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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Explore the Houses of Parliament's medieval Westminster Hall

Explore the Houses of Parliament's medieval Westminster Hall

Explore 1,000 years of British history on a tour of the Houses of Parliament, from the Westminster Palace to the Commons Chamber.

Location: Westminster, Greater London

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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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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 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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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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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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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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Amberley Castle

Amberley Castle

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

Location: Amberley, West Sussex

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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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Audley End House

Audley End House

An atmospheric portrait of daily life in Victorian times.

Location: Saffron Walden, Essex

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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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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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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 the first ‘Royal Oak’ and Boscobel House & Gardens

Visit the first ‘Royal Oak’ and Boscobel House & Gardens

Take a trip to Boscobel House where Charles II took refuge.

Location: Bishops Wood, Shropshire

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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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Discover Lowther Castle & Gardens

Discover Lowther Castle & Gardens

See the ruins of the castle and take a peak at 130 acres of rediscovered gardens, now one of the largest restoration projects in Europe.

Location: Penrith, Cumbria

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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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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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Be enchanted on a tour of Witley Court & Gardens

Be enchanted on a tour of Witley Court & Gardens

Enjoy a great day out in Worcestershire at Witley Court and Gardens with its interesting history and landscaped gardens.

Location: Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

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