Stonehenge

Top 8 Things To Do in England

From exploring the frontier of the Roman empire to seeing Stonehenge for yourself, here's our pick of the top 8 things to do in England.

If you're visiting from abroad, make the most of your trip with our 9 or 16 day Overseas Visitor Pass. It's valid at over 100 places and events, including Stonehenge and Dover Castle. 

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Watch the video

Enjoy footage from the ground and the air at historic sites across the country, in our Top 8 video. Fly over Hadrian's Wall in the north of England, and feel the clash of steel as knights come together in combat at one of our events.

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Sheep on Hadrian’s Wall

1. Visit Hadrian's Wall

Stretching 73 miles from sea to sea across the north of England, Hadrian's Wall is a lasting legacy of Roman Britain. Walk along what was the north-western edge of the vast Roman empire, and explore the remaining footprints of the empire's towns and forts. The settlements at Birdoswald, Housesteads, Chesters and Corbridge together make up the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site, situated in some of the most dramatic country in England. 

Plus, from April to September, enjoy the Hadrian's Cavalry exhibition series at ten venues along the length of the Wall.

Visit Hadrian's Wall
Child climbing stairs at a castle

2. Conquer a Castle

Explore more than 100 English Heritage castles, forts and defences across the country waiting to be explored. Visit Kenilworth Castle with its majestic Elizabethan garden, the dramatic ruins of Tintagel Castle steeped in Arthurian legend, and the mighty 'Key to England' at Dover.

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Battle re-enactment

3. Experience Living History

With our packed events programme, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to step into history and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of the past. Take part in a re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings, stargaze in Charles Darwin's own garden, and witness the clash of steel and sword at thrilling live jousts.

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Whitby Abbey

4. Escape to an Abbey

There's nothing quite like the serene tranquility of a monastic ruin. Explore the spectacular ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, tucked away in a valley in the North York Moors, and watch the sunset over the haunting clifftop abbey of Whitby which featured in Bram Stoker's Dracula. England's abbeys chart the story of Christianity through fourteen centuries, the former centres of incredible wealth and power now waiting to be explored. 

Find an abbey to visit
Osborne, Isle of Wight

5. Step inside a stately home

Houses, halls and palaces across the country tell the story of England's royal and noble residents, as well as those from more humble backgrounds. Discover the stories of monarchs and medieval knights, dukes and industrialists, from the rich and the famous to farmers and fishermen. Visit the art deco mansion of Eltham Palace which tells the remarkable story of the Courtaulds, and step inside Osborne on the Isle of Wight to see the home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for yourself.

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Garden at Osborne

6. Enjoy beautiful gardens

Whether immaculate Victorian parterres or broad rolling parklands are your preference, historic gardens are a chance to explore history in the open air. Discover the work of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the 18th-century pioneer who radically changed the world of landscape gardening, and visit Charles Darwin's gardens at his home in Kent, which served him both as an outdoor laboratory and a place for contemplation. 

Discover historic gardens
Roman artefact

7. Discover historical collections

Historical buildings across England house some of the finest collections of art and artefacts in the world. See the vast personal art collection of the Duke of Wellington at his London home of Apsley House, enjoy original works by Vermeer and Rembrandt at Kenwood, and learn about the story of Roman Britain through the artefacts and objects on display along Hadrian's Wall. 

Explore our collections
Stonehenge

8. Visit Stonehenge

One of the wonders of the world and perhaps the best-known neolithic monument in Europe, no visit to England is complete without seeing Stonehenge for yourself. Explore the award-winning visitor centre to get up close with archaeological finds from the Stonehenge landscape, and step inside reconstructed neolithic houses to imagine life in this part of the country more than 5,000 years ago.

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'step into englands story