With over 400 sites and 11M visitors a year, English Heritage contains the nation’s most celebrated and iconic buildings and monuments, driving floods of tourists and UK dwellers there every year, from Stonehenge to Dover Castle. With 52 weekends in a year, it could take you 8 years to see each attraction, my advice is don’t. Instead, pick out your top 10 best English Heritage sites from this list for your next weekend or holiday. Check out UK’s historical heritage with these places of interest and find your next solo or family adventure.
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What is the English Heritage membership card?
The English Heritage Membership Card is a membership scheme offered by English Heritage, a charity that manages over 400 historic sites and properties across England. The membership provides free entry to all English Heritage sites, including famous landmarks such as Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, and Dover Castle to impressive stately homes to royal castles to even ancient ruins. It also gives access to exclusive members-only events, free or discounted entry to events hosted by English Heritage, and a subscription to their magazine.
Membership options include individual adult membership, joint memberships, student membership, family, and senior memberships, with varying levels of access and benefits. Memberships can be purchased online or at any English Heritage site.
The English Heritage Membership Card is a great option for history lovers, families, and anyone interested in exploring England’s rich cultural heritage. By becoming a member, individuals can save money on entry fees and support the conservation and management of historic sites nationwide.
How much is it to be a member of English Heritage?
It is down to preference, but the most popular sites are Stonehenge, Dover Castle, Whitby Abbey and Hadrian’s Wall.. GreatDealsMadeEasy.com has found a 15% Off With Code EHAFF2023. Join here and use the exclusive offer code “EHAFF2023” for a 25% discount on your membership.
Why join up to the English Heritage?
Besides the impressive list of sites below, other benefits include:
- FREE unlimited access to 100’s of historic monuments, properties & places – special days out with friends, family or alone.
- Top family membership with FREE entry for up to 6 children (making that next adventure affordable for a family group)
- FREE or reduced price entry to 100’s of exciting events
- FREE parking where the car park is owned by English Heritage
- Access to members’ rewards portal
- Get a student discount with valid NUS card discounts
What are the best English Heritage sites?
It is down to preference, but the most popular sites are Stonehenge, Dover Castle, Whitby Abbey, Hadrian’s Wall and more. GreatDealsMadeEasy.com has found a 25% Off With Code EHAFF25APR. Join here and use the term “ EHAFF25APR” for a 25% discount on your membership.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire evolved from a simple bank and ditch in the Neolithic period, some 5,000 years ago, to a very complex stone circle built on the axis of the midsummer sunrise. The bluestones were brought 240 miles from the Preseli mountains in Wales. It consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around at a tall 13 feet high, seven feet wide and weighing around 25 tons. The monument was built in stages over a period of around 1,500 years, from around 3000 BC to 1600 BC.
The impressive rock formation and mysterious origins have made this prehistoric monument an icon, drawing in visitors from around the world and has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many theories about the significance of Stonehenge. It may have been an astronomical observatory or used for sacred rituals linked to the sun, healthy crops or even the dead. Today, Stonehenge is a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracting over 1.5 million visitors annually. Visitors can view the monument from a short distance away or take a guided tour to learn more about its history and significance. There is also a visitor centre nearby, which features exhibits on the history of the site, interactive displays, and a cafe.
Explore the award-winning visitor centre to get up close with archaeological finds from the Stonehenge landscape, and step inside reconstructed neolithic houses to imagine life in this part of the country more than 5,000 years ago. Worth a visit and is viewed as one of the top English heritage sites. GreatDealsMadeEasy.com has found a 15% Off With Code EHAFF2023. Join here and use the English heritage deal “ EHAFF2023” for a 15% discount on your membership and get free access.
Dover Castle in Kent is a medieval castle that was founded in the 11th century and has been described as the “Key to England” due to its defensive significance throughout history. The ‘Key to England’ for over 900 years, Dover Castle boasts a vast and truly eventful history – meaning there’s a vast worth of secrets, scandals, intrigue and mystery to discover on your next visit.
