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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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See treasures from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace

See treasures from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace

Every August and September, Buckingham Palace opens its doors, giving you a chance to explore the amazing art, décor and history within.

Location: Victoria, Greater London

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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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