The Tudors brought timber-framed houses, grand palaces and, of course, Shakespeare. There are signs of the Tudor times everywhere you turn across the country, so we picked some places where you can really experience how life was in Shakespeare’s day!
Sleep like a king
Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire
At Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire, about 2.5 hours outside London, you can stay in the very same bedchamber where King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn slept 500 years ago. In this ancient castle turned luxury hotel, you can sleep in velvet-draped 4-poster beds, under ornate carved ceilings, and next to walls hung with tapestries that will transport you back in time.
A feast fit for a king
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
Follow in Henry VIII’s footsteps to Hampton Court Palace. Right outside of London, you can explore the beauty of the palace gardens and see the kitchens come to Tudor life with regular cookery events. The sights and smells of royal feasts in the making are sure to get your tastebuds tingling.
Step into a living, working Tudor estate
A little over 2 hours outside London, you can visit Kentwell Hall and take part in one of its famous Tudor Days! Visitors enter to discover the entire house and estate have been transformed into the 16th century, incluing Tudor people to meet everywhere you turn! With over 30 acres of beautiful gardens and a stunning home, the opportunities to explore are endless and fun for visitors of all ages.
Shoot a bow and arrow like a Tudor
Experience Archery, London
Many empires have risen and fallen under armies of archers, and in Tudor times archery would’ve been used for hunting, too. Head to Experience Archery and you can learn the skill of shooting a bow and arrow at these fun Have-a-Go Archery Lessons. Tudor wear is not essential.
Find Tudor ghosts
Tudor World, Stratford-upon-Avon
At the atmospheric Tudor World experience, you can take a Ghost Tour after the museum has closed. For 1-1.5 hours at the price of £7.50, your costumed tour guide will lead you by lantern around the historic building that is reputedly haunted. Be sure to keep an eye out for any Tudor apparitions!
Meet the Tudor animals
Mary Arden’s Farm, near Stratford-upon-Avon
The home where Shakespeare’s mother grew up, Mary Arden's Farm, has been preserved so you can explore life in a Tudor farmhouse. Local heritage breeds of livestock are kept on the farm, similar to those Shakespeare would’ve known. You can even take part in falconry experiences with the resident owls and hawks, to see how they were used by the Tudors for hunting!