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 pick places where you can really experience how life was in Shakespeare’s day…
1. Sleep like a king
Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire
You can stay in the very same bedchamber where King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn slept 500 years ago in this ancient castle that’s now a luxury hotel. Velvet-draped 4-poster beds, ornate carved ceilings and walls hung with tapestries will transport you back in time.
2. A feast fit for a king
Hampton Court Palace, near London
Follow in Henry VIII’s footsteps to Hampton Court Palace where you can 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.
3. Step into a living, working Tudor estate
Kentwell Hall is renowned for its Tudor Days, which have been running for more than 30 years and are unrivalled in scale. Visitors enter to discover the entire house and estate have been transformed into the 16th century, with Tudor people to meet everywhere you turn!
4. Shoot a bow and arrow like a Tudor
Experience Archery, London
Many an empire has risen and fallen under armies of archers, and in Tudor times archery would’ve been used for hunting, too. You can learn the skill of shooting a bow and arrow at these fun Have-a-Go Archery Lessons. Cape, hat and tights not essential.
5. 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. Your costumed tour guide will lead you by lantern-light around the old building that is reputedly haunted. So keep a look out for any Tudor apparitions!
6. Meet the Tudor animals
Mary Arden’s Farm, near Stratford-upon-Avon
The home where Shakespeare’s mother grew up 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.