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Things to do in August

Posted:
12 July 2018
Posted By:
English Heritage
Categories:
Things To Do

Build the ultimate sandcastle, meet Roman soldiers and experience the thrill of the joust this August. It’s one of our busiest months for events, with something to see and do every day, wherever you are.

Get started with our summer calendar which has inspiration for days out in history every day of the month.

Did you know? 🤔

  • On 24 August 1875, Matthew Webb started his attempt to become the first person to swim the English Channel. He set off from close to Dover Castle, and reached Calais at 10.40am the following morning after 22 hours in the water.
  • The first known performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth took place on 7 August 1606, for King James I. Another of Shakespeare’s plays, Henry IV, is set partly at Warkworth Castle in Northumberland which he described as “…this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone.” Discover more literary links to our places
  • The Beatles released their fifth studio album Help! on 6 August 1965. The band’s drummer Ringo Starr bought an apartment at 34 Montagu Square in Marylebone later that year. Fellow Beatle Paul McCartney also lived there briefly, before Jimi Hendrix and eventually a third Beatle, John Lennon. Lennon is now commemorated with a blue plaque at the property. If walls could talk…

Join us to celebrate England’s castles 🏰

We care for more castles than anybody else.

From Norman earthworks to mighty royal fortresses and from Cornwall to Northumberland, these castles and forts tell the turbulent and often surprising story of power, war and siege in England.

Explore the history of castles through time, learn more about medieval life, and plan a memorable day out at a castle near you. #LoveCastles 

Find a castle to visit near you 

Build a winning sandcastle 🏖️

We’re on the lookout for England’s best sandcastle builders this summer!

As part of our season celebrating and defending England’s castles, we’re challenging you to get creative and build England’s best sandcastle. Think you’ve got what it takes? Collect your #LoveCastles flag from a staffed English Heritage site, fly it on your sandy stronghold and share a photo for your chance to win a stay in one of our beautiful holiday cottages.

Full details of how to enter

Need somewhere to build your ultimate sandcastle? Try our list of historic places to visit near the beach.

Sandcastle on a beach near Pendennis Castle

Get hands-on with history 👐

There are more than 40 opportunities to delve into history with hands-on family events in August.

From lessons in Victorian seafaring with Charles Darwin at his home in Kent, to meeting the Romans at Wroxeter Roman City, find events near you and plan the best family day out in history.

Browse all our hands on history events

Visit the real inspirations for fantasy castles 📚

Our recent survey found that children’s earliest memories of castles come from fictional examples rather than real fortifications. So we’ve looked at some of the most popular castles in fantasy fiction – from Princess Peach’s Castle to Hogwarts – and highlighted the real-world equivalents you can visit for yourself.

Real fantasy castles you can visit

Beeston Castle in Cheshire, known as the ‘Castle on the Rock’, has a striking resemblance to The Eyrie from Game of Thrones. (© HBO)

Beeston Castle in Cheshire, known as the ‘Castle on the Rock’, has similarities in design and features to The Eyrie from Game of Thrones. (© HBO)

Witness a live medieval joust 🐎

This summer, we once again welcome the nation’s bravest knights to our sites for spectacular contests that demand great speed and skill from those brave enough to compete.

There are more than 20 jousts and knights’ tournaments taking place at castles, houses and abbeys across the country in August. So choose your champion and cheer them to victory.

Find an event near you 

Enjoy a family day out for under £20 👛

This time of year can be expensive, and keeping the family entertained soon adds up. But a full day out in history doesn’t need to break the bank.

Explore some of the many historic places in our care where a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) costs less than £20, including mighty Norman castles and beautiful abbey ruins.

Plan an affordable family day out

A boy and a girl climbing across one of our historic ruins.

History through your lens 📷

Lots of you shared your photos with us in July and we love to see what you get up to on your summer adventures.

Our favourite this month was posted on Instagram by Marcel the Corgi (@lecorgi). Marcel ‘corgquered’ Old Sarum in Wiltshire, the Iron Age hillfort that offers sweeping views over the Salisbury plains.

“Gained a little weight while in Salisbury…. Peasants now call me Sir Cumference 🏰😝”

Thinking of visiting? Why not make a short break of it with our guide to a weekend in Wiltshire? Explore Old Sarum, the ancient site of Avebury, the hidden gem of Old Wardour Castle, and – of course – Stonehenge. Our day-by-day itinerary includes travel tips and lots of historical stories to discover when you go.

Tag us on Instagram using #englishheritage and we might ask to feature your photo here next month.

For more inspiration from English Heritage, visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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  • About the Author

    English Heritage
    English Heritage cares for over 400 historic sites around England.

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