A National Trust Christmas

Last Summer my mum treated my husband and I to joint membership for the National Trust. As many of you know having kids and keeping them entertained gets expensive so a gift like this has been a godsend. Throw out the common misconception that National Trust days are for the blue rinse brigade, they’re not, they’re for everyone. It’s opened up our year to a whole new world of beautiful places to visit including stately homes, protected wildlife, islands, castles and natural phenomenons. We live down in Dorset and are so lucky to have 24 different places within 25 miles of our post code, two of which I will show you now. First up is Corfe Castle, which is a 1000 year old castle ruined by warfare.

It is steeped in history and children love to run around the castle finding all its nooks and hiding places and finding out about the battles, treachery and treason that moulded its story. Throughout the year they have various events to keep things even more interesting, at the moment it’s a sculpture exhibition but in the past they have had open air theatre, reenactments and treasure hunts. You can even borrow costumes to add to the magic of your visit. Corfe village itself is incredibly special, my husband and I were married nearby and just love the old English feel of this area.

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My husband and daughter enjoying the fantastic view.

Another beautiful place near us is the stunning Kingston Lacy, a beautiful and lavish mansion set in 8,500 hectars of land. We visited recently to enjoy the gardens (the house itself was closed for renovation). When you have little ones open space to run and run is just perfect and that’s exactly what my daughter did. I meanwhile, swanned around pretending that I was Lady Mary from Downton Abbey.  I will be heading straight back as soon as the house is open as it’s filled with beautiful paintings by artists such as Titian and Rubens and the largest private collection of Egyptian artifacts.

When you consider that just these two visits would have cost us £43, getting a joint membership is a no brainer. They do a Direct Debit offer for you first year which would cost £69 which means unlimited visits and includes parking in National Trust car parks. They also offer family and single person membership, kids under 5 are free. See here for details, National Trust Membership. If you were struggling to think of different Christmas present ideas why not treat your family to this, it’s something they will benefit from all year round rather than just another piece of plastic for the kids and another jumper or pack of golf balls! We are enjoying having ours so much, we have also been over to Brownsea Island and to see the Cerne Abbas giant but I shall save those for a future blog.

Go on, open up your year to even more of the wonderful things the UK has to offer.

Love Katy x

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