Head underground in the Wartime Tunnels or climb the Great Tower to meet medieval royalty. A brand new, fully immersive Escape Room experience is now open at Dover Castle – Crack codes and complete challenges. Roam through centuries of history at Dover Castle, from the Romans to the Cold War, in an action-packed day out. English heritage’s Dover Castle is worth a visit.
Today, Dover Castle is a popular tourist attraction and is managed by English Heritage. Visitors can explore the castle’s many features, including its underground tunnels, medieval tower, and Great Tower. The tunnels were used during World War II and are now open for guided tours, allowing visitors to see how they were used to coordinate the evacuation of Dunkirk.
In addition to the castle itself, the site also includes a museum, gift shop, and restaurant, as well as a Roman lighthouse and a Saxon church. The castle offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of England and is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in medieval history or military history. GreatDealsMadeEasy.com has found a 15% Off With Code EHAFF2023. Join here and use the term “ EHAFF2023” for a 15% discount on your membership
Castle and Elizabethan Garden
One of the most spectacular castle ruins in the country, Kenilworth in Warwickshire is the perfect spot for feeding the imagination and banishing boredom. Kids can follow in the footsteps of royalty, discover secret nooks and crannies amongst the ruins and get hands-on with our action-packed programme of events and activities.
From a medieval fortress to an Elizabethan palace, Kenilworth Castle has been at the centre of England’s affairs for much of its 900-year history. Constructed from Norman through to Tudor times, the castle has been described by the architectural historian Anthony Emery as “the finest surviving example of a semi-royal palace of the later middle ages, significant for its scale, form and quality of workmanship. Again tonnes to do for the children and worth visiting.
A castle is a fortified structure typically built during the Middle Ages for defence purposes. It usually includes features such as walls, towers, a keep, and a gatehouse. Many castles have a rich history and were once the centres of political power, and some have been converted into museums or tourist attractions.
An Elizabethan garden is a type of formal garden that was popular in England during the Elizabethan era, which lasted from 1558 to 1603. These gardens were characterized by their symmetrical layouts, ornamental hedges, and decorative features such as fountains, statues, and topiary. They were often designed to impress guests and showcase the owner’s wealth and status.
Together, a castle and Elizabethan garden can provide visitors with a unique glimpse into the history and culture of a particular region or era. These types of attractions often offer guided tours, interactive exhibits, and other activities to engage visitors and provide a memorable experience. GreatDealsMadeEasy.comhas found a 15% Off With Code EHAFF2023. Join here and use the term “EHAFF2023” for a 15% discount on your membership.
Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire with its gaunt, imposing remains and recently named Britain’s most romantic ruin is set high on a cliff above the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby. Whitby Abbey has been cheering up visitors for nearly 1500 years.
The Whitby Abbey is a ruined medieval abbey situated on a cliff overlooking the North Sea in the town of Whitby, North Yorkshire, England. The abbey was founded in the 7th century by the Anglo-Saxon King Oswy of Northumbria and was one of the most important religious centres in the Anglo-Saxon world.
The current ruins of the abbey date back to the 13th century when it was rebuilt after a fire. The ruins include the remains of the abbey church, cloister, and other buildings, and provide a glimpse into the history of the site and the religious practices of the time. The abbey is also famous for its connection to the Gothic novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. The author was inspired by the abbey’s dramatic location and used it as a setting for parts of the novel.
Today, the Whitby Abbey is a popular tourist attraction managed by English Heritage. Visitors can explore the ruins and take guided tours to learn about the history and significance of the site. The abbey also offers stunning views of the North Sea and the surrounding countryside, making it a picturesque destination for visitors.
Follow in the footsteps of artists, writers and religious leaders to explore the soaring gothic ruins and take in the stunning sea views. Boasting an awe-inspiring location, interesting history and modern visitor centre, it’s well worth a visit. GreatDealsMadeEasy.com has found a 15% Off With Code EHAFF2023. Join here and use the term “ EHAFF2023” for a 15% discount on your membership
1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield
In 1066, the armies of King Harold and William the Conqueror clashed at the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex. Now you can stand on the very site where the battle was fought and England’s future was decided. Explore abbey ruins and meet the Normans and Saxons on the sculpture trail. Enjoy the gatehouse exhibition revealing the abbey’s role in the country’s future, then head to the roof for stunning views of the battlefield. Allow the stories of battle to unfold and discover its atmosphere for yourself. To find out the history of the 1066 Battle of Hastings, go to the BBC link here.
