Finally the sun is shining and hopefully it’ll be no time before we can leave our coats and wellies at home and properly venture into the great outdoors. We’ve got lots planned this month including our exclusive Blooming Gardens events and medieval encampments where you can witness the drama of splintering lances in a live joust. Plus we’re hosting special events made with dad in mind for Father’s Day. If you’re seeking inspiration to get set for summer, have a read of our top picks for June.
Did you Know?
- June probably gets its name from the ancient Roman goddess Juno, who according to legend was the wife (and sister!) of Jupiter and the goddess of marriage and childbirth.
- The summer solstice is on 21 June 2017. Although in modern times some of the most famous celebrations take place at Stonehenge, there’s an old English custom of holding large bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve in Cornwall. The Golowan Festival was revived in the early 1990s and takes place in Penzance in the weeks around the solstice. If you’re planning to welcome the Solstice at the festival, why not visit nearby Chysauster Ancient Village?
- The Dunkirk evacuation was completed on 4 June 1940. Officially known as Operation Dynamo, it was masterminded from secret tunnels beneath Dover Castle. More than 330,000 troops were rescued from the advancing German army.
Be one of the first to see the upgraded Framlingham Castle
Experience the new-look Framlingham Castle this June as we unveil the £1.2 million visitor improvement project on 16 June. The conservation project includes the reinstatement of the original mezzanine level in the castle’s Poorhouse and new interpretation on the first floor. Learn about the castle’s rich history and its links to Mary Tudor, then grab a bite to eat in our brand new cafe.
Stop and smell the roses (and more) in our gardens
Nothing says summer like a walk through a blooming garden in the sunshine. We’ve got activities, expert demonstrations, games and advice from our gardening teams at several historic gardens across the country. Take a backyard tour or follow the family trail at Belsay Hall, listen to talks from experts and shop at the plant traders’ stalls at Walmer Castle. Relax in the beautifully landscaped gardens at Witley Court, watch the Perseus and Andromeda fountain fire into action, and witness magnificent birds of prey take to the skies. Even if you can’t make it to one of our events, this is the perfect time of year to pack a picnic and spend the day in an historic garden.
Treat dad with a Father’s Day in history
Don’t forget to spoil your dad on Father’s Day on 18 June. If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve pulled together some great options around the country. For the car enthusiast we’re hosting our Father’s Day Pit Stop at Wrest Park and the Classic Car Show at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens. Meanwhile the history war buff can relive the drama at our Waterloo Weekend at Apsley House. You can even give dad the chance to become a knight for the day at Bolsover Castle with our Knight’s School for Father’s Day. Or simply take time out to enjoy the view with our Kite Festival at Beeston Castle.
Events not to be missed in June
Blooming Gardens, 17-18 June, Walmer Castle and Gardens, Kent
Meet the gardeners at Walmer Castle and discover the fun facts behind one of England’s most spectacular gardens. With talks and tours for green-fingers and games and painting for the kids, it’s a family day out in the sun. Falling on Father’s Day, earn some brownie points with a gift for the avid gardener. There are plenty more events for gardening enthusiasts over the summer, too.
Cavendish’s Horses (event series), various dates in June, Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire
Watch horses refine the riding methods created by one of the great equestrian masters, William Cavendish who inherited the castle from his father, Charles. Admire the costumes of the flamboyant 17th century horsemen (think riders dressed in frills, feathers and high boots of the Cavalier period) as they demonstrate the historic style. With just four schools of classical dressage remaining in the world, Bolsover Castle is the only place in the country staging regular performances of the art.
After the Siege: The Knights Templar, 10-11 June, Dover Castle, Kent
It’s been 800 years since the Battle of Sandwich (also known as the Battle of Dover) and you’re invited to celebrate the anniversary with the Knights Templar. Watch as they polish their weapon skills and listen to stories of the infamous siege of Dover. You can find out more here about Dover Castle’s role in the great siege.
Somewhere to visit this month
OLD WARDOUR CASTLE, WILTSHIRE
Set in the peaceful Wiltshire countryside beside a lake, Old Wardour Castle, near Tisbury was once one of the most daring and innovative homes in Britain. It was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortified luxury residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment. The castle was badly damaged following the civil war and became a fashionable romantic ruin. In the 18th century it was incorporated into the landscaped grounds of the New Wardour House. Fact fans might also be interested to know that the castle was the inspiration for the one featured in the Kevin Costner film ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’! #englishheritage #heritage #oldwardour #castle #tisbury #wiltshire #ruin #landcape #countryside #britain #charity #conservation #englishheritagesites
On this day in history
8 June 793 – Lindisfarne Monastery in Northumbria is raided by Viking resulting in the death of monks.
15 June 1215 – Magna Carta sealed at Runnymede by King John.
11 June 1776 – English painter John Constable is born. He lived at 6 Well Walk in Hampstead which is now marked with a Blue Plaque.
18 June 1815 – Napoleon defeated by Wellington at Waterloo.
20 June 1837 – Victoria comes to the throne following the death of her uncle William IV.
4 June 1913 – Suffragette Emily Davison is killed by the King’s horse.