Best of British: 5 UK Heritage Sites To Rediscover
Fancy seeing the Britain of times gone by at its most impressive? We’ve got you covered. Here are five of the very best UK Heritage sites we’d recommend seeking out during your travels.
Tintagel Castle – Tintagel, Cornwall, England
According to legend, Tintagel Castle, high up on the North Cornwall coast, was the birthplace of sword-in-the-stone-pulling legend, King Arthur. Whether or not that’s true, you’ll certainly feel like a king (or queen) as you survey the South West county from the castle’s top turrets. It’s a steep climb, but the ocean views are well worth it.
Tintagel also features Dark Age remains, a gun house, family friendly events all year round, and it’s very own stretch of beach, leading to the deeply mysterious Merlin’s Cave. When you’ve reached your daily quota of discovery, there’s a lovely beach café serving up locally caught seafood, homemade cakes and of course, cream teas. Just remember not to make a foodie faux pas: in Cornwall, the jam goes on first.
Skara Brae Prehistoric Village – Sandwick, Orkney, Scotland
We can all agree that museums are brilliant, but they can’t beat actually standing in history. The Neolithic village of Skara Brae was discovered buried underneath sand dunes in 1850, making every minor metal detector find in the years since seem utterly irrelevant. Despite being around 5000 years old, the houses – and even the furniture within – remain intact, offering an unbeatable insight into the lives of those who called it home from 3200-2500 BC.
St Kilda – St Kilda, Scotland
Ever wondered what was on those islands off the Scottish coast? Turns out that one of the UK’s best-kept secrets can be found there on the archipelago of St Kilda. The last permanent residents evacuated the islands in 1930, leaving behind rare wildlife and a breathtaking landscape of soaring cliffs and lush greenery. Getting there is an adventure in itself, and the clear water and submerged caves have seen the isle attain a mythical status amongst divers.
Audley End House and Gardens – Saffron Walden, Essex, England
Time travel hasn’t been invented yet, but a trip to Audley End might be the closest thing we’ll ever actually get to being in the 18th century. This spectacular stately home has a gorgeous park and fully costumed house staff that bring the Victorian era to life. Authentic fruit, veg and flowers of the era are still grown in the organic kitchen garden and there are resident horses to say hello to in the stable block. The recently opened nursery suite has a fantastic interactive recreation, and serves to prove to kids visiting today that life really did exist before TV and the internet.
Witley Court – Great Witley, Worcestershire, England
In 1937, fire blazed through Witley Court, turning one of England’s grandest country homes into a stunning ruin, which has, perhaps a little strangely, gone on to become the site for a great family day out. Kids will go wild in the appropriately named ‘Wilderness’ play area, which comes complete with a tree house, adventure trails, outdoor musical instruments and a grass amphitheatre that is ideal for picnics. The charred remains of the house are contrasted dramatically by the perfectly manicured landscaped gardens and flourishing green woodland.