Across the country, English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites. The properties you can visit in Kent range from Roman Forts and Medieval Castles to the Cold War bunker. England’s rich history unfolds and comes to life across these historic sites and you can experience the impressive themed events throughout the year with English Heritage.
Deciding to take a trip to the Garden of England, as Kent is affectionately referred to, is something everyone should do at least once if they are a UK resident. Visiting the Lullingstone Roman Villa or Dover Castle along with the historic Home of Charles Darwin (who was born in Shrewsbury but lived in Kent) are just some of the many historic sites that are on offer. There are a lot of hotels large chains and small bed and breakfasts across Kent and if you want to venture further down from Kent to Battle in East Sussex, heading down to the sites for the Battle of Hastings is always an excellent day out! Planning your journey you should ensure that you keep change in the car for the Dartford Crossing as it is a toll bridge. Booking into a B&B in Rye a better idea than just a day trip as you can plan a lot more to visit.
Taking a drive down to Kent’s iconic White Cliffs of Dover to see the Castle doesn’t take too long as is a fantastic day out. Dover Castle has stood on the White Cliffs commanding the gateway to the realm for centuries. The Great Tower that stands tall in the heart of the Castle was created by King Henry II and his throne was placed there as well as his court. Dover Castle is just dripping in history and deep inside the castle foundations are the Secret Wartime tunnels where you can witness the miracles of Dunkirk. Visiting historic monuments can be a fun and fascinating day out for all the family and taking a picnic along means you can sit on the sweeping lawns and gardens around each site and enjoy the scenery while you eat. English Heritage always put on events nearby to their sites that surround re-enactments and knight shows which feature jousting.
There are indoor activities to do on a rainy day as well as outdoor visits and the English Heritage sites allow a yearly membership option that gives you unlimited access to over four hundred historic places where you can live and breathe the story of England. Kids go free for up to six children per adult which is fantastic for those summer holidays where being trapped inside is the end of the world for a ten year old.
Ultimately taking the whole family out somewhere they can really enjoy themselves is the key and that is what you get with English Heritage sites in Kent and across the South East.
Whether you choose a sunny spot in the southern Europe with warmer weather than at home, or would like a guaranteed white Christmas, a change of scene can be as good as a rest. You’ll also enjoy festive meals expertly cooked and served which will set you up for a truly happy new year.
December holidays and breaks away divide up a cold and dark winter very nicely and when you set off the expense of drinks parties for the neighbours, standby gifts for droppers-in and other extras against the cost of a holiday, it could turn out to be a comparatively cheap Christmas, too.
In this guide, we finish what we started by telling you five more exciting destinations you can take. We’ve focused more on the abroad destinations than your standard coach trips to UK and Ireland but you can always book market holidays around Christmas time to tag onto your travels, so you can truly enjoy an authentic Christmas experience.
Head on over to Italy this Christmas, specifically Naples. Naples Old Town is famous for its large and elaborate nativity scenes and you can enjoy the stunning Amalfi Coast without the summer hoards on a Christmas holiday in Sorrento, a favourite resort towns for Brits since the 19th-century. From here it’s an easy journey over to Pompeii as well if it takes your fancy! If you’re a chocolate lover, then Switzerland is the place to be dreaming of a white Christmas. A stay in the Swiss Alps will definitely tick that box! Climb through snowy mountain meadows surrounded by mountain peaks on the cost little Jungfrau Railway to the ‘Top of Europe’, the highest railway station on Kleine Scheidegg Mountain. The famously nimble railways operate on Christmas Day.
Visit Austria, the country that gave the world Silent Night. The charming Christmas carol was written in a small Austrian town in the early eighteen hundreds. The Salzburg Christmas market is in festive spirit right up until Christmas Eve, wafting gingerbread and warming gluhwein as you browse the stalls and hear the carols around the tree. The sun on the snow can be dazzling on a scenic steam train ride through the Tyrol, so bring those sunglasses alongside the winter coats! Anyone who is anyone will tell you that there is absolutely nothing like a traditional German Christmas, and you can soak up the atmosphere in a number of beautiful small towns while cruising on the Rhine River. Unpack once and your cosy floating hotel will take you past fairy tale castles perched on crags, and pretty villages through the scenic Rhine Gorge and to Rudesheim with its charming mechanical music museum, picturesque Koblenz and Cochem, famous its fine wines. The striking town of Oberharmersbach is the perfect base to visit the Alsace region and the Black Forest. For the best time of year to look for the Northern Lights, Christmas is the time. On a tour of the Golden Circle in the Land of Fire and Ice, the famous waterfalls take on a magical Narnia look, frozen as they plunge and bubbling geysers shoot from the moon-like landscape.
There is no reason why Christmas holidays cannot be new adventures and these are just some of the welcoming destinations.
Australia is a huge country with some amazing cities and places of interest. Trying to make an itinerary to go to one of the greatest places in the world can be difficult to here’s a handy guide about the best places to visit Down Under
- Sydney Harbour Bridge. One of the most iconic bridges in the world, let alone Australia. It’s not easy but climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a major achievement that comes with 360 panoramic views of the city. You’ll be wearing a special harness and be 440 feet above sea level!
- Great Barrier Reef. The longest reef in the world, with the clearest of water and the most beautiful fish. A total labyrinth of coral, islands, lagoons and caverns furnished with a variety of marine life. One of the world’s natural beauties in its stunning under water environment. Pop on a mask and dive!
- Bondi Beach. Surf, visit a café and sunbathe at Australia’s most famous beach. Watch out for those riptides for your own safety. Hugh Jackman can only rescue so many people at once!
- Coral Bay. One of Australia’s greatest hidden secrets, largely unvisited, Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is totally unrivalled in its beauty. Did you know you could snorkel and dive with whale sharks here?? It’s one of the only places in the world you can do that.
- No 96 Tram. Not many top ten lists include transport but the tram that runs through Melbourne’s CBD is not only free, but close to massive icons in the city itself including museums, stadiums, Luna Park and the architectural brilliance of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibitions Centre. If you’re looking for convention centre accommodation in Melbourne, the tram runs right by Apartments of Melbourne and is conveniently placed for the best bars and boutiques in Melbourne.
- Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk. The absolutely stunning Mossman Gorge in northern Queensland hosts the Ngadku Dreamtime Walk offers a perspective on indigenous local aboriginal community.
- Kangaroo Island. A wildlife wonder where you can get up close with kangaroos and is a massive highlight for wildlife lovers. An absolute treat and somewhere you can see kangaroos in the wild.
- Great Ocean Road. A 150-mile drive along the edge of Victoria, Great Ocean Road is the edging to many exquisite beaches and the Twelve Apostles at the end are pillars of rock out to sea, roughened by the Southern Ocean over time.
- Dolphin swim, Adelaide. Swim and snorkel among the beautiful dolphins that commune near the beaches in Adelaide. A once in a lifetime experience for all the family.
- William National Park. The wilderness known as the Bay of Fires in Tasmania offers a trekking tour where small groups can explore the stunning beaches and the nearby woodlands. Often forgotten by visitors, Tasmania is actually one of the places in Australia that take your breath away.