You don’t have to travel far in our green and pleasant land to find a spot to take some fantastic photographs. In fact, you’d be surprised by how many of the best English Heritage sites could be right on your doorstep!
Whether it’s for a day off, a sunny afternoon or even a full weekend, we’ve put together a list of eight of our favourite English Heritage sites for you to visit with your camera. There are English Heritage locations for you to visit scattered right across the country, so wherever you may be, you’ll never be too far away from a fascinating subject to capture on camera.
Osborne, Isle of Wight
There are few English Heritage locations that allow a more intimate glimpse into Victorian royal life than Osborne House, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s holiday home on the Isle of Wight. Queen Victoria once described the home by saying “It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot”. You’ll get the chance to explore everything from stately halls to the private royal apartments, Victoria and Albert’s bathing beach and more.
A stroll through the beautiful garden terraces will treat you to stunning views that are just begging to be caught on camera. What’s more, dogs (kept on a lead) are welcome in certain areas of the palatial estate, so you won’t need to leave your four-legged friends at home.
Eltham Palace, SE London
Formerly a medieval palace and then a Tudor royal residence, Eltham was later transformed into a marvelous Art Deco mansion by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. You could explore the beautifully-preserved rooms for a taste of 1930s extravagance, or take in the 19 acres of award-winning gardens. If you need to keep the little ones busy, the outdoor play area will give them a chance to run, jump and explore.
Wrest Park, Bedfordshire
Wrest Park is an English Heritage site that’s a real treat for garden lovers. You’ll be able to explore the evolution of English gardens across three centuries of design. With sweeping views and wonderful woodland walks to be enjoyed, Wrest Park is truly an experience. There are 92 acres of award-winning gardens to see, along with hidden historical gems such as the 18th Century Bowling Green House or Chinese Temple. The only problem will be deciding what to photograph first!
Tintagel Castle, Cornwall
The magical Tintagel Castle is steeped in history and myth. Take a step back into the time of King Arthur, and enjoy the stunning Cornish scenery that surrounds one of the best English Heritage sites. Delve into the enticing mix of history and legend at the site through tours of the castle, island and surrounding area.
Tintagel has been the muse of English authors, poets and even royalty for centuries, with its spectacular views inextricably intertwined with one of England’s most compelling legendary tales. So whether you’re a keen landscape photographer looking for breath-taking panoramas on the English coast, or a history buff, there’s no shortage of interesting material to capture on camera.
Audley End House, Essex
Audley End House is an excellent choice for a Bank Holiday visit. A decadent Jacobean-era mansion house, which offers a variety of activities for visitors young and old to enjoy. You’ll be treated to views of the immaculate Essex countryside, as well as the award-winning tranquil gardens. Animal lovers will get a chance to groom the horses, which always provide a majestic subject for portraiture. Children can play in the nursery and play areas, and there’s always a scrumptious afternoon tea on offer in the Servants’ Hall.
An English Heritage Site that requires no introduction, Stonehenge in Wiltshire is one of England’s most historic landmarks. It’s a 5000 year old wonder of the world, and an iconic English icon. Stonehenge is a must-see for any photographer with an interest in England or its history.
As well as the famous monument, you should also take the opportunity to explore the untouched landscape on foot, as well as the Neolithic-era buildings to get a taste of your ancestors’ life. The world-class exhibition and visitor centre is also home to 250 ancient objects and the remains of a 5500 year-old man.
Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
Whitby Abbey has been inspiring its visitors for nearly 1500 years, including some of England’s greatest artists and writers. Explore the soaring gothic ruins and follow in the footsteps of England’s first poet, Caedmon, whose only surviving work Caedmon’s Hymn was influenced by his time in the Abbey. The site was also the inspiration for one of English literature’s most famous works, Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. The ruins of the abbey sit high atop a cliff overlooking the North Sea, so if you’re planning a trip to the Whitby seaside this summer, be sure not to miss the Abbey’s stunning sea views.
Whitby Abbey has seen some improvements in recent years, including the addition of an interactive guide and a revamp of the museum. The abbey is fully accessible, and the visitors’ centre has been expanded with a bigger gift shop and new café.
Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire
Kenilworth Castle has played a significant role in England’s history for much of its 900 year life, from medieval fortress to Elizabethan palace. Scale the tower to take shots of the magnificent views, then find your feet on solid ground again by taking a leisurely wander through the Elizabethan Gardens. The Castle’s gardens were recreated in the Elizabethan style of the original gardens created by Sir Robert Dudley for the Queen to enjoy. The gardens are a beautiful haven of peace and tranquility, full of wonderful sights and smells to excite the senses. Exhibitions are run throughout the summer which make for a fun day out, truly bringing the history of the castle to life.
English Heritage Sites Map
For more information on all 382 English Heritage sites, follow the link below to find a location near you for your next day out.
Whichever of these English Heritage sites takes your fancy, be sure to remember your camera and pack a picnic for a fun-packed day for the whole family. If you’ve taken some shots you’re really proud of, why not include them in a CEWE PHOTOBOOK of your summer holidays? It’s the perfect way to treasure those memories forever.