Home UK Family Days Out 5 Historic Houses for families to visit in the UK

5 Historic Houses for families to visit in the UK

When it comes to planning a day trip out, then getting your family to visit a historic house is the perfect way to spend a day, particularly if you love a bit of history.

The great thing about the UK is that there are plenty of historic houses for you to pick from, but obviously this can make it a lot more difficult for you to decide where to go first!

Depending on how long you wish to spend out and about, there are some places that you can easily spend all day at either exploring the house, enjoying the gardens or simply taking in the history of the place.

You will also find that there are historic houses that are better suited for families with young children, some houses will have play areas, children designated activities etc. But even if it is just the house and gardens that you get to explore, it will still be a fun day out!

Historic Houses for Families to Visit in the UK on Travel Bugs

Chatsworth House (a place where you can spend the whole day)

Chatsworth is the perfect house to visit with your family. You can easily spend all day here if you wanted to and it is easy to see why this is such a popular destination for many.

The house is impressive just by itself, but it is surround by 105 acres of garden, and then 1000 acres of park land. It is truly a wondrous place indeed.

Of course, you can easily spend your time exploring the house, but if you have good weather on your side, then you will want to spend your day out in the garden, looking at all the different fountains, exploring the rockeries and the cascade feature.

You’ll be exhausted just by exploring the outside area, but don’t worry if your legs start to feel a bit tired. There are plenty of places that you can rest and enjoy the view at.

Plus, there are three on-site restaurants as well as two cafés. One of them specialises in afternoon tea (called the Flying Childers), served on Wedgwood and offering the best experience you can at a Stately Home, it is not something that you should miss!

Of course, the house itself is impressive, there’s no question about that. The Cavendish family has owned Chatsworth house since 1549. The house we see today though dates to 1687.

The family still live here in fact, so unfortunately, you can only visit 25 out of the 126 rooms. But don’t be disheartened, they are large, impressive and richly decorated so well worth the entry fee.

Where: Bakewell, Derbyshire
When: 17th Century
Tickets: (House and Garden) Adults – £23; Children – £12.50 (please book in advance)
Parking: Yes – £4 per car (all day)

Historic Houses for Families to Visit in the UK on Travel Bugs

Calke Abbey (The Un-Stately House)!

This might be a lesser known historic house, but Calke Abbey is the perfect place for families to visit.

This is another one in Derbyshire, however, you will find that Calke Abbey is just a little bit cheaper than Chatsworth House and might also be less crowded. If you are planning a day trip out with your family, then Calke Abbey has plenty to offer.

You can spend your day exploring the natural or outdoor play areas, where your kids can run free and get closer to nature.

There is plenty on offer outside, you’ve also got the Garden of Imagination and the new Calke Explore which is nestled nicely in woodland. Don’t forget to explore the tunnels either! So you better make sure to bring a good pair of walking boots!

Once you have seen all that you can, you should visit the inside of Calke Abbey. Described as an un-stately home, “with peeling paintwork and overgrown courtyards, Calke Abbey tells the story of the dramatic decline of a country house estate” (as described by the National Trust). But despite its un-stately appearance, this house will delight and surprise you.

Filled with precious stones, fossils and hundreds of other things, the Harpur Crewe family (who owned the house before the National Trust) were clearly an eccentric family who loved collecting things.

This is a house where you can step back in time, as things were left alone once the National Trust took over. It appears to be very much lived in, full of shabby chic furniture and as already mentioned masses of collections.

Where: Ticknall, Derbyshire
When: 18th Century
Tickets: (Free for National Trust Members) Adults – £8; Children – £4 (please book in advance)
Parking: Yes – Free

Historic Houses for Families to Visit in the UK on Travel Bugs

AnneHathaway’s Cottage (The house where you can step back in time)

Is anyone a fan of William Shakespeare? If so then this is the perfect place to visit with your family. This is the house where Shakespeare courted his wife Anne Hathaway. It is one of the oldest buildings in this list, and it dates back to 1463.

