We have had a National Trust Membership for about 7 years now and it is something I recommend to families looking to save money on days out.
The National Trust is a UK conservation charity which protects historic places and green spaces, opening them up for everyone to enjoy. They protect and open to the public more than 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus they also look after forests, woods, beaches, moorland, castles, archaeological remains, villages and more.
National Trust membership is great value at £120 per year per family (discounts are available for single parent families) and they now have the option to pay by direct debit for just £10 per month, so no large initial outlay, plus you can claim £5.25 back on Top Cashback if you purchase online.
- Free entry to over 500 special places
- Free parking at most National Trust car parks
- National Trust Handbook full of ideas to help you plan a visit
- National Trust Magazine sent to you three times a year
- Regular newsletters sent straight to your inbox
This Easter, our National Trust Membership has paid for itself with visits to several local NT properties to do their Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts.
Studland Bay, Dorset is a spectacular area of coastline backed by a wilderness of dunes, heath and woodland and I always describe it as my happy place.
They hold their Cadbury Easter Egg Trail at Knoll Beach, which has lots of family friendly facilities including a large car park, cafe, shop, toilets and showers.
We love the NT egg hunts as each one is tailored to the specific site and for Studland, our challenge sheet had us investigating a ‘whodunnit’ story as well as trying to spot local wildlife and counting the easter eggs that were hidden in trees along the route.
With the weather being a little hit and miss, it was very muddy in places, but that didn’t stop the kids racing along the route to complete all the challenges.
Once we had completed our hunt we were rewarded with chocolate eggs and enjoyed exploring the beach and playing on the rope swing.
The other great thing about Studland, is that you get to ride the Sandbanks Chain Ferry to get there, which is always a hit with the kids as they insist on getting out the car to watch as we cross the entrance Poole Harbour.
Corfe Castle is an impressive, but battle-scarred survivor of the English Civil War which offers spectacular views over the Isle of Purbeck.
It is quite a steep and bumpy walk, so not suitable for prams and buggies, but the kids love exploring the old ruins and pretending to be knights from days gone by.
The Corfe Castle Easter Egg Trail had us finding out all about ravens and jackdaws and even spotting their nests as the top of the castle.
Although our visit stayed mostly dry, it was extremely windy and the kids loved leaning into the wind and letting their coats flap behind them as if they were superheroes.
Corfe Castle also offers spectacular views over Swanage Railway, which has steam trains running along its tracks from Norden to Swanage. Sebby spotted the steam from one of the trains billowing from the trees and proceeded to tell us there was a dragon living in the woods which prompted the kids to make up their very own story.
The kids often ask what the castle would have looked like in its hey day and just over the road from the entrance to the castle, there is Corfe Castle Model Village, which is a representation of what the castle would have looked like before its destruction by Oliver Cromwell’s troops during the English Civil War in 1646.
It is not just a model village, there are gardens to explore, games to play and a croquet lawn and the kids got to complete another easter hunt, only winning a pot of bubbles as a reward!!
The Corfe Castle Model Village is not included in your National Trust Membership, so does cost extra to get in (£12 for a family ticket).
Kingston Lacy is one of our favourite NT locations to do the Easter Egg Hunt and we do one here every year.
They never use the same route or the same clues, so like the other locations, it is always different. This year we had to follow a story and solve Bunny’s clues which was a lovely touch.
The highlight of Kingston Lacy is that it is set in woodland and they have lots of trees that are just crying out to be climbed.
There is a large play area at the end of the trail, perfect for hanging out with friends!
Mottisfont Abbey is a historical priory and country estate in Hampshire and their Easter Egg Hunt involves Become a ‘mini ranger’ for the day to find out how the countryside team look after the beautiful estate.
Our last visit to the estate was on a gloriously sunny day back in August, but our Easter visit couldn’t have been more different. The river was swollen, it was raining, but it is still a fabulous day out and the kids still wanted to play in the water play area.
As well as the outdoor trail we got to study ‘mini-beasts’ under the microscope and investigate the life of bats in the medieval cellarium, plus lots more fun nature activities including identifying different types of wood.
Mottisfont boasts not one, but two cafe’s serving hot meals and snacks and we all warmed up with a hot chocolate and a cake treat halfway around the trail.
We have one more National Trust property on our Easter to-do list – Stourhead in Wiltshire. Will we get it done?
Have you enjoyed a day out with the National Trust this Easter?