Our members' handbook

For 2021, the National Trust Handbook has had to change a little. Discover the history of this ever-evolving, iconic symbol of the National Trust, and learn more about what's changed in order to adapt to recent events.

For many members, the handbook has always been an important source of inspiration and information. With the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus crisis, we've had to make some changes to the handbook for 2021. Rather than risk giving you inaccurate information, we're moving changeable information online, which can be updated when needed.

This means that your handbook will still include maps, descriptions and photographs of most of the places in our care, and contact details and access information for each place should you wish to visit. But information about opening times, things to do, cafés and shops will be on our website and app to ensure it remains as up-to-date as possible. 

Our members' 2021 handbook and earlier editions
2021 National Trust Handbook
Our members' 2021 handbook and earlier editions

What's staying in the handbook?

  • Who the Trust is and what we do
  • Descriptions and photographs of most of the places in our care
  • How to contact and visit places
  • Maps showing the places in each region
  • Basic access information

What's on the website and app?

  • Opening dates and times, prices, and all visiting details
  • More detailed access information
  • Things to see and do
  • Eating, drinking and shopping
  • Dogs – where they’re welcome and where there are restrictions
  • Holiday cottages, hotels, bothies and campsites
  • Our ‘Land Map’ – everything we look after 
  • How to get involved and volunteer with us

Where can I find this information?

  • Start with our website for up-to-date visiting information
  • Download the app – just search ‘National Trust App’ in your app store
  • Or call us on 0344 800 1895

A short history of the handbook

Visitors looking at leaflet at Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

1977: The first handbook

As the amount of places in our care grew, members wanted to know more about them. National Trust members began to receive an early, black and white version of the handbook in 1977. It contained lots of practical and historical information about houses, gardens and other places opening up to be discovered.

Visitors in the Long Gallery at Osterley Park and House, London

1995: Celebrating 100 years

In 1995, it was the centenary of the National Trust. We celebrated by turning the handbook cover forest green. By this time, the handbook looked very similar to the current version, with a photographic, colour cover. Illustrations and maps were in black and white, as opposed to full colour in today's handbook.

Visitors at Polpeor Cove on Lizard Point, Cornwall

2015: Brave new world

By the mid-2000s, the handbook had become more vibrant with colour photographs and more countryside properties being included alongside the houses and gardens. Lots more people began visiting the newly-updated website by 2015, and logging into the app for up-to-date information.


Why have you decided to change the handbook?

We’ve made changes to the 2021 handbook due to coronavirus restrictions and shifting Government guidance, which meant we couldn’t guarantee opening details at the time of printing in November. It’s important for us and our members that we adapt swiftly to the changing situation, and the quickest and most accurate way of communicating with our members is via our digital platforms. Information including opening times and parking will now be held on our website and app where it will be regularly updated.

Is this change permanent?

We're planning to produce a handbook for 2022 which includes the opening details that we couldn’t include this year. We're always looking to improve the handbook and are listening to members about any other changes they’d like to see.

Helpful links
Bring family and friends for a walk at Chirk Castle

Welsh version of the handbook 

We’ve translated the Wales section of the handbook so that members can use, experience and enjoy the Welsh language when learning about our work and visiting new places.

Visitors enjoying an autumnal walk at Wallington

Get a replacement handbook 

If you've lost your handbook or just fancy having an extra one, you can buy a replacement handbook on our online shop.