10 ways to enjoy history on holiday in England

Content provided by England Originals

Explore England's culture, heritage and people through the eyes and footsteps of those that helped shape its history, with five wonderful routes across sixteen historic cities - each one a vibrant, richly cultural, beautiful and surprising place with a story to tell. From stories of monarchs and merchants to breakfast on the beach, Shakespeare, Harry Potter and the Magna Carta, England Originals has it all.

With restrictions easing across England, please continue to follow government guidance and remember to plan ahead and check attraction websites before travelling. Take a look at our top tips on how to escape the everyday responsibly to see how you can make the most out of your day trips and breaks. 


Explore one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world

The Roman Baths, Bath

The Grand Bath at the Roman Baths

The Roman Baths, at the heart of the City of Bath World Heritage Site, consists of the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The city’s unique thermal springs rise in the site and the Baths still flow with natural hot water.

Explore the Roman Baths, walk on the original Roman pavements, and see the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva. The museum collection, located next to the bathing complex, includes a gilt bronze head of the Goddess Sulis Minerva, and other Roman artifacts.

Find out more about the Roman Baths

Raise a glass behind bars

The Pound, Canterbury

Serving a spectacular range of handmade cocktails using premium ingredients and celebrating the best local products from Kent, The Garden of England. The Pound is home to a very British menu and has an exciting list of local beers, ciders, English wine and houses one of the city's largest gin selections. The bar is set within Canterbury's atmospheric former city gaol, gaoler's house and police station, providing many unique settings to enjoy the fine section of cocktails and drinks, including in the three beautifully restored police cells and the picturesque riverside terrace.

Find out more about The Pound

Discover one of England’s longest historical landmarks

Hadrian's Wall, Carlisle

Birdoswald Roman Ford along Hadrian's Wall

Marvel at Hadrian's Wall as you stand at Birdoswald Roman Fort in Cumbria. With views spanning the longest stretch of the Wall, highlighting a turret, milecastle and more, a visit to Birdoswald Roman Fort is certainly worth a visit - not least because of the exceptional photo opportunities.

Find out more about Hadrian's Wall

Shop at the world’s only two-tiered shopping galleries

The Rows, Chester

Historic timber-frame buildings in the City of Chester, England.

The Rows are continuous half-timbered galleries, reached by steps, which form a second row of shops above those at street level along Watergate Street, Northgate Street, Eastgate Street and Bridge Street. The Rows are unique in the world to Chester, and nobody is quite sure why they were built in this way. While some of the original 13th-century buildings, including the Three Old Arches in Bridge Street, have survived the ravages of time, many of the impressive facades are Victorian copies. Regardless of their age, they are still magnificent contributions to the beauty and character of Chester.

Find out more about The Rows

Take in the sights of the medieval City of Durham

Durham Castle, Durham

Durham Castle, together with the Cathedral, was awarded the status of a World Heritage Site in 1986, providing international recognition for this unique, historic and scenic site. Standing side by side on a prominent hilltop site, and encircled by the wooded slopes of the meandering River Wear, the Castle overlooks the medieval City of Durham, full of fascinating narrow streets.

Find out more about Durham Castle

Snap a selfie on a real-life film set

Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Aerial view over London, the River Thames and the historic buildings and parks of Greenwich. The Old Royal Naval College, maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO world heritage site and 18th century building.

From a starring role as Buckingham Palace in The Crown to 19th century revolutionary Paris in Les Misérables, the Old Royal Naval College has provided the setting for some of the most memorable scenes in major film and TV productions. On a tour of this national heritage site, you will be guided through over 60 years of filming, both on the iconic riverside grounds and inside the magnificent Painted Hall.

Find out more about the Old Royal Naval College

Step into the shoes of a historic bomber commander

International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln

Poppies in field in Lincoln

The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) serves as a point for recognition, remembrance, and reconciliation for Bomber Command. Providing the most comprehensive record of the Command in the world, the IBCC ensures that generations to come can learn of their vital role in protecting the freedom we enjoy today.

Find out more about the IBCC

Embark on a royal adventure

Blenheim Palace, Oxford

A Chinese couple exploring the vast Great Court of Blenheim Palace stately home.

Explore the characterful and charming Blenheim Palace, home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family, and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palace boasts an intriguing and diverse history.

Find out more about Blenheim Palace

Walk in the footsteps of our Neolithic ancestors

Stonehenge, Sailsbury

Stonehenge, a historic English Heritage site.

Stonehenge is the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. It endures as a source of inspiration and fascination, and a place of worship and celebration. A world-class visitor centre houses permanent and special exhibitions, a café and spacious shop. The Stone Circle sits at the top of the Avenue, the ancient approach to the site, and the surrounding landscape is open for exploration.

Stonehenge Glamping is the original glamping campsite in south Wiltshire offering options from basic glamping to luxury glamping in their yurt, The Solstice Retreat. Located 10 minutes by road from Stonehenge, they make a great base for exploring Salisbury and beyond with public transport links at the campsite entrance.

Find out more about Stonehenge Glamping

Uncover secrets behind some of Britain’s best chocolate

York's Chocolate Story, York

York's Chocolate Story, York, North Yorkshire, England. Interior view of store.York's Chocolate Story, located in the heart of York, is an entertaining and informative guided tour through the history of York's most famous chocolate-making families and their finest creations. From the Chocolate Orange to the world-renowned Kit Kat, you'll discover chocolate's origins, how to make it, how to taste it like an expert and even the sustainable future of chocolate.

Find out more about York's Chocolate Story

Discover more about England's historic towns and cities, and uncover in-depth itineraries that lead you through England's rich history at England Originals

19 May 2021(last updated)

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  • 1

    The Roman Baths, Bath

  • 2

    The Pound, Canterbury

  • 3

    Hadrian's Wall, Carlisle

  • 4

    The Rows, Chester

  • 5

    Durham Castle, Durham

  • 6

    Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

  • 7

    International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln

  • 8

    Blenheim Palace, Oxford

  • 9

    Stonehenge, Sailsbury

  • 10

    York's Chocolate Story, York

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