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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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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Climb higher than the peregrines at Derby Cathedral

Climb higher than the peregrines at Derby Cathedral

Put your best foot forward and upward and head for the dizzy heights of Derby Cathedral tower.

Location: Derby, Derbyshire

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Uncover Cliveden's unique past

Uncover Cliveden's unique past

Discover a country house in Berkshire with a chequered past.

Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire

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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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Explore the rooms and grounds of Snowshill Manor

Explore the rooms and grounds of Snowshill Manor

From suits of Samurai armour to antique bicycles of all shapes and sizes, there are about 22,000 reasons to take a nose round Snowshill Manor.

Location: Snowshill, Gloucestershire

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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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Experience grandeur at Sledmere House

Experience grandeur at Sledmere House

Sledmere ranks a favourite of lots of visitors. Full of unique character and charm designed and still maintained as a family home.

Location: Sledmere, East Riding of Yorkshire

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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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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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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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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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Take an audio tour around Stokesay Castle

Take an audio tour around Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle is simply the most romantic castle in Shropshire, even though it isn’t technically a castle.

Location: Craven Arms, Shropshire

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Live a day in the life of a Tudor at St Nicholas Priory

Live a day in the life of a Tudor at St Nicholas Priory

Originally part of Exeter’s first medieval monastery, this splendid Grade I-listed building later became the Tudor home of a wealthy merchant family.

Location: Exeter, Devon

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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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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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Make yourself at home at Harewood House

Make yourself at home at Harewood House

This 18th century home is filled with fine art and surrounded by gardens and parkland that is home to many animals including flamingos and penguins.

Location: Harewood, West Yorkshire

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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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Be inspired with a visit to Tudor House

Be inspired with a visit to Tudor House

Tudor House is one of the most prominent buildings in Broadway which houses objects and artefacts on loan from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Location: Broadway, Worcestershire

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From the cocoon to the catwalk, discover the history of silk

From the cocoon to the catwalk, discover the history of silk

At Macclesfield Silk Museum you can travel along a silk road and follow the story of the silk industry from its humble button beginnings.

Location: Macclesfield, Cheshire

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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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