time it mean you could park for free at NT car parks, but as they don't send out car stickers any more I'm not sure that this is still the case.

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LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD · 17/03/2019 08:50

Look out for special offers to get a good deal - if you pay by DD for example.

Think realistically where you would visit from where you live and holidays (there are places abroad that accept it). We once made our money back in about 3 days when we visited one are with loads of castles (which I love) but some years we have had membership and not used it more than once.

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LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD · 17/03/2019 08:50

Oh and the stickers are in the handbook aren’t they?

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Seahorseshoe · 17/03/2019 08:56

We've had membership for 9 years but, being in Cornwall, a lot of the beaches we use are NT and we save money on parking charges alone, rarely go into the houses, just downgraded to just my membership.

I'd look at what's around your area and where you go away to. It's worth trying it for a single year.

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Hyacintharehighersincelasttime · 17/03/2019 08:59

We never could afford it, but it seems a great place for kids to go,

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LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD · 17/03/2019 09:05

The NTScotland membership is cheaper £108 for a family (2 adults and up to 6 kids) or £72 for one adulthood. You can still use it in all the NT properties in the rest of the UK and abroad.

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GottenGottenGotten · 17/03/2019 09:08

I think that if you are English or Welsh and considering buying a Scottish membership you should really think about where you want your money to go.

If you are happy to support Scottish properties instead of English ones, go right ahead. But if you want to be part of protecting your own heritage, you need to think through if the saving is really worth it.

I'm Scottish, fwiw.

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