As the days start to grow longer, there are lots of reasons to get out there and explore the places where England’s history happened.
From embarking on a prehistoric quest of discovery, to hitting the trail for a scenic winter walk through England’s historic landscapes, here’s our roundup of the things you won’t want to miss this month.
Did you know?
- Author and naturalist Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury on 12 February 1809. At his country home of Down House in Kent he wrote the famous work On the Origin of Species in which he set out his theory of evolution by natural selection.
- The funeral of Queen Victoria took place on 2 February 1901. Victoria was 81 when she died at Osborne, her palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight. She wrote that ‘it is impossible to imagine a prettier spot’ than Osborne.
- The classic film Modern Times – written by, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin – was released on 5 February 1936. Last year Chaplin was commemorated with a blue plaque at his former Glenshaw Mansions flat in Kennington.
Embark on an Early Man Quest
Join Dug, Hognob and the gang from Aardman’s new film, Early Man, to follow clues and discover the prehistoric past at sites across England this February half term. Take up the challenge with your little adventurers at 13 of our historic places to win a mini model making kit.
Early Man quests are taking place at:
- Stonehenge, Wiltshire
- Audley End House, Essex
- Battle Abbey, East Sussex
- Beeston Castle, Cheshire
- Belsay Hall, Northumberland
- Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire
- Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
- Dover Castle, Kent
- Eltham Palace, London
- Framlingham Castle, Suffolk
- Old Sarum, Wiltshire
- Scarborough Castle, North Yorkshire
- Warkworth Castle, Northumberland
Set out on a winter walk through history
Some of England’s rural landscapes are at their most beautiful in winter, as frost covers the fields and the grounds of historic places invite hikers to explore. Find adventure with a longer walk on Hadrian’s Wall or the coast at Dover Castle, or take a more gentle stroll at Hampstead Heath when you visit Kenwood.
…and find some peace and quiet
Feel like you need to escape the 21st century and get some headspace this month? The ruins of a great abbey or priory are the perfect place for reflection, contemplation or just a bit of peace and quiet.
Breathe the fresh coastal air at the spectacular Whitby Abbey in Yorkshire, lose yourself among the ornate architecture of Wenlock Priory, or escape to Lindisfarne Priory, one of the most peaceful spots in England.
Get set for February half term
Looking for things to do this February half term? Fire up your family’s imagination by delving into England’s history, whatever the weather.
Embark on a Roman quest, hunt for fairies in historic gardens or learn what it takes to be a butler in a Victorian household. There are lots of events to bring the family together in the school break.
Plan a romantic day out or short break
With so many charming places to discover, there’s no excuse for chivalry to be dead this Valentine’s Day. Get struck by cupid’s arrow and fall in love with history by exploring leafy woodlands, enchanting ruins and iconic castles.
We’ve also pulled together some of the most romantic backdrops to set the mood so you can enjoy Valentine’s Day in a beautiful historical setting.
Somewhere to visit this month
Explore the vast ruins of Witley Court and its elaborate parterre gardens. Find your way through the beautiful woodlands and see the impressive Perseus & Andromeda fountain firing jets of water high into the air.
Find more inspiration for days out, events and things to do on our website.