If you’re looking for some of the best English Heritage sites to add to your UK bucket list, then you’re in the right place.
While we’ve already visited a bunch of incredible English Heritage places together (I even lived around the corner from an historic castle once upon a time!), Scott and I also have a few places still on our own bucket list that we hope we can visit soon as well.
So, I hope this blog post serves as some inspiration for you – and as some accountability for us to tick off all of these places.
Are you ready for history, castles and more? Read on…
Psst! If you’re not yet an English Heritage member, you can grab 15% off your annual membership right now. Just click this link and use the code: EH2021. Enjoy!
Incredible English Heritage Sites Well Worth Visiting
Let’s kick things off with our most favourite English Heritage site: Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.
This is truly where history meets legend as it’s believed that King Arthur was conceived here all those centuries ago.
Today, you can visit the castle ruins and admire the tremendous views from the top of the nearby cliffs courtesy of English Heritage.
Tintagel Castle is such a beautiful place to visit in Cornwall. A trip here really is unforgettable!
Up next: Stonehenge in Wiltshire and perhaps the most well known English Heritage site on this list!
The stone circle dates back to around 2500 BC and the stones align with the sunrise and sunset. As such, it’s a popular place to go to celebrate the Summer Solstice. I did this as a teenager and it was a lot of fun and made for a supremely interesting night!
As for the history of the stones, historians don’t know exactly why they were erected, but many believe they were used as some kind of neolithic calendar.
Avebury, also in Wiltshire, is like Stonehenge’s lesser-known cousin.
Here, you can also visit a stone circle, which is actually the largest in Britain. While Stonehenge may have been a calendar, Avebury was possibly used as a ritual or ceremonial site.
Even the nearby shop is worth seeing as it’s housed within a quaint Cotswolds-style cottage!
Up north in Cumbria, Hadrian’s Wall stretches 73 miles from coast to coast and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The wall dates back to the Roman Empire and it was built to guard the wild north-west frontier of the Empire. Interestingly, it was also a thriving hub of trade for civilians and soldiers from Britain, Europe and North Africa.
Today, you can follow various trails to see parts of the wall, wander through fortress “rooms” and “turrets” and admire artefacts inside a variety of museums.
Towering over the seaside town of Whitby in Yorkshire are the gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey.
This imposing building served as inspiration for the original Dracula story by Bram Stoker, and today, you can see the ruins up close, visit the museum and (of course) admire the incredible views you get from way up here.
Heads up! To get to the abbey, you need to climb 199 steps, which is tough but well worth it when you reach the top.
English Heritage Sites Still On Our Bucket List
So now you know what our favourite English Heritage sites are, we also wanted to share a few more places with you that are still on our own bucket list… just in case they serve as extra inspiration for you and your travels.
Witley Court and Gardens
Found within the historic county of Worcestershire is Witley Court and Gardens. This English Heritage site is on our bucket list for a few reasons:
- The opulent grandeur of the 19th-century building (despite being in ruins due to a fire in the 1930s)
- The quirky and vibrant gardens
- The fact that this English Heritage site often plays host to cool events such as live music concerts in the grounds
Found on the picturesque Isle of Wight is Osborne, which was once Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s palatial holiday home.
It looks simply magical and opulent in all its royal finery – and we can’t wait to visit one day!
Situated within the tranquil valley of the North York Moors is the impressive ruins of this 12th-century abbey.
The architecture looks stunning and the fact that it’s still standing today (despite being in ruins) is incredible and testament to the work that organisations like English Heritage are doing for this country.
Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire is said to be one of English Heritage’s most popular sites – and we can see why!
While the architecture looks incredible, so do the views across the countryside!
Audley End House and Gardens
Scott and I will always enjoy visiting grand manor houses, estates and gardens – and Audley End House and Gardens in Essex looks like our kind of place.
The mansion dates back to the early 17th century and has many royal connections, while the grounds – complete with formal gardens, serpentine lake and elegant garden buildings – look exquisite.
Home to yet more sprawling grounds and exquisite gardens is Wrest Park in Bedfordshire.
There are over 90 acres to explore here while some of the landscaping was inspired by Dutch and Italian design, so it almost looks like you could forget you’re still in the UK whilst here (weather depending, of course!)
Out in the glorious countryside of Shropshire sits Stokesay Castle, an imposing manor house from the late 13th century, which is also said to be one of the finest fortified manor houses in England.
Whilst here, you can also visit the 17th-century gatehouse, which looks stunning and – with all its half-timbered glory and fine details – it certainly wouldn’t be out of place if it was located within Stratford-upon-Avon instead.
Next up on our English Heritage bucket list is Kenwood House near Hampstead Heath in London.
The house itself looks stunning with all its intricately moulded ceilings, pillars and fine furnishings, while we’re also told that it’s home to a stunning world-class art collection, which includes work by world-renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, William Larkin and more.
And finally, perhaps one of England’s most well-known landmarks is the 2000-year-old Dover Castle.
There are many stories to uncover at this imposing fortress since it’s lived through various sieges, battles, wars and more throughout the centuries.
And there you have it – our must-see list of the best English Heritage sites plus a few more that are still on our bucket list. We hope it serves as some inspiration!
Over to you now – where do you think we should visit next? Drop us a line with your recommendations in the comments below.
Looking for even more UK travel inspiration? Check out our mammoth UK bucket list now.
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