Nine ways National Trust membership can make you fitter

If you want to 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.

Visiting this spring 

In England and Northern Ireland, gardens, parks and countryside sites remain open and cafés are takeaway only. Shops, houses and other indoor areas are currently closed. In Wales, coast and countryside car parks have reopened and from 29 March, we’ll begin to reopen gardens and outdoor spaces for Welsh residents. The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors from the nearby community remains our priority. We strongly advise booking your visits in advance, especially over Easter when places may be very busy. Please check the property webpage before you travel and follow government guidance on travel.

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.

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 hundreds of hectares 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. 

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.

Cycling at Wallington, Northumberland
 Cycling at Wallington, Northumberland
Cycling at Wallington, Northumberland

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 let you discover many places that are inaccessible by land. They’re also some of the easiest water sports for beginners.

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.

Paddleboarding on Lake Windermere, Cumbria
Paddleboarding on Lake Windermere at Low Wray Campsite, Cumbria
Paddleboarding on Lake Windermere, Cumbria

6. Explore new places with four-legged friends

If you're a dog owner, there are lots of beautiful coastlines, countryside spots and parklands in our care where you can walk your dog and get a bit of exercise while you're at it. Membership goes towards keeping these places looking fresh, so you and your best furry friend can make the most out of exercise in all four seasons.

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. 

Dog walking at Studland Bay, Dorset
Dog walking at Studland Bay, Dorset
Dog walking at Studland Bay, Dorset

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 11¾’, so what are you waiting for?

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.