Wednesday 8th April 2020
The National Trust for Scotland - a place for everyone.

It’s time to get outside and get involved - our new programme of Thistle Camps and Trailblazers is open for applications! 

Full details of our exciting new programme of working holidays are now available!  We’re returning to some favourite locations during 2020 and there are some fantastic new camps too.  At St Abb's we’ll be exploring the history of the site with Trust archaeologists, at House of Dun we’ll be working alongside the garden team and we’ll visit Glencoe  throughout the year to help recreate a 17th century house!


UPDATE - COVID19 (31 MARCH 2020)

Following fresh guidance issued by the Scottish and Westminster Governments in relation to the coronavirus outbreak we are taking immediate steps to respond to the latest information.  Measures have been approved by the National Trust for Scotland to help minimise the risk to the public, volunteers and staff.  As such, all NTS events including Thistle Camps will be suspended until the end of May.  We appreciate the disappointment this will cause but these are exceptional circumstances.  Where we can we will look at rescheduling the cancelled projects for a later date when restrictions have been lifted.  We appreciate your patience and understanding in these unprecedented times.

If you are booked onto project(s) taking place during March, April or May you will be directly impacted by the cancellations.  Please contact us at to let us know if you how you would like us to respond to your booking if you have paid already paid for your place.  You can either opt to transfer to a project later in the year and we will waive our administration fee for this. If the new project is of a lesser cost than your original booking, we will refund the difference.  Should the new project be of a greater cost than the original, we will ask you to pay the difference.  Alternatively, we can refund the original cost of your place in full.


Please note the Thistle Camp team are currently working from home and and can be contacted at We will respond to your query as soon as possible. 



Are you an avid gardener keen to get first hand experience at a historic property? Maybe you're a lover of wild places who would like to help care for a favourite mountain? Or perhaps the challenge of taking part in a totally different kind of holiday, where you can contribute directy to the conservation of some very special places appeals? 

If so, you're in the right place!  We have a fantastic range of opportunities available so whether you want to get to grips with traditional techniques such as drystone dyking or scything or help us uncover the past with the Trust's archaeology team there is something to suit a range of interests.  If you're feeling really energetic our activity projects are a great option! 

Don’t forget to opt in to our short notice updates when applying we can can keep you informed of opportunities!


A working holiday may sound like an odd idea, but you’d be surprised – the National Trust for Scotland’s Thistle and Trailblazer Camps offer more fun, excitement and achievement than you’d ever have on the average week off.  If you’re passionate about conservation, getting outdoors, or simply enjoy getting your hands dirty, then read on – you could make a real difference to Scotland’s natural heritage!

Our working holidays are residential projects based at National Trust for Scotland properties that help the NTS, Scotland’s leading conservation charity, to conserve and manage the historic locations under its care. Participants will live and work in some of Scotland’s most remarkable and remote places over a week or so of exciting and rewarding experiences. No prior experience is required for most of our camps, as work is always fully explained and techniques demonstrated. The camps are made up of eight to twelve volunteers of many ages and backgrounds. As a volunteer you’ll be sharing your accommodation, be it a basic bothy or a luxury farmhouse, with your fellow campers, chipping in on the communal tasks of cooking and cleaning.


Please note that we use a variety of accommodation and places are offered based on a gender balance that works for each project.  Unfortuantely our website is unable to show whether remaining places are male or female.