Historical sites are excellent options for family outings. Fortunately for history buffs, Britain has a plethora of options to pick from, albeit it may be tough to determine where to go first! So we polled our colleagues at Historic UK and came up with our ‘Top Ten’: see if you agree!
The following are listed in no particular order:
1. Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle, is still a fascinating and awe-inspiring day out with the kids or family after 5,000 years; an outstanding survival from a society that is no longer with us. The monument dates from 3,000 to 1,600 BC and is aligned with the sun’s rising and setting at the solstices, although its specific function is unknown.
2. The Tower of London
The Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders (also known as ‘Beefeaters’), and the famed ravens, has a lot to offer for a day out with the kids or family. To give it its full title, Her Royal Majesty’s Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London was established shortly after the Norman Conquest in 1066. William the Conqueror erected the White Tower at the fortress’s center in 1078. The Tower of London has been a jail since the 12th century and has played an important role in English history.
3. Warwick Castle
Warwick, another fortress established by William the Conqueror in 1068, was afterwards rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. The strong Earls of Warwick lived in Warwick Castle, notably Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, dubbed “The Kingmaker” for his part in the Wars of the Roses. Several Earls of Warwick have died untimely and terrible ends throughout the years, including one who was beheaded for high treason in the Tower of London!
Whether it’s raining or shining, you can immerse yourself in a thousand years of jaw-dropping history at Warwick Castle. The castle, which is now owned by Merlin Entertainments, has life-size tableaux, beautiful interiors, the Castle Dungeon, and much more. You can even stay here for the night!
4. Stratford- Upon-Avon Warwickshire’s
The gorgeous riverside town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, which would be a tourist attraction in and of itself if it weren’t for the fact that a certain Elizabethan playwright was born there, is also in Warwickshire — just down the road, in fact. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people from all around the world visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s Birthplace (seen above), New Place, where he died in 1616, the church where he is buried, Ann Hathaway’s Cottage, and his mother Mary Arden’s residence just outside the town are just a few of the town’s numerous attractions. A visit to the historic Theatre on the banks of the River Avon would not be complete without seeing a Royal Shakespeare Company performance.
5. Leeds Castle is located in Kent
‘The World’s Most Beautiful Castle.’ Bring the entire family to Leeds Castle for a day trip through 900 years of fascinating history with your Key to the Castle ticket. There is something for everyone at this year-round attraction. Why not extend your stay in the Stable Courtyard Bedrooms with a B&B overnight stay?
6. London’s St Paul’s Cathedral-
This magnificent dome, which dominates London’s skyline and is England’s architectural masterpiece and a site of national celebration, is England’s architectural masterpiece and a place of national celebration. Sir Christopher Wren planned and constructed the current cathedral, which was completed in 1710, however, a cathedral had been on this location since 604AD.
7. Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle-
Set high on the volcanic rock known as Castle Rock, this medieval fortification rises above Scotland’s capital city. Edinburgh Castle houses the Scottish Crown Jewels, making it a popular tourist attraction (the Honours of Scotland). Following its restoration to Scotland from Westminster in 1996, it has also been home to the Stone of Destiny.
8. Caernarfon Castle-
Caernarfon Castle, one of the most remarkable medieval fortifications in Britain, was built by King Edward I in the 13th century and features a stunning 13 towers. This large castle is in a fantastic location, with the River Seiont and the Menai Strait on two sides, providing ideal natural defenses. The Investiture of the Prince of Wales took place at Caernarfon Castle in 1969.
9. Hadrian’s Wall-
Hadrian, the Roman Emperor, ordered the construction of an enormous wall reaching 80 Roman miles from the east coast of Britain to the west coast in roughly AD122. In 1987, UNESCO classified this magnificent edifice as a World Heritage Site.
10. North Yorkshire’s Fountains Abbey –
Fountains Abbey is one of England’s most impressive and well-preserved ruined monasteries. It was founded in 1132 and is located in a beautiful valley next to a river. The abbey church remains close to its full height despite being a casualty of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.