Gardens

Gardens that can be visited in Britain – on their own or as part of a house, estate, stately home, or castle.

The gardens at Sandringham

Sandringham, the Queen's Norfolk house

Sandringham is the private Norfolk home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  Unlike the monarch’s other properties, such as Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, which are owned by the Crown Estate, Sandringham is one of two residences that the Queen personally owns – the other being Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.  She inherited Sandringham from her

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Bess of Hardwick and her halls

Bess of Hardwick and Hardwick Hall

Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury, was one of the characters of Elizabethan England.  Like the winner of a reality show, rising from relatively humble beginnings to rub shoulders with royalty, Bess is famous for being famous, a status assured through her cannily accumulated and managed wealth.  In her case, prosperity arrived by means of

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Walmer and the Warden of the Cinque Ports

Walmer, Warden of the Cinque Ports

We strolled to Walmer Castle from Deal in September sunshine.  Infamous as the place where the Duke of Wellington died, Walmer Castle was one of Henry VIII’s so-called ‘device forts’, a network of artillery strongholds built to protect England against possible French invasion.  Naturally, we have retained a few of these, just in case.  Walmer

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World Heritage Sites in Britain

World Heritage Sites in Britain

Britain has 29 World Heritage Sites.  The United Kingdom has 30, including the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland but excluding overseas territories.  It would have been 31, but Liverpool’s maritime mercantile city was, sadly, stripped of its status in 2021.  Don’t let that put you off; Liverpool is more than worth spending

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The Hospital of St Cross

Hospital of St Cross

The Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty, to give the institution its full name, is almost nine centuries old and said to be England’s oldest charitable body. Never heard of it? Neither had I – until reading about it in Ian Marchant’s delightful book, ‘The Longest Crawl’. This is an account of

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English Heritage or the National Trust?

English Heritage or National Trust

People often compare the relative merits of Britain’s two largest membership heritage organisations, the National Trust and English Heritage.  In fact, there are several heritage organisations in the United Kingdom that offer membership, the main ones being Cadw, Historic Houses, Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland – as well as English Heritage and

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Blickling

Blickling Hall, visit Britain

Blickling is an extensive estate and stately home in Norfolk, with walks, gardens and a splendid house to enjoy wandering around.  People will tell you that it was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, but don’t believe a word of it.  Anne was indeed probably born at Blickling, in 1501 or 1507, but there is no visible

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Welcome to Historic Houses

Elsing Hall, Norfolk.

Britain has an almost embarrassing amount of built heritage.  It includes everything from archaeological sites to castles, cathedrals, stately homes, railway stations, dog kennels and all points in-between.  It is a magnet for history enthusiasts, lovers of literature, intriguing tales, art and architecture, as well as film and TV fans.  Hence Britain’s heritage is big

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Ten of the best places to visit in North East England

Bamburgh Castle

Frankly, you’ll be spoiled for choice if you’re looking for things to see and do in North East England.  From dramatic, wild coast and countryside, to wildlife, castles, Roman remains, the simple grandeur of Durham and the culture and vibrancy of Newcastle upon Tyne, there is something for everyone.  To start you off, here is

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