English Heritage reveals its top Easter events across England for families to enjoy

English Heritage reveals its top Easter events across England for families to enjoy

What would your children like to do this Easter? Make plans with these ideas from English Heritage.

English Heritage has unveiled a host of glorious treats for families to enjoy this Easter.

Children can hunt for dragon eggs at more than 20 sites, explore the forts of Hadrian’s Wall, stroll through blooming spring gardens and enjoy popular falconry events.

And Whitby Abbey – the place where the date of Easter was decided – reopens to the public in April, following a £1.6 million update.

Events include: 

Easter Adventure Quest

Where: Over 20 sites around the country, including Audley End House and Gardens, Essex; Beeston Castle and Woodland Park, Cheshire; Walmer Castle and Gardens, Kent; and Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire. *Full list at the bottom of the article.

What: An Easter egg hunt with a difference – search for hidden dragon eggs at stunning historic sites around the country.

Crack the clues as you make your way along the trails, with a certificate, sticker and chocolate treat in store for victorious questers.

When: Saturday, April, 6 to Monday, April 22 (dates vary by property) .

Cost: £1 per child (in addition to standard admission prices).

Children hunt on an Easter hunt with English Heritage

An Easter quest with English Heritage

Wallpaper Tours

Where: Wrest Park, Bedfordshire.

What: Marvel at centuries-old art in the stunning wallpaper rooms of Wrest Park. Step into the French chateau-inspired house to take part in one of the exclusive tours. See the intricate, 18th-century hand-painted wallpaper of the Chinese Room, and the vibrant scenes of a mythical city in the French Room. Wrest Park’s knowledgeable volunteer guides will be on hand to share their fascinating histories.

When: Sunday April, 7.

Cost: £14.30 adult, £13.20 concessions, £9.80 child (advance booking recommended).


Spring Quest and Craft

Where: Kenwood, London.

What: Let the neoclassical villa Kenwood inspire your creativity as you take part in seasonal workshops exploring the house and gardens. Families can take part in different arts and crafts activities ranging from making animal masks through to creating your own seasonal treat boxes.

When: Tuesday, April 16 to Wednesday, April 17.

Cost:  £2 per child.



Where: Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire.

What: Be awed by the skills of expert falconers as you wander the grounds of this medieval abbey. Discover the tales of priests, bishops and monks who broke their vows to go hawking and hear how the abbey’s coffers were boosted by hunting with birds of prey. Stop by the medieval-style hawk house to see some of them up close and quiz the falconers. See the birds in action at displays throughout the weekend which will show how hawks and falcons hunt in the air and on the ground.

A bird of prey at Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire

Falconry at Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire

When: Friday, April 19 to Monday, April 22.

Cost: £9.40 adult, £8.50 concessions, £5.60 child and £24.40 family.


St George’s Festival

Where: Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

What: At the country’s biggest St George’s Day celebration, you will experience an energetic retelling of the story of England. Bring all the family to Wrest Park for a weekend of shows, battle re-enactments, games and performances. See a medieval joust, cheeky jester, Roman display of infantry featuring two cavalry riders and take part in 2019 Second World War activities. There promises to be plenty to keep children entertained including have-a-go circus skills, Victorian games, junior jousting, a First World War obstacle course and interactive music workshops.

St George and the dragon at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

St George and the dragon

The highlight of the weekend is England’s most legendary battle – watch as the gallant St George takes on his fiery nemesis in the ultimate showdown. Wander Elizabethan and English Civil War encampments to see, smell and hear what life was like for people hundreds of years ago as Wrest Park celebrates England’s patron saint in one glorious weekend.

When: Saturday, April 27 to Sunday, April 28.

Cost: £18.50 adult, £16.70 concessions, £11.10 child, £48.10 family.


Events at Stonehenge over Easter

Moving and Raising a Stone

What: Join the Stonehenge team to help move and raise a four-tonne stone, similar to those used to build the stone circle. Using a hand-built sledge, and under expert supervision, visitors can experience for themselves just what it might have felt like to be involved in building Stonehenge. The experiment will run twice a day.

When: Friday, April 12 to Tuesday, April 16.


