Work the land

We say
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. These breaks allow you to meet like-minded people while helping to conserve our British countryside.

Recommended organiser: The National Trust

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 could be for you.

  • Make a difference
  • Learn a new skill
  • Meet people

Whether you have two nights or a week to spare, National Trust working holidays offer the chance to help with conservation tasks. We have more than 170 short stay and one week 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 immersing yourself in nature.

Short break activities include helping control invasive plants in Sites of Special Scientific Interest such as the Golden Cap in Dorset, repairing footpaths in Derbyshire, hedge-laying in Cumbria and heathland restoration in Northumberland. See the full range of options here.

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. For a modest price, these breaks include accommodation and food, with evening meals prepared by the group using – where possible – local and seasonal produce.

Accommodation is generally in simple ‘base camps’, including farmhouses, converted barns, granaries and stable yards situated in the heart of the UK countryside. Accompanied children from the age of 6 are welcome on selected breaks.

More about National Trust working holidays and our latest Covid-19 update.

Photographs courtesy of the National Trust.