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Summer Spotlight: A Handful of History

You don’t have to spend hundreds or get on a plane to get your fill of the world this summer. Here are our suggestions on exploring the country you live in, and immersing yourself in Britain’s rich history.

Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
Sutton Hoo is an archaeological site, famous for the discovery made there in 1939 of a 7th-century ship burial. It’s profoundly important, and has given us insights into the lives of the Anglo-Saxon elite which until then had been greatly unknown. You can explore the significance of the site through the museum and guided tours, set against a backdrop of the Suffolk countryside and the River Deben. Sutton Hoo is a great destination for those interested in England’s heritage and the Anglo-Saxon era.

Titanic Belfast, Northern Ireland
Titanic Belfast is dedicated to the iconic ship Titanic, located in Belfast at the site of its construction. Open since 2012, the museum offers interactive exhibits outlining the ship’s building, maiden voyage, and the city’s maritime heritage. Visitors can explore the shipyard, experience the ship's deck, and dive deep into the ocean's depths to discover the true story of the Titanic. The museum also displays personal accounts from the passengers, crew, and craftsmen, making Titanic Belfast a truly poignant tribute.

Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
Hampton Court Palace serves as a true monument to 16th century history, showcasing England’s regal past through the architecture and grounds of the place. Henry VIII’s vast kitchens and Great Hall, alongside the various extensions made by the King, and 60 acres of meticulous gardens, truly give you a sense of the Palace’s royal residents and architectural evolution. Hampton Court is a captivating destination to explore the Tudor period through the eyes of the elite, making it a wonder for history buffs and tourists alike.

Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire
Bletchley Park is a setting of enormous historical significance, acting as the base for British codebreakers during World War II. It was here that brilliant minds like Alan Turing developed techniques to crack the Enigma code, which is connected with shortening the war and saving countless lives. Today, visitors can explore the codebreaking huts, see interactive displays, and learn about the ground-breaking achievements in cryptography that took place during the war. Bletchley Park is both a testament to wartime cleverness and an inspiring day out for anyone with an interest in history, science, and technology.

Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire
William Shakespeare’s hometown is an absolute must for a slice of English literary history. The playwright’s childhood home, his wife Anne Hathaway’s cottage, his family home, and his burial site have all been preserved so that enthusiasts can witness his life as authentically as possible. Alongside incredible performances at the renowned Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the historic town also boasts a picturesque riverside setting, a vibrant culture, and plenty of Elizabethan architecture. Stratford-upon-Avon is an attractive destination for those who want to explore British literature and history - you’re sure of a truly educational and enjoyable experience.

3rd June 2024