Five ways membership could spark a new family adventure

Exploring the High Ride path at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

Want to discover more as a family this year? You don’t need to go overseas to seek adventure – National Trust membership could be the beginning of a whole host of exciting escapades near you. Here are five ways to kick-start your family’s voyage of discovery.

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you travel.​

Walk in the footsteps of our ancestors

Discover stories and legends of ancient people, knights in clanging armour and old fashioned traditions that might sound a little familiar. Get a taste of what life was like hundreds of years ago at many places in our care, where spellbinding pockets of history are waiting to be found.

Be puzzled by Neolithic traditions at Avebury in Wiltshire, where you can marvel at the largest stone circle in the world. Or, step back in time when you learn more about Anglo-Saxon royalty at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. You could also meet the White Park Cattle at Dinefwr in Carmarthenshire, steeped in myths and legends.

Visitors walking near the gothic folly 'Stainborough Castle' at Wentworth Castle Gardens, South Yorkshire
Visitors walking near the gothic folly 'Stainborough Castle' at Wentworth Castle Gardens, South Yorkshire
Visitors walking near the gothic folly 'Stainborough Castle' at Wentworth Castle Gardens, South Yorkshire

Take a walk on the wild side

To get a blast of fresh air, your usual walk might be a quick spin around the duck pond. But this year, you could give your wellies a chance to explore some beautifully wild places. There are rope swings, stepping stones, waterfalls, coastlines and more, waiting to be explored in the outdoor places we look after. What’s more, each walk is a new opportunity to look for wild animals or play hide-and-seek.

Playing in woodland at Polesden Lacey, Surrey
Playing in woodland at Polesden Lacey, Surrey
Playing in woodland at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Make every day an adventure

There’s no need to wait for big days out or planned holidays to start your adventures, because our list of '50 things to do before you're 11¾' has brilliant activities that can fit into a busy day. Your little adventurers can explore inside a tree, make friends with a bug or go on a scavenger hunt by visiting your local National Trust place.

Looking for wildlife is easy at places like Florence Court, County Fermanagh, where you can spot butterflies, frogs and even a woodpecker or two along lots of woodland trails. If you’re taking on some of the more adventurous family activities, such as stargazing, you'll need to find the right spot. Allen Banks and Staward Gorge in Northumberland has low light pollution and natural beauty to wonder at, making it a fantastic place to go stargazing and discover the night sky.
 

Pond dipping at Dunwich Heath and Beach, Suffolk
Pond dipping at Dunwich Heath and Beach, Suffolk
Pond dipping at Dunwich Heath and Beach, Suffolk

Discover secret gardens

We look after lots of spellbinding gardens for you to discover all year round. You could have your own fantastical day out discovering mini-beasts in lots of places full of interesting plants. There are even mini gardens within gardens, like the one at Castle Drogo, Devon, which has a hidden Wendy house with its own miniature garden, built for the Drewe family's youngest daughter.

Visitors in the garden at Belton House, Lincolnshire
Visitors in the garden at Belton House, Lincolnshire
Visitors in the garden at Belton House, Lincolnshire

Befriend a sea creature 

The coast is a prime spot for adventure at any time of year. If you seek out a good rock pool, you might just find a world of underwater creatures. At St Helens Duver, on the Isle of Wight, you can explore crevices filled with whelks, barnacles and even the occasional seahorse. And of course, no day would be complete without a spectacular sandcastle.

Rockpooling at South Milton Sands, Devon
Rockpooling at South Milton Sands, Devon
Rockpooling at South Milton Sands, Devon