Why I'm a Proud National Trust Member

national trust reasons join

What kind of person springs to mind when you think of a typical National Trust member? Perhaps its an elderly lady taking a break from the Bingo hall, pottering around with her walking stick. Or maybe its a grey old gent with a pipe in one hand and his dentures in the other. Well, today I'm here to bust exactly that stereotype. Although the majority of the adverts in the National Trust magazine that I receive do mention grandchildren, stairlifts and retirement cottages, I'm a loud and proud National Trust member at the ripe old age of 23 nevertheless. In this post, I'm going to be telling you all about why I love being a part of this fantastic conservation institution.

Membership = motivation

At some point in our lives, we've all purchased something or other to use purely as a motivational tool. There's that pricey gym subscription which you splashed out on in order to encourage you to do some exercise, or that dress in a size too small to give you an extra weight-loss kick. Having a paid membership really does motivate you to get up and do something with your Sunday afternoon, rather than just slobbing out on the sofa as usual. After all, nobody wants to pay for something and then see it go to waste! Making the most of my National Trust membership was one of the main reasons that I planned a day out to Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire when I lived in Oxford, as it was easily accessible on public transport from the university city. When I was there, I fell in love with the amazing architecture and immaculately preserved interiors. The gorgeous topiary in the expansive gardens and the aviary stocked with exotic birds from far flung corners of the globe made this a day out to remember. I love my National Trust membership because it encourages me to make the most of the local area and explore the amazing places right on my doorstep!

waddesdon manor national trust visit
waddesdon manor national trust house gardens  waddesdon manor national trust property

Fresh air and exercise

Being a National Trust member isn't all about grand houses with opulent grounds, the Trust also have many special places dotted throughout the countryside where you can strap on your walking boots and head out for a hike! This is exactly what I had the chance to do in my recent mini-break to the Peak District with the wonderful Debra-Bow. We paid a visit to Alderley Edge, Cheshire which was conveniently located just 20 minutes from our hotel. The highlight of Alderley Edge is the sandstone plateau which offers expansive views over the surrounding countryside. It was also the site of a Bronze Age burial mound, and you can tell from the scenery why those ancient peoples chose to commemorate their dead here! Alderley Edge also has some gorgeous woodland paths which Bow and I took the time to explore. My National Trust membership really encourages me to get off my backside and into the fresh air for some exercise - I relish every opportunity I get!

alderley edge national trust peak district  peak district alderley edge national trust
national trust alderley edge visit

If, like me, you've decided that outdoor exploration is your visit motivation (rhyme fully intended), you need to be well prepared. Having the appropriate kit for roaming the countryside is essential. For my trip to the Peak District, I was lucky enough to be sent some quality hiking gear from the lovely people at Simply Hike. The Berghaus Freeflow 20 Litre Rucksack was perfect for keeping my water bottle at close hand during our walks at Alderley Edge: its lightweight design wasn't at all cumbersome, even when climbing some pretty steep steps! In addition to this, I was gifted a Medusa fleece from Montane. The gorgeous Zanskar blue material was very soft and cosy, keeping me warm when needed but not causing me to sweat excessively on the tougher parts of our hike. The thumb loops on the hoodie were a design feature that I especially liked as well - I'll be getting a lot of wear out of it! Simply Hike will even have you covered if you want to prolong your outdoorsy experience at one of the National Trust's many campsites: they stock an extensive range of outwell tents.

national trust member outdoor walking
Thank you to Bow for her skill behind the camera!

Amazing memories

Some of my very favourite memories as a youngster are associated with days out at National Trust houses. If you read my recent post on my country childhood, you'll know that I grew up in rural East Anglia. As a child, I studied the Georgians as part of a history project and as we lived just an our away from Ickworth House, Suffolk, my Mum took me and my siblings to the gorgeous Italianate palace for a special activity day where we got to dress up in Georgian costumes and have a tour of the house. I returned to Ickworth about 10 years later as a fully fledged National Trust member and all of these lovely childhood memories came flooding back - strolling around the grounds made me feel like a kid again! I will definitely keep returning to this venue because the walking trails are simply stunning, a really lovely way to make even more memories.

national trust ickworth house suffolk  ickworth house history national trust visit

Wildlife and history

As we all know, I'm a big fan of historical tours, even more so when they're combined with nature, which is something that the National Trust offers in spades. Take for example a destination that I visited a few summers back: a lighthouse which offers the obligatory scenic views and plenty more besides! Located halfway between the Tyne and Wear rivers, Souter Lighthouse and The Leas has been standing proud on the north-east coast since 1837. It is not only a fantastic historic building, being the first lighthouse in the world to be powered by electricity, but it is also surrounded by some incredible wildlife. Very many birds of prey can be seen in action around the lighthouse, including little owls and peregrine falcons, and you can also catch sight of some of the 5,000 kittiwakes that nest nearby! Here is yet another National Trust place to which I'd love to return.

souter lighthouse leas national trust coast  lighthouse souter national trust visit

Have you ever visited a National Trust property? Which of those I've featured here would you most like to visit? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

A x

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*The products from Simply Hike were given to me free of charge in exchange for a feature on my blog.