Annual passes are one of those things you either love or hate. You either love them and use them all the time or alternatively you buy them but end up not using them. In the past we had one for Blenheim Palace in Woodstock. We found we only visited 3 or 4 times a year though as we quickly got bored with visiting the same place. In 2017 we decided to try out the National Trust membership and that has been a complete game changer. We are now looking at what other annual passes are out there and I thought I’d share with you my top 5.
- The top annual pass on my list of course has to be Merlin. I think this is the one membership that pretty much everyone knows about. Merlin passes allow you entry in to 32 venues including many of the UK’s biggest theme parks and attractions. This includes Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Madam Tussauds, Legoland and Warwick Castle. The best time to buy these is in January when they are on offer. The sale starts from 1st January. I would advise going for the premium passes as these include your car parking and allow unlimited entry without any blackout periods. It also includes discount vouchers for friends to go with you. Fab!
2. National Trust. We have just renewed our National Trust passes for 2018 as there are so many places to explore. This pass gives you entry to over 500 venues across the UK. We loved the fact we could visit places for free during our trip to Northern Ireland. Car parking is included too. We can’t wait to visit lots of new places this year. Still not sure? Read our post on 10 reasons you need a National Trust membership
3. English Heritage is very similar to the National Trust with access to over 400 venues. These include castles, manor houses and more. Just like the National Trust it also includes entry to special historic events.
4. Sea Life Centres. Although these are included in the Merlin annual passes you can get a membership exclusively for the sea life centres. This is particularly handy if theme parks aren’t really your thing or your children are too young for the full Merlin passes yet. We have been to so many sea life centres but they are all different. Our favourites are those with underwater tunnels!
5. Gulliver’s. The Gulliver’s annual pass allows you free unlimited entry to all 3 of Gulliver’s theme parks. It also includes Gulliver’s Dinosaur & Farm Park and Gulliver’s Splash Zones. You get half price entry at Gulliver’s Nerf Zones and Sfear plus loads of other discounts and events.
If you have a favourite attraction that you visit often why not ask them if they offer an annual pass? Even small zoos and children’s attractions often have a season pass or annual pass available and it could save you loads of money. It also makes a great gift for the person who has everything.