Along with our amazement of and appreciation for the public footpaths in Britain, we’ve gotten to experience a few parts of the National Trust — a program that preserves all sorts of historic, scenic or natural places all across the England, Wales and Ireland(Scotland has a separate National Trust, which we also visited and enjoyed), and opens them to the public. It’s fascinating and wonderful, and we’ve included several parts of the National Trust as pieces of our adventures in the UK.
I first learned about the National Trust through my mom, but experiencing parts of it firsthand makes me appreciate its importance even more. What’s interesting and different about the National Trust as opposed to regular National Parks (which also exist) is that a wide variety of kinds of places can be placed into the National Trust, not just the stunningly beautiful natural places you might expect (like the Giant’s Causeway), but even small places (gardens), functioning places (farms and pubs), things (such as historical artifacts) and whole villages (we’ve visited at least two of these — Buttermere, and tiny Watendlath which is FAR off the beaten path). It felt like every time we went to explore somewhere new, we’d end up crossing paths with the National Trust.
Although I’m not 100% clear on how it all works, I do understand that it’s a pretty profound way to preserve and share so much of Britain’s essence. The places that belong to the National Trust can’t be sold or developed, and they’re preserved, maintained and opened for everyone to share. We’ve gotten to explore a tiny piece of these national treasures, and I think it’s so wonderful that they’re looked after in this way — we’ve certainly enjoyed them.