I know as a parent it can be a task to keep your children entertained. Even more so over the weekends and during the holidays. There is only so much cinema, bowling, the local park, baking and crafts they can take – and your sanity too. Several months back we decided to jump in the car and head off to Castleton. While there we signed up for an English Heritage pass and haven’t regretted it in the slightest.
Explore English History & Educate Your Children
Believe it or not, the UK is brimming with history. Castles, abbeys, gatehouses and other historical sites are not only an educational place to take your children but lots of fun. You can teach your children about the past while allowing them to explore, play and get much needed fresh air. Each site will have plenty of information for you to tell your children – making you look like a super parent with all that knowledge.
Obviously all these wonderful sites need maintaining and they need staffing. This all costs money so they charge an entry fee. The fee varies from site to site depending on it’s size and condition. When we decided to give Peveril Castle a look round the entry fee was going to be just over £13 for the three of us. This isn’t a bad price, and we certainly got our money’s worth – Eban loved it.
When we went to pay we were offered the chance to sign up as members. We did initially umm and ahh as we decided if it’d be worth the money. We looked at the map on the reception desk and were gobsmacked at the choice of sites we could visit. There were LOADS – 10 sites within a 40 minute drive of us. If we visited all 10 of them and they cost the same as Peveril Castle then that’s around £130. The annual family membership for two adults cost us £92.50 and because we paid via annual direct debit we received an additional THREE months FREE!
What Is Included In The Membership?
Obviously unlimited entry to all of the English Heritage sites (400+) is the main benefit but if you opt for the family pass (either one adult or two) you can also take up to six additional children (under 19) PER CARD. I personally think this is fantastic, especially if you’re an unconventional family like us; only having one child. On top of that you get the members magazine and handbook, access to 100’s of events over the year and money off other attractions – such as the Manx Heritage.
What To Do Once You Are There
Most places have nooks and crannies to explore, some have interactive displays, others have animals and most have lots of grass for the children to run around on. Do your research before going to see what each site has to offer especially in regards to food as some will only have a gift shop. On a side note, the gift shop stocks a lovely selection of wines, cordials and preserves. Packing a picnic is always fun, especially in the summer. Some sites will have seating areas but I like to throw a blanket out and sit on that.
Dogs are welcome at a certain sites so check before you set off with your darling doggy.
Make Some Fabulous Memories & Take Awesome Photos
Your children will learn loads, or at least tire themselves out from all the exploring. If you’re a keen photographer then these sites are fantastic places to snap some beautiful photos. Another reason the membership appealed to us is because Aaron is a photographer. He has a few photo blog posts up over on Virtual Wombat for the places we’ve visited and he continues to add more.
We try to go to at least one new place a month, more during the holidays but it is weather dependant. We’re looking forward to exploring a lot more come the summer – including the Manx sites when we visit there again.
So, if you’re looking for something a little different to do with the kids then you can’t go wrong with an English Heritage pass. We love ours and I’m sure you’ll love your’s too.