The next holidays is never far away, and across the land adults are scratching their heads for things to do with the kids – over the past few week’s we have hopefully helped with some handy posts (Walks with a Vicar) exploring the UK, but today we want to focus in on our 4 most loved to explore English Heritage sites.
You may be wondering, why we are focusing on these – well, here is a quick run down as to why we really love English Heritage sites, and why we think you and the whole family will enjoy visiting each historic site too.
(PS. we’ll update this list once in a while – so visit back again for new ideas)
Reasons to Visit Historic Sites as a Family
- Rich in History and Education: English Heritage sites are steeped in history, offering a fantastic opportunity for children and adults alike to learn about the past. Exploring ancient ruins, castles, stately homes, and historic landscapes can spark curiosity and a deeper appreciation for the country’s heritage.
- Hands-On Learning: Many English Heritage sites provide hands-on learning experiences, interactive exhibits, and educational activities tailored for families. Children can try on armor, participate in historical reenactments, solve puzzles, and engage in arts and crafts, making history come alive in a fun and immersive way.
- Outdoor Adventures: Several English Heritage sites are located in beautiful natural settings, allowing families to enjoy outdoor activities such as picnics, nature walks, and exploring expansive gardens. The combination of history and natural beauty makes these destinations even more enticing.
- Imagination and Creativity: Visiting castles, forts, and ancient monuments can ignite children’s imaginations, transporting them to worlds of knights, princesses, and legendary tales. These imaginative experiences can have a lasting impact on their creativity and storytelling abilities.
- Family Bonding: Exploring historical sites together creates lasting memories and strengthens family bonds. It provides an opportunity for shared experiences, discussions about history, and the chance to witness the wonder in each other’s eyes as you uncover the mysteries of the past.
- Preservation of Heritage: By visiting English Heritage sites, families contribute to preserving and maintaining these historically significant locations. The funds generated from ticket sales and memberships are reinvested into conserving these sites for future generations to enjoy.
- Accessibility and Inclusivity: Many English Heritage sites strive to be accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities or special needs. They provide facilities and services to accommodate families, making it a welcoming experience for everyone.
- Unique Photography Opportunities: English Heritage sites offer stunning backdrops for family photos, capturing cherished moments against the backdrop of ancient architecture or beautiful landscapes.
- Travel within History: Exploring English Heritage sites can feel like stepping into a time machine, enabling families to travel back in time and connect with the people and events that shaped the nation’s history.
Still not convinced? Check out our picks below, we love them for engaging learning, and in most cases the young one’s may not even realise this!
Our Top 4 Historic Places for Families to Visit
English Heritage offers a variety of family-friendly destinations where visitors can explore history, enjoy outdoor spaces, and engage in educational activities. Here are five places cared for by English Heritage that are perfect for family visits:
1 – Stonehenge
Location: Wiltshire, OS Explorer 130
One of the most iconic and enigmatic ancient monuments in the world, Stonehenge is a must-visit site for families. Set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, this prehistoric stone circle provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn about the mysteries and history of the Neolithic era. Interactive exhibitions and visitor centers offer immersive experiences, and families can walk around the stones, experiencing the awe-inspiring atmosphere of this ancient site.
2 – Dover Castle
Location: Kent, OS Explorer 138
Dover Castle, known as the “Key to England,” is an impressive medieval fortress overlooking the English Channel. It offers an exciting day out for families with its fascinating history and stunning views. Kids can explore secret wartime tunnels, watch reenactments, and participate in hands-on activities like trying on medieval armor. The extensive grounds also provide ample space for picnics and outdoor games.
3 – Tintagel Castle
Location: Cornwall, OS Explorer 111
Linked to the legend of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle is a dramatic clifftop ruin with a rich history and breathtaking scenery. The castle’s ruins and surrounding landscape create an enchanting setting for children to immerse themselves in stories of knights and mythical tales. English Heritage has enhanced the visitor experience with informative displays and a newly constructed footbridge, making it accessible for families to explore the ruins together.
4 – Audley End House
Location: Essex, OS Explorer 195
Audley End House is a stunning Jacobean mansion set within vast grounds and gardens. Families can step back in time and experience the life of the Victorian gentry as they explore the opulent rooms and servant quarters. The property often hosts family-oriented events, including costumed performances, arts and crafts workshops, and outdoor games, which make it an engaging and enjoyable destination for all ages.
If you plan on visiting Audley End House you may be interested in How the Victorians made a picnic, introduced by Mrs Crocombe (do please check out their full series of video’s they post new videos regularly).
Overall, visiting English Heritage sites offers an enriching and enjoyable experience for families, combining education, adventure, and quality time together amidst the wonders of the past.
If you do visit any of these historic sites, or others like them, do let us know – and don’t forget to share your photos with us on social media!.