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Britain has so many historical places to visit stretching the length and breadth of the country, and probably the most difficult decision for any history fans is where to go first!
Fortunately most of the castles and the stately homes across the UK are open to the public and offer tours to keep the whole family entertained on days out. Here's 8 of our top favourite attractions to head out and visit this year:
This iconic site in southern England is the topic of many tales and theories. According to folklore, Stonehenge was created by Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, who magically transported the massive stones from Ireland, where giants assembled them. Another theory is that they were ruins from a Roman temple. Either way, this ancient stone circle in Salisbury, Wiltshire is an awe-inspiring monument and is a powerful demonstration of the inventiveness and imagination from past humans. Follow in the footsteps of prehistoric people and find out if you have what it takes to move a mighty Sarsen stone.
Stay at Salisbury Hillside Club Campsite
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Learn about its past as a fortress and palace, from 1070 when William the Conqueror first built a castle on the land to its current role as an official royal residence. Explore the State Apartments which are used to host official visits. Admire the extravagant Grand Reception Room with its dazzling chandeliers and enjoy the colourful ceremony marking the changeover of duties during the Changing the Guard.
Stay at Henley Four Oaks Club Campsite
Head to the beautiful rural town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, best known as the birth place of William Shakespeare, which is also a picturesque riverside town steeped in culture and history. Amongst the town’s many attractions, fans of the Bard need to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, New Place where he died in 1616, the church where he was buried, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and his mother Mary Arden’s house just outside the town. Of course no visit to Shakespeare’s home town would be complete without a trip to a Royal Shakespeare Company production at the famous theatre, located right on the banks of the River Avon.
Stay at Warwick Racecourse Club Campsite
To give this attraction its full title, Her Royal Majesty’s Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London was founded just after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The White Tower in the centre was added to in 1078 by William the Conqueror. Used as a prison since the 12th century, the Tower of London has played an important part in the history of England. Throughout history, it has been known as a symbol of awe and fear, where Kings and Queens imprisoned their rival and enemies within its walls before their executions. There are still stories today of past prisoners, whose ghosts roam and haunt the tower. Home to the crown jewels, the Yeoman Warders (or better known as Beefeaters) and the legendary ravens, the Tower has a complex historical past having also been home to a wide array of institutions including the Royal Mint, the Royal Armouries and even a zoo.
Stay at Abbey Wood Club Campsite
Edinburgh Castle is an impressive, historic citadel, set high on the volcanic crag known as Castle Rock. It is the most famous of Scottish castles, with a complex building history and is part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It is home to the Honours of Scotland (better known as the Scottish Crown jewels), the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One o’clock gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. This mighty fortress has been the defender of the nation and is now a world famous visitor attraction, having dominated the Edinburgh skyline for centuries.
Stay at Edinburgh Club Campsite
Stretching 73 miles (or 80 Roman miles) from coast to coast, Hadrian’s Wall was built, by order of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in around AD122, to guard the wild north-west frontier of the Roman Empire. In 1987 this impressive structure was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the remains of the forts, towers, turrets and towns that once kept watch, as well as see rare Roman artefacts in the hands-on museum. Hadrian’s Wall remains one of the most important and significant examples of Roman ruins in Britain today.
Stay at Englethwaite Club Campsite
Cardiff Castle is one of the most popular attractions in Wales where you can explore almost 2000 years of incredible history. From Roman occupation under Emperor Nero as early as AD54 through the Norman conquest, the Victorian era and even the atrocities of World War 2, the castle has survived and evolved through the centuries. Surrounded by beautiful parklands on one side and the stunning capital city on the other, Cardiff Castle is known as the city’s historic heart.
The ruins of this historic castle as closely associated with the legend of King Arthur which adds to the history and intrigue of this enigmatic place. Built half on the mainland and half on a jagged headland jutting out into the Cornish sea, Tintagel Castle has one of the most spectacular views in the UK. Go on a journey of 1,500 years where you can investigate a Dark Age settlement and immerse yourself in history and myth, surrounded by stunning scenery. Don’t miss the brooding bronze sculpture on the island of Gallos (meaning ‘power’ in Cornish) which was inspired by the legend of King Arthur and Tintagel’s royal past.
Stay at Trewethett Farm Club Campsite