National Trust Membership – Should I Join?

To hopefully help you decide whether or not membership to the National Trust is worth it, I’ll tell you about our experience so far…..

So we’ve been members of the National Trust for over a year now. We’ve thought about joining for many years, but have always talked ourselves out of it – mainly for the following 3 reasons:

  1. Cost per year is too expensive
  2. Children won’t be welcome
  3. The kids would be bored stiff

We were out on one of our weekend walks around Padley Gorge and ended up in one of the car parks on the Longshaw Estate. We’d parked in a different car park (Surprise View), had paid £4.50 to park for the full day and noticed it was a similar cost to park in the National Trust owned car park. As we visit that area quite often, and also visit the National Trust owned Clumber Park (which at the time charged around £7 per car per day), we felt it made sense to look into NT membership properly.

When I checked the NT website, I found that it was possible for us to pay for membership monthly at £9.55 per month. A minimal cost and much less than the parking fees that we were paying each month, so we decided to sign up and see how it went.  Our lovely membership pack arrived within a few days along with a free pair of binoculars which Isla loved!


We decided to head out that weekend and visit Calke Abbey in Ticknall, Derbyshire which is absolutely AMAZING! Any preconceptions we had about National Trust properties were completely quashed by that one visit. The staff we’re absolutely lovely, our kids had an amazing time, we spent a day in beautiful surroundings and we hardly had to spend any money at all. You can see more about Calke in my review here.

We then went to Clumber Park the next day and found that the prices had increased already but it cost us nothing at all to visit with our membership.

That weekend alone our membership saved us ££42.45 – equivalent to 4 months of National Trust membership! Had we not been members, the admission prices for the properties that we visited in that first year would have amounted to over £200. There’s always events and activities taking place that we had no idea about before joining the National Trust and he kids have loved every single property that we have visited, to name a few:

  • Eyam Hall and Craft Centre – where we learned about the plague and its devastating impact
  • Belton House – amazing indoor and outdoor play areas for the kids, deer roaming freely in the grounds
  • Lyme – beautiful house with another great play area
  • Calke Abbey – our absolute fave so far
  • Clumber Park – beautiful walled garden and grounds (take some nuts for the friendly squirrels)
  • Hardwick Hall – pretty grounds, great for a picnic
  • Stainsby Mill – the kids got to see a real working flour mill

We also love the fact that our money is helping to preserve these beautiful, unforgettable places for years to come. Definitely money well spent!

Hope this helps to make up your mind, any questions (or if you think anything else should be included in this post), then please get in touch 😊

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