Ok I am going to take a small break from my seven habits series to let you know about something I have come to love and respect over the last two years. My National Trust membership. You may think that these are just for the retired or for family holiday activities but as a young adult I think they are seriously underrated and heres why:
1. It’s cheap
At the time of writing this post its £32.40 a year for a National Trust membership if you are under 26. Thats roughly the same price as a decent pair of jeans. If you can afford to go to the cinema and go clubing more than twice a year – you can more that afford a NT membership.
2. It’s good for your physical health
I have walked, sailed, ran, cycled all using my national trust membership. From walking from one site to another, to doing mapped out walks, attending sailing classes, or taking part in organised runs around beautiful sites and landmarks there is some form of excercise for everyone.
3. It’s wayyyy cheaper than a gym membership.
Combining points 1+2=3.
And if you use it fully you can get the same health benefits and so much more.
4. It’s a charity
Its never too early to start giving to charity. Whever your 18 or 98 it’s always a good idea to set something aside for a charity. Giving is a good habit to get into. And lets face it there are not many chairties that give you 25 other reasons to give!
5. It makes you explore places you’d never think too
If you look on the map there are over 500 places in the UK to visit. Whether its in your local area or somewhere on you are visiting on holiday, there will be some place hidden and enchanting waiting for you to discover.
6. You learn a lot about history
Learning about where we have come from is the best (and in some opinions the only) way to know where we are going. When you look at the past you can see; the mistakes, the victories, the harships people have had to overcome. There are place cards dotted around in most of the NT places and/or volenteers eager to chat to you and fill in the blanks.
7. It’s a good place for first dates/any dates
In a time where cinema and food makes up most of couples date nights, why not shake things up a bit? Get some culture and some peace and quiet to get to know your date/other half, you can even take your own picnic if you are feeling particularly romantic.
8. It’s encourages you to get outdoors
Two words – Viatmin D.
9. You appreciate your luxuries a lot more
Stepping back into the past realising that 500 years ago people only had books and instuments (if they were rich enough) to entertain themselves makes me feel much more apriciative of my laptop and TV when I get back home.
10. It’s good for your mental health
Going out on the weekends or evenings rather than sitting in front of the telly has been really good for my mental health. Seeing beautiful places, being outside, its a no brainer really.
11. Excercise for your imagination
If you are a Jane Austin fan or have read any book set in Old England, then you can imagine what it would be like to live in their shoes. I like to imagine myself as Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice “taking a turn” around the rooms. Dig deep and find your inner child, you will have so much more fun I promise.
12. There’s something for everyone
Whether it’s a treasure hunt for your nephews and nieces, a romantic picnic, a solo stroll, or tea shop for your nan there truely is something for everyone of every age range.
13. It’s inspirational
Even if you know nothing about gardening, seeing all the beautiful flowers and home grown vegetables never fails to inspire me growing my own one day.
14. You become apart of history
The money from your membership goes straight into the maintanaice of history. You are making sure that these places will still be around in hundereds of years so that your great grandchildren can visit the same places you have.
15. You meet extraordinary people
Like most volunteers, NT volunteers are incredible people. They all have a story to tell and love sharing their infinate knowledge of their special places with you.
16. You can get lost in the history and get a feel for what it was like back in the day
Its a nice way to forget all the worries and stresses of the day/week and just emerse yourself in the history and culture these special places provide.
17. Food, heart warming comfort good prepared freshly on the day
As a foodie, this was the icing on the cake for me. Literally. I have throughly enjoyed every meal/indulgence I have had at every National Trust place. You need to get there early to get the best pick of sandwhiches though!
18. You always feel welcome
Whether you are on your own, or with a large group. There is always a happy volenteer (or two) to welcome you and make you feel at home.
19. Even if you go to the same place twice there’s always something new to learn
They are always adding new exhibitions or renivating new sections of the houses/parks so that you can keep visiting the same place and never get bored!
20. New experiences.
Fancy a go at Sailing, bowl making or rock climbing? There are so many new things to try. Just keep an eye on the website and book!
21. Most places are open all year round
Even if you have no spare time in the day, they do evening outdoor films during summer
22. You become apart of a community
NT gift shops offers everything from NT monopoly (yes I have it…) to hand made goods. Grab a gift for a friend or yourself on your way out or just browse through the beautifully selected NT merchendise.
24. Free parking
This is especially useful when you are visiting areas like Devon/Cornwall or the Lake district where parking can cost up to £10 a day, you can have the freedom and luxery of being able to come and go as you please not having to worry about making it back in time to avoid a pesky fine.
25. The App
Although they are in the business of protecting hisotrical places, it doesn’t mean they are a business of the past. The app enables you to locate nearby places using GPS, so even if you don’t have a signal you can still find somwhere to go.
26. Take time to invest in youself
I like to have my “me” time, NT style. The amazing places never fail to inspire a blog post, a new photograph, a poem or a reflection on my current situation. If you are a creative of any kind, or want to develop your creativity there’s really no excuse not too get this membership. You need look no further for your muse.
Do you have a NT membership? Whats your favourite benefit? Let me know in the comments below!