Explore historic countryside castles

England’s castles are a majestic feature of the landscape, bearing witness to centuries of change – and the perfect destination for a family day out in the countryside. CPRE members can enjoy special offers on entry at all of these properties.

Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire

Used as a location for BBC TV dramas Wolf Hall and Poldark, this castle dates back to the 12th century. Visitors can marvel at the 14th-century Great Hall, hung with rich tapestries, and explore the medieval larders and kitchen. Set in terraced gardens, the castle is a great destination for families, with outdoor games and a butterfly house open from May to September. Make sure to visit the Yurt Tea Rooms for light lunches and afternoon teas.

www.berkeley-castle.com

CPRE members get 2 for 1 tickets

 

Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire

Built on the orders of William the Conqueror in 1086, Rockingham Castle occupies a dramatic position overlooking the Welland Valley. Inside, be transported back to Tudor England in its Great Hall; witness the preparations for a grand dinner in the Victorian Old Kitchen; and enjoy the treasured paintings hanging in the Long Gallery. Outside, take a stroll around its terrace and rose gardens.

www.rockinghamcastle.com

CPRE members get 2 for 1 tickets

 

Chillingham Castle, Northumberland

Winner of the Independent on Sunday’s ‘Top 50 castles in Europe’, 800-year old Chillingham has seen visits from royalty including Edward I and James I. Discover the spectacular Tudor galleries and grimace at the former castle dungeon and torture chambers, the inspiration for Chillingham’s claim to be ‘Britain’s most haunted castle’. Designed by royal gardeners Capability Brown and Sir Jeffrey Wyatville, the castle’s grounds are beautiful, with ornate Italian gardens, lakes and woodland walks.

www.chillingham-castle.com

CPRE members get half-price admission

 

Lullingstone Castle and the World Garden, Kent

Henry VIII and Queen Anne were just some of the regular visitors to this family estate with origins reaching back to Domesday. The 15th-century manor house and gatehouse are set within 120 acres, offering picturesque lakeside and country views. The acclaimed World Garden contains more than 8,000 unusual plants, laid out by their countries of origin. Close by are the Lullingstone Country Park and English Heritage’s Lullingstone Roman Villa, if you want to explore even further back in time.

www.lullingstonecastle.co.uk

CPRE members get half-price admission

 

Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire

It’s hard not to be awed by this castle’s sumptuous exterior, which has been enlarged and embellished over its 700-year history. Admire its tapestries, paintings and ceramics, before enjoying a homemade cake in the coachhouse tearoom. The grounds include an adventure playground and cycle trails, with bike hire available on-site.

www.grimsthorpe.co.uk

CPRE members get 2 for 1 tickets

 

Knaresborough Castle & Old Courthouse Museum, Yorkshire

Destroyed in the English Civil War, Knaresborough Castle has a turbulent and fascinating 900-year history. Head over to the Old Courthouse Museum, a former Tudor courthouse filled with interactive exhibits, to learn more about its past. After exploring the remains of Edward II’s King’s Tower and the castle dungeons, why not enjoy a picnic in the grounds?

www.yorkshire.com/knaresborough

CPRE members get 2 for 1 tickets

Two small boys eat lunch while sitting on rocks