You will find some of the oldest and most original items as well, things like the ‘Hathaway Bed’, ‘Shakespeare Courting Chair’ (where Shakespeare allegedly wooed Anne before their marriage), as well as the ‘Courting Settle’.

You can walk across the same floor that Hathaway and Shakespeare would have walked across, you can look out for the hidden witch’s mark on one of the wooden beams (said to ward off evil spirits), plus plenty more!

Once done exploring the home, you can have fun wandering through 9 acres of beautiful gardens, heritage orchards, woodland walks and sculpture trails.

The Shakespeare Trust (who owns the house), have taken incredible good care of this place. There are plenty of photo opportunities for you and your family, and if you find that you have explored enough, then you can visit the other places in the Shakespeare Trust too (e.g. Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Mary Arden’s Farm, plus more). You can buy a ticket to visit all five places, and it lasts for a year!

Where: Stratford-upon-Avon
When: 15th Century
Tickets: (£25 for all Shakespeare Trust places) Adults – £7.50 (please book in advance)
Parking: Not on site but there is a car park a five minute walk away – starting from £2

Attingham Park (the house that you will need walking boots for)

This is a house that you need to visit if you haven’t already done so, it is the fourth most visited National Trust property in the UK and it’s easy to see why!

Not only is it an impressive building, but it is also one that is full of history – stories that involve romance, loss, ruin and restoration, so basically there is something for everyone!

The house itself is filled with impressive rooms, but to make it even more impressive it is actually split into two wings!

One wing is the ‘male’ wing, set aside for Lord Berwick (the owner), and the other side is the ‘female’ wing, reserved for his wife. Everything is for show, with little thought for comfort; Attingham was meant to be a stage, not a home.

Once you have done exploring the house, then you need to make sure that you explore the grounds as well. You’ve got the walled gardens, substantial deer park, a river walk, and plenty of space for visitors to enjoy walks around the estate.

This is definitely a house that you need your walking boots for. You’ll get to experience some amazing views as well, so it’s the perfect house to visit if you want to get some fantastic photos of you and your family!

Where: Shrewsbury
When: 18th Century
Tickets: (Free for National Trust Members) Adults – £13; Child – £6.50 (please book in advance)
Parking: Yes – Free

Little Moreton Hall (a logic defying tudor manor)

A little bit different to all the other houses on this list, Little Moreton Hall still deserves to be on this list.

Built to make a big impression, Little Moreton Hall was constructed during the Tudor period and although it is described as a logic-defying 16th-century Tudor manor it still stands to the delight and astonishment of onlookers!

This is a house which looks like it is about to fall down, but it is completely sturdy. Although it doesn’t have as extensive grounds as the other houses on this list, it is a little hidden gem, and should not be missed.

The house is surrounded by a moat, so that adds a certain charm to this place. At the back of the house you can check out the knot garden. Although the outdoor space is small, this is a house that will certainly impress.

You can walk up and down the long gallery on the top floor, check out the leaning fireplace (which is actually straight) and explore all the rooms that this house has to offer, it is probably one of the best preserved Tudor houses out there!

Where: Stratford-upon-Avon
When: 16th Century
Tickets: (Free for National Trust Members) Adults – £12; Children – £6 (please book in advance)
Parking: Yes – Free

So there you have it, five historic houses that are perfect for a family day trip! There are plenty more out there though, so if you aren’t in the area then you’ll easily be able to find the perfect historic house for you and your family!

Just make sure you check online that there are spaces available and that they are open. Due to this pandemic you will have to book online in advance for many places, however, this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying historic houses like these!

Historic Houses for Families to Visit in the UK on Travel Bugs

Author Bio: Isobel Walster

Isobel blogs over at castlesandturret.com detailing historical houses, castles, and general day trips. Isobel also loves books and films; give her a historical romance and it would be an afternoon well spent. When it comes to her days off work, you can find Isobel outside and exploring as many places as she can with her partner! Thank you so much to Isabel for writing this fantastic post!