Throwing the doors open

Reach out and touch the past on historic holidays throughout England this summer. Across the land, battle-worn castles and stately piles fling open their doors, enveloping you in their spirit. We like to look for the past in the time-scoured surface of old stone walls, glimpse it in the mist-shrouded reflection in a moat or smell it in musty oak-panelled rooms. We can’t help but fall under its spell as we gaze upon its treasures. We cherish the past and listen to its secrets: from gruesome tales to heroic deeds, we step inside castle holidays and see history come alive.

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Step back in time in a 17th century merchant's house

Step back in time in a 17th century merchant's house

A rare opportunity to view a 17th century house of the type many of us might have lived in.

Location: Marlborough, Wiltshire

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Walk in Roman footsteps at Arbeia Roman Fort

Walk in Roman footsteps at Arbeia Roman Fort

Britain’s biggest and best reconstruction of a Roman fort is the perfect place to immerse yourself in their ancient way of life.

Location: South Shields, South Tyneside

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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

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Visit a cinematic favourite at Eastnor

Visit a cinematic favourite at Eastnor

Eastnor’s typical castle architecture has made it the star of many a movie and TV programme over the years.

Location: Ledbury, Herefordshire

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Discover The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Discover The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Explore hidden paths and bamboo tunnels on this aristocratic Cornwall estate.

Location: Heligan, Cornwall

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Experience 19th Century living at Waddesdon Manor

Experience 19th Century living at Waddesdon Manor

Built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, this impressive 19th century estate combines one man’s grand vision of architecture, art and gardens.

Location: Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire

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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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Discover a tale of forbidden love at Bessie Surtees' house

Discover a tale of forbidden love at Bessie Surtees' house

A tale of forbidden love to rival Romeo and Juliet is immortalised in Bessie Surtees’ 16th century house, tucked behind NewcastleGateshead's quayside

Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear

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Explore world-famous gardens at Levens Hall

Explore world-famous gardens at Levens Hall

Discover the Elizabethan house and world-famous gardens, a place of discovery, a place to drink in its rich history, a place that all ages enjoy.

Location: Kendal, Cumbria

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Take a tour of the grand Burton Agnes Hall

Take a tour of the grand Burton Agnes Hall

Burton Agnes Hall is an Elizabethan stately home that has remained in the same family for over 400 years.

Location: Burton Agnes, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Audley End House

Audley End House

An atmospheric portrait of daily life in Victorian times.

Location: Saffron Walden, Essex

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Explore Burton Constable Hall and its gardens

Explore Burton Constable Hall and its gardens

Set in a park designed by Capability Brown, Burton Constable Hall is filled with 18th and 19th century interiors.

Location: Burton Constable, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Stand where Mary, Queen of Scots was executed

Stand where Mary, Queen of Scots was executed

Now only the earthworks and the conical motte remain of Fotheringhay Castle, standing above the peaceful River Nene.

Location: Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire

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Visit England's oldest Smock Windmill at Lacey Green

Visit England's oldest Smock Windmill at Lacey Green

Restored to working order by The Chiltern Society, Lacey Green Windmill is England's oldest smock mill with wooden machinery dating from around 1650.

Location: Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire

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Alice in Wonderland at Antony House

Alice in Wonderland at Antony House

Just over the Tamar, Antony House was the location for the hit 'Alice in Wonderland' 2010. Here you can explore its formal gardens, sculptures and the National Collection of Daylilies.

Location: Torpoint, Cornwall

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Delve into the life and loves of Sir Edward Elgar

Delve into the life and loves of Sir Edward Elgar

Worcestershire really is 'Land of Hope and Glory' with the music and talent of Sir Edward Elgar engrained into the county's cultural heritage.

Location: Worcester, Worcestershire

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At Home with Sir Alfred Munnings

At Home with Sir Alfred Munnings

Spend a peaceful afternoon at Castle House and grounds, one-time home to Sir Alfred Munnings and his wife Violet, and soak up its homely atmosphere.

Location: Dedham, Essex

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Uncover the life of Mary Bowes at Gibside Estate

Uncover the life of Mary Bowes at Gibside Estate

The grand vision of the Queen’s ancestor George Bowes, Gibside is more than an architectural gem; it’s steeped in a dramatic family history.

Location: Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

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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

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Visit Derby's three National Trust treasures

Visit Derby's three National Trust treasures

Derby has a trio of National Trust treasures all within a 10 mile radius, so use the city as your base to explore Calke, Sudbury and Kedleston.

Location: Derby, Derbyshire

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