We’re pretty organised when it comes to having memberships and passes for various places. It makes life easier when you can turn up somewhere having already paid. So I thought I’d go through our current ones.
National Trust. We’re still National Trust members. As far as membership and passes go, this is the one we’ve had the longest at six years now. We make our money back each year and there’s a neverending supply of places to visit. It costs us about £100 a year.
English Heritage. We’ve had this for over a year now as part of Shaun’s CSSC membership. The Civil Service has corporate membership which gives you a discount in the gift shops. We’ve used this a lot and visited some fantastic places. We enjoyed Tintagel in Cornwall when we stayed nearby. This costs us £4 a month.
Merlin Passes. We’re coming to the end of our second year of Merlin Passes. We were planning on going to Chessington or Legoland for Christmas this year. But Merlin have doubled the price making it and it’s expensive. It’s not worth it. We have enjoyed visiting places like the London Dungeon, London Eye, Chessington and Thorpe Park as well as SeaLife in Weymouth. With the price hikes and paying extra we won’t be renewing these ones next year. They were fun but we can get discounts via Shaun’s CSSC membership if we choose to visit a Merlin attraction. We still have one last trip to Alton Towers to go this year, another surprise for H! This costs us £360 a year.
Historic Royal Palaces. We took out this one on a whim and it has been brilliant. We’ve visited Hampton Court so many times this year. The best part is that you can visit the majority of the palaces in any weather, and there’s plenty to do. We’ve loved the Magic Garden at Hampton Court. I want to go back to Kensington Palace now I’ve been watching ‘Victoria’ on ITV every Sunday! Having this membership has made history so interesting for us. This cost us £90.
NUS Extra. I’ve signed up to do a course in writing a children’s book which is going slowly. I have my idea and it’s written, but I need to make the time to complete the course. The course means I’m eligible for NUS Extra membership, and it has been brilliant so far. I get 10% off in Superdrug and the Co-Op, and some excellent discounts at Pizza Express too. There is an option to add Gourmet Society membership to it but I didn’t. Then again, Shaun gets it with his CSSC membership so we’re covered if we ever need it. This cost £12.
Historic Houses Association. This is one of the memberships and passes I’m considering for next year. It would cost around £100 for the three of us but has a lot of properties around the country. We’re staying in Cornwall, we visit York too, and of course nearby there is Painshill Park.
So this is all at the moment. I think it’s a pretty good variety of places to visit and things to do. On the horizon I’m looking at Disneyland Paris passes. They make it worth it if you visit for five days and also offer some good perks and discounts. I also like their FastPass system as everyone can use it.
Do you have any memberships or passes you use that we haven’t covered? Come and suggest them in the comments below.