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National Trust – our favourite places to spend a day

The National Trust gives us marvellous days out and keeps the kids entertained. All whilst learning something – usually about the history or nature of where we are. So with the summer holidays fast approaching, we thought we’d share some of our favourite places to spend time.

Now, you will have to forgive us. We’ve not been to every corner of the UK and have based this blog on places we’ve actually been to, so that we can tell you about our experiences. You’ll find details here about locations in the North West, Wales, Cornwall and the South.

If you want to know more about other National Trust locations, take a look at the map on their website.


A trip to the beach is always welcome for the Wide Welly Company family, and although, being based on the Wirral we’re lucky to have a beach right on our doostep, we also have some other favourites for a day out in the fresh air:


Formby beach
Enjoy the sand dunes and vast expanse of beach at Formby.

Miles and miles of sand stretch out along this North West coast. The kids love the massive sand dunes that line the beach – they often take body boards to slide down them. When the tide is out, it can take a good while to reach the sea. And when the tide is in, there are forest walks and a chance to spot the protected red squirrels.


Llanbedrog beach
Beautiful Llanbedrog beach with it’s own climate!

Situated on the Llyn Peninsular on the west coast of Wales, this area seems to have it’s own micro climate. You can take a walk up (and it is up!) the headland to see the iron man sculpture and if you’re feeling energetic, keep heading up to take in the fabulous view of the area from the very top. When you get down to the bottom again, treat the family to an ice cream and enjoy the sandy beach with its colourful beach huts.

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire
You could be anywhere in the world on Barafundle Bay.

What can we say about Barafundle other than it is a stunning part of Pembrokeshire? The beautiful warm, golden sands in the bay are drenched with crystal clear blue waters…you could forget you’re in the UK.

Tip: Barafundle and Formby beaches are both a bit of a walk from the car parks so make sure you head to the loos in the car parks before heading to the beach.


You can’t beat a proper castle, can you? Ones with turrets and everything! There are a couple that we think are worth a visit:


Chirk Castle
Chirk is a medieval castle that has the wow factor.

A fortress and medieval castle in North Wales. On the day we visited (a few years ago now) the National Trust had a knights and princesses event taking place for the kids. There was a jester in the garden and the kids got to dress up for that real castle experience!

Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle
See the working water mill at Dunster Castle near Minehead.

Situated near Minehead, Dunster castle has plenty to see, both in the castle and gardens. It also has a working watermill which makes flour.

Historic places

The National Trust is great for making sure that we learn about the history of the places they look after. Here are a couple of our favourites:

Arlington Court and Carriage Museum

When we visited Arlington near Ilfracombe, it was a sunny day. We sat on the lawn and enjoyed a picnic before a quick look round the regency house. Hidden within the grounds is also a carriage museum which has elegant coaches used for state occasions through to humble carts used to carry servants.

Plas Newydd House and Gardens

When visiting Anglesey, we love to pop by Plas Newydd to have a wonder around the gardens and see the mural that is on display in the manor.

Country estates

On days when we need some fresh air and a bit of a stroll, we like to pick a country estate.

Tatton Park

A deer at Tatton Park
See the deer on a walk through Tatton Park.

In the heart of Cheshire, Tatton Park has plenty on offer for families. From the large park to play in, to the working farm and gardens. The National Trust often puts larger exhibits on here too, so it’s always worth looking what events they have coming up.

Tip: the cost of your car parking isn’t included with the National Trust membership, so expect to pay to park your car on entry.


Enjoy a stroll around the riverside at Mottisfont.

This stunning house is set in riverside gardens in Hampshire. If you’re visiting the New Forest, we’d recommend a little detour here. We’ve often taken a picnic to munch on here whilst the kids run around wearing themselves out!

You can rely on the National Trust to entertain

Although these are some of our favourite haunts, there are plenty of others that have played a part in our summer holidays. You can rely on them having things for the kids to do – usually a trail or hunt.

If you’re heading on a UK holiday this summer, we hope you have a splendid time. Do let us know where you get to!

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