I remember when my parents would suggest going on a beautiful, countryside walk, especially when we were on family holidays. My dad would be armed with walking leaflets, clearly mapping out the 2 or 3 mile route and off we would we set on a leisurely morning or afternoon stroll, or that was the plan! Unfortunately, in the days before google maps and 4G, our walks were often rather doomed – those clearly mapped out routes became vague and badly signposted, leading us onto paths previously unchartered. A route that should have taken a few hours inevitably turned into 5 hours and a few miles turned into many more.
My clearest memory is of a walk around Robin Hood’s Bay, we set off in bright sunshine in the appropriate attire for such a beautiful day, got inevitably lost en route and caught in a torrential down pour. In true British style, the weather returned to a beautiful summer’s day and we walked back into the village looking like we’d been for a dip in the sea fully clothed, much to the confusion of locals and tourists alike. So I understand why my children often display the same reticence when I suggest going on walks – which oddly enough is one of my favourite things (maybe marrying someone with a degree in Outdoor Education and a great sense of direction has helped me overcome any demons!). Of course I ignore my children’s cries of woe and we go on walks anyway, especially as 5 minutes in they have forgotten why they didn’t want to go in the first place.
One of the best investments we have made over the past year is National Trust membership. The houses are beautiful and rich with history, the gardens and grounds are stunning and it is so family friendly! Our children have absolutely loved exploring the houses, taking part in treasure hunts and dressing up, as well as learning about how people used to live. There’s so much to see and do that we keep returning to the same places over and over again, as well as using the opportunity to stop off at places on our journeys around the country.
So if you’ve got some spare money burning a hole in your pocket, or you want an excuse to get out more and see the beautiful sights this country has to offer I would definitely recommend National Trust!