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.

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.

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Play croquet on the lawns of Brodsworth Hall

Play croquet on the lawns of Brodsworth Hall

Enjoy a quintessential English experience with a game of croquet in the grounds of intriguing Brodsworth Hall, a stately home in Doncaster.

Location: Brodsworth, South Yorkshire

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Uncover the life of Mary Bowes at Gibside Estate

Uncover the life of Mary Bowes at Gibside Estate

The grand vision of the Queen’s ancestor George Bowes, Gibside is more than an architectural gem; it’s steeped in a dramatic family history.

Location: Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

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Uncover the turbulent past of Carlisle Castle

Uncover the turbulent past of Carlisle Castle

Sieges, a royal prisoner and home to the King's Own Royal Border Regiment: this castle has some incredible secrets to reveal.

Location: Carlisle, Cumbria

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Visit the luxurious home of Louis XVIII

Visit the luxurious home of Louis XVIII

Discover this grand stately home in the heart of England with Rococo ceilings, a relaxing spa, set in 90 acres of landscaped parkland.

Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

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Live a day in the life of a Tudor at St Nicholas Priory

Live a day in the life of a Tudor at St Nicholas Priory

Originally part of Exeter’s first medieval monastery, this splendid Grade I-listed building later became the Tudor home of a wealthy merchant family.

Location: Exeter, 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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Expect the unexpected with a visit to Croome

Expect the unexpected with a visit to Croome

Escape to Croome and explore its Palladian Bath stone mansion house set in extensive parkland designed by ‘Capability’ Brown.

Location: Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire

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Discover something for all ages to enjoy at Leeds Castle

Discover something for all ages to enjoy at Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle in Kent – once described by Lord Conway as ‘the loveliest castle in the world’ – is the perfect place for families to escape to.

Location: Lenham, Kent

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Enjoy summer-themed tea time treats at the Pump Room

Enjoy summer-themed tea time treats at the Pump Room

Kids can enjoy a special holiday treat with the new children’s afternoon tea at the Pump Room Restaurant.

Location: Bath, Somerset

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Be a real knight or princess for the day at Bodiam Castle

Be a real knight or princess for the day at Bodiam Castle

Take a glimpse of medieval splendour where brooding walls rise majestically from a moat, and let the magic of Bodiam Castle capture your imagination.

Location: Robertsbridge, East Sussex

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Relax in style at England’s oldest hotel

Relax in style at England’s oldest hotel

Enjoy a stay at this historic hotel on the edge of the Cotswolds, which has been welcoming guests since 1220.

Location: Malmesbury, Wiltshire

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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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Explore the rooms and grounds of Snowshill Manor

Explore the rooms and grounds of Snowshill Manor

From suits of Samurai armour to antique bicycles of all shapes and sizes, there are about 22,000 reasons to take a nose round Snowshill Manor.

Location: Snowshill, Gloucestershire

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Explore the Norman fortress of Richmond Castle

Explore the Norman fortress of Richmond Castle

Built to subdue the unruly North of England, Richmond Castle sits against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales.

Location: Richmond, North Yorkshire

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Explore the quintessential English garden of Pashley Manor

Explore the quintessential English garden of Pashley Manor

Pashley Manor is the very essence of an English garden, and is set in a well-wooded park with superb views over the surrounding countryside.

Location: Wadhurst, East Sussex

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New living history courtroom tours at Norwich Castle

New living history courtroom tours at Norwich Castle

A quarter of a century since the last sentence was passed, visitors, not miscreants, now enter the Shirehall Courtroom at Norwich Castle.

Location: Norwich, Norfolk

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Peace and quiet at Belgrave Hall and Gardens

Peace and quiet at Belgrave Hall and Gardens

Belgrave Hall was built in the early 18th century, in what was then a small village three miles from the town of Leicester.

Location: Leicester, Leicestershire

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Uncover Old Wardour Castle's bloodthirsty past

Uncover Old Wardour Castle's bloodthirsty past

Discover a gruesome past in a castle ruin, and explore the fall of Old Wardour Castle.

Location: Wardour, Wiltshire

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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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Visit the tranquil Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

Visit the tranquil Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

Sissinghurst is known to green-fingered enthusiasts the world-over as the epitome of an English country garden.

Location: Sissinghurst, Kent

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