Posted 23rd March
#EnglishTourismWeek seems the ideal time to celebrate some of England's best tourist spots
Here, courtesy of Visit Heritage, are a few of the standout places you should consider visiting:
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Take the chance to dive into Alnwick Castle's wonderful medieval history in the Knight's Quest arena, which is complete with dressing up, swordplay, medieval crafts and traditional games. You may also recognise it from the Harry Potter films, where it was used as the location for Hogwarts. For true Potter-fans, there will be seasonal Potter-inspired magic shows, alchemy experiments and dragon walkabouts.
Holkham Hall, Norfolk
Standing at the heart of a thriving 25,000 acres estate on the north Norfolk coast, Holkham Hall is an elegant 18th century Palladian style house, which is based on designs made by William Kent and was built by Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. The house is privately-owned and remains the residence of the Earls of Leicester now. The Marble Hall is a spectacular introduction to this imposing building, with its 50ft pressed plaster dome ceiling and walls of English alabaster, not marble as you might think. The state rooms display superb collections of ancient statuary, original furniture, tapestries and paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Claude, Gaspar Poussin and Gainsborough.
Beaulieu Estate, Hampshire
Beaulieu Estate is home to the National Motor Musuem, which traces the history of motoring from 1894 to the present day. Over 250 vehicles are on display, with plenty of transport-themed rides to enjoy; highlights include a mile-long, high-level monorail and a replica 1912 London open-top bus. There will also be a chance for parents to arrange a visit to the Estate's vineyards to raise a glass to the day.
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a true architectural masterpiece, and is also home to over 2,000 acres of parkland and formal gardens. The piece-de-resistance is a ride on a miniature train to The Pleasure Gardens, which is a dedicated family area, complete with a giant hedge maze, butterfly house and adventure playground.
Hampton Court Palace, London
Seize the chance to step back in time some 500 years and enter the flamboyant world of King Henry VIII. There will be some fabulous tapestries, exquisite paintings and opulent interiors, while you can discover the vast kitchens which fed a huge court under King Henry's reign. Outside, there are 60 acres of riverside gardens to enjoy, along with a world-famous maze - don't get lost!
The Shakespeare Family Homes, Stratford-upon-Avon
Visit Shakespeare's birthplace, the Tudor townhouse where it all began, and discover Anne Hathaway's Cottage, a beautiful thatched cottage and the family home of Shakespeare's wife. You can embark on a quest to discover traditional orchards, woodland walks, and a heart shaped lavender maze, before you head off to Mark Arden's Farm, the childhood home of Shakespeare's mother. Children will love the chance to step back in time to encounter the authentic sights, sounds and smells of a working farm in Shakespeare's day, and there will be the chance to get involved with Tudor residents to take part in traditional rural skills.
Harewood House, Yorkshire
One of the Treasure Houses of England, the historic Georgian property will sit within 'Capability' Brown designed landscapes with a remarkable view from the award-winning Terraces. You'll be able to come inside and be blown away by rare Chippendale furniture and jaw-dropping interior designs in the State Rooms. Be sure you give enough time to explore the well-trodden corridors of Below Stairs - this is a place where young kitchen hands can dress up and discover life as a servant, or alternatively, can explore the changing programme of contemporary art exhibitions in the Terrace Gallery.
Image courtesy of Kippa Matthews and Harewod House Trust
The Tower of London
The grim reputation, gory tales and intriguing cast of characters provide endless entertainment for families, with the more squeamish visitors able to marvel at the 23,578 gems of the Crown Jewels. You can visit ravens and hear the legend behind them to complete the visit.
Longleat House was the UK's first Stately Home to open to the public in 1949. The star of the show for families is the Safari Park, which takes visitors unbelievable close to the world's most impressive animals. Keep your eyes peeled for lions, take in a giraffe, and observe a lemur, and get lost in the Longleat hedge Maze to finish off the perfect day.
New Lanark World Heritage Site, South Lanarkshire
New Lanark World Heritage Site is a fascinatingly restored 18th century mill village on the River Clyde, giving families the chance to travel back in time on the Annie McLeod Experience dark ride, featuring mill girl Annie who magically appears and tells the story of her life and times in New Lanark in 1820. Children dress up and learn about what it was like to go to school in Annie McLeod’s time and can visit the Village Shop to find out about shopping in the past.
Images and information courtesy of Visit Heritage