Last year we joined the National Trust. It wasn’t something that we had considered before, but after arriving at Fountains Abbey on Boxing Day and realising it would cost us an arm and a leg to get in, we signed up to their family membership plan to spread the cost. It was a good deal on the day because we didn’t have to spend forty quid on the entrance fee, but whether the £120 spread over the year was worth it remained to be proved. Since I am a massive nerd, I kept track of what we spent over the year.
Without membership we would have paid £242.90 (including £17 parking
charges), so we saved £113. Not bad! If cost is the only metric,
membership has proved to be very good value for money. Having the card
in our pocket (and the monthly direct debit going out) pushed us to get
out as often as possible, and they were all well worth the visit.
Here’s a list of the National Trust properties that we visited:
Unfortunately there are only a dozen national trust properties within a couple of hours drive of us, and we’ve done the majority of them now. Some of the properties are massive and need more than one visit, so I’ve renewed the membership this year so that we can go back and explore those further and maybe visit a couple of the ones further out. I can’t see that it would be worth renewing further than that unless we move somewhere else, but we only need to visit five or six properties to cover the cost.
Here’s some photos from our year with the National Trust:
Millington Woods lies in a small valley in the middle of nowhere.
Technically it’s in the Yorkshire Wolds, but with the exception of the
nearby village from which it gets its name it’s miles away from anything
resembling modern civilisation.
The woods have never been busy when I’ve visited, but the few people
who you might meet will be the polite sort that wish you a good morning
as they pass. We had the wood to ourselves this morning, and all that
could be heard was bird calls, a light breeze murmuring through the
trees and blissful silence.
The wood is best known for its ancient ash trees, but I’m partial to the Norwegian Spruce which stands tall and magisterial among its peers.
Last night, in an attempt to aid revision by distancing myself from the distractions at home, I packed my camping gear and headed down to Nalgo Bay for the night. It was coming on 9.30 by the time I got down to the beach. I didn’t have very long to get set up before darkness fell but I managed to pitch the tent and get a small fire going before it was too late. My lack of foresight continued to be apparent as I realised that I had arrived just in time for high tide. I didn’t get very much (any) revision done because I was a little worried that my tent was going to float away. Luckily it didn’t and everything seems to still be here this morning.
I woke this morning quite unexpectedly at 5.30am, which is extremely
unusual for me. It seemed to me that it was quite late as there was
plenty of light in the tent but when I poked my head out of the door I
was greeted by the sight of the sun just peeking over the horizon. What a
sight to wake up to! Despite my good fortune, I realised that it was
much too early for any sensible person to be awake, so after snapping a
few photos I went back to sleep.
When I rose again at 9.30 I was greeted by another high tide. The sea
was literally no more than twenty feet from my front door and the beach
was empty apart from myself. I spent a lovely hour walking along the
beach and taking some photo’s before packing up to come home. I thought
to myself at the time that I should choose a pebble to take away with me
so that when I move away I will have something to remember one of my
favorite places in the world – but of course, I forgot.