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A family affair

Written by Jenny Eaves
Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct
Jenny Eaves reveals how her family membership is inspiring her to explore every Trust property in Scotland.
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“There are brilliant activities that focus on children interacting with and learning about the history of the environment surrounding them. It’s this variety, from historic buildings to the great outdoors, that makes our membership so worthwhile.”
Jenny Eaves

What motivated you to join?

We’d already visited quite a few Trust properties before we became members last spring, so getting a family membership was an incentive to continue on our quest to explore all of these fantastic places.

How do you use your membership?

We travel a lot throughout Scotland during the summer, and there usually tends to be a Trust property close to the campsites we stop at. In the past year we’ve visited Brodick Castle while on Arran, Glenfinnan when we camped at Arisaig, and Staffa.

What do you enjoy most about visiting Trust properties?

They’re all unique in their own way, so there’s always something different to discover at each one. There are brilliant activities that focus on children interacting with and learning about the history of the environment surrounding them. It’s this variety, from historic buildings to the great outdoors, that makes our membership so worthwhile.

Two children on a bench at Brodick Castle
Resting outside Brodick Castle
Child looking out at the view from Glenfinnan Monument
Admiring the view from the Glenfinnan Monument
Child on boat heading to Staffa
Sunshine and sea, the boat trip to Staffa

Any favourites?

For the kids, it’s the Pineapple. They love to run around the grounds. We always walk through the woods, spotting wildlife and seeing what other natural treasures we can find.

Staffa is a lovely little island, with puffins and amazing basalt columns. When we were there we saw Trust volunteers working on the path – we could appreciate the effort that goes into preserving this remarkable place.

What’s your most visited property?

We’ve been to Alloa Tower a couple of times as it’s so close to where we live. 

Two children playing at the Pineapple
Sunshine at the Pineapple
Family walking along the rocks to Fingal’s Cave
The walk to Fingal’s Cave

What’s on your bucket list?

I’d really love to visit Corrieshalloch Gorge to see its spectacular scenery first-hand.

Threave Garden & Estate is also on my radar. As well as its exotic plantings, it’s home to a large variety of bats. I’m a bat ecologist so it would be brilliant to see them in their nocturnal habitat. 

Robert Smail’s Printing Works looks really interesting too. The kids would love to have a go at letterpress printing and typesetting to discover how the printing industry worked in the past.

What’s your top recommendation?

If you’re able to travel a bit further, I’d definitely suggest a visit to Staffa. You only get an hour on the island, so make sure you plan it well to see both Fingal’s Cave and the puffins. You need to be quick, which can be hard if you have kids in tow, but it’s definitely worth it.

Family sitting by the pond at the Pineapple
Looking for newts at the Pineapple

Summer is the perfect time to visit Trust properties across the country. From gardens to castles, a family membership gives you unlimited access to it all, from just £5.50 a month. 

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