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Annabelle Thorpe

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National Trust holidays

Our verdict:

Looking for something more meaningful from your next break? The National Trust runs hundreds of working holidays where you can chip in with tasks such as herding goats and repairing drystone walls. Starting at just £60, these breaks allow you to meet like-minded people while helping to conserve the countryside.

Recommended organiser: The National Trust

Stone-wall restorationBug huntsClearance workSuitable for most ages

The National Trust says

Do you fancy a short break with a difference? A life-enhancing experience where you can feel part of something worthwhile? If so, a National Trust working holiday is for you.

Whether you have two, three or four nights to spare, National Trust working holidays offer the chance to help with conservation tasks. We have around 70 short stay options on offer throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland in locations as diverse as coastlines, countryside and gardens.

People from all walks of life and age groups enjoy working holidays – many make lasting friendships, and some have been inspired to change careers as a result. It may be the appeal of learning a new skill, indulging a passion, or simply having great fun

Short break activities include helping control invasive plants in Sites of Special Scientific Interest such as the Golden Cap in Dorset, and repairing footpaths in Derbyshire.

Each break is run by a volunteer Holiday Leader and Assistant Leader, working with National Trust staff who allocate and supervise the day’s tasks. Groups vary from 5-15 people depending on the holiday type and the available accommodation. Participants receive accommodation and food, while evening meals are prepared by the group using – where possible – local and seasonal produce. Weekend breaks start at just £60 per person.

Accommodation is generally in simple ‘base camps’, including farmhouses, converted barns, granaries and stableyards situated in the heart of beautiful countryside. Accompanied children from the age of 8 are welcome on selected breaks.

More about National Trust working holidays.

Photographs courtesy of the National Trust.

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