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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Unlock the secrets of the Tudor queen who never was

Unlock the secrets of the Tudor queen who never was

Step into the treacherous world of Wolf Hall to trace the turbulent life of Arbella Stuart, niece of Mary Queen of Scots, in Derbyshire.

Location: Near Chesterfield, Derbyshire

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Enjoy a winter family break in a historical coach house

Enjoy a winter family break in a historical coach house

Enjoy a family get together with a difference this Christmas at the historic Brackenborough Hall Coach House.

Location: Brackenborough, Lincolnshire

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Wander around one of England’s oldest medieval houses

Wander around one of England’s oldest medieval houses

Dating back to 1420, timber-framed Shibden Hall lets you peek into the fascinating lives of its past residents including diarist Anne Lister.

Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire

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Enjoy a romantic getaway at The Hundred House

Enjoy a romantic getaway at The Hundred House

The Hundred House is ideal for romantic stop-overs – complete with swings in the bedrooms!

Location: Shifnal, Shropshire

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Discover the walled gardens at medieval Raby Castle

Discover the walled gardens at medieval Raby Castle

Visit one of England’s finest medieval castles, and explore the medieval walled gardens and 200 acre deer park.

Location: Durham Dales, Durham

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Authentic heritage with a smoky aroma and a scenic twist

Authentic heritage with a smoky aroma and a scenic twist

Discover Great Yarmouth’s finest merchant house, shipwrecked treasure in a former smoke house and ride one of England’s oldest wooden rollercoasters.

Location: Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

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Walk through Cumbria’s history and gardens

Walk through Cumbria’s history and gardens

Be dazzled by the beauty of the Lake District’s historic houses and gardens, and gain a sense of the area’s fascinating past and present.

Location: Lake District, Cumbria

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Keeping it in the family at Castle Howard

Keeping it in the family at Castle Howard

The Howard family has called Castle Howard home for 300 years but their house is your house as you explore one of Yorkshire’s finest historic estates.

Location: York, North Yorkshire

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Uncover the history of Carlisle Castle

Uncover the history of Carlisle Castle

Carlisle Castle’s rich and varied attractions will give you an insight into its eventful history.

Location: Carlisle, Cumbria

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Experience the medieval romance of Haddon Hall

Experience the medieval romance of Haddon Hall

Grab a loved one and visit one of the oldest and most romantic Tudor houses in Britain.

Location: Bakewell, Derbyshire

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Take an audio tour around Stokesay Castle

Take an audio tour around Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle is simply the most romantic castle in Shropshire, even though it isn’t technically a castle.

Location: Craven Arms, Shropshire

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Discover a castle fit for a prince

Discover a castle fit for a prince

Explore artistic treasures in Auckland Castle, home of the Prince Bishops of Durham for 900 years, and set to host a spectacular new show from 2016.

Location: Vale of Durham, Durham

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Unlock Kent's Magna Carta secrets

Unlock Kent's Magna Carta secrets

Celebrate historic England and mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta by exploring Kent’s weird and wonderful connections to the great charter.

Location: Canterbury, Kent

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Discover the gruesome past of Leicester's Guildhall

Discover the gruesome past of Leicester's Guildhall

One of the oldest civic buildings in the country, Leicester’s Guildhall stands beside Leicester Cathedral and has many gruesome stories to tell.

Location: Leicester

Price: Free

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Explore the former holiday home of Queen Victoria

Explore the former holiday home of Queen Victoria

Spend a summer’s day strolling through the Italianate gardens and exploring the stunning rooms of Osborne House.

Location: Isle of Wight

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Brave the glass floors high up on Tower Bridge

Brave the glass floors high up on Tower Bridge

Watch the River Thames flow beneath your feet at a breath-taking height of 42 metres on the walkways between the two iconic towers.

Location: London

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Enjoy an afternoon tea in the house the Brontës loved

Enjoy an afternoon tea in the house the Brontës loved

Enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea at the historic house the Brontës knew and loved, then take a tour of the real-life setting for Wuthering Heights.

Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

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Picture Mr Darcy coming out of the lake

Picture Mr Darcy coming out of the lake

The magnificent house, gardens and deer park at Lyme Park was the filming location for the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

Location: Lyme Handley, Cheshire

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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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Discover Shakespeare in the Royal Library

Discover Shakespeare in the Royal Library

In 2016 Windsor Castle is celebrating the playwright's longstanding association with the town of Windsor and the royal court.

Location: Windsor

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