History for kids

Time travel is possible for budding historians. All they need is a place steeped in history and a sprinkling of imagination.

Children can play at soldiers at Chedworth Roman Villa, explore a secret wartime airbase at Croome or witness the machines of the Industrial Revolution in action at Quarry Bank Mill. Whether your kids are studying the Tudors, Victorians or the World Wars, these are places with the power to bring the past to life.

Please note that over winter some of our places are closed. Take a look at our opening times when you're planning your visit to avoid disappointment.

    Places with Roman history

    Step back in time to AD362 at Chedworth Roman Villa

    ‘The tracker packs in particular were well thought through and user-friendly. We had a tremendous day out with four kids, all aged six and under.’
    - A granddad at Chedworth Roman Villa

    * Dress up as a Roman, try brass rubbing and Roman table games at Chedworth Roman Villa, Gloucestershire
    * Discover what conditions were like at the UK’s only Roman gold mine: Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Carmarthenshire
    * Imagine you’re a soldier as you walk along the famous Hadrian’s Wall, in Northumberland. You can watch our short film, at the museum, to see what the buildings would have looked like 2000 years ago
    * Ambleside Roman Fort was once home to 500 fierce infantrymen. See the remains of the fort in Cumbria today
    * Letocetum Roman Baths, Staffordshire
    * Segontium, Gwynedd


    Places with Tudor history

    A volunteer dressed as Bess of Hardwick in the gardens of Hardwick Hall

    ‘We loved visiting this fascinating house. We particularly enjoyed using the toys and games and seeing the different herbs and spices that were used in those times.’
    - Visitor at the Tudor Merchant's House.

    * Play Tudor games in Pembrokeshire and explore the Tudor Merchant's House, which is set up exactly as it would have been in 1500
    * Dress up as an Elizabethan and get a taste of courtly life at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
    * Inspect over 50 Tudor and Jacobean portraits whilst completing our new kid’s trail at Montacute House, Somerset
    * Have a go at Tudor crafts with our costumed interpreters at Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire, and play games from that era in the orchard
    * Discover a family home with royal connections. The Vyne, Dorset, is full of symbols of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
    * Crawl into the secret priest’s hole, see Mary Queen of Scots’ needlework and visit the King’s Room at this moated manor house: Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk
    * Follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire
    * Explore the hunting ground of Henry VIII at Knole, Kent
    * Try on Tudor costumes at the hands on Elizabethan House Museum, Norfolk
    * Cotehele, Cornwall


    Places with Victorian history

    Children dressed up in the Victorian Era

    ‘This is a great place to come. It’s the second time I’ve been here and it’s still my favourite museum.’
    - Jack, young visitor at The Workhouse

    * Join one of our interactive family tours, try Victorian crafts or pick up one of our Mary Mouse pauper guides to learn more about life at The Workhouse, Nottinghamshire
    * Arrive at the historic Dunster Castle, Somerset, in true Victorian style - by steam strain
    * Try on maids’ costumes and see what’s cooking in our award winning Victorian kitchen at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
    * See the one-ton slate bed made especially for Queen Victoria at Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd
    * Witness the machines of the Industrial Revolution in action at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire
    * Dress up as a Victorian at Speke Hall, Merseyside
    * Practice your handwriting on slates and play with Victorian toys at Lanhydrock, Cornwall
    * Dress up as and play Victorian games in the Stableyard at Castle Ward, County Down
    * Florence Court, County Fermanagh
    * Tyntesfield, Bristol

    Places with World War I history

    The Bomb Ballistics Building was built in 1933 to control the ranges across Orford Ness.

    * During the spring and summer of 2014 Nostell Priory, in Yorkshire, will be commemorating the WWI centenary with a range of events. Join us for The Party at the End of the World, help us to grow veg in our wartime allotments and see our recreation trenches
    * Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire, is closed for restoration works until July 2014. However, in the meantime there is a travelling exhibition of Stanley Spencer’s famous war paintings
    * From 1 March 2014 Dunham Massey, in Greater Manchester, will be marking the centenary of WWI by telling the story of the injured soldiers who were brought here and the nurses who treated them
    * The Pembrokeshire Coast is littered with relics from both World Wars: from lookout stations, to submarine listening stations and small airfields
    * Learn about life in the trenches at Clanden Park’s museum, in Surrey
    * During World War I Orford Ness, in Suffolk, was used for military experiments. Visit the Bomb Ballistics building to see the displays and learn more about this mysterious site. You can also pick up kids’ quizzes when you buy your tickets. Please note that visitors are restricted to the main visitor route because of the risk of unexploded bombs

    More about the WWI Centenary 2014


    Places with World War II history

    A view of the cliffs in the morning light

    ‘My brother and I travelled from Australia to find out more about our parents who served with the RAF during WWII. We visited the RAF Defford Visitors Centre, at Croome, and were delighted to see the wonderful work done to preserve this important piece of history. We feel that we will always have a connection to this place and one day hopefully, our grandchildren will be able to make the same pilgrimage that we did.’
    - David C at Croome

    * Visit the secret airbase at Croome, Worcestershire
    * Studland Beach, Dorset, was used as a training area before D-Day. Follow our World War II walk and see who can spot the hidden devices built to foil a German invasion
    * Remnants of World War II run along the North Helford Coastline, Cornwall. Take our circular walk to see the gun emplacements and pill boxes
    * Explore our replica underground bunker in Coleshill, Wiltshire, on the second Sunday of every Month from April – October 2014. Please call 01793 762209 for more details
    * Discover lookout posts and submarine listening stations along the Pembrokeshire Coast
    * Look out for slit trenches at the White Cliffs of Dover, Kent
    * See our Anderson shelter and dig for victory at Trengwaiton Garden, Cornwall
    * Uncover Hughenden’s wartime past with interactive exhibits, in Buckinghamshire
    * During World War II Orford Ness, in Suffolk, was used to test the vulnerability of aircraft, for experiments with radio waves and other military purposes. Areas of the site are restricted, because of the risk of unexploded bombs, but families can visit various buildings with information about the site’s history. You can also pick up kids’ quizzes when you buy your tickets