They’ve always been just the place for a nice set of tea towels, a calendar or some Kendal mint cake. But now the National Trust’s shops are going in search of a younger clientele with a new range of outdoor products, new designer ware for the kitchen and hand crafted work by British artists.


The outdoors items are intended for enjoying the coast, countryside or back garden. For instance, the NT’s outdoor canvas bags, in natural and charcoal colours, are intended for walking, hiking or just a stroll. Zipped inside pockets help to keep the contents of the three bags – organiser, satchel and backpack – secure (from £25 to £45).


Other walking accessories include fold-away jackets, hiking poles and sticks, maps and guidebooks, and the new National Trust walking boot, produced in partnership with Hi Tec. It’s a good way to step out in to the countryside as it is manufactured using recycled materials and with minimal use of the chemicals normally found in footwear (£90).


For dog walkers, there’s an essential travel kit – rug, towel and collapsible water bowl – while for birdwatchers, there’s a range of binoculars and bird books at various prices.


Other items that could come in handy on a cottage holiday include boules and croquet sets, for gently-paced al fresco enjoyment, while old favourites are updated with a new range of farmhouse kitchen gifts, designed exclusively for the National Trust by Ulster Weavers. The range includes doorstops, oven gloves and tea towels.