Spring has well and truly arrived and many of our historic places are now open for the season ahead. Why not make the most of the warmer weather and browse our pick of spring garden highlights?
Or if the weather takes a turn for the worse, fear not. We’ve also selected some of the best rain-proof days out in history for you to enjoy this month.
Did you know? 💡
- The month of April is named after the Latin Aprilis, second month of the ancient Roman calendar. The name may comes from the Latin aperire, which means ‘to open’, as many buds and blossoms do at this time of year. Another theory says that it stems from the Ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Discover more about Roman religion
- The novelist Bram Stoker died at his London home on 20 April 1912. A blue plaque at the house now commemorates the author. His most famous tale, Dracula, was inspired in part by the gothic ruin of Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire.
- Bananas went on sale for the first time in England on 10 April 1633, when the botanist and merchant Thomas Johnson displayed a bunch in his shop in Holborn, London.
1. Plan your Easter adventure 🔎
From Saturday 6 April, join the hunt for dragon eggs on a legendary Easter quest at our historic places. Follow the trails around a historic castle, abbey or stately home, cracking the clues to find the hidden treasures. Your young adventurers will get a certificate and sticker to prove their victory, plus a chocolate treat.
2. Join us for St George’s Day 🐉
St George’s Day is on 23 April this year. Join us for a weekend of celebrations on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April as we bring the full breadth of England’s past to life.
From a march of Roman soldiers to a real medieval joust and tea with the Georgians, it’s our biggest event of the year and a hit with families. Book today to secure your place at this thrilling festival of history.
Inspired by the story of St George? Explore more of England’s amazing myths and legends on our Telling Tales page.
3. Enjoy the best days out in history all year long 📖
With our brand new handbook hot off the press, it’s the perfect time of year to consider becoming an English Heritage member. From just £3.83 per month, you’ll enjoy unlimited access to over 400 historic places, our new 2019/20 handbook and quarterly Members’ Magazine packed with stories and inspiration. Plus, kids go free.
To celebrate the launch of our new handbook, we spent some time with artist David Mankin whose painting ‘Passage‘ was commissioned for the front cover. Meet David and see behind the scenes of the painting’s creation in the short film below.
4. Lose yourself in luscious historic gardens 🌺
Our historic gardens are really coming into bloom this month. April heralds the arrival of vibrant tulips and daffodils in the Pleasure Garden at Osborne on the Isle of Wight, which was holiday home to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. New growth can be seen on the many deciduous trees at Audley End House and Gardens, while tulips will make an appearance in the newly re-imagined pleasure grounds at Walmer Castle in Kent.
Opening this month, Walmer Castle’s historic Pleasure Grounds have been re-imagined. The project was made possible by a £1.35m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, restoring two areas previously inaccessible to the public. Find out more and be among the first to see the new gardens this month.
5. Beat the April showers ☔
The British weather can be a bit wild at this time of year, but many historic places across England are ideal for a rainy day out. With indoor exhibitions, activities and cafes serving hot food and drinks, there’s something for everyone, whatever the weather.
Or if art’s your thing, head to Ranger’s House in London to see for yourself the painting that made headlines last month. Long thought to be an imitation, our conservators recently discovered that a painting in the house’s Wernher Collection comes from the studio of Botticelli himself. The painting goes on display from 1 April at Ranger’s House.
History through your lens 📷
We love to see your photos of adventures at historic places. Where better to walk in the footsteps of the people that shaped England’s story than at Battle Abbey and the 1066 battlefield?
Thanks to @Photurist on Instagram for this great shot.
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We love the footstep stories of @photurist and thrilled to see that Battle Abbey be included!⠀ ⠀ “The Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England”⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #englishheritage #battleabbey #battleofhastings #fromwhereistand #englishheritagesites #uk #britain #history #heritage #normans #saxons #charity #conservation
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