Castles and historic properties

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.

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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Head to Lanhydrock for a splendid woodland picnic

Head to Lanhydrock for a splendid woodland picnic

Head to finest house in Cornwall for a relaxing picnic with magnificent panoramic views and 900 acres of parkland and woodland.

Location: Bodmin, Cornwall

 
An Italianate country house in the Chilterns

An Italianate country house in the Chilterns

West Wycombe Park is 45 acres of landscaped park in the Chilterns countryside and home to the Dashwood family for over 300 years.

Location: West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

 
Make yourself at home at Harewood House

Make yourself at home at Harewood House

This 18th century home is filled with fine art and surrounded by gardens and parkland that is home to many animals including flamingos and penguins.

Location: Harewood, West Yorkshire

 
Bring a masterpiece to life at Conisbrough Castle

Bring a masterpiece to life at Conisbrough Castle

This romantic medieval castle inspired Sir Walter Scott’s classic book Ivanhoe. Travel back nearly 1,000 years on a visit to the magnificent property.

Location: Doncaster, South Yorkshire

 
Take a step back in time in Southsea

Take a step back in time in Southsea

From the Tudor ramparts of Henry VIII's Southsea Castle, to The D-Day Story and Highland Road Cemetery, there's plenty of Portsmouth’s heritage for you to explore in the seaside town of Southsea.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

 
Enjoy dog friendly days out at Belsay Hall

Enjoy dog friendly days out at Belsay Hall

Explore the magnificent gardens of this dog friendly attraction with your four legged friend.

Location: Belsay, Northumberland

 
Pick a picnic spot at Wallington House

Pick a picnic spot at Wallington House

When it comes to pretty picnic spots, the Wallington estate sits fairly high up the charts.

Location: Morpeth, Northumberland

 
Take a tour of the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth

Take a tour of the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth

Admire historical artworks in a grand setting at Chatsworth.

Location: Chesterfield, Derbyshire

 
Step back in time in a 17th century merchant's house

Step back in time in a 17th century merchant's house

A rare opportunity to view a 17th century house of the type many of us might have lived in.

Location: Marlborough, Wiltshire

 
Picnic on the grounds of Lincoln Castle

Picnic on the grounds of Lincoln Castle

Dating back to the 11th century, Lincoln Castle today offers a unique spot for an English picnic.

Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

 
Delve into Norman and Cluniac history at Castle Acre

Delve into Norman and Cluniac history at Castle Acre

Enjoy discovering the enchanting village of Castle Acre, its atmospheric priory and Norman castle earthworks and the beautiful Nar Valley.

Location: King's Lynn, Norfolk

 
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

 
Watch Shakespeare’s legacy come alive in Bankside London

Watch Shakespeare’s legacy come alive in Bankside London

Learn about the history of Shakespeare’s Globe with a guided tour before enjoying some of the most famous plays ever written.

Location: London

 
Be at one with nature at Dyrham Park

Be at one with nature at Dyrham Park

Spend the day navigating nature trails, indulging in a cream tea and exploring 17th century stately home, Dyrham Park.

Location: Bath, Somerset

 
Visit the Jacobean splendour of Temple Newsam

Visit the Jacobean splendour of Temple Newsam

There’s plenty to keep you amused at Temple Newsam, including the country’s greatest collections of decorative arts and a rare breeds farm.

Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

 
Explore world-famous gardens at Levens Hall

Explore world-famous gardens at Levens Hall

Discover the Elizabethan house and world-famous gardens, a place of discovery, a place to drink in its rich history, a place that all ages enjoy.

Location: Kendal, Cumbria

 
Enjoy strolls on the grounds of Sandringham Estate

Enjoy strolls on the grounds of Sandringham Estate

Follow in the footsteps of the Royal Family and explore the Queen's official Norfolk residence.

Location: Sandringham, Norfolk

 
Follow the trail of the Brontë sisters in Birstall

Follow the trail of the Brontë sisters in Birstall

Visit Red House and Oakwell Hall in Birstall, both frequented by the Brontë sisters and which featured in Charlotte Brontë’s famous novel Shirley.

Location: Birstall, West Yorkshire

 
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

 
Experience the decadence of the Georgian era in York

Experience the decadence of the Georgian era in York

Transport yourself to one of the most iconic periods of English history at the 18th century Fairfax House in York.

Location: York, North Yorkshire

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