With a glorious history and rich cultural heritage, England is home to many heritage attractions, commemorative memorials, interactive museums and more than 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Its rich history reveals a myriad of mythical and fabled characters, tyrannical leaders and legendary kings. Moreover, the country provides the opportunity to discover thatched Tudor houses and spacious Victorian squares, Neolithic mounds and Roman ruins, historic towns, prehistoric remains, and spooky medieval gaols.
Places of History to Visit in England
The Famous Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral
In 2015, the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Great Charter was observed. You can discover the history behind its creation and how it impacted democracy by seeing its last surviving copies, which are on display at Lincoln Castle and Salisbury Cathedral. You can see a re-enactment of the battle due to which the Magna Carta was drawn up at Hedingham Castle in Essex. A flotilla of 200 boats sailed along the River Thames in 2015 to mark this historic anniversary.
Discover Lincoln Castle’s Medieval Walls
You will have a great, unforgettable experience if you walk around Lincoln Castle’s medieval walls to get amazing views of the city and to discover nearly 1,000 years of history.
As you walk along the walls, you will be navigating paths that were first built by William the Conqueror in 1068, offering spectacular views over rural Lincolnshire or across the city right up to the stunning Lincoln Cathedral. This English castle offers a treasure trove of history and reveals how it was used over the years, including its use as a Victorian prison.
The underground of the castle also contains one of only four remaining original copies of the 1215 Magna Carta that you can see. Also learn about its history through an immersive movie.
Experience the Longest Essex Heritage Railway
At the Epping Ongar Railway, you can ride on running steam and diesel engines between historically conserved stations that will take you through a forest and countryside. It is an award winning heritage railway and is the longest in Essex and closest to London.
You can also experience a ride on an exclusive vintage bus, serving Epping’s Central Line station and enjoy a fantastic family day out on three different types of heritage transport running between two historic towns. Moreover, a variety of popular special events take place at the railway throughout the year including spectacular galas, family fun, Halloween Ghost Trains, Santa Specials and 1940s themed days.
Discover Ventnor Botanic Garden
Though not strictly a historical attraction I recommend a visit to Ventnor Botanic Garden, to see its exotic plant collection, while experiencing the incredible microclimate of the Isle of Wight.
Built on the erstwhile Royal National Hospital premises, the gardens offer many features from the time when the hospital was in use, especially a long underground tunnel that runs out to the cliff-edge, which was originally used for rubbish disposal. You can see many amazing plants such as giant ferns and water lilies in the beautiful gardens that are arranged into different themed plant collections.
You can learn about the history of the site and gardens at the visitor centre and you can have a refreshing drink and a bite at the Plantation Room Café and Edulis Restaurant. Regular exhibitions of art and unique plants are held throughout the year as are other events such as the Hope Festival in October.
Take a Free Cycle Tour to Discover Portsmouth’s History
Take a guided cycle tour to discover 800 years of Portsmouth’s history, especially that of its famous occupants, landmarks and its other attractions responsible for its fame. Some of history’s greatest people and biggest events have been connected with Portsmouth ever since it was given its Royal charter in 1194. During the tour you can either follow in the footsteps of its most famous women or explore the grand and beautiful architecture of Southsea. It is an ideal spot to visit on a sunny, summer evening.
Discover the Treasures at the Merseyside Maritime Museum
The Merseyside Maritime Museum is full of history and mechanical invention that you can visit if you go to Liverpool and spend an exciting day there. It is more than just a museum as it has plenty of architectural and mechanical invention, having been founded in 1862 when a ship model was gifted to the Mayer Museum, the forerunner of Liverpool Museum.
A large number of treasures relating to seafaring, sea travel and the port of Liverpool have been collected at the museum ever since its opening. The permanent and temporary exhibitions are held at Warehouse Block D which is part of the museum as also the Canning Graving Docks, historic cargo handling equipment at the Piermaster’s House and ships in Canning Half-Tide Dock. While at the museum you can have a look at the Maritime Archives and Library that has an extensive collection of maritime books and documents relating to three centuries.
Visit the Milestones Living History Museum and Journey Back in Time
If you wish to put the clock back to see how life was as a Victorian or in the Second World War, you can visit Milestones Living History Museum and watch the cobbled streets springing back to life with characters in traditional dress. You can also peep into shops and houses and experience the past from the Victorian era to the 1960's and the time when there were no mobile phones or the Internet. You can also experience the sweets that were commonly sold in the 1940's confectionery shops, where ration coupons were traded for lemon sherbets. You can even dress up as a Victorian and get yourself clicked if you have a camera. At the end, you can visit the Edwardian Baverstock Arms where you can relax with a cold drink, tea or coffee and think about all that has changed since the Victorian times.