How to get into National Trust Properties for free!
I’m so lucky. Thanks to this blog and the radio show I have on Wandsworth Radio I’ve visited tons of properties that are in the National Trust. I’ve written several reviews of some of them and I’ve recorded my visits for the Walking Wandsworth Podcast and you are welcome to check those out just to get a taste of what’s available at the National Trust.
How would you like to get into all the national trust properties for free?
National Trust Family Membership usually isn’t free, but I have discovered a neat way for getting into National Trust Properties for no charge and I’ll be sharing that in this article.
What is the National Trust?
Did you see the end of Downton Abbey? The Crawley family were experiencing financial difficulty keeping their great stately home so they opened it to the public and charged an entry fee.
That’s pretty much what the National Trust does. It is a trust that acquires or receives property that is worthwhile preserving for the nation. It sustains itself by charging membership fees or entrance fees to visitors.
What do you get for the money?
Lots and lots and it’s probably different for everyone. For me I get to see how people like Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling and William Morris lived. I take home ideas for the allotment and I immerse myself in history and gain a much better understanding of the people and times that went before.
It’s great day out for the whole family. If it’s raining and you visit one of the properties you’ll have a wonderful day indoors. If it’s a dry day you’ll be able to explore the grounds outside and maybe even take a look inside too.
Just imagine what it is like to be at a site where some of the greatest moments in history have taken place. When you think about it, it gives you an incredible feeling of connection to the events that have shaped our country and our world. It’s priceless.
Some of my visits to National Trust Places
Support the National Trust
In a moment I’m going to be telling you how you can get into National Trust properties for free and I really hope that will benefit you. However, I want you to know that it would be worthwhile paying the whole membership and more. You’d still get incredibly good value for money.
You can always pay on the door. This is probably best if you don’t intend on visiting National Trust properties on a regular basis. The entrance fee varies, and can be reduced at some properties, for example, on father’s day 2018 at NT Dapdune Wharf, Dads got in for free.
Regular memberships will save you money if you are planning on making more frequent visits.
There are different types of membership, individual, joint, family and lifetime membership (including lifetime individual, couple and family plans).
If you can afford it, the lifetime plan works out the most reasonable. Inflation means that the price will always go up, so in 20 years the amount you paid for lifetime membership now is going to look like a bargain.
Scottish National Trust Loophole
Because of a reciprocal arrangement between the English National Trust, the Scottish National Trust and New Zealand Heritage if you are a member of any of these you can enter all the properties and land in the respective schemes. This means that you can take advantage of lower priced membership offers through the respective schemes and still get the same benefits.
Free Entry to National Trust Properties
I realise some of you may have skipped directly to this part. So first you have to pass a comprehension test about everything that was written above (just kidding).
To get into National Trust properties for free you will need to be good at making friends with a very special and valuable group of people. The National Trust volunteers.
It’s safe to say that without the volunteers the National Trust would struggle to keep going. A whole team of them maintain the gardens and houses. They study the history and become room hosts, sharing their fascination about the properties with visitors.
If you are lucky enough to know one, he or she will be able to get you in to any National Trust property as their guest and you won’t be charged for an entry ticket.
It’s a tremendous bonus that comes from being a volunteer and I’m sure you’d be happy to reward your friend for the favour.
Become a volunteer
If you love National Trust properties, the best thing you could possibly do is become a volunteer yourself. If you’ve got a few hours to spare each week, it’s a great way to meet new people, stay active, gain knowledge and have a lot of fun.
Check out the National Trust site for volunteering opportunities. Click here.
Thank you for reading. Do you like visiting historically significant buildings? Or have you any tips for making the most of a visit? I would love to hear from you if you have time to leave a comment.