Parents Best Kept Secret: The English National Trust

English National Trust - climbing treesWhen we joined the English National Trust a few months ago I had no idea that we’d be discovering what is probably many parents best-kept secret.

A whole world of beautiful parks and grounds to discover, with great facilities and amazing staff. The recipe to perfect family days out all year round.

We’re definitely having a bit of a love affair with the English National Trust in our house at the moment, and for good reason too. If you’ve ever thought about joining or are considering joining, here are four reasons why you should join us!

So many beautiful places to discover

So many beautiful parks and grounds to explore and discover. In fact probably more than we’ll ever be able to visit, but that’s the best thing.

There are so many dotted around the country that it feels like you are never very far away from one, and they’re easy to find too. Which you can do using the lovely book they send you as part of your joining pack which has all of the National Trust places and locations listed. There’s also a very handy little app which works out the closest places to you based on your location.

Either way, it’s a doddle to find somewhere to visit at the drop of a hat, and there are lots of different types of places, from parks to houses with grounds to pretty walks and paths. Wherever you are and whatever the weather, there’s a perfect National Trust place waiting for you to discover it.

English National Trust - scooting in the park

English National Trust - Ella running through Morden Hall Park

Lots of activities for little ones

I love how focused the National Trust is on children. There’s always something fun on, from crafting to scavenger type hunts and of course seasonal fun and games like their massive annual Easter egg hunt.

They even have a little National Trust book for little ones called “50 Things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4″ which is fab and adds to the whole wonderful National Trust experience.

Family-friendly restaurants and cafes

One of the things that have surprised me the most about the National Trust is just how nice the restaurants and cafes are, and how good the facilities are all around.

All any parent wants on a family day out are clean and well-considered facilities and cafes that have decent food, helpful staff and plenty of seating which both Chartwell House and Morden Hall Park had.

The restaurants are definitely one of the highlights of a day out at the National Trust which makes them great places to go not only for family days out but also for play dates or a place to escape to when you just want to sit down somewhere scenic for a tea and slice of cake.

English National Trust - Ella scooting through Morden Hall Park

English National Trust - Morden Hall Park boardwalks

Amazing staff and volunteers

I was blown away by the fantastic knowledge of some of the staff at Chartwell House, the very first National Trust place we visited. I was even more blown away when we discovered that many of them were local volunteers (many of them in their 80’s and 90’s) who were just amazing.

They were some of the nicest, friendliest staff we have ever met and they were such fountains of knowledge sharing facts that you definitely wouldn’t discover in a handbook.

Our membership to the English National Trust is definitely one of the best things we’ve invested in for our family this year and I would absolutely recommend it as a great way of getting out and exploring more as a family!

Have you visited any English National Trust places that you would recommend? If you have share them with me in the comments below!



  1. April 10, 2017 / 5:47 am

    We are about to sign up. I’m not a fan of looking round stately homes so had never considered it before kids. I didn’t realise until not long back how amazing they are for families.
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  2. April 10, 2017 / 5:57 am

    Hi, I love visiting the National Trust and never get bored of visiting the same venues. We are lucky to have lots near by. It’s great how they change so much throughthout the year. Sheffield park is a must in the autumn #marvmondays
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  3. April 10, 2017 / 7:47 am

    I’ve been a member of the NT since I was a teenager, I used to go on NT work camps with my friends. We’ve been taking our children since they were babies. Our first visit was to Mompesson House in Salisbury where my great grandmother was a housekeeper. My grandfather was a butler and worked in many stately homes so I’m always intrigued to see ‘below stairs’ when we visit a house. We’re lucky to have several NT properties near us. On holiday we always go and explore the NT properties in the area and we live on a stretch of NT coastline so I guess you could say we are fans! Thanks for hosting #marvellousmondays

  4. April 10, 2017 / 8:27 am

    This looks lovely, totally agree the national trust has so many gems! I grew up in Cornwall and there are just so many hidden treasures, secret gardens! A wonderful thing, especially for children! #Marvmondays
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  5. April 10, 2017 / 8:56 am

    Ah it looks so worth it! If one of us could drive we’d be at one of the National Trust places every weekend! They’re always so beautiful and full of adventure!

  6. April 10, 2017 / 9:27 am

    I keep saying that we should get National Trust passes but Alfie was a bit too young last year. However, I think he’s at the perfect age now so I’m going to have another look at them! Your photos are beautiful and it’s great to hear the facilities are all clean and family friendly! #MarvMondays
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  7. April 10, 2017 / 9:35 am

    I love these pictures, they’re gorgeous! #marvmondays
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  8. April 10, 2017 / 10:56 am

    Ooo… well I’m off to the National Trust Website to find out about membership!

  9. April 10, 2017 / 1:05 pm

    We live really close to Morden Hall park, and it’s truly beautiful isn’t it? I think the National Trust are wildly underrated if you’ve never enjoyed their destinations, and are especially great in the good weather #MarvMondays
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  10. April 10, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    My folks totally agree with this post! They didn’t know what National Trust was until I came along – then they spent all their free days there. So far we’ve visited over 35 NT Properties in the UK and absolutely love it!
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  11. April 10, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    My folks totally agree with this post! They didn’t know what National Trust was until I came along – then they spent all their free days there. So far we’ve visited over 35 NT Properties in the UK and absolutely love it! #MarvMondays
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  12. April 10, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    Our National Trust membership is one of the best things we ever bought. Even with my daughters wheelchair the range of experiences on offer and the accessibility are fantastic. Thanks for sharing! (Love the photo’s too!) #marvmondays
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  13. April 10, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    We love the National Trust too and in fact visited two of their places this weekend – one house and gardens for their Easter Egg trail and one Woodlands which was gorgeous in the spring sunshine. #MarvMondays
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  14. April 11, 2017 / 9:08 am

    We absolutely love the National Trust, and this is our second year of membership. Last year we were so much better with the membership and visited a lot of properties, this year we need to get better. The cafes are definitely my favourite part of the day, you need to try Polesden Lacey – we love it there. My next must have’s are Sheffield Park and Scotney Castle. I love how they are all over the country too, and so good for kids to run around and explore. Claire x #MarvMondays
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  15. April 11, 2017 / 10:19 am

    The National Trust is great isn’t it?! So many great places to see and fab things to do. Enjoy discovering them.
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  16. April 11, 2017 / 7:09 pm

    #marvmondays yes to NT facilities and delights, but i can think of another reason to join – it allows the beautiful English heritage to be protected and ensure that our Grandchildren have fabulous places to visit and nature walks to explore in the future. with this in mind the membership fee is irrelevant
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  17. April 13, 2017 / 10:40 am

    I picked up the book recently for 10p and am looking forward to ticking things off with the girls. #MarvMondays
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  18. April 13, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    It really is a hidden little gem. We started going to them when my daughter was 1, so almost four years and we’ve never looked back. Great post and stunning pictures as always #marvmondays
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  19. April 14, 2017 / 7:45 am

    This place looks stunning. I had to do a double take, it looks so much like a place we visit when we are at my Mums in Scotland x #MarvMondays
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  20. April 14, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    We love the national trust both for the parks and
    Also the parking near coastal walks ☺
    Beautiful pictures xx #marvmondays

  21. April 17, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    We’ve been NT members for years and have just had to upgrade to family membership Now BB is five. One of our favourite properties is Kingston Lacy in Dorset #marvmondays
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