In all honesty it’s probably true that there’s no such thing as a free lunch but with an annual membership to the National Trust you can most certainly get something for nothing!

From the start, members receive free entry (and parking) to over 300 stunning historical properties, 248,000 hectares of beautiful outdoor spaces and 700 miles of coastline. A member’s handbook, regular editions of a beautifully illustrated magazine and a set of complimentary binoculars really do set you up for an amazing day out.

Membership costs from around £72 per person per year, with great discounts for family and joint memberships.

Step back in time

Chiddingfold Village in Kent, UK

Obviously as ‘Life’ members the earlier you join up the better value it is! Remember to look out for great offers like 3 months free membership if you sign up on your very first visit. With special events and the changing seasons, often properties are worth re-visiting so membership can pay for itself in as little as five visits, outstanding value for money.

Spring is the ideal time to consider joining, as many of the more seasonal National Trust properties take off the dust sheets and once more show their finery off to the general public during the summer months. As individuals we can assist this work in preserving our national treasures for future generations and supporting conservation work by being regular members.

Guests here at Cumberland House in Horley have commented that their NT membership has also opened up an amazing alternative to those horrible Motorway Service areas on long journeys. So often with a short detour from your usual route you can find the most hospitable tea rooms with afternoon tea to die for, lovely clean loos and picnic areas far from the madding crowds, and of course the benefit of a smiling waitress!

Another little known fact is that the NT has reciprocal visiting arrangements with heritage organisations in 14 other countries. So if you’re jetting off on holiday soon, don’t forget to take your membership card and visit their national treasures too.

Gift memberships also make ideal Christmas presents for those that have everything! And we’re not the only lucky ones to receive so many benefits from our NT membership, as a charity they can claim back 25p in every £1 of our donations if we ‘Gift Aid’ our contributions. That’s even more cash to go towards a genuinely good cause.

So, have I convinced you yet? Sorry, you’ll likely have to pay for your own lunch, but hey, the rest of the day comes FREE!

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