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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Discover the real Downton Abbey

Discover the real Downton Abbey

Re-enact your favourite scenes from the much-loved period drama at Highclere Castle before retiring to London Lodge, a Georgian Grade II-listed gatehouse on-site.

Location: Highclere, Hampshire

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Find out about heretics, halls and hallowed ground

Find out about heretics, halls and hallowed ground

Uncover Lancashire’s turbulent religious history at stately homes, temples, cathedrals and holy buildings.

Location: Lancashire

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Rock concerts and Gothic architecture at Knebworth House

Rock concerts and Gothic architecture at Knebworth House

Set in 250 acres of rolling Hertfordshire countryside, Knebworth House is one of England's most colourful stately homes.

Location: Knebworth, Hertfordshire

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Land Rover driving and falconry fun at Peckforton Castle

Land Rover driving and falconry fun at Peckforton Castle

Always wanted to test drive the latest Land Rover? Spend the day at Peckforton Castle and get ready for the drive of your life.

Location: Tarporley, Cheshire

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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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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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Go behind the scenes of Manchester’s Town Hall

Go behind the scenes of Manchester’s Town Hall

Explore the spectacular staterooms and corridors of the Victorian gothic-style Manchester Town Hall.

Location: Manchester, Greater Manchester

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Visit a movie star house

Visit a movie star house

Discover Bathsheba's 'Everdene Farm' from Far From the Madding Crowd in Dorset.

Location: Beaminster, Dorset

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Live like a mediaeval knight at Warwick Castle

Live like a mediaeval knight at Warwick Castle

Experience an exclusive sleepover in your very own themed Lodge, set in a picturesque woodland grove on the river bank within the Knight's Village of Warwick Castle.

Location: Warwick, Warwickshire

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Enjoy a picnic, zoo & make pottery at Walton Hall & Gardens

Enjoy a picnic, zoo & make pottery at Walton Hall & Gardens

Spend the day enjoying the gardens, testing your golf skills and entertaining the kids at Walton Hall and Gardens.

Location: Warrington, Cheshire

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Explore the picturesque Mottisfont House and Garden

Explore the picturesque Mottisfont House and Garden

What’s better than a summer’s stroll amid ancient trees and rolling lawns? Enjoy the splendour of one of Hampshire’s greatest country houses –Mottisfont.

Location: Test Valley, Hampshire

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Explore a most regal romantic setting

Explore a most regal romantic setting

The charming Sandringham House is a surprisingly warm and welcoming country house, open to the public from April to October.

Location: King's Lynn, Norfolk

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Explore Nymans estate

Explore Nymans estate

Commanding great views from atop the rolling hills of Sussex, Nymans stands proud as one of Britain’s top gardens.

Location: Haywards Heath, Sussex

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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

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Delve into Durham’s historic treasure troves

Delve into Durham’s historic treasure troves

Step back in time and admire world-class art at captivating castles and manor houses across the county.

Location: Vale of Durham / Durham Dales

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Take a stroll past the castle ruins

Take a stroll past the castle ruins

Take the path along the Peddars Way, and on to the tranquil Nar Valley Way to witness the spectacular 12th century Castle Acre Priory ruins on foot.

Location: King's Lynn, Norfolk

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Visit the remains of the grandest house on the Isle of Wight

Visit the remains of the grandest house on the Isle of Wight

Take a trip round Appuldurcombe House which was bombed during the Second World War.

Location: Wroxall, Isle of Wight

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Discover the history of Hertford Castle

Discover the history of Hertford Castle

As part of National Heritage Weekend, Hertford Castle will open its doors to the public free of charge.

Location: Hertford, Hertfordshire

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Experience life the Shakespearian way

Experience life the Shakespearian way

Visit the historic attractions of Shakespeare’s England and see the places that played a role in the playwright’s life.

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

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Discover Edwardian Brighton at Preston Manor

Discover Edwardian Brighton at Preston Manor

Relive the Edwardian era with a heritage break in Brighton and a visit to the delightful Preston Manor.

Location: Brighton & Hove, East Sussex

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