Situated at Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known landmarks in the whole of the UK. Try staying nearby and you will have the opportunity to experience this mysterious structure first hand.
Scholars and historians have long debated the purpose and origin of the circle of monolithic stones.
It was originally thought that people in the Neolithic period, when it was constructed, would not have had the means to lift and transport the huge stones.
Recently it has been argued that the construction could have been carried out by hand using leverage and early technology. It has been theorised that Stonehenge was meant as an observatory, a burial ground, a place of healing, or a place of worship.
Whatever your religious beliefs, it’s impossible not to be stunned by the sheer beauty of York Minster. The Gothic cathedral is located in the ancient city of York. Although the site has had a place of worship located on it since about 630AD, construction on the Minster we see today was begun in around 1230 and completed in 1472.
It was constructed in a cruciform shape, common to many other buildings of Christian worship. The cathedral boasts some of the most beautiful and elaborate stained glass windows in the country, some of which date back as far the 12th century.
It also contains the Great East Window, the largest example of medieval stained glass in the world.
Portmeirion is one of the most unique villages in the UK and a great place to visit. This village is located on the west coast of Wales but has a Mediterranean appearance, said to have been inspired by the designer Sir Clough Williams-Ellis’ love of Portofino in Italy.
The style of architecture and the colours are unlike any other place in the country and Portmeirion has inspired many writers, musicians and TV producers. It is most well-known as the filming location of “The Village” in 1960s TV series The Prisoner.
The village is an extremely popular tourist spot, perfect for a day out or a longer stay if you wish.
Birthplace of William Shakespeare and home to the Royal Shakespeare Company, the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon has long been a popular tourist attraction and a fascinating place to be.
The town’s connection to one of the most famous English playwrights has ensured its enduring appeal and prominence – it’s impossible to walk a few yards in the town without being reminded of its most celebrated son. See five houses that featured in his life, including his place of birth, place of death and his wife’s home, and walk the streets where he may have been inspired to write an early play or sonnet.
Apart from the Shakespeare connection, the town is a lovely location with many beautifully preserved medieval buildings.
Bath is a World Heritage Site and the location of the UK’s only hot springs. Following the Roman occupation of Britain in 4AD, the original Bathhouse was built upon these springs. The Great Bath is still there today in remarkably well-preserved condition. Other sights include the Roman Temple and the Sacred Spring, which was worshipped by the Celts.
Many of the most important sites can be found below street level and have been excavated and restored extensively over the years. Since the city was once a busy Roman town, there is plenty to see in the way of artefacts and many of them are housed in the city’s museums.
Although the water that flows through the original Roman baths is not open to the public, you can visit the Thermae Bath Spa which allows you to experience the thermal baths and hot springs as the Romans would have. For history lovers, a visit to the town will be a great experience.
This imposing medieval structure is situated in Warwick in the West Midlands and overlooks the River Avon. Its initial construction was ordered by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century, but it was added to right up until the 18th century to become the magnificent structure that we see today.
The castle is a popular tourist attraction and plays host to many events including concerts, ghost hunts, archery displays, bird shows, jousting and much more. Warwick Castle also contains one of the world’s largest and most powerful siege engines, and boasts a collection of armoury that is regarded as second only to that of the Tower of London.
Experience medieval splendour in one of the UK’s most spectacular buildings; Warwick Castle.
Hampton Court Palace
Location: Richmond Upon Thames
Hampton Court Palace is located in the London borough of Richmond Upon Thames. It was originally built circa 1514 and was enlarged by King Henry VIII, its most well known royal resident, during his reign. From around 1525 to 1760, it was the London home of the monarchy, and was opened to the public by Queen Victoria in 1838.
The former royal palace is famous for two things; its hedge maze and its numerous reported ghost sightings. The huge maze covers a third of an acre of the grounds and is estimated to have been planted in the 1680s.
As the building is most closely associated with Henry VIII, it is thought to be haunted by the ghosts of his household. It is said that the corridors of Hampton Court play host to the bloodcurdling screams of Catherine Howard, Anne Boleyn with her head tucked beneath her arm, children in 17th century clothing, ghostly soldiers, spectral figures in robes, and the spirit of Henry himself.
Edinburgh Castle perches on top of Castle Rock, overlooking the Scottish capital with an air of majestic authority. The rock has been utilised as a stronghold for more than three thousand years.
The castle that we see there today dates mostly back to the 16th century, when the fortifications were rebuilt and strengthened after the medieval structure was largely destroyed by artillery bombardment. An original section of the castle, St Margaret’s Chapel, is the oldest building in Edinburgh. It dates right back to the 12th century and the reign of King David I.
The castle has a long and colourful military history and was used as a prison for over 80 years, until 1923. Today it is a very popular attraction and is visited by many tourists every single year.
There is still a largely ceremonial military presence at the castle, and the building is the backdrop to the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo.