5 places to get hands on with history

At many of our places, we offer 'hands on' experiences where you can try some of the things that were part of everyday life in history. You can try weaving as people would have done in medieval times. Or get a real sense of what life was like for servants in the 1930s by exploring their quarters ‘below stairs’.

Living History re-enactors having tea in the senior servants' sitting room at Ickworth

Ickworth, Suffolk 

Explore our basement and discover what life was like if you were a servant in the 1930s. At this grand country house, people were in service for the Hervey family and their guests. A visit will help you imagine what it was like to have to tend to their every whim.

Dress up at Springhill

Springhill, Londonderry 

There is a large collection of costumes at this 17th century plantation house. Children can enjoy trying on clothes in The Costume Closet, while there is also a costume exhibition in the museum called 'Naturally Inspired, Beautifully Attired'.

Man weaving at Swanley Grange

Swanley Grange, Yorkshire 

You can try out heritage crafts like weaving and knitting at this former monastic farm. Set within the Fountains Abbey estate, this is a great way to get a taste of medieval life.

Fun down on the farm at Wimpole

Wimpole, Cambridgeshire 

You can discover life as a farmer here and enjoy meeting some of the rare breeds. Groom one of the Shire horses, have a go at milking and imagine the farm in the days when it provided all the estate's food.

The painted glass window on the Nursery landing at Wightwick Manor

Wightwick Manor and Gardens, West Midlands 

Imagine yourself as an Edwardian at Wightwick, a house that has been preserved as a home. Immerse yourself in Pre-Raphaelite art and William Morris interiors, lovingly collected by Sir Geoffrey and Rosalie, Lady Mander.

Child collecting conkers in autumn at a National Trust site

50 things to do before you're 11¾ 

Fancy running free in the fresh air, learning new skills and trying new things? Grab your gear and start your adventure.