Ten ways membership might change your life

Walking at Blea Tarn in Little Langdale, Cumbria

Joining the National Trust might just change your life. From bringing out your inner child when you notice birdsong in the woods, to turning you into an explorer of historic sites, here are the ten signs that membership could be life changing.

1. You become an ultimate explorer

As a National Trust member you'll have plenty of places to explore: from grand historic buildings to quirky hideaways, and rugged coastline to secluded woodlands. There's an abundance of wildlife to look out for too, or you can just pause every now and then to notice the seasons changing around you. With so much to come across it’s easy to become hooked on exploring. But don’t worry, you’ll never be lost for new sights, sounds and stories to discover. 
 
You know it’s happened when: You can’t squeeze any more maps into your glove compartment.
 
Visitors walking on the beach at Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Northumberland
Visitors walking on the beach at Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Northumberland
Visitors walking on the beach at Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Northumberland

2. You get the beach bug

From secret coves and crystal waters to wild sands and towering cliffs, we look after 780 miles of coastline. So whether you’re into walking boots or flip-flops, surfing or rockpooling, there’s a bucket (and spade) load of reasons to head to the seaside. Who knows, you might even spot some of the dolphins, seals and other marine life that visit our shores.
 
You know it’s happened when: You find sand on the floor every time you take off your shoes.
 
 

3. You turn into an amateur Attenborough

From shy red squirrels scampering among the branches to seals lolling on the beach, you’ll find all sorts of creatures making their homes as places we care for. Whether you’re a keen birdwatcher on the lookout for waxwings and waders, or you just like to catch a glimpse of deer roaming through parkland, you don’t have to be a famous naturalist to appreciate wildlife like this.
 
You know it’s happened when: You spend more time whispering than talking.
Exploring the wildlife around the lake at Buttermere Valley, Cumbria
Visitors exploring the wildlife on the circular walk around the lake at Buttermere Valley, Cumbria
Exploring the wildlife around the lake at Buttermere Valley, Cumbria

4. You remember that you’re just a big kid at heart

This morning they were wild things, building a den from sticks and leaves. Now they’re squirreling around in the branches of a mighty oak. Later they’ll be damming streams with clay and stones. It’s all in a day’s play for your children. So to make sure you’ve always got an idea up your sleeve, we created '50 things to do before you’re 11¾'. Available online, in print or as a smartphone app, it’s full of inspiration for budding explorers.

You know it’s happened when: Your knees are just as muddy as theirs.

5. You become a time traveller

From human footprints preserved for thousands of years to a cotton mill built at the peak of the Industrial Revolution. An iconic ruined castle that survived the Civil War, to the places that inspired some of our most beloved writers. All these stories and more are waiting for you to uncover them, told by people who really know how to bring history to life.

You know it’s happened when: You have a ‘favourite’ historical king or queen.

Two girls dressing up in period costume at Tredegar House, Newport
Two girls dressing up in period costume at Tredegar House
Two girls dressing up in period costume at Tredegar House, Newport

6. You fall in love with adventure sports

Fancy pedalling your way along miles of dedicated cycle trails, surfing some of the North Atlantic’s best breaks, or canoeing Britain’s great rivers? As a National Trust member, you’re never short of outdoor spaces to unleash your wild side.

You know it’s happened when: You have a whole section of your wardrobe just for Lycra.

7. You discover your inner foodie

Let’s take a moment to talk about cake. And pies. And warming one pots. And, well all the dishes served in our cafés and food outlets. Wherever possible, we use sustainable, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, because whatever’s best for the environment is usually best for our tastebuds. You may even see our gardeners picking ingredients which then appear on your plate. What’s more, every nibble and sip generates vital income for the property, which means you’re helping to care for the places you love.

You know it’s happened when: You make a beeline from the car park to the café.

Enjoying Gibside's pub garden, Tyne & Wear, one of 39 pubs to discover
Visitors in the pub beer garden at Gibside
Enjoying Gibside's pub garden, Tyne & Wear, one of 39 pubs to discover

8. You become a bargain hunter

Living well, entertaining the kids and discovering special places shouldn’t cost the earth. So with monthly payments, you can enjoy membership from as little as £6 a month for an individual membership. That’s less than the cost of a cinema ticket. Or two Sunday papers. Or three cups of coffee. Or… well, you get the idea.

You know it’s happened when: You start telling your friends what great value membership is.

9. You turn into a treasure seeker

As well as caring for special places, we also look after the collections of art, furniture and historical items inside them. Many have incredible stories to tell, like the Roman ring found over 200 years ago, four ornate stained glass windows depicting the seasons by William Morris and a golden winkle that belonged to Sir Winston Churchill. As a National Trust member, you can unlock the secrets of all the treasures we care for.

You know it’s happened when: Everything in your home has a story behind it.

Mother and children look at a crown on display in the Saloon at Dunham Massey, Cheshire
Visitors looking at a crown on display in the Saloon at Dunham Massey, Cheshire
Mother and children look at a crown on display in the Saloon at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

10. You decide to be a conservation champion

As a charity, we rely on membership subscriptions and volunteers, as well as donations and grants, to look after all the places we care for. So as a member you’ll be directly contributing to the protection of over 250,000 hectares of land, over 300 historic houses and gardens, and 780 miles of coastline. And we speak for everyone who loves these places when we say a very big thank you.

You know it’s happened when: You find yourself restoring the footpaths on your favourite walk.