Museums and galleries
Victorian dock area, originally built of iron, stone and brick, now fully restored and claiming to be the largest group of Grade I listed buildings in the country. The complex includes car parking, hotels, shops, restaurants and several museums, including: Slavery Museum; Maritime Museum; Beatles Story; and Tate Liverpool. Albert Dock is about a 20-30 minute walk from Lime Street station.
A lovely Tudor town hall, dating from c1550, and a symbol of Aldeburgh's prosperity at the time. The ground floor would have been occupied by shops, with meetings taking place on the first floor. Greatly restored in Victorian times, it now houses a good local museum. The building would once have been more at the centre of town - now it is close to the beach, an indication of shoreline erosion in this part of the UK.
Alnwick Castle dates from the 11th century and has been in the hands of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, since 14th century. The family still lives there. Their castle is one of the most visited in England, steeped in Percy history with gruesome discoveries to be made as well as magnificent state rooms. Alnwick is often used for filming and has starred in Harry Potter and Downton Abbey (to mention just two). The castle also houses a number of special exhibitions, including the Regimental Museum of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. Adjacent to the castle is the Alnwick Garden, a formal garden built around a huge cascading fountain.
Arbeia Roman Fort stood guard on the south bank of the Tyne, guarding the sea route to Hadrian's Wall. The fort is situated in what is now a residential area, with a primary school opposite. It was originally built in the 2nd century AD and, with variations and rebuilding (the fort was destroyed in the late 3rd/early 4th century, for example), was occupied until the Anglo-Saxon period. There is a good museum, reconstructed gateway and living quarters (which are a bit tatty) and the excavated outline of the fort.
Oxford University's museum of art and archaeology, with objects dating from 8,000 BC. Particular collections include ancient Egypt, the only Minoan collection in Britain, Anglo Saxon artefacts (including the Alfred Jewel) and contemporary artwork from around the world. The Ashmolean is the oldest public museum in Britain, founded in 1683.
The full name of this place is the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings and it was England's first open air museum, established in 1967. Avoncroft displays 30-odd rescued buildings and structures, ranging from 14th - 20th centuries, which have been re-built in 19 acres of rural Worcestershire. The museum includes a wildflower meadow, period gardens and a traditional cider and perry orchard. It is also home to the National Telephone Kiosk Collection.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) is an aerial display team flying historic aircraft. They appear at shows throughout the country, state occasions and at events commemorating the Second World War. The aircraft normally flown are an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane. The flight is administratively part of No. 1 Group RAF, flying out of RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. It is possible to see the aircraft at a visitor centre at Coningsby, though it is recommended you check which ones can be seen before making a special trip.
The Battle of Hastings took place on 14th October 1066. It is probably the most famous battle in British history, when the invading Normans under William the Conqueror beat the English (Saxons) led by King Harold. The battle actually took place several miles north of Hastings adjacent to and within where the pleasant little town of Battle now is. Though the precise location of the battle has been much debated, wandering through the traditional site is worthwhile - and very pleasant when the weather's fine.
The battlefield of 1066 is managed by English Heritage alongside Battle Abbey, which was built as a penance and memorial afterwards.
A museum that, literally, tells the story of the Beatles - from childhood, to when Paul met John, the early days in Hamburg, the Cavern, meeting Brian Epstein, George Martin, worldwide success, messy divorce and solo life afterwards. The Beatles Story claims to be the biggest permanent exhibition dedicated to the Fab Four. In any event, it is excellently done, with walk-through life-like displays, fascinating exhibits and plenty of music - an absolute must for any fan of John, Paul, George and Ringo - or anyone wanting to know about the world's greatest rock 'n' roll pop band.
Bletchley Park was the home of the top-secret code breakers of World War Two, whose work had a profound impact on the war; it has been claimed that their success in intercepting enemy signals and breaking codes shortened the war by two years. For years, very few people knew about their work, most famously centred on German Enigma cipher machines, but information started to become more available in the 1970s. Bletchley Park was in a poor state when taken over by Milton Keynes Borough Council in 1992. A trust was set up to conserve the site and turn it into a museum and it opened its doors to the public in 1993. A massive restoration project took place and BP is now a major tourist attraction.
Bletchley Park also includes the National Museum of Computing and has featured in several films and TV productions.