Discovering the National Trust

It’s the Tuesday of our week’s holiday in Cornwall.

Yesterday we did a lovely walk around the bottom of the Lizard from Cadgwith Cove (very near where we are staying) along the coast path to Lizard Point and then on to Kynance Cove before tracking back, inland, to Cadgwith.

Today we had a really nice day, cycling north up the Lizard to the Helford estuary (about 10 miles), then getting the passenger ferry to Glendurgan gardens on the other side of the estuary.

Now, I should point out that my wife recently started working for the National Trust, which comes with the great benefit of free entry to the National Trust’s properties.

I’ve never really considered the National Trust as something of much interest. It makes you think of big, stuffy old mansion houses and random bits of old castle. But having been to a few places you start to realise how good the work that they do is, AND, having a link with them, you start to notice how much they look after.

Here’s where we’ve been in a few months that’s owned by the National Trust:

  • Lacock
  • Buscot Castle Drogo
  • Lizard Coast
  • Lizard Point
  • Kynance Cove
  • Glendurgan Gardens
  • and we’ll be going to St Michael’s Mount later in the week

Here are some things that have impressed me about the National Trust:

  • They own LOADS of stuff: much of the Lizard’s coastline, many small coves and sites of beauty or scientific interest, lots of interesting buildings and gardens. Some of it is well known and listed in their handbook, but lots of it is just land that they care for and preserve that’s not listed anywhere and is open to anyone for free!
  • Their facilities are always really good: clean toilets, good information, friendly staff, well organised, well sign posted, lots of free leaflets, good food in their cafe’s. The quality of what they do is always excellent.
  • They care for people: related to good facilities, but also in Sally’s working for them, you can see that people are important to them and their quality and integrity stems from that.
  • They care for the environment: they take the view that there’s no point preserving all this stuff if the world’s being messed up around it. To that end they put their money where their mouth is and invest in things like solar panels, using their own resources, using renewable energy and materials, recycling, fair trade and so on. They’re also keen on promoting environmental issues to their members.

I’m really very impressed, to the extent that I’d pay for membership now- not just to get free entry to all their properties, but to support the good work that they do.

If you don’t know much about the National Trust, look them up, find out what they do, look out for their land and properties and I hope you’ll agree that they do a great job and are worth supporting.