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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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Take a Derby Roundhouse Tour in the footsteps of George Stephenson

Take a Derby Roundhouse Tour in the footsteps of George Stephenson

Join us on a journey to explore the oldest turning shed in the world where the golden age of steam railways once ruled.

Location: Derby, Derbyshire

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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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Peace and quiet at Belgrave Hall and Gardens

Peace and quiet at Belgrave Hall and Gardens

Belgrave Hall was built in the early 18th century, in what was then a small village three miles from the town of Leicester.

Location: Leicester, Leicestershire

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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