The National Trust
The National Trust is a charity that works in the UK to protect and maintain natural sites across the country. It’s funded through donations and membership programmes, whereby you pay a monthly or annual fee for unlimited access to the National Trust sites. If you’re touring the UK, you may find the membership option for a family much cheaper than purchasing individual tickets at each site. Having said that, many National Trust sites are completely or partially free to enter.
The National Trust is an historical organisation that dates back to 1884 when founders Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley aimed to protect Sayes Court garden in London. Shortly after it was opened as a company, it bought up landscapes, nature reserves and beautiful buildings in order to maintain and protect them. Nowadays, the National Trust functions with around 50,000 volunteers protecting the 500 lands and buildings. The trust has over 5 million members who, alongside donors, raised almost ￡80 million in 2020/21.
As well as wandering the gardens and buildings of the National Trust, you can find stunning dog walks, fun games and activities for children and environmental volunteering projects and opportunities.
Personally, I’m a huge lover of nature and have been lucky enough to live close to National Trust sites in the past. Some of my personal favourites are Fountains Abbey, Brimham Rocks, the Yorkshire Dales, The Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede and Runnymede. There is a huge range of gardens and buildings and full details can be found on their website. I highly recommend visiting any of these beautiful places when on a trip in the UK.