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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Amberley Castle

Amberley Castle

A romantic castle filled with four-poster beds, open fireplaces and Whirlpool bathrooms.

Location: Amberley, West Sussex

 
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

 
Step into the magical world of JRR Tolkien

Step into the magical world of JRR Tolkien

Celebrate this great literary mind by exploring his childhood haunts, the inspiration for literary classics Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands

 
See how and where the Edwardians bathed at Victoria Baths

See how and where the Edwardians bathed at Victoria Baths

Learn about the history of Edwardian bathing or take in an art exhibition in the mosaic spaces of Victoria Baths.

Location: Manchester, Greater Manchester

 
Head to Lanhydrock for a splendid woodland picnic

Head to Lanhydrock for a splendid woodland picnic

Head to finest house in Cornwall for a relaxing picnic with magnificent panoramic views and 900 acres of parkland and woodland.

Location: Bodmin, Cornwall

 
Stroll along the ruins of Tintagel Castle

Stroll along the ruins of Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle is full of legend and mystery, and these evocative ruins have got to be one of England’s most mysterious and romantic spots.

Location: Tintagel, Cornwall

 
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

 
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

 
Experience Victorian family life at Audley End House and Gardens

Experience Victorian family life at Audley End House and Gardens

Experience a real life period drama as you explore life above and below stairs at this decadent mansion.

Location: Saffron Walden, Essex

 
Plan an extravagant getaway to Bovey Castle

Plan an extravagant getaway to Bovey Castle

Indulge in a extravagant getaway to a chic and welcoming castle perfectly positioned in Dartmoor National Park.

Location: Dartmoor, Devon

 
Let loose a quiver of arrows at Southsea Castle

Let loose a quiver of arrows at Southsea Castle

In 1515 Henry VIII passed a law stating that all able-bodied men must carry out archery practice on Sundays.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

 
Explore the home of William Wilberforce

Explore the home of William Wilberforce

Nestled in Hull’s Historic High Street is the family home of William Wilberforce waiting to be explored.

Location: Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire

 
Uncover a tale of two castles in Nottinghamshire

Uncover a tale of two castles in Nottinghamshire

Discover the intriguing histories of Newark Castle and Nottingham Castle, and enjoy an easy journey between them on the Castle Line railway.

Location: Newark/Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

 
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

 
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

 
Sip Earl Grey where it was created: Howick Hall

Sip Earl Grey where it was created: Howick Hall

Earl Grey tea is enjoyed – usually at around 4pm – all over the world, but few know it was invented in Northumberland for Charles, 2nd Earl Grey.

Location: Howick, Northumberland

 
Discover a medieval house at a Cumbrian gateway

Discover a medieval house at a Cumbrian gateway

An imposing Cumbrian castle boasting an award-winning rock garden.

Location: Kendal, Cumbria

 
Enjoy this celestial corner of an ancient city

Enjoy this celestial corner of an ancient city

See the planets at home with Bath’s most famous starry-eyed siblings.

Location: Bath, Somerset

 
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

 
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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