My Scottish National Trust membership has been one of the best investments I’ve made. It’s great value for money (we pay £9.50 a month for a family membership) and we use our membership a LOT. It’s been great during the pandemic when restrictions have allowed us to get out and about, as there’s so much space that it’s easy to relax while staying socially distanced.
In addition to the other great picnic spots we’re lucky enough to have on our doorstop in the North of Scotland, there are hundreds of Scottish National Trust sites to visit, as well as national trust holiday cottages and properties to rent. You can also hire many National Trust properties for weddings and events – we went to a lovely wedding in Fyvie Castle a few years ago.
I’ll talk more about membership later in the article but first here’s the rundown of my top 3 favourite spots – I’l be covering these in more detail in future articles so keep your eyes peeled!
1. Brodie Castle
This is the closest National Trust site to where we live and also my absolute favourite! Set in acres of countryside and Woodland there’s so much to do at Brodie Castle, including woodland walks and nature trails, the lovely walled garden, plenty of secluded spots for picnicking and the amazing Playful Garden – a magical, sensory playground that’s kind of like a cross between being in Alice in Wonderland and the land of the Teletubbies! This is one of my favourite National Trust Walks in the spring as Brodie Castle is home to the National Daffodil Collection – its a sight to see when everything is in bloom!
2. Haddo House
Haddo House is a close second-favourite for a day out. It can be little tricky to get to (don’t trust your sat-nav – follow a map or directions from the website!) but it’s the perfect place to spend the day!
There are miles of walks here, beautiful gardens, and wide open paths that are great for biking along. There’s also a fantastic woodland playpark with picnic areas all around. The tearoom is not to be missed if it’s open (the scones are delicious!) and there’s a great National Trust shop (there’s a national trust shop in most of the Scottish National Trust sites but for some reason I always seem to find the best gifts and goodies in this one!).
3. Castle Fraser
The Castle Fraser site includes one of the largest tower houses in Scotland, and the panoramic views from the top are incredible. We haven’t been here for a while (though we’re planning another visit in Summer 2021, pandemic allowing!).
Don’t miss yet another amazing National Trust playpark – the Woodland Secrets adventure playground includes a snake-walk, a treehouse, a giant xylophone and more! There are also some great hedge-animals to discover.
Scottish National Trust Membership
As I’ve mentioned membership of the Scottish National Trust is well worth the money. Membership includes
- Unlimited entry to all the National Trust for Scotland’s sites
- Free (or concessionary entry) to sites owned the by National Trust in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Free parking in Scottish National Trust car parks (and some National Trust car parks)
- A copy of the NTS member magazine and annual guide.
You can buy a National Trust gift membership – an ideal gift for any picnic lover!
There are some fab picnic goodies in the Scottish National Trust Online Shop too. I love these rCUP reusable cups, which are stylish as well as sustainable! A reusable cup, made from recycled cups, they”re BPA free and keep your drinks warm or cool.
And this isn’t strictly picnic, rather food prep, but I’m planning to buy this Nessie Family Kitchen Pack! The set include a colander, ladle and tea-infuser, which come to think of it might be handy to pop in the picnic bag!