London and South East England

The capital is a whirlwind of glitzy West End theatres, energetic East End markets, green swathes of royal parkland and architectural feats. Think gothic spires, Georgian townhouses and abstract skyscrapers resembling razors and shards – even gherkins. Step outside the 'big smoke' and relax in green spaces including Kent's (known as the Garden of England), the undulating Sussex downs and Hampshire's lush New Forest – pack your bike and riding hat. History lessons in the Home Counties transport you back in time with Irons Age forts, motte-and-bailey castles and Jacobean mansions. The scenic southeast coastline is a Hollywood star, making cameos in iconic films like Brighton Rock and The White Cliffs of Dover.

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Rainy Day Activities: Explore underground history at Ramsgate Tunnels

Take a step back in time to discover what life was like in this network of underground tunnels, home to thousands of people during the Second World War.

Location: Ramsgate, Kent

 

Explore London like a local - visit the City Information Centre for insider tips

The CIC is central London’s only official tourist information centre. Visitors are welcomed by our multi-lingual team of professional advisors.

Location: London

 

Join Bill Spectre on his award winning Ghost Trail

Dressed as a Victorian undertaker, Bill will lead you through the streets of this pretty city lifting the lid on this great seat of learning.

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

 

See flowers in bloom at The Savill Garden

Enliven your senses with a walk around one of Britain's finest ornamental gardens.

Location: Windsor, Berkshire

 

Walk along the iconic White Cliffs of Dover

Breath in England's timeless beauty with a walk along this world famous stretch of coastline.

Location: Dover, Kent

 

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

 

Learn about the bravery of England’s World War II heroes

A story of daring exploits and courageous acts, as commemorated along Hayling Island’s WWII heritage trail.

Location: Hayling Island, Hampshire

 

Discover a seaside sporting paradise

The island where windsurfing was invented has got to be an ideal place for watersports, but Hayling has beautiful countryside as well.

Location: Hayling Island, Hampshire

 

Discover a foodie’s heaven on the quayside

Enjoy fine dining, traditional pubs and a long history of oyster fishing in Emsworth, near Portsmouth.

Location: Emsworth, Hampshire

 

Discover Charles Dickens’ Broadstairs

Go to the quaint part of Kent that was inspiration to novelist Charles Dickens and drew him to return time and time again.

Location: Broadstairs, Kent

 

October events: Watch a world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival

Book tickets to a wide variety of new and award-winning films at London’s most accessible and exciting film festival.

Location: London, Greater London

 

Enjoy Hampshire’s coast from the privacy of your very own fort

Experience something different with a stay at the newly refurbished No Man’s Land Fort near Gosport.

Location: Gosport, Hampshire

 

Uncover London’s industrial heritage at The Brunel Museum

Discover how the world's first underwater tunnel was built on a visit to the Brunel Museum.

Location: London, Greater London

 

Drink a beer at The Bear Inn – Oxford’s oldest pub

Sit back, relax and sample the cask ales and pub grub at Oxford’s oldest drinking hole.

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

 

Stay in John Betjeman’s old home

If you’re planning a weekend in London why not swap the same old hotel for something with a bit more history?

Location: London

 

Seal watching in Arthur Ransome’s ‘Secret Water’

Explore Walton’s ‘Secret Water’, the setting for Arthur Ransome’s ‘Swallows and Amazons’ book.

Location: Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

 

Take part in a 900-year-old tradition

Walk along Winchester’s water meadows to a beautiful medieval almshouse and you are following in the footsteps of weary travellers through the ages.

Location: Winchester, Hampshire

 

Meet Downton Abbey's farmyard animals at Cogges Manor Farm

A place of family fun and learning and one of the idyllic settings for ITV’s Downton Abbey, Cogges is a wonderful family attraction in Oxfordshire.

Location: Witney, Oxfordshire

 

Strap on your sea legs on a Harbour tour

Get closer than ever to the Royal Navy's ships on a 45 minute guided boat tour of Portsmouth Harbour.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

 

A foodie break in the forest

Get a taste of the New Forest where locally produced and caught food takes pride of place on the menu.

Location: New Forest, Hampshire

 

Visit top chef Tom Kerridge’s Michelin pub in Marlow

Located in the charming Georgian town of Marlow, the Michelin starred Hand and Flowers is all about great food in luxurious surroundings.

Location: Marlow, Buckinghamshire

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