From the stories behind iconic London landmarks to unravelling the mysteries of King Arthur, a trip to Britain allows you to reimagine the past and discover innovations that shaped the world. Here you’ll find everything from coastal fortresses and Neolithic settlements to grand period properties and stately homes steeped in tales of royalty and rebellion. Relive the past through immersive exhibitions, follow in the footsteps of kings and queens, and escape the everyday to history you can touch.
Hear accounts of treachery and betrayal from the Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London, step inside the Victorian engineering room of Tower Bridge and bask in the architectural magnificence of Buckingham Palace. Delve into the London Dungeon to experience the city of old, or get up close with heroes and villains of the past under the spectacular glass roof of the British Museum. See the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben as they glisten in the evening twilight or experience the quirks of St Paul’s Cathedral from 30 metres up in the Whispering Gallery. Like much of the capital’s history, it’s chock-full of surprises.
Venture across Britain to discover historical gems and awe-inspiring heritage sites. Take in the university buildings of Cambridge while punting along the River Cam, experience the wonders of the Roman Baths, or marvel at more than 950 years of royal history amid the splendour of Windsor Castle. From St George’s Chapel to the intricately decorated State Rooms, a visit to Britain’s largest castle will leave you with an abundance of stories to share. Alternatively, include a trip to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill! If the State Rooms and palace interior aren’t enough to capture the imagination, the formal gardens, mazes and lakes of its outdoor spaces just might.
If you’re keen to delve into Britain’s past, historic re-enactments and interactive exhibitions help bring history to life. Relive the legends of Robin Hood at Nottingham Castle, fresh from a vast makeover, or listen to tales of dragons at Caerphilly Castle. Climb the towers of Conwy or Caernarfon Castle in North Wales or imagine life under Roman rule along Hadrian’s Wall. You could try out medieval glamping in the shadow of Warwick Castle, or revisit the sights and sounds of 9th century York at the Jorvik Viking Centre. Heading south? Follow in the footsteps of King Arthur at Tintagel, learn more about the mysteries of Stonehenge, or take in Oxford’s architecture, the city lovingly known as ‘The City of Dreaming Spires’. For stunning views from the battlements, as well as a journey through Scotland’s past, opt for Edinburgh Castle. Home to the National War Museum and a host of other exhibition spaces, you can walk in the footsteps of kings and queens as you uncover the secrets of Britain’s most besieged castle.
Grand stately homes provide another glance into Britain’s past, from Queen Victoria’s summer retreat at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight to the neo-gothic Mount Stuart House in West Scotland. You can wander the corridors of the real-life Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle, trace more than a millennia of royal history at Sudeley Castle and explore 105 acres of gardens at Chatsworth House, a masterpiece of design from renowned landscape gardener Capability Brown. Brighton’s exotic Royal Pavilion provides a glimpse into Victorian life, or you can step back in time at the Black County Living Museum, a filming location for Peaky Blinders! You could head to Beamish, the Living Museum of the North, for a glimpse into industrial Britain, a period also explored at the newly opened Museum of Making, housed in the country’s oldest factory within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Reminders of Britain’s role in the Industrial Revolution can be found in all corners, from the mill buildings of Manchester and the canals of Birmingham to Ironbridge in Shropshire; all feats of engineering just waiting to be discovered.
Restrictions on travel to and around Britain are in place due to Covid-19. You are encouraged to always check individual websites for the latest information, as details are subject to change.