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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Catch some sun on a royal beach

Catch some sun on a royal beach

Queen Victoria chose the Isle of Wight as her favourite holiday destination, and now you can see why with a trip to her private beach.

Location: East Cowes, Isle of Wight

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Feel like a duke or duchess for the day but without the price tag

Feel like a duke or duchess for the day but without the price tag

You don’t have to be as rich as a lord to visit East Riddlesden Hall, near Keighley, former home of the 17th century cloth merchant James Murgatroyd.

Location: Keighley, West Yorkshire

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Walk through history at Berkeley Castle

Walk through history at Berkeley Castle

Walk in the footsteps of Wolf Hall’s real historic characters, and also the actors who went on to play them at Berkeley Castle.

Location: Berkeley, Gloucestershire

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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

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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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Uncover Blackpool’s Victorian heritage and charm

Uncover Blackpool’s Victorian heritage and charm

Explore the Winter Gardens innate beauty and enjoy afternoon tea in the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

Location: Blackpool, Lancashire

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Explore the beautiful and curious Rushton Triangular Lodge

Explore the beautiful and curious Rushton Triangular Lodge

This place is proof that in England you'll find architectural treasures in the most unlikely places.

Location: Kettering, Northamptonshire

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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

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Enjoy classical music inside ancient castle ruins

Enjoy classical music inside ancient castle ruins

Each July, the atmospheric ruins of Pontefract Castle come alive during The Proms, an outdoor classical music performance with a firework finale.

Location: Pontefract, West Yorkshire

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Art, architecture and revolution in Birmingham

Art, architecture and revolution in Birmingham

Discover the 18th century’s greatest minds, admire baroque architecture and gaze at the world’s largest collection of pre-Raphaelite art.

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands

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Visit the home that inspired Milton’s Paradise Lost

Visit the home that inspired Milton’s Paradise Lost

Milton’s Cottage is located in Chalfont St. Giles and is the only surviving home of the great poet and parliamentarian John Milton.

Location: Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire

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Celebrate the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo

Celebrate the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo

Explore the grand Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle where it will mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon.

Location: Windsor, Berkshire

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Hit the right royal notes this summer

Hit the right royal notes this summer

This August, Alnwick International Music Festival celebrates four decades of hosting music, whilst Bfestival in July is a fresh face on the scene.

Location: Alnwick, Northumberland

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Visit one of Capability Brown’s finest landscapes

Visit one of Capability Brown’s finest landscapes

Celebrate Capability Brown’s tercentenary as you explore 42 acres of Sherborne Castle's beautiful gardens and soak up the beauty, peace and tranquility of this natural setting.

Location: Sherborne, Dorset

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Walk through sand dunes to Bamburgh Castle

Walk through sand dunes to Bamburgh Castle

This seat of the former Kings of Northumbria tells a spellbinding tale from its awe-inspiring position on the edge of Northumberland’s coast.

Location: Bamburgh, Northumberland

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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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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

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Spot Poldark at Chavenage House

Spot Poldark at Chavenage House

Come and see 'Trenwith', the Poldark family home, actually 'played' by Chavenage House in Tetbury and you may spot Aiden Turner as Ross Poldark!

Location: Tetbury, Gloucestershire

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Explore the resting place of the last of Henry VIII’s six wives

Explore the resting place of the last of Henry VIII’s six wives

Sudeley Castle’s magnificent gardens are world-renowned, providing variety and colour from spring through to autumn and the grounds are the final resting place of Katherine Parr.

Location: Winchcombe, Gloucestershire

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Have a close encounter with Daleks and medieval peasants in Essex

Have a close encounter with Daleks and medieval peasants in Essex

Choose to travel back in time to medieval England in 1066, the toys of your childhood or even WWII (though chances are you’ll want to do all three).

Location: Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex

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