How membership could inspire you to try something new

Garden volunteer harvesting leeks in the Walled Garden at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

Now is always the time for new discoveries. You might uncover a hidden talent, develop new passions or simply visit a beautiful spot so often that it begins to feel like your second home.

National Trust membership gives you the opportunity to discover things for yourself and, with so many possibilities, you’ll be spoilt for choice about what to try next.

Go home-grown

If you spend a little time nosing around the bountiful kitchen gardens at Longshaw, Derbyshire, or Knightshayes Court, Devon, you might be surprised at how much you fancy growing your own. The great news is that you don’t need a big garden (or green fingers) to get it right – spuds are perfectly happy in a potato bag and many herbs, like mint, thrive in a pot.

You know you've been inspired when: you start planning your meals around your home-grown vegetables

Admiring the National Portrait Gallery collection in the ornate Saloon in Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire
Two people looking at art on the walls of a large baroque room
Admiring the National Portrait Gallery collection in the ornate Saloon in Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire

Find your muse

Ever looked at a beautiful view and felt your inner Constable stirring? A day spent exploring the countryside on foot, or soaking up works of art at one of our houses is sure to spark your creativity. Head outside and start painting or sketching forests, moors, grand houses and coastal scenes – plus any wildlife that stays still long enough.

You know you've been inspired when: you take your sketchpad on every walk

Strike a pose

A golden sunset or mirror-like lake can create a beautiful photo; and with walks across the country, you won’t be short of stunning views to snap. Try to capture the sunset at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire, or look out across the towering cliffs at Golden Cap in Dorset to discover the perfect coastal shot. If you're searching for historical inspiration, Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, is a great place to learn from a true photographic pioneer.

You know you've been inspired when: the sign of a good day out is the number of photos you’ve snapped

A selection of first editions of Agatha Christie's novels on display at Greenway
Agatha Christie book spines
A selection of first editions of Agatha Christie's novels on display at Greenway

Put pen to paper

Membership might inspire you to put adventures on the page. Writing a novel can sound a little daunting, but every author starts somewhere. And where better to get inspired than at the home of a celebrated writer? Grab a notebook and start your own tale at the home of Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling or Agatha Christie.

You know you've been inspired when: you start writing a novel set at one of our places

Shake a leg

If you’re looking to get a little fitter, a run with a view might just be the motivation your legs need; you can leave the treadmill behind and lose yourself in the sights and sounds of the countryside. If running isn’t your bag then a brisk walk is a great way to get your heart pumping – four-legged friends will love the change of scenery and are welcome at many of the outdoor places we care for.

You know you've been inspired when: you get into the habit of running in your favourite outdoor spot

Grey seal pup on Blakeney Point, Norfolk
snowy white seal pup sitting on the beach
Grey seal pup on Blakeney Point, Norfolk

Meet creatures great and small

Some of the places we care for are home to highly secretive animals. You can often see otters at Stackpole, Pembrokeshire, where the protected environment is helping the population to grow. Watch carefully for ripples and bubbles to track their movements in the water as they hunt for eels. Go to the coast to search for sea creatures in rock pools and look for birds among the sand dunes. You could even visit Blakeney Point in Norfolk to see its thriving seal colony.

You know you've been inspired when: you go looking for rare wildlife on every walk – and you always carry binoculars

Get a passion for the unusual

The historical places we care for aren’t just filled with tales of kings and queens; they are also home to ghosts, scandalous stories and strange objects. If you love little-known facts, look no further than Chartwell in Kent, the former home of Winston Churchill. In the collection of Churchill’s personal belongings are three wooden hairbrushes, which (as the story goes) were crafted from the salvaged parts of HMS Exeter and gifted to George VI, the captain of the ship and the former prime minister himself. Or why not take a trip to Sutton Hoo and discover its awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site?

You know you've been inspired when: every visit to a property feels like a treasure hunt

Visitors with replica helmet and shoulder clasps in High Hall at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, East of England
Visitors with replica helmet and shoulder clasps in High Hall at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, East of England
Visitors with replica helmet and shoulder clasps in High Hall at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, East of England

Recognise mystical plants (and know where to find them) 

You may know your dahlia from your dianthus, but could you identify the rare Goldilocks aster, found on the Great Orme in Conwy? How about Attenborough’s hawkweed, recently found in the Brecon Beacons and named after the naturalist himself? Take a walk in a palette of unique flowers, and be inspired to introduce some special plants to your own garden. 

You know you've been inspired when: your eyes are scanning the ground on every walk, searching for rare plants

Be part of something amazing

Joining the National Trust is a great way to look after the places that mean something to you, and you’ll be making sure they stay just as extraordinary for future generations too. With funds from membership and donations, and with help from our volunteers, we can continue our vital conservation work: repairing and restoring historic buildings and gardens, protecting landscapes and looking after natural habitats.

Membership opens up a whole world of possibilities, but it’s your choice where to begin.