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We investigate English Heritage annual passes and where you can use them

Whether you love English Heritage and the sites it runs or know nothing about it (and them), we’ve got all you need to know when deciding whether to splash out on an annual membership.

What is English Heritage?

English Heritage manages and preserves over 400 historic monuments and places such as castles, stately homes, palaces, houses, abbeys, Roman forts and archaeological sites.

It also runs the Blue Plaque Scheme in London which commemorates the residencies of famous people of the past with over 900 plaques across the capital.

English Heritage was established in 1983 as a government body and became a charitable organization in 2015, allowing it to raise funds and operate more independently in its work to promote England’s history and heritage for future generations to enjoy.

Now, several million people visit its sites across England each year.

What is English Heritage annual membership?

A pass allowing access to its hundreds of historic places including Stonehenge, Dover Castle, Tintagel Castle and more.

It helps raise money for the charity while making access to its sites more affordable and accessible.

What do you get?

Unlimited access to more than 400 sites

Free car parking

Free entry for up to six children

A handbook

Children’s activity pack

Members’ magazine four times per year

Free or reduced entry to English Heritage events

How much is it?

A family membership for one adult and up to six children is £69 a year or £5.75 a month.

Family membership for two adults and up to 12 children costs £120 per year, £10 a month.

Individual memberships are £69 a year for an adult aged 26 and over, £63 for a senior aged 65 and over and £57 a year for a young adult (aged 18 to 25) or student.

Joint memberships start from £96 and lifetime memberships start from £1,350.

All up-to-date membership prices are here.

What about the small print?

Not all events at English Heritage sites are free for members. They do get a reduced rate though.

You will get a reminder letter one month before membership renewal. You must cancel at that time or pay for another year in full.

How much could you save?

Entry to each site varies in price. There are some for less than £20 for a family of four, but others come to £50.

You need to visit two to five English Heritage sites per year to start saving money.

Top Tips

English Heritage have sites in:

The North West including Hadrian’s Wall, Beeston Castle and Carlisle Castle.

The South West including Stonehenge, Tintagel Castle and Old Sarum.

The South East including Dover Castle, 1066 Battle Abbey and Osborne – Queen Victoria’s family home.

The West Midlands including Kenilworth Castle, Witley Court and Stokesay Castle.

The North East including Belsay Hall and Gardens, Lindisfarne Priory and Warkworth Castle.

Yorkshire including Brodsworth Hall, Whitby Abbey and Clifford’s Tower in York.

The East of England including Audley End House and Gardens, Wrest Park and Framlingham Castle.

London including Eltham Palace and Gardens, Ranger’s House and Jewel Tower.

For more ideas visit this page on their website.

Verdict

If there are English Heritage sites near to your or near to any holiday destinations you will be staying at and you think you will visit several in a year, then a membership is definitely worth it.

Having the pass will also encourage you to get out and about more to make use of it.

There are lots of English Heritage properties but if you have National Trust membership as well, do you really need both?

You could perhaps try National Trust for a year and English Heritage another year.

Related content

Our articles include reviews of Stonehenge and Tintagel Castle.

We investigate English Heritage and other popular family membership schemes including National Trust, Merlin, RHS and Chester Zoo – Annual passes and membership at top attractions across the UK in 2024 – our tips and advice

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