This may seem counter-intuitive, but for the past few years, when traveling in the UK, we've joined the National Trust and the National Trust for Scotland. We enjoy free entry into fantastic sites, free parking at parks and gardens in the care of the trusts, AND, we know that our contribution is going to help preserve and protect these wonderful treasures. On top of that, we get great magazines throughout the year that help us plan our next adventures. Not cheap, but on a 12 day trip to Northern Ireland, we managed to recoup all but about $10 of our joint membership! Not a bad return, and we have 11 more months of benefits! Do good things! Protect what you love for future generations! Join a trust!
I have National Trust membership in the UK and it entitles me to reciprocal free entry into the Scottish NT (and vice versa) so you don’t need two memberships.
This is a great tip! Do you happen to know if it includes all of their sites, or if there are any exclusions? I’m thinking of a backroad coastal tour next spring, and this would be perfect for my husband and I.
For anyone in the USA, here is the link to join: Royal Oak. I’m far past the age limit, but there is also a student/young professional membership for just $40 for those under 30.
I agree that joining the NT is attractive, I have looked at it on several trips, but just never made it work. Most of my work takes me to London, the membership is much more helpful outside of London if you were traveling around. In a two week trip, it would be hard to recoup the cost, unless you planned a HT rich area and are interested in Gardens and Houses or maybe plan a Castle tour. If you plan on being in the UK for a couple trips in a year, then probably easy to justify. A car would also need to be a consideration for many sites.
Of course, I agree with the sentiment that you are giving to a good cause, the magazine may interest many, so if you are an Anglophile, then it is a deal.
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