Nine ways National Trust membership can make you fitter

If you want to learn a new skill, get fit or spend more time in nature's playground, it’s easy to do with National Trust membership. Whether you surf, cycle, run or walk, get outdoors and discover the nature and beauty around you.

Feeling the winter sun on your face with a fresh, early morning walk through rolling hills. Hiking through woodlands and breathing deeply on a crisp afternoon. Running on the beach to the sounds of crashing waves and feeling rejuvenated.

By joining the National Trust, you could enjoy a healthier and more active lifestyle all year round, while helping to care for the wild and precious places outside your window - for everyone, for ever.

1. Discover the joy of running

There’s something special about running in the natural and historic places we look after. You can immerse yourself in wildlife, feel inspired by beautiful landscapes and relax with a satisfying cup of tea after stretching your legs. Thousands of people now join our regular running events – many of which are free to take part in.

Top spot: Dark Peak, Derbyshire

Visitor running by the lake at Grasmere, Cumbria
Visitor running by the lakeshore at Grasmere, Cumbria
Visitor running by the lake at Grasmere, Cumbria

2. Conquer some of Britain’s best walks

With thousands of acres of hills, grassland, coastline and forests to explore, National Trust membership gives you access to some of the most scenic walks around. Whether you’re a stroller, a strider or a hiker, you’ll find hundreds of routes on our website to get you started. 

Top spot: Blea Tarn, Cumbria

3. Get the cycling bug

Once you start exploring the network of cycle routes that zig-zag their way across the countryside, you could discover a route you've never taken before. You can choose to cruise along slowly to appreciate every sight and sound, or speed up to cover some real distance – it’s a great way to get out and about.

Top spot: Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire

Cycling at Lyme Park, Cheshire
Cycling at Lyme Park, Cheshire
Cycling at Lyme Park, Cheshire

4. Make a splash in a kayak or canoe

Whether you’re making your way downriver or hugging the coast in search of secret coves and sea creatures, kayaking and canoeing lets you discover many places that are inaccessible by land. They’re also some of the easiest water sports for beginners.

Top spot: Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

5. Hit the waves on a board

There are mellow waves perfect for beginners, slow peeling breaks ideal for longboards, and even a few heavy spots that can hold the biggest winter swells. We look after many of Britain’s most beautiful surfing beaches. So if this is your sport of choice, National Trust membership means more waves to explore for years to come.

Top spot: Sandymouth, Cornwall

Bodyboarding at Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland
Bodyboarding at Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland
Bodyboarding at Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland

6. Become a geocache pioneer

Can you seek out hidden treasure boxes, armed with nothing more than a handheld GPS device, a set of coordinates and a sense of adventure? A treasure hunt for the digital generation, geocaching is a brilliant way to add an extra dimension to your family days out. For a small fee, you can hire GPS trackers from many of the places we look after or download a geocaching app on your smartphone.

Top spot: Newark Park, Gloucestershire

7. Take on a new challenge

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of reaching the top of a hike and looking back at the start of your route far below. For a challenging physical and mental workout, we’ve got some great places to climb. Or, if you're seeking a different kind of challenge, yoga and mindful exercises are made even more rewarding at a place in our care. 

Top spot: Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire

A yoga group on the beach at Formby, Liverpool
A yoga group on the beach at Formby, Liverpool
A yoga group on the beach at Formby, Liverpool

8. Climb a tree

For a slightly less extreme (but no less vertical) adventure, you’ll find some brilliant climbing trees dotted around the places we look after. Getting to know a tree is No.1 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’, so what are you waiting for?

Top spot: Hatfield Forest, Essex  

9. Develop a serious case of green fingers

Last, but certainly not least, National Trust membership is a wonderful way to nurture your love of gardening. And what better way to stay fit and healthy than spending more time in the garden, working to make it your very own haven? Even if you don't have a garden, you could be inspired to grow fruit and veg on your windowsill to fuel you for your next fitness adventure.

Top spot: Mount Stewart, County Down