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Travel

This free pass offers the chance to visit one of 500 British historic properties

This free pass offers the chance to visit one of 500 British historic properties

Autumn may be upon us, but there is still plenty to explore.

A free pass to one of the National Trust’s 500 historic properties scattered across England, Wales and Northern Ireland could help you to do just that.

The heritage conservation organisation is offering a chance to stroll in the changing colour of the trees, spot wildlife, and connect with nature — and it will cost you absolutely nothing.

“The National Trust was founded 128 years ago for the benefit of the entire nation,” said Celia Richardson of the National Trust.

“We want to honour our mission and enable people and nature to thrive. This means reminding people of the wonders of nature, right on our doorsteps.»

How do I claim a free pass?

The promotion is open from 18 September until 20 October but passes are limited. You can secure one by completing the online form on their website to guarantee a spot.

Some places are exempt from the offer, however, so it is worth checking the list before planning a visit.

Although you can choose from more than 500 properties, you’ll need to keep in mind that certain places require you to book in advance. When pre-booking online, select the free member’s ticket option and use the code ESCAPEINTOAUTUMN2023 when asked for your membership number.

Who can enter on one pass?

Any resident of England, Wales, or Northern Ireland is welcome to use the pass — whether you’re on your own or part of a family.

One pass allows entry for two adults and up to three children, or one adult and up to four children.

What are the best National Trust properties in autumn?

From late September through to November, the gardens and parks of National Trust properties turn into a kaleidoscope of colour with fiery foliage accompanied by rustling leaves, fairytale toadstools, and clattering antlers.

Hundreds of activities that include apple days, harvest celebrations, and half-term trails are also on offer.

But if your idea of autumn is hunkering down and snuggling up, there are comforting cafes and creative craft workshops you can visit.

In the north of England, Gibside offers the perfect escape from the bustle of daily life, with its Valley Views Trail and ancient ruins of Gibside Hall.

Northern Ireland’s Castle Ward boasts over 330 hectares full of trails, woodland, and gardens, with impressive views of the surrounding countryside.

At Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, a ranger leads guided autumn walks through vibrant red American Oak trees and the Larch’s rusty golden hues.

Further south in Devon, Killerton includes two play areas for children under the age of eight amid its giant redwoods.

To the west, Colby Woodland Garden in Wales is set in a tranquil secret valley, with a 19th-century estate that includes a tearoom and gallery.

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