And that’s all it takes to be welcomed to the most amazing properties here in England.
We are members of the National Trust for Canada. We signed up for this membership in Canada based upon a recommendation 3 years ago by a lovely volunteer working at one of the National Trust properties here in Somerset. Annual Canadian price for 5 Grants $70. (Annual price here in England for same is £120 which converts to approximately $200 Cdn). This is the BEST bargain if you are visiting England for even one week as you are allowed FREE entrance with this membership to ALL National Trust properties in England – here’s a listing:
The Canadian National Trust has a limited number of properties and perhaps this is the reason for the price difference. Either way – it’s a great deal. We 3-Grants have enjoyed historic castles, abbey’s, museums and stately homes all around this country.
Here’s the one thing you are NOT told about having this membership:
There’s a wee Canadian Flag on the card!
Why is that awesome?
Each and every National Trust property has a “Volunteer Greeter” at the door. As we pull out our wee membership card the first thing that occurs is that we are escorted over to a private area near the ‘entrance’ of the grand property we are wanting to enter. Usually a 2nd Volunteer comes over and our cards are examined a bit more closely. See, here in England they are given National Trust membership cards that resemble an ‘exclusive’ credit card with a barcode that is inserted into a machine and/or scanned. Not us, our membership is on simple card stock, run through a laser printer somewhere in an office in Ottawa, with only our name on it.
What happens next is always wonderful as we hear “Canada that’s a long way from here!?” and typically the volunteer breaks into a HUGE grin and then relates some sort of personal story about Canada. We have heard about a daughter that lived in Abbotsford for a while; a husband’s best mate who was the head master at Shawnigan Lake school; how amazing Expo ’67 in Montreal was. After the story, we are then escorted personally by said volunteer, or two, in to the property. We are often handed to the next volunteer sitting in the first room, who’s job is to provide a wealth of information on the room we stepped into. We are greeted and asked if it’s our first time and the volunteer launches into shared stories about the room, the property or once again, their experience with Canada.
Canada is a great place to be from. England is an amazing place to visit.
<To the National Trust of Canada – don’t change a thing – the card is beautiful in its simplicity!>