How membership could inspire you to try something new

Women working in the kitchen garden

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 or Knightshayes Court 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

Have fun den building at Wenlock Edge
Children den building on Wenlock Edge

Become a wild child

It's the perfect time to get the whole family back to nature. With help from lots of mini explorers we’ve made a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ – and the best bit is that you can begin ticking off the activities wherever you live. To get started, why not try building a den, playing conkers or have a go at making a grass trumpet?

You know you've been inspired when: you start noticing trees that would be good to climb

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

Watching the sunset at Wicken Fen
Two people watching and taking a photo of the sunset at Wicken Fen

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, or look out across the towering cliffs at Golden Cap in Dorset to capture the perfect coastal shot. If you're searching for historical inspiration, Lacock Abbey, 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

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
snowy white seal pup sitting on the beach

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, 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 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, 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. 

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

Goldilocks aster
Goldilocks aster

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? How about Attenborough’s hawkweed, recently found in the Brecon Beacons and named after the naturalist himself? A new year is the perfect time to hone your horticultural know-how at beautiful places across the country.

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.