A few weeks ago I popped in to Down House on a whim as I happened to be passing through the area. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to sign up for an English Heritage membership since I’d been wanting to become a member anyway.
My boyfriend and I signed up for the joint membership costing £88 (£44 each). Since we signed up using direct debit we get an extra 3 months membership for free, giving us 15 months to make the most of our membership.
The admission price for Down House was £10.60, so this means I have £33.40 left to recoup the cost of the membership.
I’ve been flicking through the English Heritage handbook to work out which properties I want to visit and have compiled a list of the places I’d most like to see. (Note: the photos used below have been sourced from the English Heritage website).
This has been on my London list for some time but since I live in East London, getting over to Richmond is a bit of a trek. Marble Hill House is open by guided tour only on Saturdays and Sundays so a bit of planning is required.
Like Marble Hill House, this is another London property that I haven’t got around to visiting yet (1.5 hours travel via the District Line is not terribly appealing). The house is open Sunday-Wednesday so it could probably be combined with a visit to Marble Hill House on a Sunday.
Wrest Park is a country estate in Bedfordshire, making it an easy day trip from London. The house and gardens look absolutely stunning and if you want to read more about it, Kelly from Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes has put together a wonderful blog post about her visit.
Audley End House is an early 17th-century country house in Essex. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this property so my expectations aren’t sky high but it does look beautiful in the photos I’ve seen so I remain hopeful that it will be a good day out.
Hill Hall is an Elizabethan mansion which has now been divided into private houses, but some parts still remain open to the public by pre-booked guided tours. It seems that they only run tours once a week on a Wednesday so it’s a bit of a tricky one to organise.
On the occasions where I have travelled on the ferry from Dover, I’ve seen Dover Castle sitting up high overlooking the English Channel and the Kent countryside but have never had the opportunity to see it up close. You can also explore the secret wartime tunnels underneath the castle.
Kirby Hall is an Elizabethan country house in Northamptonshire, so it is probably a bit too far away for a day visit. I would most likely look to make it a weekend trip, staying somewhere locally and maybe fit in some other nearby attractions. Even though Kirby Hall is partially roofless, the Great Hall and state rooms remain intact.
I’m not sure if I will make it over to the Isle of Wight anytime soon but if I do then a visit to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s family home is definitely on my list! If you want to read more about Osborne check out this blog post by Kasha from Lines of Escape.
This castle in Derbyshire is said to have spectacular views of the surrounding area. It’s a long drive from home but I think it might be worth it.
A Victorian stately home in South Yorkshire, virtually unchanged since the 1860s. I think a road trip around the north of England might be in order.
If I were to visit all these properties in the next 15 months I will have managed to get over £100 value out of a £44 membership!
Are you an English Heritage member? Can you recommend any other properties to visit?