Top 5 things to do in July
Explore the Stonehenge skyscape wherever you are, hear stories from England’s past and enjoy live music in the gardens of historic houses.
Here’s our pick of the top 5 things to see and do with us in July…
Did you know?
- On 1 July 1858, a paper by the scientist Charles Darwin was presented to the Linnean Society of London on his theory of evolution by natural selection. The paper formed the basis of his book published the following year, On the Origin of Species, which is considered the foundation of modern evolutionary biology. Visit the study where Darwin wrote his book.
- The Roman Emperor Hadrian died on 10 July 138, but not before he had overseen the building of a 70-mile wall marking the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire. Several forts and settlements partially survive on Hadrian’s Wall, including Housesteads Roman Fort and Corbridge Roman Town.
- Emmeline Pankhurst was born on 14 July 1858. Emmeline led the militant campaign for women’s right to vote in the early 20th century, better known as the ‘suffragette’ movement. A bill giving women equal voting rights to men eventually passed in 1928, just weeks before Emmeline’s death that November. Discover more about the women who made history in London.
1. Explore the sky over Stonehenge, anytime
Stonehenge is known for its relationship with the cosmos, especially the summer and winter solstices when the sun aligns with the monument.
Now, you can experience the sunrise and sunset from within the stone circle, wherever you are. Our new Skyscape website shows the sky over Stonehenge as it is right now.
Look around and explore with annotations showing the movements of the Sun and planets, or sit back and let Skyscape pan slowly around for you.
2. Take England’s history with you on the go
Delve into the story of Victorian cook Avis Crocombe, discover the countless masterpieces of Kenwood House, and hear how George Orwell’s life influenced his most famous works.
3. Discover England’s mythical past
This year we’re exploring the myth, legend and folklore of England’s history. From an abbess who banished a plague of poisonous snakes from Whitby Abbey, to the conception of a legendary king at Tintagel Castle, you can visit the places where these remarkable stories (supposedly!) took place.
In our latest video, hear the curious tale of how the Stanton Drew Stone Circles were apparently formed. It all began with a wedding long, long ago…
4. Enjoy a month of live music in historic settings
This month, England’s historic places will be alive with the sound of music.
The Human League, The Hives and The Jacksons play at Audley End House on three consecutive nights in July, with support including Boney M, Belinda Carlisle and Kool And The Gang.
- Friday 12 July: The Human League plus ABC & Belinda Carlisle
- Saturday 13 July: The Hives plus The Fratellis, The Sandinistas & Cassia
- Sunday 14 July: The Jacksons plus Kool & the Gang and Boney M
Our series of Sunday music events is also in full swing this month, offering the chance to relax with jazz and classical in the beautiful surroundings of a historic garden. Enjoy live music on various Sundays throughout the month at Witley Court, Audley End House, Eltham Palace and Wrest Park. Picnic recommended!
5. Plan a summer break in historic surroundings
Thinking of getting away for a long weekend or a short break? Find inspiration in our tailored travel guides. They include day-by-day itineraries, unique places to stay, transport tips and unmissable attractions.
History through your lens
Mum Lauren (@thatlittleoutfit) shared this photo of young Rory playing king of the castle at Portland Castle this month. She said: “Running around castles, exploring museums and multiple visits to playgrounds are essential when holidaying with Rory, to guarantee those 2-3 hour naps which feel like a mini break in themselves.”
Portland Castle in Dorset is one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses. Along with others such as Pendennis, St Mawes and Deal, it was built in the early 1540s to protect against French and Spanish invasion.
If you’re heading out to historic places with little ones this summer don’t forget to check our pick of the best outdoor play areas for kids, from miniature castles to woodland adventure trails.
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