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I’m planning a trip for next year for my boys (5 and 12 yrs). Ideally I want to visit as many places as possible to ignite their interest in historical events. They both love documentaries or historical dramas etc and I’d like to give them other things to look at/think about.

We have English Heritage tickets anyway so incorporating EH sites would be useful but more than happy to pay extra for any others.

What places would you recommend (anywhere in the UK) and for which era/event would it cover?

Thanks x

We love Dover Castle – it’s English Heritage, and takes in all eras, from the Roman lighthouse to the fantastically well-preserved castle, and the exciting tunnels in the cliffs that were used during the Second World War. It’s our favourite English Heritage trip.

We’ve also just come back from Avebury, which is wonderfully atmospheric, you can get up close to the prehistoric stones, go inside a brilliantly well-preserved burial chamber, and look at the huge, man-made Silbury Hill. All for free…

If they are interested in the Romans then Hadrian’s Wall is a fantastic place to visit.  You can walk right next to sections of the wall some of which is still over the head in height (a lot of it is also non existent now).  There are many places to visit some of which is EH, some of which is not.  Vindolanda is an amazing place for a day out, it is not EH but is well worth the money.  It has been and continues to be excavated, every summer there are people digging which you can watch and ask questions of.  The musuem on site contains a mass of ‘finds’ which vary from shoes, to armour, to weapons, to household items, to jewelry, skulls and even tablets with Roman writing on.  The Vindolanda trust which owns it also has a Roman Army Musuem which you can buy a joint ticket for and you don’t need to visit both on the same day.

I have just returned from a week in North Yorkshire as part of a medieval history project that my eldest has been doing.  We visited Rievaulx Abbey, Wharram Percy Medieval Village, Pickering Castle (all EH) and a Merchant Guild Hall and Medieval House in York.  There were many more Castles and Abbeys in the area belonging to EH which we didn’t visit but could have if we wanted to.  On a previous visit we have been to the Wheeldale Roman Road which is in this area and is a mile long stretch of road that you can visibly see was ‘built’ (it is in a remote location on the moors, but not that far from a road).

Nearer to you, we love the Mary Rose exhibition, this is expensive, but well worth the money, the ship itself is just a small part of the museum the rest being the wealth of items that they dug up off the sea bed when excavating to bring the ship up.  We haven’t visited anywhere else in that area but I am sure there are many other places that it could be combined with.  The Tank Musuem in Bovington is not far away, my ds loved this when we visited a few years ago. 

I would love to visit the Ironbridge area.  There is a masses to see and do inthat area, all of it steeped in history.

We love Dover castle one of our favourite places too.
Battle Abbey and Battlefield near Hastings also a well worth visiting

We really love Berkeley Castle and Warwick Castle. Some scenes from Wolf Hall were filmed at Berkeley Castle too.

Thank you all. Warwick Castle is on my hit list and Dover Castle is near us so we go VERY often (love it every time). Hadrian’s Wall and that area sounds fab so will look into that a bit more - thank you sustainablemum… and the Mary Rose museum is totally amazing! I went there as a child when it was all newly pulled out and again just in March this year (with a friend of mine) and we most definitely are going to take the children back to Portsmouth with all its other bits and bobs (waiting for the crowds to clear again now though!) but I absolutely loved it there and could have spent a whole week exploring everything.

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