Days out with children: how to travel back in time this summer

Stuck for ideas for fun days out for kids this summer? English Heritage is running a summer of "Time Travellers" events at historic attractions across the UK – join in with hands-on history and organised activities that'll transport you back to Victorian, Roman or even medieval times. And who knows, kids might even learn something when they're least expecting it...

This summer your can:

Join the Roman Army
Where? Birdoswald Roman Fort, Hadrian's Wall, Cumbria
When? Every day until Monday 26 August, 11am – 5pm
Sign them up to Roman Soldier School where they can join the Centurion for some hands-on Roman fun, try on Roman armour and costumes, take part in drills and handle artefacts. They can walk among the historic Roman ruins or take part in craft activities throughout the day.
Adults £5.40, Children £3.20, plus a £1 charge for activities.

Become a knight or princess
Where? Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire
When? Every day until Monday 26 August, 11am – 5pm
Let them leap into medieval life and times with a summer of themed activities for all the family at this atmospheric abbey. The kids can attend the Knight and Princess academy for squire or etiquette training and get dressed up in full regalia with the activity leaders. There's also storytelling, arts and crafts and much more, all with a medieval theme.
Family admission £16.60, plus a £1 charge for activities.

Visit a castle under siege
Where? Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, Warwickshire
When? Monday 12 to Friday 16 August, and Sunday 25 and Monday 26 August, 11am – 5pm
The "siege challenge" for kids will have them taking part in drills and weapon training to help withstand attack and get involved with activities including the chance to learn how to make a catapult.Visit over the Bank Holiday weekend to see history in action as the drama of a medieval siege on Kenilworth Castle is reenacted.
Family admission £23.40, plus a £1 charge for activities. Siege event family admission £28.90.

Meet a jester and cheer on a joust
Where? Pendennis Castle, Cornwall

When? Every Wednesday and Thursday until 22 August, 11am – 5pm
Step into the excitement and festivities of a grand medieval joust every week at this spectacular coastal castle. The kids can meet the jesters, enjoy colourful stories, join the School for Fools, or hear gruesome tales from the medieval executioner if they dare. Then they can cheer the knights to glory in a spectacular clash of skill and strength on horseback.
Family admission £25.

Discover Georgian life and crime
Where? Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Northumberland
When? Every day until Monday 26 August, 11am – 5pm
A non-stop programme of activities and hands-on history every day at Belsay tells the tales of the life of Georgian villains, from pirates to highwaymen. Dance a horn pipe and take part in sword and cutlass drill, or dress up for the highwayman assault course. Throughout the day, storytelling and craft activities means there's something going on for everyone.
Family admission £20.50, plus a £1 charge for activities.

Take a trip to the Victorian seaside
Where? Osborne, Isle of Wight
When? Every day until Saturday 31 August, 10am – 5pm
Visit Queen Victoria's private beach to enjoy traditional Victorian seaside fun for kids (and mums and dads). There are classic Punch and Judy shows, games of quoits or skittles, and the chance relax and treat yourself at the Beach Café.
Family admission £34.80.

Follow in the footsteps of Darwin
Where? Home of Charles Darwin (Down House), Kent
When? Every Tuesday to Saturday in August, 11am – 4pm
There's lots of hands-on fun inspired by the life and discoveries of Charles Darwin at Down House this summer. Different activities feature every week, from discovering bugs and creepy-crawlies to learning about seafaring, inventions or experiments.
Family admission £26, plus a £1 charge for activities.

Learn how to be a spy
Where? Audley End House and Gardens, Essex
When? Monday 19 to Friday 23 August, and Sunday 25 and Monday 26 August, 11am – 4pm
Let the kids put their secret skills to the test and find out about the equipment agents used during World War II, before heading out on a hidden trail in the grounds to use orienteering and investigative talents. Over the Bank Holiday weekend, the whole family can discover more about Audley End's secret wartime history with 1940s themed activities and explosive displays.
Family admission £34.80, plus a £1 charge for activities. WWII event family admission £39.20.

Meet a king and his court
Where? Dover Castle, Kent
When? Every day until Monday 2 September, 10am – 5pm
Visit the magnificent Great Tower this summer and discover a home fit for a king. The richly decorated interiors are brought to life as they are occupied by King Henry II's royal court. Discover the pomp, pageantry and intrigue of medieval court life as you interact with a host of characters including the king himself.
Family admission £44.20.

Be an archaeologist
Where? Wrest Park, Bedfordshire
When? Monday 19 to Friday 23 August, 11am – 4pm
Dig into history with the chance to uncover clues and handle artefacts in the inspirational surroundings of Wrest Park. Take part in a sand pit dig to unveil secrets from the past, plus join in with plenty of hands-on activities.
Family admission £22.90, plus a £1 charge for activities.

Discover many more family days out across England, and find further details of family events, at

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