As the crisp autumn weather arrives and leaves crunch underfoot, it’s a great time of year to get out there and explore England’s history. As we count down the days to the Christmas season, stand in the places where history happened. Whether you’d like to take a moment to reflect, or simply wander around some of England’s most beautiful autumnal gardens, we’ve got you covered this November.
Did you know? 🤔
- November’s name comes from novem, Latin for ‘nine’. This is because in the Roman calendar, November was the ninth month. Learn more about Roman life
- Charles Darwin published his seminal book On the Origin of Species on 24 November 1859. The book was written in the study of his home in Kent, which today is reinterpreted for visitors using many of his own books and other possessions. Plan your visit today
- On 28 November 1919, Nancy Astor was elected Member of Parliament for Plymouth. She was the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat, which she held for more than 25 years. Astor is commemorated with an English Heritage blue plaque at her home on St James’s Square in London. Discover more women who made history
1. Weatherproof your weekends ☔
As we move into winter, the weather becomes more changeable and who can say what the British climate has in store? But fear not. You can always enjoy great days out at our historic places, come rain or shine.
Many of our historic gardens are at their most beautiful in the colder months. As morning frost paints the lawns and landscapes silvery white, they become winter wonderlands ideal for peaceful walks that connect you with both history and nature.
Even a cloudburst doesn’t need to dampen your plans. With our guide to the top things to do on a rainy day, you can make the most of the weekends whatever the weather.
2. Celebrate ‘Origin Day’ at Down House 🔬
Join us at the home of Charles Darwin in Kent to celebrate ‘Origin Day’ with activities for the whole family. Over the anniversary weekend of the publication of On the Origin of Species, visit Darwin’s former home in Kent to enjoy specialist talks, guided tours, crafts for the kids, and the opportunity to take a close-up look at hidden gems in the collection.
3. Stir-up Sunday: The Victorian Way 👩🍳
Stir-up Sunday is 25 November, the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent, when it’s traditional for families to gather in the kitchen and take turns stirring the Christmas pudding.
So don your apron and join our Victorian cook to learn how to make your own Christmas pudding the Victorian way.
4. Plan an autumn getaway 🧳
If you’re looking for a weekend away this month, look no further than our detailed travel guides. They feature day-by-day itineraries for short breaks everywhere from Northumberland to Cornwall, ideas for where to stay, how to get around and options for extending your trip. So there’s no excuse…
5. Experience conservation live on the Iron Bridge 🔧
This pick is for adults over 18 only – especially those fascinated by the important conservation work that we do. See English Heritage’s most ambitious conservation project in action as we give you a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic Iron Bridge behind the scaffold.
Considered a symbol of the Industrial Revolution, the Iron Bridge continues to undergo an extensive restoration project to protect the important monument for future generations.
Learn about the bridge’s pioneering history as a member of staff walks you across the iconic bridge.
6. Book early for an evening of enchantment 💡
As the nights draw in, our gardens will be filled with light, colour and sound when our season of Enchanted events begins in December.
Don’t miss out on your chance to see our historic gardens transformed into an enchanted world of light and colour throughout the Christmas season. Find hidden fairies, meet the magical talking trees and get hands-on with our interactive lighting. Perfect for festive family pictures.
History through your lens last month 📷
Every month, many of you share photos of your adventures in history with us on social media. We loved this shot from Nicki (@frenchlittlebluehouse), a glimpse of autumn through the window at Mount Grace Priory.
A taste of the vibrant seasonal colours transforming historic sites all across the country this month.
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