This post is a contribution from Tyra Sullivan. Check out her recommendations if you are planning a visit to the UK!
Even if you’ve spent your whole life living in the UK, there are probably many incredible historical sites that you haven’t visited. Here are some of my tips for those who would like to discover the history of the country that Groupon say attracts over 40 million tourists every year!
1. Stonehenge, England
No list of exciting historical UK sites would be complete without mentioning the most famous of them all (apart from Buckingham Palace perhaps). Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument, featuring a ring of standing stones each at around 13 feet high and weighing 25 tonnes! Its origins are shrouded in mystery. Although, you won’t be able to touch the stones or even get close to them as they are exceedingly fragile and historically valuable.
2. Stratford-upon-Avon, England
As the birthplace, primary home and burial site of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon contains several fascinating historical sites related to the Bard. Including Shakespeare’s grave, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Hall’s Croft and Shakespeare’s birthplace.
Once you have finished touring the historical landmarks, you will be able to enjoy Stratford’s other wonderful locations. Whether you enjoy shopping or being in the great outdoors, there is something for everyone. Of course, a visit to Stratford wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the theatre, so check out the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company for some of the most traditional and authentic interpretations of Shakespeare you will be able to experience anywhere. Afterwards, you can sit by the Avon River and enjoy a nice refreshing beer!
3. Battle Abbey, England
Visit one of the most famous battle sites in England, and discover what happened in October 1066 during the Battle of Hastings. This battle was one of the most critical and world-shaping events of British history: fought between the Norman-French army of William and the English army of Harold, the actions of the battle began the Norman invasion of England.
Today you can visit the battlefield and roam the ruins of the abbey which was later built by William the Conqueror to mark the spot of his success. The site is run by the English Heritage Foundation, which often puts on exciting events and shows which are fantastic for encouraging children to learn more about history. Bring a picnic in summer and imagine the ill-fated battle as you munch on your egg and cress sandwiches.
4. Caernarfon Castle, Wales
Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in North-West Wales. The first fortifications in Caernarfon were built by the Romans, and ruins (The Segontium) can still be seen today a little way from the castle. The current castle’s structure was first constructed under the reign of King Edward I of England, in 1283. It took 47 years to complete over 700 years ago, but it still stands as the most well-kept castle in Wales.
Currently, under the care of CADW, you can visit the castle for only £9.90 and even climb to the top of the turrets. Be warned though, it’s a pretty steep climb so you might need to take a bottle of water and your walking shoes!