Historic houses
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Many people visit historic houses in towns and country as part of an occasional day out or holiday trip.  

  • For others, such visits can be a regular activity, part of learning more about history and heritage and/or studying different forms of arts and crafts, like painting or old furnishings (see also visiting museums, arts and crafts appreciation and history hobbies).  

  • There are many different types of historic houses to visit;  some are open all year round, others can only be visited in the summer months and/or at weekends.    

Find out more


English Heritage  www.english-heritage.org.uk
The Landmark Trust  www.landmarktrust.co.uk/
The National Trust  www.nationaltrust.org.uk/
Virtual Tour of Britain and Ireland  www.bestloved.com/


Heritage Today 
National Trust Magazine

Getting started

  • Find a local heritage, "friends", or arts and crafts group or club (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre or see if your local historic house has special introductory events.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of historic houses.

  • Check in your local library/paper, historic houses or education centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Anyone can go to most historic houses, though disabled access can be a problem and children will mostly need to be accompanied by an adult. 

  • You can go to visit historic houses on your own, but many people like to do so in the company of an informal group of family or friends.  

  • It is also possible to join special groups who organise visits on a more or less regular basis, and to become a "friend" of a particular house or conservation group.  

  • Membership of such groups includes both sexes and can be very varied in terms of age, though this type of visiting is often more popular among the younger retired people. 

Equipment or clothing
  • You do not need any type of special equipment or clothing to go in to historic houses, only access to transport to get you to where the house is.

A place or facilities
  • There are historic houses all over the UK and abroad, in cities, towns and in the countryside.  

  • Opening dates and times may be limited;  more details are available from the various specialist organisations listed above.

Have a go - get started now 

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