The Best National Trust sites in the north of England - in our opinion! Featuing Formby, Tarn Hows, Aria Force and more
Days out,  Walking

Getting out and about with the National Trust – The best National Trust sites in the North (in our opinion!)

As you know, we love to get outing nature and explore. One of the things I’ve realised in the last couple of years is just how many of the amazing places we love to go are looked after by the National Trust. A few years ago I naively thought that National Trust sites were just the big houses that you see in the countryside. But I’ve since realised that they look after some of my favourite open spaces too. So I thought I’d share some of our best National Trust sites from across the North of England in this post.

Tarn Hows

First on the list has to be Tarn Hows. Me and T took a walk here in November 2019 and fell in love. It was cold and it was a bit dull. But the tarn and the walk we did from the town of Coniston up to it is definitely one of my favourite things to do. We took Spike to Tarn Hows just before lockdown happened in March and I think that made it even more special as it was the last place we really explored before months of only being able to explore within walking distance of our house.

Me and Spike in front of the waterfall at Tarn Hows

Wray Castle

This is a bit of a cheat one as its technically one of my favourites because the castle itself is amazing for kids. So it’s not the open spaces that really attracted me to it. However its position on the edge of Lake Windermere is not to be scoffed at. There are some lovely walks from the castle and I want to go back and enjoy these. Inside the castle is like one big playground with very hands on exhibits for kids and dress up etc.

Aria Force

We headed up to Aria Force last month, just before Lancashire went into tier 3 of the restrictions. Again, we wanted to go out with a bang and find an amazing location to explore just before being restricted closer to home and it was a great day. Im planning a full blog post about the walk we did and our experiences there. But it deserves a place on this list even if a full post is on the way.


Forever my favourite beach. It took a while for us to actually go to Formby, but we’ll gladly travel the hour and a half from our house to go there again. Its a beautiful beach. With amazing sand dunes to explore. Plus there’s miles of amazing walks to do on the site. WE still haven’t managed to walk their Red Squirrel Walk but we plan on doing that next time.

Heysham Coast

Right on our doorstep, we didn’t actually visit Heysham until a few weeks ago. There we discovered St Patricks Chapel which Spike loved exploring. There’s something about ruins that make them so exciting for kids isn’t there? I loved the views and I could have walked for miles but we just did a quick stop. As its just 20 mins from my house though its not like we can’t go back!

Spike at St Patricks Chapel in Heysham

Roseberry Topping

I haven’t done many sites in the north east, having spent the last 14 years living on the west side of the country. But Roseberry Topping is one I loved when I explored it as a child. Me, my sister and my mum did a sponsored (I think) walk up it when I was younger and I remember loving it. Although we haven’t done it as a family yet, its worth a place on the list.

Our National Trust Wishlist

There are so many North England National Trust sites that I haven’t been to but are on my Wishlist. Birmham Rocks and Fountains Abbey are Yorkshire National Trust sites which were on the list for October Half Term but that had to be put off because of tier 3 restrictions. Dunham Massey and Speke Hall are two North West houses with fun looking grounds that I want to explore with Spike soon, and Cragside in Northumberland looks like the most magical place ever. I’d love to go back to Bamburgh and explore Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island too. We spotted it out on the horizon when we visited the town last time but haven’t been to the island itself.

Where are your favourite National Trust sites? Any of these caught your eye? I’d love to know!

The Best National Trust Sites in the North of England, in our opinion! Featuring Wray Castle and more