February Half Term

10 sites to visit this February half-term

Whether it's an activity packed, history-filled or budget-friendly day out you're looking for, here are some of the best English Heritage places to go with the kids to make history this half-term. 

1. Come face to face with the civil war at Bolsover Castle

15 min drive from Chesterfield | By train: Chesterfield 6 miles | Bus: visit traveline.info 

Kids will love: interactive exhibitions, castle-themed play area, half-term events

Be transported to the Stuart age of extravagance at Bolsover Castle. Explore the riding school and roam the gardens and ruined Terrace Range and take in the stunning countryside views from the restored wall walk.

Families will love the interactive exhibition in the stables, and kids can let their imaginations run wild in the castle-themed play area which is located next to the café so the adults can refuel before exploring more of this grand castle.

Make history at Bolsover Castle

2. Get creative at Stonehenge

18 min drive from Salisbury | By train: Salisbury 9.5 miles | Bus: Wilts and Dorset Tour Service thestonehengetour.info

Kids will love: interactive exhibitions, hands-on activities, lots of open space, half-term events

Experience the unforgettable atmosphere of the Stone Circle and follow in the footsteps of the prehistoric people who lived here 4,000 years ago as you walk among the Neolithic houses. Dig deeper in the world-class exhibition and take time to explore the monuments and mysteries of the wider Stonehenge landscape.

Everyone can enjoy Stonehenge; we've got a dedicated visitor centre which is perfect to warm up after viewing the magnificent stones. Why not treat yourself to a meal in the restaurant too.

Make history at Stonehenge

3. Experience life living in a country house at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

16 min drive from Doncaster | By train: Doncaster 5.5 miles | Bus: visit traveline.info 

Kids will love: pleasure gardens, lots of open space, half-term events

Brodsworth Hall was built in the 1860s for the Thellusson family, but as the family’s fortune diminished, the house and gardens gradually fell into decline and disrepair.

Today, the Victorian pleasure gardens have been expertly restored to their former glory, and are the perfect place for a family adventure in the fresh air. The house has been gently conserved to tell the stories of the generations of people who lived and worked here. During the winter the house is closed, but the servant quarters remain open. The gardens are the perfect place for a winter stroll through the statue walks, the fern dell grotto and the beautiful dells.

Make history at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

4. Travel back to the Victorian times at Audley End House and Gardens

5 min drive from Saffron Walden | By train: Audley End 1.25 miles | Bus: visit traveline.info

Kids will love: playground, working stables, lots of open space, hands-on activities and half-term events

Audley End boasts spacious grounds and one of England’s grandest mansions. Whether you’re exploring the servant’s wing, state rooms, stables, kitchen garden or beautiful grounds, you’ll discover what life was like above and below stairs at a Victorian country house.

There’s plenty for families to do, with a playground, working stables and acres of Capability Brown parkland to enjoy.

After exploring Audley, treat yourself in the cafe or use our dedicated picnic area while the kids are exploring the playground.

Make History at Audley End House and Gardens

5. Learn how to swing a Medieval sword at Dover Castle

2 min drive from Dover Town Centre | By train: Dover Priory 1.5 miles | Bus: visit traveline.info

Kids will love: interactive exhibitions, secret tunnels, rooftop views, lots of open space, half-term events

Set atop the famous white cliffs, Dover Castle was built soon after 1066 and remains one of the best kept fortresses in England. At its heart lies a history of royal intrigue, epic sieges and to the biggest evacuation in military history, evacuating hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from Dunkirk

Inside the castle walls you can discover 80 acres of grounds, battlements, an immersive exhibition in the Secret Wartime Tunnels and a recreated medieval palace – including royal bedchambers and Kings’ Hall complete with throne - before climbing the roof for amazing panoramic views.

Dover Castle has toilets, disabled access and a dedicated picnic space. The property is a short walk from the town centre so you can finish your day with a delicious meal by the coast.

Make History at Dover Castle

6. Rule over the land at Beeston Castle

28 min drive from Chester | By train: Chester 11 miles | Bus: visit traveline.info

Kids will love: lots of open space, hilltop views, secret spots and hiding places

Crowning a rocky crag high above the Cheshire Plain and boasting spectacular views, Beeston is one of the most dramatically sited medieval castles in England.

On a clear day, you can see all the way from the Pennines to the Welsh mountains. With a 4,000-year history, a replica Bronze Age roundhouse and a 40-acre woodland park.

Completing those steep inclines deserves a treat. As you head back down, you can decide whether you fancy a light lunch or a coffee and cake in the cafe.

Make History at Beeston Castle and Woodland Park

7. Follow in the footsteps of King Arthur at Tintagel Castle

On Tintagel Head, 600 metres along steep uneven track from Tintagel on foot | Bus: visit traveline.info

Kids will love: footbridge, coastal views, beaches with rock pools and caves

Immerse yourself in history, myth and stunning scenery at Tintagel Castle on Cornwall's rugged north coast.

Inextricably linked with the legend of King Arthur, for centuries this dramatic castle and coastline has fired the imaginations of writers, artists, and even the brother of a king. Now it's your turn to be inspired.

Tintagel Castle is a historic site situated on the clifftops of North Cornwall. Due to the rugged coastal landscape, there are steep slopes, sheer drops and uneven surfaces which can present a challenge to visitors.

Make History at Tintagel Castle

8. Find the perfect picnic spot at Wrest Park

23 min drive from Bedford | By train: Flitwick 4 miles | Bus: visit traveline.info

Kids will love: play area, lots of open space, interesting gardens

From dazzling parterres and fragrant borders to sweeping countryside views and idyllic woodland walks, Wrest Park is a real treat for the senses. Trace the evolution of the English garden as you stroll through three centuries of landscape design, wander along the show-stopping Long Water and spot hidden garden buildings as you explore the grounds.

Make history at Wrest Park

9. Be a Lord or Lady at Kenwood

Hampstead Lane | By train: London Overground Gospel Oak or Hampstead Heath | Bus: visit traveline.info

Kids will love: lots open space, hands-on activities, fancy dress, self-guided trail

Crowning Hampstead Heath, Kenwood is one of London's hidden gems. Roam the beautiful parkland and take in the majesty of this neo-Classical villa. Inside the house, you’ll find a stunning world-class art collection featuring masters like Vermeer, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner and Constable.

Kenwood has its own cafe and facilities so you can enjoy an extraordinary day out with the family.

Make history at Kenwood

10. Stir the imagination at Portchester Castle

6 min drive from Portchester | By train: Portchester 1 mile | Bus: visit traveline.info

Kids will love: interactive exhibitions, the castle's keep, recreated theatre stage, lots of open space

This fascinating site overlooking Portsmouth harbour has been a Roman fortress, a Norman stronghold, a royal palace and even a prisoner of war camp during the Napleonic Wars.

Discover what life was like for the soldiers held here with sound installations, marvel at the well-preserved remains of the Roman fort, give your best peformance on the recreated French prisoner's stage and climb to the top of the 30-metre (100 ft) keep to take in breathtaking views over the Solent. Make the most of the wide open grounds and castle courtyard, and enjoy a family picnic surrounded by history.

Make History at Portchester Castle

More to explore

  • What's On

    Meet characters from the past for historical hijinks and hands-on shenanigans at our sites across the country.

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  • Family Days Out

    Enjoy a day out for the whole family with 400 sites to choose from across the UK. 

  • Inspire Me

    Fire up your imagination and be inspired by the surprising stories and history revealed at our sites. 

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