Castles and historic properties

English castles and historic houses

Peacocks strut across manicured lawns, children shriek with delight as they try to find their way out of fiendishly difficult mazes, and well-kept gardens dazzle year-round at England’s many historic houses and well-preserved castles. Once inside, enthusiastic curators bring history to life with their expert knowledge and often funny insights into the lives, loves, and artefacts of generations of inhabitants. Castle breaks give you more chances of bumping into the present owners of an English castle, many of whom still live in wings of the properties. Just don’t forget to retrieve your children from that maze before you head home.

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Camp at Corfe Castle

Camp at Corfe Castle

Explore this 1,000-year-old fortress above an eponymous Dorset village that's filled with wonky old cottages.

Location: Corfe, Dorset

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Go ghost hunting in Newcastle Castle

Go ghost hunting in Newcastle Castle

Uncover the horrifying history and hauntings of the castle from which Newcastle gets its name.

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

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Enjoy a boutique stay in historic Helmsley

Enjoy a boutique stay in historic Helmsley

Historic yet buzzing with stylish shops, restaurants and hotels, Helmsley is a great base for a weekend away in the North York Moors National Park.

Location: Helmsley, North Yorkshire

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Take part in a 900-year-old tradition

Take part in a 900-year-old tradition

Walk along Winchester’s water meadows to a beautiful medieval almshouse and you are following in the footsteps of weary travellers through the ages.

Location: Winchester, Hampshire

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Enjoy this celestial corner of an ancient city

Enjoy this celestial corner of an ancient city

See the planets at home with Bath’s most famous starry-eyed siblings.

Location: Bath, Somerset

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Witness Northumberland’s violent history at its coastal castles

Witness Northumberland’s violent history at its coastal castles

The Northumberland coastline is strewn with castles and time-ravaged ruins, providing great insight into the county's turbulent past.

Location: Craster and Warkworth, Northumberland

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Let loose a quiver of arrows at Southsea Castle

Let loose a quiver of arrows at Southsea Castle

In 1515 Henry VIII passed a law stating that all able-bodied men must carry out archery practice on Sundays.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

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Feed the penguins at Harewood House

Feed the penguins at Harewood House

Help the Bird Garden keepers feed the penguins in the grounds of one of England’s treasure houses.

Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

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Get togged up in a toga at Bath’s ancient Roman baths

Get togged up in a toga at Bath’s ancient Roman baths

Treat your little ones to a day out in Bath’s perfectly preserved thermal baths for the chance to dress like a Roman and handle real Roman objects.

Location: Bath, Somerset

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Visit Killerton House and Gardens

Visit Killerton House and Gardens

Explore glorious landscape gardens surrounded by parkland and step inside a 18th-century house with a renowned historical fashion collection.

Location: Killerton, Devon

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Delightful hidden gardens at Parcevall Hall

Delightful hidden gardens at Parcevall Hall

These beautiful gardens are a pleasure to visit from spring through to autumn nestling in Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales.

Location: Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales

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Woo your loved one on the Lord Byron trail

Woo your loved one on the Lord Byron trail

Discover the romantic escapes of poet Lord Byron, England's most notorious romantic poet, on a visit to his ancestral heartland in Nottinghamshire.

Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

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Explore the ruins of Ashby Castle

Explore the ruins of Ashby Castle

Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel of 1819, Ivanhoe featured Ashby Castle as the backdrop to the famous jousting scenes.

Location: Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire

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Gastro glamping at the foot of Belvoir Castle

Gastro glamping at the foot of Belvoir Castle

Pronounced ‘beaver’ by locals and literally meaning ‘beautiful view’, the Vale of Belvoir offers the perfect place to hideaway.

Location: Near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

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Be royalty for a day at Scarborough Castle

Be royalty for a day at Scarborough Castle

Take an audio tour around the Castle, enjoy breathtaking views from the headland of the North Yorkshire Coast and have tea in a historic building.

Location: Scarborough, North Yorkshire

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Explore the lavish rooms of Pencarrow House

Explore the lavish rooms of Pencarrow House

Forget painfully preserved rooms cordoned off behind scarlet ropes, this is a bona fide family home.

Location: Bodmin, Cornwall

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Experience England at its most glorious

Experience England at its most glorious

Enjoy a quintessential English break exploring the grounds of the grand Goodwood Estate and grounds.

Location: Goodwood, Sussex

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Be King or Queen of the Castle at Hylands Park

Be King or Queen of the Castle at Hylands Park

Whether it’s a short stroll or a long walk there are many routes to choose from at 574-acre Hylands Park.

Location: Chelmsford, Essex

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Feel Regal in Great Chalfield Manor

Feel Regal in Great Chalfield Manor

Step onto the set of 'Wolf Hall' on a visit to Great Chalfield Manor, and take in the romance of the medieval house.

Location: Melksham, Wiltshire

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Discover 400 years of Warwick’s great history

Discover 400 years of Warwick’s great history

Explore the wonders of a Jacobean mansion, and learn about the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers.

Location: Warwick, Warwickshire

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