Wednesday 12th August 2020
The National Trust for Scotland - a place for everyone.

UPDATE - COVID19 (20 APRIL 2020)

We are continuing to respond to the coronavirus epidemic and are taking measures to minimise risk to participants, leaders and property teams in these exceptional circumstances.  As such, the Thistle Camps programme is being suspended until the end of August and projects due to take place during this period will not run.  We understand this will be disappointing news.  If you have already paid and confirmed your attendance on any of the Thistle Camps or Trailblazers impacted, we will contact you by email and arrange a full refund for the original cost of your place.  We are currently not accepting any new applications for our 2020 projects.

If you have an urgent query about our work, please contact Shirley Ballingall, Participation Manager, at

Thank you for your understanding in these challenging times.  We really appreciate the support you have continued to show the working holidays programme and the National Trust for Scotland!

Best wishes and stay safe!

The Working Holidays Team


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!

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.