Inspire Me
Image: Young girl running barefoot across a lawn at Walmer Castle and Gardens

Make sense of history

With warmer, brighter days here at last, it’s the perfect time to start planning your next visit. This summer, we’re encouraging you to explore our historic sites using your five senses to connect more deeply with the past.

Browse our gallery of the 50 best ways to explore using your senses and download a shorter version to take with you to your nearest English Heritage site.


We’ve pulled together 50 of the best ways to immerse yourself in history using your sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Be inspired by our gallery below and use our shorter download to help plan your visit.

Let us transport you back in time to enjoy the same experiences as those who have gone before.

Find your nearest site
Image: Adult and child taking a selfie in the gardens of Kenilworth Castle

Historic gardens in summer

This summer, immerse yourself in sights, sounds and scents that have been enjoyed for hundreds of years.

Throughout June, we invite you to join us as we bring 12 of our gardens’ stories back to life through sensational gardener-led tours that focus on their sights, sounds and scents. 

Find out more
Image: visitor smelling flowers at Walmer Castle with a sign that reads: 'Warning. Smelling these flowers will transport you back in time'


Download our guide to help enjoy the senses of history on your next visit to a site. From smelling flowers to listening to the crunch of footsteps in a garden, experience and connect with our historic places in new ways.

Download our guide (PDF 2.65MB)
Image: Sign at Audley End House and Gardens reading 'Caution: This view will live long in the memory'

Sign of the times

To provide inspiration as you let your senses explore our sites, we have reintroduced the much-loved ‘Ministry of Works’ signs. Often censorious in the past, the new signs are a playful update on the original – cautioning visitors not to miss out on sensory experiences, such as removing their shoes and standing where history happened or appreciating memorable views that have remained unchanged for centuries.

Be sure to look out for them at our sites and do as they say!

Image: bridge at Wrest Park

Seven Features that trick the senses

Gardens have always been designed to inspire surprise and wonder to their visitors. Discover features at our sites which impressed and surprised, tricked the eyes and questioned perceptions.

Find out more


  • The English Heritage Podcast

    Join presenter Charles Rowe as we bring the history of our sites to life with news, views and expert interviews across over 200 episodes.

  • Spacious Places

    Here are some of the places where it's easiest to explore history in the open air away from the crowds.

  • Days Out with Dogs

    There are plenty of dog-friendly sites across the whole of England for you to enjoy alongside your furry friends.

  • Join English Heritage

    Enjoy unlimted access to our glorious gardens and historic sites with an annual English Heritage membership. 

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