Families can spend the day exploring the atmospheric ruins, learning in their interactive Discovery Centre and of course, visiting the very spot where King Harold is said to have fallen in 1066.
Down House is a historic house located in Kent, England. The house is famous for being the former home of Charles Darwin, the renowned naturalist and scientist who is best known for his theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin lived in Down House for more than 40 years, from 1842 until his death in 1882. During this time, he conducted many of his groundbreaking experiments and observations, including those that led to his theory of evolution.
Today, Down House is a museum that is open to the public. Visitors can explore the house and gardens, which have been restored to their appearance during Darwin’s time. The museum features exhibits on Darwin’s life and work, as well as interactive displays that allow visitors to learn about his scientific discoveries.
Highlights of a visit to Down House include Darwin’s study, where he wrote “On the Origin of Species,” and the garden, where he conducted many of his experiments. The museum also offers guided tours and educational programs for visitors of all ages.
Down House is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in the history of science and the life and work of Charles Darwin.
With its unique place in the history of science and evolution, Down House, the family home of world-renowned scientist Charles Darwin, is a must-see. It was in this house and garden that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution by natural selection which he had conceived in London before moving to Down.
You can enjoy a visit to Emma’s Kitchen for a cream tea or light lunch. Then take a stroll around the beautiful country gardens, making sure you enjoy a lap of Darwin’s ‘thinking path’, the sand walk, which Darwin himself would walk 3 times a day to aid his ideas. This stunning hidden gem is not one to be missed. Come on down (Pun intended).
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Visit Hadrian’s Wall
Hadrian’s Wall is a historic wall that runs across northern England, from the east coast to the west coast, near the Scottish border. It was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who ordered its construction in AD 122 to mark the northernmost limit of the Roman Empire. Stretching 73 miles from sea to sea across the north of England, ( is a lasting legacy of Roman Britain, covering some of England’s wildest and most dramatic landscapes, it’s no surprise that Hadrian’s Wall is an icon. Walk along what was the north-western edge of the vast Roman empire, and explore the remaining footprints of the empire’s towns and forts. The settlements at Birdoswald, Housesteads Fort, Chesters and Corbridge together make up the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, situated in some of the most dramatic places in England. Head to the Wall at Winshields for the highest point, with unparalleled views of the lusciously green surroundings.
For around three centuries, Hadrian’s Wall was a vibrant, multi-cultured frontier sprawling almost 80 miles coast-to-coast. Built by a force of 15,000 men in under six years, it’s an impressive piece of engineering for that era. Milecastles, barracks, ramparts and forts punctuate a diverse landscape that provides a dramatic backdrop. It’s well worth a visit!
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Medieval castles always have a lot of exotic history. Kenilworth Castle is no different, being one of the great historical sites of the United Kingdom. First built in the 1120s and a royal castle for most of its history, it was expanded by King John, John of Gaunt and Henry V. In 1563 Elizabeth I granted it to her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who converted the castle into a lavish palace fit to entertain his queen.
One of the most spectacular castle ruins in the country, Kenilworth is best known as the scene of a royal romance between Elizabeth I and her favourite Robert Dudley. It’s that romance that has captured the imagination as visitors explore the evocative ruins while the kids become ‘king of the castle’ for a day.
Kenilworth Castle is a historic castle located in the town of Kenilworth in Warwickshire, England. The castle was originally built in the 1120s and was expanded and modified over the centuries, becoming one of the largest and most impressive castles in England.
One of the most famous periods in the castle’s history came during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the late 16th century. The queen’s favourite, Robert Dudley, was given the castle as a gift, and he transformed it into an extravagant palace designed to impress the queen. He added a great hall, a grand entrance, and ornate gardens, among other features.
Today, Kenilworth Castle is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public. Visitors can explore the ruins of the castle, including the remains of the great hall and other buildings. They can also walk through the gardens, which have been restored to their Elizabethan-era appearance.
