Top 5 Things To Do in September

This September, we’ve got plenty of ideas to help you step into history.

Enjoy a host of showstopping events, learn about fascinating Autumn traditions, or uncover the places which have inspired iconic English literature. Read on to discover fascinating people, must-see properties and captivating videos.

1. Get closer to history with our showstopping events

This month is packed full of exciting events at many of our historic sites across the country. Enjoy a series of relaxing Sundays enjoying the North East's finest swing, jazz and brass bands in the spectacular grounds of Belsay Hall. You might like to see graceful birds of prey swooping over historic landscapes at Audley End, Stonehenge and Framlingham Castle. Alternatively, get ready for Autumn with BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair at Audley End or experience daily life in a Norman encampment at Richmond Castle.

Plan a day out to remember this month with our varied and action-packed events programme.

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2. Have the best days out this Autumn

This Autumn discover England’s amazing past in all its atmospheric seasonal glory. Take in gorgeous views of castles and abbeys nestled in golden woodland, see country houses swathed in morning mist and wander through historic gardens ablaze with spectacular autumnal colour.

Read our list of our top Autumnal gardens to help inspire your next visit. These spaces are brought to life by their vibrant autumnal colour palette and we have several unusual seasonal features for you to spot.

With hundreds of sites across the country waiting to be discovered, autumn is the perfect time to make the most of our past.

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3. Share family experiences

It can be tricky choosing where best to take your family on an inspiring day out in history. To help you decide, we’ve consulted our visitors and compiled a list of our top ten sites, accompanied by their personal comments on what makes these places so special to visit with your family.

Looking for a day out which includes a space for children to play? We've picked out our favourite outdoor play areas so any little adventurers can burn off their extra energy, in between letting their imaginations run wild at a historic castle, abbey or house.

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4. Uncover our sites with literary links

Throughout the centuries, the places that we care for have left their mark on England's history and literature. They've inspired some of the greatest writers, poets and playwrights, with several sites even making an appearance in their works. These include Bram Stoker’s Dracula running up the steps towards Whitby Abbey or William Shakespeare's Henry IV featuring several scenes set at Warkworth Castle. Even the more contemporary work of George RR Martin draws inspiration from his 1981 trip to Hadrian's Wall, evident in Game of Thrones’ huge ice wall.

Use our guide to sites with links to English literature and plan your next visit to one of our fascinating historic places that continue to spark imaginations to this day.

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5. Prepare for battle at Hastings

The one and only Battle of Hastings re-enactment returns for 2023. Taking place on the very spot where King Harold and Duke William fought in 1066, over 300 reenactors will be recreating the drama and intensity of this legendary conflict.

Explore the encampments of both armies on either side of the historic battlefield, and get up close and personal with Saxon and Norman soldiers. There's plenty for kids to enjoy, from storytelling and have-a-go archery to training in our sword schools.

We recommend booking tickets in advance as the Battle of Hastings is by far our most popular event of the year.

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The month in history

  • Poet Siegried Sassoon was born on the 8 September 1886. He is best remembered for his First World War poems, first published as a collection in 1919. His former home in Kensington is now marked with a blue plaque.
  • On 21 September 1915 Stonehenge was bought at auction by local landowner Mr Cecil Chubb, who three years later gave it to the nation. Find out more about this significant auction and the restoration of Stonehenge here.
  • Queen Elizabeth I was born on 7 September 1533. The medieval fortress at Kenilworth Castle was transformed into a luxurious Palace to impress the Queen. Visitors today can walk in her footsteps on the castle walls, Elizabethan Garden and Leicester's Building.
  • On 2 September 1666 the Great Fire of London famously began at a baker’s shop in Pudding Lane and raged for several days until it was eventually extinguished. The fire resulted in the loss of more than 13,000 medieval buildings, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • England’s most celebrated Naval officer Horatio Nelson was born on the 29 September 1759. A blue plaque marks his home at 103 New Bond Street in London, where he lived in 1798.

More to Explore

  • Inspire Me

    Our historic sites offer something for everyone. Here we have gathered some of our favourite features, events and things to do to inspire your next visit.


    Join presenter Charles Rowe as we bring the history of our sites to life with news, views and expert interviews across over 150 episodes.

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