Things to Do


Spring is now well underway and we’re looking forward to opening more of our historic places towards the end of the month.

Whether you’re staying at home or able to visit one of our properties for local recreation or exercise, we’ve got plenty of ideas to help you step into history this March. Read on to discover inspirational activities, fascinating reads and the latest picks from our YouTube channel.

The month in history

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, was burnt at the stake on 21 March 1556. His religious views opposed those of the Catholic queen, Mary I, who had been crowned three years earlier. Mary learned of her new regal appointment while staying at Framlingham Castle.
  • The first international rugby football match, played between England and Scotland, was held in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place on 27 March 1871. England's love of sport has a rich history. Find out more in our article, Heroes and Highlights of Sports History in England.
  • Two days later on 29 March 1871, the Royal Albert Hall theatre was opened in South Kensington, London, by Queen Victoria. Victoria had many royal residences throughout England, but she delighted in spending her summers by the seaside at her holiday home, Osborne, on the Isle of Wight.
  • Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh was born on 30 March 1853. He spent some time in Stockwell in South West London in the 1870s, and today a blue plaque commemorates his stay.

1. Gardens in bloom this march

Some of our sites are open for local visits, with more to follow towards the end of the month. From daffodils and snowdrops to crocuses and tulips, let the season’s vibrant colours reinvigorate you as we head into spring.

You can find out which properties are open, but please check the individual property pages for the latest opening details, and remember to follow the government’s latest advice on travel.

Spring garden highlights

2. Kids love history at home

With schools due to reopen this month, the pressure of home schooling will be off for many. But if you’d like to keep your kids engaged with fun home learning, our educational history resources will help you through the months ahead.

We've got 10 suggestions for smoother schooling for mums and dads, fun historical quizzes for your little ones and our popular YouTube series History at Home Live! with Ben Shires for the whole family. Feeling creative? Crafts, historical make and bakes and colouring-in downloads are also on offer to keep the kids busy.

Discover History at Home

3. Celebrate women for Women's History Month

We've come a long way in acknowledging - and celebrating - the lives of women from England's past. But there are plenty more achievements to uncover, and we're bringing many of these stories to you online. This month is Women's History Month so what better time to dig deep into some of the triumphs and tribulations of our nation's remarkable women.

Find out about groundbreaking female archaeologists, the formidable nurses at Wrest Park, and the treatment of women accused of witchcraft. Plus we're putting a spotlight on the trailblazing women who fought for women's rights, heroic war correspondents and secret agents and some of the monarchy's most famous female faces.

Join us for Women's History Month

4. Bake the Victorian way with our new recipe

Long before the Great British Bake Off or MasterChef, Avis Crocombe was whipping up 19th-century delicacies for the Braybrooke family at Audley End House. Fast forward to 2021 and we're bringing her recipes to life on our YouTube series The Victorian Way.

This month try your hand at our latest recipe, Spotted Dick, which is simple and easy to make at home. Join Mrs Crocombe for step-by-step instructions to recreate this Victorian favourite. And while you're visiting our channel, don't forget to check out the full range of historical recipes, from trifle to pigeon pie.

Watch on YouTube

5. Royal babies and family life at Osborne

With the arrival of Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank's son, August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, take a look at the lives of royal babies through history. You might be surprised to learn that much of the way modern royals are raised follows the examples set by their ancestors – particularly Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

In this article our historian Andrew Hann explains what it takes to raise a royal and how the Victorians revolutionised child's play. Feeling inspired? Plan a visit to the grounds of Queen Victoria's holiday home on the Isle of Wight, Osborne, where her royal children spent many holidays away from the glare of the public eye.

Read our article

Check before you travel

A selection of our sites are now open for local people to use for exercise during the lockdown period. These are a mixture of free-to-enter and paid sites, and all have plenty of outdoor space for safe social distancing.

Please stay local and follow the latest government advice.

Before visiting, please also check the page for the individual site to ensure that it's open. Visits to paid sites must be booked in advance.

See which sites are open
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