The new year begins here and brings with it lots of opportunities to get out and stand where history happened. Get away from the Christmas clamour with a winter walk between beautiful historic places. Enjoy an adventure with the family for under £20 with our round-up of cost-saving days out, and discover the new exhibition at Stonehenge all about shared experiences.
What are you waiting for?
Did you know? 🤔
- London became the first city in the world to be lit by gas lighting in January 1807. Thirteen lamps were installed along Pall Mall, which by the 1820s had expanded to 40,000 along 215 miles of London’s streets. More about the illuminating history of lighting
- The now-classic horror novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was published anonymously by Mary Shelley on 1 January 1818. Tilbury Fort on the bank of the Thames features in the story, one of many historic places that feature in literature.
- The Representation of the People Bill passed the House of Lords on 10 January 1918, granting the vote to women for the first time, though they had to be over 30 years of age and meet a property ownership requirement. The demands of the Pankhursts and other campaigners were fully realised ten years later when all women over the age of 21 were given equal voting rights.
1. Get some headspace with a winter walk ❄️
Escape the crowds this winter when you set out on a winter walk between some of England’s historic sites.
In Devon, Yorkshire or Shropshire, these easy-to-follow routes guide you through some of the country’s most beautiful natural landscapes. Walk among the towering arches of Rievaulx Abbey or cross the newly-restored Iron Bridge in Shropshire.
Find a walk near you:
- Devon: Berry Pomeroy Castle to Totnes Castle
- North Yorkshire: Rievaulx Abbey to Helmsley Castle
- North Yorkshire: York Cold War Bunker to Clifford’s Tower
- Shropshire: Wenlock Priory to the Iron Bridge
2. Plan a day out for less 💸
After the Christmas period, purse strings can be tight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and enjoy fun-filled days out at our sites.
Travel back through 16 centuries of history at Pevensey Castle in East Sussex. Get a glimpse of monastic life with the immersive VR experience at St Augustine’s Abbey. Climb the mighty ramparts of an Iron Age hillfort at Old Sarum for panoramic views of rural Wiltshire.
Explore the places where you can enjoy a family day out for under £20.
Enjoy unlimited entry from £4 a month
Make the most of the new year with English Heritage membership. Enjoy free entry to over 400 historic places, free or reduced tickets to our events, your members’ handbook and magazine, and much more. Join Today
3. See 150 years of family memories at Stonehenge 📷
Stonehenge is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world, and every year millions of visitors capture photos (and selfies!) at the ancient monument.
Now, a new exhibition at the Visitor Centre explores the history of these images. From what may the first family photo ever taken there, in 1875, to modern images of families and friends, Your Stonehenge tells the story of the ancient stones as a backdrop to special memories.
Plan your visit and capture a memory of your own.
4. Hunt for 950+ blue plaques in London 🔵
You can’t go far in London without seeing a blue plaque commemorating the place where a notable person lived or worked. In 2019, we unveiled a number of new blue plaques to famous Londoners including musician Bob Marley, war correspondent Martha Gellhorn and the writer Gertrude Bell.
Explore all 950+ London blue plaques on our website and see how many you can find.
5. Discover the lost voices of Hadrian’s Wall 🏺
In the latest episode of our Speaking with Shadows podcast, join Josie Long at Birdoswald Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall as she uncovers the lives of people who lived at the frontier of the Roman Empire.
In this conclusion to the series, Josie speaks to historians Andrew Roberts and Frances McIntosh about burial urns discovered in a nearby field which offer an intriguing insight into the lives and deaths of women and children living on the Wall.
History through your lens 📸
We love this stunning shot of a fiery sunrise over Hadleigh Castle in Essex, captured last month by Instagram user Matt Chapman.
Hadleigh was begun in about 1215 by Hubert de Burgh, but extensively refortified by Edward III during the Hundred Years War, becoming a favourite residence of the ageing king. Today the castle is enjoyed not only for its story, but also the spectacular views it offers across the Thames estuary.
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