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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Make the most of National Trust Membership by visiting some of our favourite North East Properties

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

We have been National Trust members for years and membership is definitely worth having. You save a fortune throughout the year and there's always something going on at one or more of there properties. The Below are all within 2 hours of Sunderland and all worth a visit. This year, as well as returning to some of our favourites, we are also going to be exploring a bit further too.

For a limited time, you can claim a FREE, single use pass to gain access to certain properties between 18 September - 20 October 2023. Read on to find out how to claim yours.

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So, why don't you make the most out of your membership and explore:

Ormesby Hall - Home to the Pennyman Family, you can enjoy this classic Georgian mansion filled with some of the Pennyman belongings. There are also gardens and 250 acres of parkland to explore. During the School Holidays there's lots going on. Dogs are welcome everywhere except the in the house.

Cragside - Cragside is one of the more well known properties and when you visit you will just want to keep going back. I have lost count of how many times we have been. Known as Britain's first Smart house, lit up by hydro electricity. You can explore inside of the house, formal garden, rock gardens, labyrinth, playpark and some of the best picnic spots in the area.

Nunnington Hall - Nunnington hall is a lovely property, with picturesque manor house sat right on the River Rye. Here you can enjoy stepping back in time looking through the house, wander through the gardens and let the kids play in the play area. Nunnington was one of the first properties we visited many years ago when they had the wishing tree, which was always a great activity.

Rievaulx Terrace - We discovered Rievaulx Terrace years ago and we have been going back for years (when its open!) There's not a lot to see here but the reason we love visiting is the woodland walk down to the terrace is lovely. You will find giant garden games and a woodland play area here. Rievaulx is a great place to have a picnic too.

Gibside - Gibside is mainly outdoors with a large walled garden that comes to life during spring and summer, large circular walks which are perfect for dog walking. There's also low ropes course, play park, den building and more. We tend to visit during Spring and enjoy the walks here.

Wallington - This has become a favourite of mine, we tend to visit every other year and love visiting at Christmas when the house is all decorated. Here you can enjoy circular walks, play areas, Large house to explore, walled garden which has a fantastic Crocus display.

Seaton Delaval - We only visited Seaton Delaval Hall for the first time a couple of years ago, mainly because it had sporadic opening times and we could never get there when it was open. Luckily we managed to visit. Last time the hall had been closed off and you could only go into the cellar, as they are doing renovations but there's still lots to enjoy such as the gardens, which have some gorgeous Rhodedendron displays. Dogs welcome in the gardens

Souter Lighthouse - I don't do heights, so I have not been to the top but the boys have and Souter Lighthouse is a lovely place to kill a few hours. You can explore inside of the lighthouse, climb the tower, enjoy the gardens and you can also enjoy the nature reserve. Lovely picnic spot when the weather isn't as wild.

Crook Hall - We had never been to Crook Hall until last year when National Trust took over the ownership and reopened it to the public. Honestly the gardens here are gorgeous and the little pond at the top is just my absolute favourite. There's also a maze for the kids to run wild in.

Washington Old Hall - I really like the gardens here and the history surrounding the house. The stories really grabbed my interest on our last visit. The site is small but if you take your time you can easily kill a few hours here and if you go when the weather is nice you could take a picnic. There's a play area, walled garden and house to explore. Parking is on the street and limited.

Penshaw Monument - When ever we have been on a long journey and we head home, we know we are nearly back when we see Penshaw Monument. There's not much in terms of a building to explore as it is an open monument, however the views are amazing and National Trust sometimes hold days when they open the top, so you can climb up and enjoy even better views. To make a day of it you can head over to Herrington Park, but don't make the mistake of only going to the playpark or the big lake because there's so much more to explore.

Mount Grace Priory - I have only been here the once and it was a great afternoon. There's ruins to explore and a lovely garden. I have been told you can sometimes go in the house, this was closed on our last visit but we are heading back soon, so I will investigate this in more detail.

Tell me your favourite places to visit, we are always looking for new ideas to explore.

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