Five ways membership could spark a new family adventure

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. Here are five ways to kick-start your family’s voyage of discovery.

Dare to dip 

On a hot summer’s day there’s nothing quite like a dip in the sea. But 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.

Exploring the rock pools at St Helens Duver, Isle of Wight
Family crabbing at St Helens Duver, Isle of Wight
Exploring the rock pools at St Helens Duver, Isle of Wight

Explore the depths of the dungeons

If your mini knights are spellbound by secret passages and legends of days gone by, then a trip to a castle will satisfy their curiosity. For impressive turrets, head to Bodiam Castle in East Sussex: you’ll find a full moat and an original wooden portcullis. Visit Chirk Castle in Wales to unravel a 700 year-old history – brave adventurers can even venture into the dungeons.
 

Step back in time at Chirk Castle, Wales
School children try on medieval armour at Chirk Castle
Step back in time at Chirk Castle, Wales

Free your wellies

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 wilder 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, play hide-and-seek, or share a picnic when the sun’s out.

Getting closer to nature in the garden at Bateman’s, East Sussex
A family enjoying the garden at Bateman's, East Sussex
Getting closer to nature in the garden at Bateman’s, East Sussex

Make the most of the in between

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 11 ¾ 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. If you’re taking on some of the more adventurous family activities, such as stargazing, you'll need to find the right spot. Allan Bank and Grasmere in the Lake District are areas with low light pollution, making them a fantastic place to go stargazing and discover the night sky.
 

Young den builders at work in the woods at Killerton, Devon
Young children building a den in the woodlands at Killerton, Devon
Young den builders at work in the woods at Killerton, Devon

Lead the way (or have fun trying to…)

It’s a long time since we looked to the stars or to a compass for directions, but rediscovering the lost art of wayfinding is a challenge that kids will love. The maze at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire is made up of more than 500m of winding paths, and at Speke Hall maze in Merseyside, you’ll find bridges, gates and even a tower. If they are hungry for more navigation know-how, mountain hikes and river walks are ideal places to try out map reading and compass skills. 

Playing hide and seek in the gardens of Belton House, Lincolnshire
Young visitors playing in the gardens of Belton House, Lincolnshire
Playing hide and seek in the gardens of Belton House, Lincolnshire