Flint Knapping and Bronze Casting

What: Craftsman James Dilley demonstrates the prehistoric skill of flint knapping – the core technology that may have helped our ancient ancestors to survive. James will also demonstrate bronze casting – a technique which shows what a huge step forward people took 3,000 years ago when they started working with bronze to create tools and valuable artefacts signifying wealth and status. Visitors will have the opportunity to craft their own ‘sun disk’ to take home.

When: Monday, April 22 to Thursday, April 25.


Fire and Life!

What: Neolithic bush craft expert Guy Hagg shares his Neolithic life-skills, from fire lighting and tool and weapon making using bone, antler and stone, to game preparation and early cooking methods. Families can have a go at preparing hazelnuts and acorns for food.

When: Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28.


Full list of Easter Adventure Quest locations

(Pictures credit: ©English Heritage)



Review: A family trip to Stonehenge with children and our tips for visiting this wonder of the world

Review: A family trip to Stonehenge with children and our tips for visiting this wonder of the world

All you need to know about Stonehenge in Wiltshire

What is it?

Stonehenge is one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe.

It is a huge man-made circle of standing stones, built over hundreds of years. Nobody knows exactly why Stonehenge was built, but people probably gathered there for religious ceremonies.

Research shows that the site has continuously evolved over 10,000 years. The structure that we call Stonehenge was built between 5,000 and 4,000 years ago and was once part of a larger sacred landscape.

With over 10 million visitors a year, Stonehenge is one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions

Where is it?

It stands on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire, England and its giant stones can be seen from miles around.


Visitor Centre

There is a £27 million visitor centre, 1.5 miles from the stones, which opened in 2013. There is plenty of free parking and it is very nicely done.

The entrance to Stonehenge Visitor Centre

The entrance to Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Once you’ve got your tickets you can go into the new museum. Our children were encouraged to enter through a ‘magic door’ into a 360-degree video of Stonehenge in all weathers.

Our children loved pretending it was really snowing and it got them excited about the museum.

A 360-degree video of Stonehenge

A 360-degree video of Stonehenge

A 5,500-year-old skeleton and a timeline of Stonehenge proved the other most interesting items for our seven and three-year-old children in this museum.

Outside there are examples of how hard it was to move the huge stones and recreations of Neolithic Houses. You  can go inside them to see how some of the earliest settlers lived.

Reaching the stones

You can walk but it is 1.5 miles and would take a long time with small children. Stonehenge put on regular buses, every five minutes, shuttling from the visitors centre to the stones and back.

Our three-year-old loved the bus ride and it made the experience more exciting for her. You can stop off half way and walk up to the stones if you prefer but in February it was easier for us to take the bus all the way.

The bus you catch at Stonehenge from the museum to the stones

The bus to catch to the stones

The Stones

Visitors are dropped off a few hundred yards away and then make their way up a wide path.

You can get within about 30 yards of the stones, there are a range of viewing points but on a busy day it can be a battle to find a clear spot to take a photo.

Part of the fun is seeing tourists from around the world posing for their snaps – we even found one American doing a handstand! There are information boards around the site, which are child-friendly.


A visitor does a handstand in front of the stones at Stonehenge

What a pose

In conclusion

The facilities, which also include a shop and busy cafe, are good. The museum, although small, is thoughtfully done and the 4,500 year old stones inspired all ages.

At £50, it isn’t a cheap way to spend a couple of hours but this is a child-friendly attraction.

Top Tip

It costs £50 for a family ticket to Stonehenge but it is free to English Heritage and National Trust in England members (not National Trust Scotland members) if booked in advance.

If you take into account that family membership of either is around £100 per year (National Trust £114, English Heritage £96) it is worth joining before you visit.

If you are paying on the day, £50 is quite a lot for what will probably only take a couple of hours – unless you are going for a long walk in the woods on site.

Stonehenge information

Food: Picnics are welcome and there is a cafe near the shop in the visitor centre.

Opening hours: Varies depending on the time of year. Entrance through timed tickets.

Cost: Entry costs £49.40 for a family. Adult entry is £19.00, child (5-15) is £11.40. Free entry for National Trust in England (not Scotland) and English Heritage members if booked in advance.

Best for: ages eight to 15

Time needed: Two hours

Access and restrictions: The main areas are accessible by wheelchair.

Address: Stonehenge, near Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 7DE

Have you been? Tell us what you thought of Stonehenge below.