Saving Money getting Out and About!
Updated: Mar 23
It’s Anne writing again. It is the first day of Spring, and if you were here with me you would notice a change of mood in our house! The third UK lockdown has definitely seen me more gloomy and anxious than the first two. Maybe because it coincided with winter, which is not my favourite season, as I am a person who craves light and colour.
Perhaps that is why I go a bit overboard with the Christmas decorations!
Only kidding. This was Blickling Hall, Norfolk (NT) in 2019.
However, I am just starting to get cautiously excited about the prospect of being able to get out and about again in a few weeks time. That means I can do some serious planning, which I love!
For many people, including me, Covid 19 has meant a big drop in income, so this blog is about some ways to economise while enjoying many of the great things the UK has to offer.
These can offer huge savings if you are likely to visit more than 3 or 4 of their properties in a year. Another advantage is that any membership prompts you to seek out places to visit, wherever you are. I’ve highlighted some of the less well known ones as well, with their benefits. Some are particularly good for families.
NT The National Trust: Stately homes, Gorgeous gardens, historic buildings, and, very usefully, free parking at many of their rural beauty spots. Eng, Wales and NI but with a reciprocal scheme with NT Scotland.
EH English Heritage: over 400 historic Monuments. Lots of Castles and battlefield sites, and some jewels like Apsley House and Audley End. Discount arrangements with CADW in Wales, and Historic Scotland, and vice versa.
HHA Historic Houses Association. Stately homes, castles and houses which are still lived in. Many give free admission to members, but always check. Some are only open on certain days, or for private tours.
HHA includes many of our best known stately homes, including many in Scotland. We totted up savings of over £340 on our trip to Scotland in 2019.
The Art Fund National Art Pass. Membership gives free admission to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places in the UK, and 50% off exhibitions in places like the V&A and Science museum in London. It includes some places that are covered by other memberships, so it can be a great one to buy. They also have a Plus One feature, which, if you add it to a single membership, you can take one guest with you, and are not restricted to a named person.
RHS Royal Horticultural Society membership is for Garden lovers. Not only do you get free entry to their 4 show gardens, but also to over 200 smaller gardens across the Uk. Also, membership gives you priority access to tickets for their Flower shows, including Chelsea.
Gardeners World Pass. In the April edition of Gardeners World Magazine (Out in March), there is usually an amazing free pass which gives 2 for 1 admission to many gardens across the UK. All for the price of a magazine!
Wildlife Charities like the RSPB, Wildlife and Wetland Trust and local Wildlife Trusts have membership schemes which both support the great work they do, and offer free admission to their particular sites'
Tesco Clubcard vouchers, Nectar points and similar schemes can be used to buy some memberships, or to get cheaper tickets to many attractions.
Network rail offer train travel at significant discounts with their Railcards, but also their excellent 2 for 1 scheme, which gives 2 for 1 tickets to many attractions and theatres. You just have to travel there by train!
Some memberships and admissions can be bought at a discount through sites like Quidco, and Groupon.
Also bear in mind that some memberships also gain discounts at places like Outdoor shops and Ferries.
Finally, cafes and restaurants can really push up the cost of a day out. Taking picnics and drinks can really help, and many places provide tables and shelters.
I hope these tips give you lots of ideas to help you get out and enjoy this amazing country of ours!
Things might be a bit different this year, and some schemes haven't launched yet, so please double check the 'rules'!
If you have any more tips, please add them in the comments section.
Have fun! Anne x
All photos my own