NATIONAL Trust properties across Cumbria are hosting family fun days through the summer.

The charity, which helps protect and care for many of the UK’s best-loved places, says there are lots of low-cost activities to enjoy.

Jez Westgarth, head of the National Trust in Cumbria, said: “We care for over 500 different places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"Many of these are on people’s doorsteps, offering a full day of fun and adventure.

"Including Sizergh Castle near Kendal where a woodland trail, made by our ranger team, provides hours of family fun."

Last year Compare The Market estimated the average UK family would spend £1,400 keeping children busy in the summer.

This year there are further squeezes on family budgets. In May Loughborough University said the cost of basic goods and services, needed by the average two-child household in the UK, has risen by £400 a month.

“We want to help families make the most of the summer holiday,” continues Jez.

"To flex to family finances, the Trust has picnic spots as an option for eating out. The charity also says that by becoming a member, after a few visits, people will have covered the cost of membership.

"Benefits include free parking at their car parks and entry to their properties is free. There’s no charge for under-fives and families with under 18s can make unlimited visits from £6.95 a month.

"It gives all families a chance to let off steam and get closer to wildlife, history and culture and that every pound spent helps the charity look after the places that people love visiting.

One of the things to keep the whole family busy this summer is getting active as we look forward to the Commonwealth Games.

Jez said:  “Thanks to funding from Sport England, families can balance on stepping-stones, skip or try their luck at a coconut shy at Allan Bank in Grasmere, or play badminton in the most picturesque settings of Wray Castle.

“Plus those looking to get active in the water can hire equipment or bring their own and have a go on a paddle board, kayak or rowboat at Fell Foot or join in with beginner sessions at Derwent Water.

“There’s also our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾,’ challenge which is full of outdoor activities you can do at our places or at home.

"Why not see what younger family members can have a go at during the six-week break.

“At Wray Castle, near Ambleside, that could be cloud watching on the lawn,  skimming a stone, or going for a welly wander.

“At Sizergh Castle near Kendal, you can build a den in the wild play area, and watch a bird from the hide at Park End Moss,” suggests Jez.

To find out more, including opening times, what’s on and booking, plus café details please visit: