Plan your May bank holiday weekend!

Plan your May bank holiday weekend!
Broadsworth Hall

Broadsworth Hall

This early May bank holiday weekend is set to be a scorcher so why not visit one of the many English Heritage sites in the UK? Party with Charles II and Elizabeth I as they bring revelry to their respective extravaganzas, while music in the stunning grounds will put a spring in your step. And explore the sites after-dark as we take part in the Museums at Night festival.



In the North 

Elizabethan Pageant


Sun 6 – Mon 7 May

Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, Warwickshire

£14.30 adult | £12.90 concession | £8.60 child | £37.20 family

Party like it’s 1575! Celebrate Kenilworth’s Elizabethan heyday as the ultimate party palace with music, falconry displays and a feast of entertainment fit for the Virgin Queen. The queen’s favourite Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester converted Kenilworth Castle into a great showpiece mansion to woo her, and here he will be showing off the skills which made him Master of the Royal Horses, with the queen by his side. Don’t miss this royal weekend of revels.

Swing into Spring

Sun 6 – Mon 7 May

Brodsworth Hall, South Yorkshire

£11.30 adult | £10.20 concession | £6.80 child | £29.40 family

Hear Yorkshire’s finest swing bands perform against the stunning backdrop of Brodsworth Hall. Bring along your deck chairs and relax with an afternoon of superb music. Room 21 Big Band will be getting your toes tapping on Sunday 6 May with vintage tunes from the 30s, 40s and 50s while on Monday 7 Take 2 Big Band will take to the stage with their mix of classic and contemporary melodies.

Gothic Falconry

Sat 5 – Mon 7 May

Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire

£7.90 adult | £7.10 concession | £4.70 child | £20.50 family

Enjoy a weekend of fantastic Gothic falconry at the abbey this early May Bank Holiday. Stop by the Gothic-style hawk house to see the birds of prey up close. Falconers will be on hand to answer questions and reveal insights into a variety of species. Catch incredible falconry displays throughout the weekend too, which will demonstrate how hawks and falcons hunt in the air and on the ground.

Kite Festival

Sat 12 – Sun 13 May

Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire

£12.80 adult | £11.50 concession | £7.70 child | £33.30 family

Children from ancient times played with many toys enjoyed by youngsters today, including board games and kites. This Bank Holiday, learn the art of kite flying at Bolsover Castle. Try out a kite from the super selection, make one on the day, or bring your own along to receive expert advice and top tips, and don’t miss demonstrations from the castle’s team of experts.

Prudhoe under Siege

Sat 12 – Sun 13 May

Prudhoe Castle, Northumberland

£5.60 adult | £5 concession | £3.40 child | £14.60 family

Prudhoe Castle is under siege once again! The Norman stronghold successfully resisted Scottish attack twice in 1173 and 1174 making it the only castle in Northumberland not to fall to the Scots. Join the castle for a 2018 invasion and see if the attempt to storm the walls is successful this time. Watch the drama unfold throughout the day and visit the attacking and defending armies in their camps. Plus junior soldiers can test their skills in the kids’ drill sessions.


In the East 

Horses through History

Horses Through History Audley 3.jpg

Sun 6 – Mon 7 May

Audley End House and Gardens, Essex

£20.60 adult | £18.50 concession | £12.40 child | £53.60 family

Take a horse ride through history and enjoy a series of spectacular displays and activities laid on to impress King Charles II. Stand in line for the arrival of the merry monarch and his Queen, Catherine of Braganza, and watch as the royal couple saddle up for a horse race with a difference. Then trot over to the Victorian stable yard to meet the resident stable boy, and take in the sights and sounds of the working stables. But it’s not all horsing around: meet the hounds from the Victorian side saddle display, discover how ice cream was made without electric freezers and saddle up in the Victorian Hobby Horse racing. From the elegance of the side-saddle ladies to the military prowess of the Redcoats, the best of horsemanship will be on show this Bank Holiday weekend.

Bank Holiday Bands

Sun 6 – Mon 7 May

Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

£10.90 adult | £9.80 concession | £6.50 child | £28.30 family

Enjoy music in the stunning surroundings of Wrest Park, a magnificent 1830s house set in a restored garden landscape dating from the 17th century. Home for more than 600 years to one of the country’s leading aristocratic families, the de Greys, Wrest Park evokes the great talents of landscape architect Capability Brown. Whether you’re picnicking with friends or taking a spring stroll through three centuries of landscape design, transport yourself back in time with the fantastic band players.

Art Deco Fair

Sat 12 – Sun 13 May

Eltham Palace and Gardens, London

£15 adult | £13.50 concession | £9 child | £39 family

Surround yourself with Art Deco decadence and sample the splendour of the thrilling Thirties at this fair. Eltham Palace was once the ultimate party palace, its owners Stephen and Virginia Courtauld welcoming everyone from secret agents and politicians to royalty and film stars. Their mansion adjoining the Great Hall of medieval Eltham Palace is a glamorous 1930s showpiece; an eclectic mix of Art Deco, ultra-smart ocean-liner style and cutting-edge Swedish design. With an abundance of vintage stalls to satisfy the most ardent shopper, sit back and relax as you’re taken on an opulent journey into Eltham Palace’s past.

Museums at Night

Fri 18 – Sat 19 May

Kenwood; and Apsley House, London

£12 adult | £10.80 concession | £7.20 child | £31.20 family

Head down to Kenwood and Apsley House after hours as part of the nationwide Museums at Night event series. Explore the resplendent rooms after dark and experience the sites’ fascinating histories being brought to life. Step into neoclassical elegance at Georgian villa Kenwood, home to Robert Adam’s striking Great Library, and evoke the first Duke of Wellington’s victory at Waterloo as you explore his home Apsley House.


In the South

Great Tower at Night

Sat 19 May

Dover Castle, Kent

£11 adult | £6.50 child | £28.50 family

The mighty Great Tower stands out at the heart of Dover Castle. As the sun sets, seize this rare opportunity as part of Museums at Night to explore the unique atmosphere of this richly furnished former court of Henry II, as it opens into the evening and after dark. At this after-hours event, roaming performers will share stories and entertainments that bring the castle’s history and setting to life, as outside a light show paints the tower in dappled light as the sun fades.

For more information and to plan your trip, visit the English Heritage website by clicking here.