The National Trust was started as the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty in 1895. It has statutory powers under the National Trust Act passed in 1907 which forbids sale or mortgaging of its properties without parliamentary input.
That National Trust UK has properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The aim of the National Trust is to preserve and protect historic places and spaces forever and for everyone. The list of properties has grown to over 500, many of which have been bequeathed to the trust. It has the largest membership organization in the UK and is one of the largest landowners, owning over 247,000 hectares of land. They started by owning stately country homes but this has grown to ownership of urban properties, mills, industrial properties, gardens, nature reserves, historic landscapes such as the Lake District and heathland. The trust has more than 1 million objects at 200 historic places and 400,000 book titles. As well there are many art collections in the many properties. The National Trust has also bought the former homes of Beatles John McCartney and Paul Lennon.
On their website www.nationaltrust.org.uk you will find ideas for a day out, running trails, holidays, and shopping. You can go to their properties and camp, glamp or stay in a hotel or cabin. There is a map of the UK with the many National Trust properties dotted around and you can put in the area you are in for a list of the properties close to where you want to go to. There are children’s activities at many of the sites and on the website you will see the special exhibits going on at the minute. For example, this year women’s suffrage is being highlighted at some sites as it is the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote. Also there is an exhibition in West Yorkshire of Chippendale furniture as it celebrates its 300th anniversary. Most sites come with a really interesting and hard to resist gift shop where UK products are sold. There is usually a restaurant where the food is fabulous. Typically there will be coffee and tea, alcoholic beverages, cakes and often soups, sandwiches and full meals.
An adult membership is 69 pounds per year, a couple is 114 pounds and a family costs 120 pounds. A child until the age of 17 is only 10 pounds per year and a youth is 34.50. At the National Trust properties there is an entrance fee and a parking fee so if you plan to visit a few properties during a year it is well worth the cost. There are so many places to see and you end up going to parts of the country that you never would have otherwise which can be so enjoyable.
You can also donate to the National Trust or you can volunteer. Volunteering can involve being a room guide in a stately home, attending to the gardens or being involved in clean up to name a few of the tasks. The website outlines which volunteering opportunities there are in an area near you.
Scotland has their own National Trust. They also have properties and land of national historic interest. As an example, Culloden and Glencoe are areas managed by the Scotland National trust. They are supported by more than 380,000 members. They have been in operation since 1931. They protect all things Scottish from castles to coastlines, wildlife to wilderness and architecture . The joining cost is less than for National Trust UK. An adult is 57 pounds and there is a senior rate of 45 pounds annually. There is a couple rate of 96 pounds and a senior couple rate of just 72 pounds. Family rates are broken down for 2 parents (102 pounds) and single parents ( 66 pounds) which is for up to 6 children.
Being a National Trust member can be one of the best things you can do for yourself so look into an annual membership.