Saving for a wedding doesn't mean no more fun days out

As a child, Brimham Rocks was one of my favourite places to go.  If you're not from Yorkshire, or have never heard of it, it's essentially a large open space filled with huge rocks, all different shapes and sizes.  I've no idea how they got there, I've probably been told but was having too much fun exploring to pay any attention!

It's like the biggest natural playground you will ever come across.

When we were little we used to go for days out there.  We'd take a picnic and explore the rocks; climbing, jumping, scrambling, falling... It was amazing.

It's also a National Trust place, which means parking is free with your membership card (otherwise it's £5 per car).

We went last weekend for a few hours and I just reverted back to being a kid again.  I even came away with a grazed knee and a few bruises!

It's literally appeals to everyone.  A lot of families, with children running round and exploring; walkers; dog walkers; couples; and then there's the proper experienced climbers tackling the really big rocks with ropes and the lot!

We wandered around for a couple of hours before we got caught in the rain and had to dash back to the car.  But there really is something for everyone.

There's smaller rocks, for smaller people, and bigger rocks for those a bit more daring.  There's plenty of places to sit and enjoy a picnic, there's a little refreshments shed selling drinks and ice-creams, there's loads of lovely walking routes, some beautiful views, and, most importantly, there's a gift shop.

There's also a little view point where you can see out across Yorkshire.  We managed to see Drax Power Station, which is right by where we live, all the way from the top.  You can also apparently see York Minster, but unfortunately it wasn't clear enough to make that out.

We love making the most of our weekends off together and always try and do something.  But doing something is hard when we're saving for a wedding because, unfortunately, everything costs money.  That's why we like to make the most of National Trust places.  Tom has a 'young persons' membership so has the parking pass and the little membership card.  He did get me a membership for my birthday a couple of years ago but we never renewed it when it expired.

But it means that, for the majority of places, we get in for free; as all you usually pay for is parking.  Winning.

We went to Clumber Park the weekend before and saved £7 I think on entry/parking, all because of the trusty National Trust pass.

It means that we can still enjoy days out together, especially during the nice weather, without it having to break the bank.  We just chuck some sandwiches and snacks in the car and take a really low-budget 'picnic', carrier bag and all, and we're away.

Obviously we have the petrol cost (I say 'we', Tom always drives hehe), but it's nothing compared to what we'd be spending otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to spend a day in Leeds shopping and drinking cocktails at Angelica and having lunch, but those kind of fun activities need to be saved for special occasions/times when I actually have some money left after paying the mortgage/bills/wedding fund.

I'm sure there are many others in the same position as us, not wanting to waste the nice weather sat at home but not wanting to waste money on days out, so hopefully this will give you some inspiration.

There are so, so many nice places you can go and explore for 'free' with a National Trust membership.  Earlier this year we went to Hardcastle Crags which was beautiful.  Again, we didn't have to pay entry or parking because of our little pass.  Fountains Abbey, too, is another place we like to visit.

If you like exploring the outdoors and are looking for some cheap places to go this summer, I'd definitely recommend checking out the National Trust.  Some places, like Fountains Abbey, is in individual entry fee.  So if we went there, Tom would get in for free and I would have to pay.  But many places it's just parking, so just one person would need a membership.

For families, I imagine this could be a lifesaver with a long six weeks of summer holidays staring you in the face at the moment.

We probably don't make as much use out of our membership as we could do, but I'm sure when we eventually start a family it'll become invaluable to us (and our sanity!)