Making the most of our National Trust Membership over Easter

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.

Membership offers:

  • 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

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.

Studland

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.

Cadbury Egg Hunt

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.

National Trust Egg Hunt

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.

Blindfold Challenge

Once we had completed our hunt we were rewarded with chocolate eggs and enjoyed exploring the beach and playing on the rope swing.

Rope Swing Studland

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.

Sandbanks

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is an impressive, but battle-scarred survivor of the English Civil War which offers spectacular views over the Isle of Purbeck.

Stocks at Corfe Castle

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.

Corfe Castle

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.

Corfe Castle Easter Egg Hunt

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.

Windy Corfe Castle

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.

Dragon Corfe Castle

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.

Corfe Castle Model Village

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!!

Corfe Castle Model

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

Kingston Lacy is one of our favourite NT locations to do the Easter Egg Hunt and we do one here every year.

Kingston Lacy

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.

Kingston Lacy Egg Hunt

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.

Tree Climbing: Kingston Lacy

There is a large play area at the end of the trail, perfect for hanging out with friends!

Mottisfont

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.

Mottisfont

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.

Mottisfont 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.

Broomstick Mottisfont

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.

Mottisfont Abbey

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?

Country Kids
 

28 thoughts on “Making the most of our National Trust Membership over Easter

  1. I do agree that the National Trust membership is definitely worth it, if you take in consideration how much a single entry to a site costs. I remember how much the parking costs in Studland Bay, which is ridiculous, but it’s free with a membership. If you go there a few times you already have saved money by having the membership.

  2. Oh wow how many amazing places did you get to over the half term! I had no idea that the National Trust Membership allowed you into so many great places, I’ll have to check it out.

  3. We’ve been national trust members for a few years now and it’s so nice to get out and about to explore new places.

  4. This looks like you have had a fantastic time. I would definitely recommend membership too and we loved and used our Home education national trust membership a lot when we lived in the UK

  5. My parents have National Trust memberships and they get so much use out of it, it seems like such good value! I’ll send them this list of places so they have a few more to add to their list – I know they’d especially love the castle!

  6. Three lovely looking National Trust properties that I know are favourites of yours. Corfe Castle always looks so interesting with the old ruins and stunning views, Mottisfiled beautiful with the sweeping Weeping Willows and Studland full of adventure. I do love the idea of being blindfolded and following a rope, I might just use this idea as one of our activity hour challenges.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  7. Looks like you’ve had a great time in all these places! I have actually never visited NT places I don’t think but they do look stunning. We do have an English Heritage membership but rarely use that – really should get a bit more active! #countrykids

  8. I’ve just received their brochure few days ago and I was really convinced to get the membership. Might get it after returning back to the UK.

  9. This is such a great place to visit with kids. It seems that you really had a great experience there.

  10. I think if you visit different areas of the UK or have a property nearby, the National Trust membership is good value. My mother-in-law has one. Great to know you can get cashback too via Top Cashback!

  11. I didn’t realize they were on topcashback– my partner and I have been thinking of getting a membership so that’s good to know

  12. I really need to get myself a national trust membership. i think we’d get a lot of use out of it. We’re a lot like you guys and love being out and about with the kids 🙂

    Louise x

  13. We are loving our NT membership this year. Just last week we had a fascinating trip to Tyntesfield in Bristol that is a new acquisition for the NT. Completely brilliant afternoon!

  14. I am an NT and English heritage member and love them both, NT properties are some that I visit frequently and I only pay £6 a month for a sole person

  15. What a great price, I’ve never been on a National Trust day out but I will definetely have a look into the membership as you have been to some great places

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