The history of Britain dates back thousands of years, from prehistoric settlements to towering medieval strongholds. All over Britain, there are places where you can discover the fascinating stories of the people and places that were here before us.
Britain is covered in historic tracks, roads and pathways, and scattered with ancient settlements, dramatic castles, and striking fortresses. Many of these sites are now popular tourist attractions and are a great day out for all the family.
For those interested in discovering Britain’s fascinating past, we’ve unearthed some of the most historic attractions for you to explore on your next holiday to Parkdean Resorts.
Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland
For around 300 years Hadrian’s Wall was a thriving frontier, stretching across almost 80 miles of northern Britain. Discover castles, barracks and bath houses, and see Roman Britain come to life before your eyes as you explore this historic monument.
Hadrian’s Wall was the north-west boundary of the Roman army in Britain, and is thought to have been built under the orders of Emperor Hadrian after his visit in 122 AD. It was built by a force of over 15,000 men, and took around six years to complete. Hadrian’s Wall played an essential part in strengthening the Roman Empire in the south of Britain, against the threat of the wild northern tribes that the Romans struggled to control.
Under half an hour away from Whitley Bay Holiday Park, Segedunum Fort was built to guard the eastern end of the wall. In its prime, Segedunum, which means “Strong Fort”, would have housed around 600 soldiers and played an essential part in the Romans’ defences.
Today, Segedunum is the most excavated fort along Hadrian’s Wall. As you explore the site, it’s easy to imagine what life must have been like for the Roman soldiers who lived and worked here - as an interactive museum and exciting exhibitions bring history to life.
One of the best ways to experience Hadrian’s Wall is to head out into Northumberland’s countryside, where various walking routes and trails take you along stretches of the wall. Northumberland’s rugged countryside is one of the most popular hiking areas in Britain, and a walk along Hadrian’s Wall means you can literally walk in the footsteps of the Roman soldiers who once called this place home.
At less than an hour away from Whitley Bay Holiday Park and Sandy Bay Holiday Park, Chesters Roman Fort and Housesteads Roman Fort are perfect places to start your journey along Hadrian’s Wall. Discover the ruins of these great fortifications, before heading out to explore one of the most ancient routes in Britain.
Video sourced from markhumephotography
Battle of Hastings Abbey and Battlefields, East Sussex
Travel back in time to the day of one of the most famous battles in England’s history. The Battle of Hastings changed the course of English history forever, and became one of the most well-known events in the country’s past. Stand in the very place that William the Conqueror and his army faced King Harold, at Battle Abbey and Battlefield, only 40 minutes from Camber Sands Holiday Park.
Fighting for the English crown at this location in East Sussex, King Harold of England was challenged by Duke William of Normandy, who came over from France to seize the throne. It was a fierce fight, but eventually Duke William of Normandy and his army over-powered the English forces, and King Harold was defeated.
Video sourced from John Edwards
With wild flowers and grassy slopes, it’s hard to imagine that this place was the setting of one of the most prominent conflicts in British history. However, the site is one of the least altered medieval battlefields, and it’s fascinating to imagine how the area would have looked almost a thousand years ago.
Explore the dramatic ruins of William the Conqueror’s grand abbey, which he is said to have built on the very spot where his enemy, Harold, was killed. There are also regular re-enactments and storytelling events to enjoy, which bring the stories and people of 1066 to life.
Maiden Castle, Dorset
One of the largest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe, Maiden Castle is an excellent example of one of Britain’s ancient civilisations. Less than 15 minutes from Warmwell Holiday Park, retrace the footprints of our ancestors who built this enormous settlement, and made it their home for many years.
Maiden Castle is around the size of 50 football pitches, and the first settlement on this site was created around 3000 BC, during the late Stone Age and Early Bronze Age.
The fort that you can see today was created during the Iron Age, around 450 – 300 BC. The fort was extended and the ramparts and ditches were enlarged, making Maiden Castle the largest Iron Age hillfort in Britain. What began as a home to a small community grew into the main settlement in South Dorset, with thousands of people living and working at Maiden Castle.
During the Roman invasion, around 43 AD, there was a fierce battle to take the fort from the Iron Age tribe who inhabited it. The Romans were victorious and eventually built a temple at Maiden Castle in the 4th century, the foundations of which can still be seen today.
It’s the remains of the Iron Age hillfort that make Maiden Castle so special, and somewhere for the whole family to enjoy. There are endless hiking opportunities around the hillfort, and it’s a place you can let your imagination run wild.
Video sourced by Chances1957
The Castles of King Edward I, Wales
In the county of Gwynedd in North Wales, a trail of fascinating and majestic castles demonstrate some of the finest examples of military architecture in the whole of Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd bring this fascinating period in history to life.
Discover the 13th and early 14th century castles and town walls, built by King Edward after his invasion of North Wales in 1282. After defeating the Welsh prince, King Edward set about fortifying his new territories, which included the construction of several castles and town walls to protect his newly claimed land.
The castles of Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech, along with the town walls surrounding Conwy and Caernarfon, played an important part in the further conflicts of North Wales over the centuries that followed. Each one is unique, and all four are fascinating places to visit - often referred to as the finest castles in all of Wales.
From the “most technically perfect castle in Britain” to a dramatic fortress, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on a visit to King Edward’s Castles. Discover beautiful architecture, take in the history of the castles and climb the tall towers for views that are second to none.
Video sourced from cadwwales
What’s your favourite historical site in Britain? We’d love to hear all about it on our Twitter page.