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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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

 
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

 
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

 
Stay in a cottage built by an amazing Victorian inventor

Stay in a cottage built by an amazing Victorian inventor

Experience Cragside in Northumberland as many have never seen it before – by staying in the spectacular and dramatic grounds of the Cragside Estate.

Location: Rothbury, Northumberland

 
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

 
Visit the impressive Nunney Castle

Visit the impressive Nunney Castle

Step back in time and experience life as it was at this moated, 14th-century castle.

Location: Nunney, Somerset

 
Go picnicing at Rye House Gatehouse

Go picnicing at Rye House Gatehouse

The medieval Rye House Gatehouse makes an imposing background to any picnic.

Location: Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire

 
Visit the real Wayne Manor in Nottingham

Visit the real Wayne Manor in Nottingham

Wollaton Hall took on a very special role in when it appeared as ‘Wayne Manor’ in The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

 
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, there's plenty of Portsmouth’s heritage for you to explore in the seaside town of Southsea.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

 
Take a peek behind the ancient walls of Christ Church

Take a peek behind the ancient walls of Christ Church

Discover the fascinating history of Christ Church with an exploration of this majestic college, Great Tudor Hall and Cathedral.

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

 
Be captivated by the grandeur of Chatsworth

Be captivated by the grandeur of Chatsworth

With its palatial surrounds and starring role in Pride & Prejudice, Chatsworth House is one of the Peak District’s most celebrated destinations.

Location: Bakewell, Derbyshire

 
Get lost in Gloucestershire's finest gardens

Get lost in Gloucestershire's finest gardens

Experience two world-famous gardens just six minutes’ walk from each other - the Arts and Crafts masterpiece Hidcote Manor and historic Kiftsgate Court, created by lifelong friends.

Location: Gloucestershire

 
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

 
Picnic within the walls of Portchester Castle

Picnic within the walls of Portchester Castle

Surround yourself with thousands of years of history as you enjoy a picnic in the grounds of Portchester Castle.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

 
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

 
Visit a Victorian Gothic house and estate

Visit a Victorian Gothic house and estate

The house near Wraxall in North Somerset is built of two types of Bath Stone, and is bristling with turrets and topped with a gorgeous elaborate roof.

Location: Tyntesfielsd, Wraxall, Somerset

 
Tour the decadent rooms and gardens of Renishaw Hall

Tour the decadent rooms and gardens of Renishaw Hall

Wander round immaculate gardens and artistic rooms at this historic family home.

Location: Renishaw, North Derbyshire

 
Discover a secluded fortified manor house at Aydon Castle

Discover a secluded fortified manor house at Aydon Castle

Over 900 years old and pretty much unaltered since then, Aydon Castle sits proudly upon its crag; a true survivor of some rough times and visitors.

Location: Corbridge, Northumberland

 
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

 
Lose yourself within the majestic rooms of Forde Abbey

Lose yourself within the majestic rooms of Forde Abbey

Pay a visit to Forde Abbey, which was recently the venue for filming a major scene in the 2015 film Far from the Madding Crowd.

Location: Chard, Somerset

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