Highlights of a visit to Kenilworth Castle include the restored Tudor gardens, which feature an ornamental lake, fountains, and a recreated aviary. The castle’s ruins are also impressive, with a number of towers and walls still standing. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for views of the surrounding countryside.
Kenilworth Castle is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in English history, architecture, or gardens. Its connection to Queen Elizabeth I and the Tudor period makes it a particularly popular attraction for history enthusiasts. GreatDealsMadeEasy.com has found a 15% Off With Code EHAFF2023. Join here and use the term “ EHAFF2023” for a 15% discount on your membership.
Apethorpe Palace, Apethorpe
Among England’s greatest country houses, Apethorpe Palace in Northamptonshire holds a particularly important place in English history because of its ownership by, and role in, entertaining Tudor and Stuart monarchs. By the way, Apethorpe is pronounced ‘Ap-thorp’. It is among one of the most special historic houses.
Elizabeth I once owned this historic house, which she had inherited from Henry VIII. For a period, Apethorpe was a royal palace lived in regularly by James I and Charles I. James I so loved Apethorpe that he personally contributed to its extension to make it more suitable for his ‘princely recreation’ and ‘commodious entertainment’, particularly for hunting in the nearby royal forest of Rockingham. A classic building to see.
The house was originally built in the late 15th century as a manor house and was expanded and modified over the centuries, becoming a palace during the Tudor period. One of the most famous periods in the palace’s history came during the reign of King James I in the early 17th century. The king visited the palace several times and made a number of changes and additions to the building, including the installation of a long gallery and a new gatehouse.
Today, Apethorpe Palace is owned by English Heritage and is open to the public. Visitors can explore the house and gardens, which have been restored to their appearance during the Tudor and Stuart periods. The palace features a number of impressive rooms, including a grand hall, a state bedroom, and a chapel. Highlights of a visit to Apethorpe Palace include the restored Tudor and Stuart interiors, which feature ornate plasterwork, carved woodwork, and decorative murals. The gardens are also a highlight, with formal gardens, a wildflower meadow, and a historic orchard.
Apethorpe Palace is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in English history, architecture, or gardens. Its connections to the Tudor and Stuart periods, as well as its royal history, make it a particularly popular attraction for history enthusiasts.
Eltham Palace and Gardens
Eltham Palace in Greenwich is a 1930s art deco mansion that meets a medieval royal palace and gardens. The palace itself is quite different from all the other typical English Heritage owned/run with a vaulted bathroom, onyx bath, and decorated doors. Eltham Palace was created for millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. The fabulous 1930s Eltham Palace is attached to a medieval hall which is all that remains of the original palace.
Eltham Palace and Gardens is a historic royal palace located in Eltham, in the London Borough of Greenwich. The palace was originally a medieval royal palace and was extensively rebuilt and refurbished in the 1930s by the wealthy couple Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, who transformed it into a stylish Art Deco mansion.
Today, Eltham Palace is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public. Visitors can explore the palace’s impressive interiors, which feature Art Deco furnishings, original 1930s fittings, and ornate decorative details. Highlights include the entrance hall, the dining room, and the drawing room.
The palace’s gardens are also a highlight, featuring formal gardens, a moat, and a historic bridge. The gardens have been restored to their appearance during the 1930s and include a rose garden, a rock garden, and a sunken garden.
In addition to the palace and gardens, visitors can also explore the palace’s medieval great hall and the remains of the original palace buildings, which date back to the 14th century.
Eltham Palace and Gardens is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in Art Deco architecture, English history, or royal history. Its unique blend of medieval and Art Deco styles makes it a particularly interesting attraction, and its beautiful gardens are a popular destination for visitors of all ages.
English Heritage Promo Code
GreatDealsMadeEasy.com has found a = 15% Off With Code EHAFF2023. Join here and use the term “ EHAFF2023” for a 15% discount on your membership. Visit the English Heritage site here. To find out if it is worth becoming an English Heritage member or just going on a visit-by-visit basis read my article here. There are regular special offers, so keep an eye out. Use this exclusive deal to see your next adventure and get some exciting days ahead.
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