English Heritage is a charity organisation founded in 1983 and currently it manages more than 400 sites all over England. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and settlements and different country houses.
We became members on our first visit to the very first English Heritage site – Whitby Abbey. On that day English Heritage was hosting a Viking event at Whitby Abbey with many re-enactments and the big Viking village all around ruined but still stunning Abbey. And coincidentally our son’s school topic was all about Vikings era. Already then we knew that we made a right decision by getting membership.
When we moved to England we were determined to explore as much as possible of this beautiful and historically rich country. Our son was already very interested in history but walking in footsteps of kings and queens, seeing places like Coventry Cathedral, damaged during WWII makes you to experience history on a very personal level!
Plus since we now were living in England it only made sense as membership pays off after only few visits!
So let’s then go through some main benefits members can expect.
1. Members get free entrance to all English Heritage sites. And there are more than 400 of them. Some of them are free for everyone (including non meme era) like Wall Roman site but depending on the site prices vary from only few pounds to more than £20 per person.
I love the fact that most of the tourist’s sights in the U.K. offer family price tickets wich help you to safe money if membership doesn’t make sense, for example if you’re just visiting Great Britain. English Heritage offers Overseas Visitors Pass which allows you to explore more than 100 sites within either 9 or 16 consecutive days.
2. Members of English Heritage receive an annual Handbook with information about all the sites, such as opening time, location, telephone numbers, entrance prices and upcoming special events. Non members can purchase this informative Handbook for £10.95
3. During the first year of your membership you receive 50% off of the entrance fee to all CADW attractions (historic places in Wales) and FREE entry in subsequent years!
And Wales has many castles for you to explore!
4. Same great deal with Historic Scotland sites and if that didn’t convinced you then think of free entry to OPW Heritage Ireland and Heritage New Zealand!
5. English Heritage members get discounts at associated attractions in England. From 10% to 50% and 2 for 1 entrance tickets to many different historic places, gardens and even a steam train adventure!
So if we visit a historic place other than English Heritage site I made a point to remember to ask if there is a discount for EH members and usually the answer is yes!
As an example we visited William Shakespeare’s birth place house in Stratford-apron-Avon and English Heritage membership helped us save more than a deal on a family ticket!
6. Free or discounted entrance to special events at historic sites! During the year many Heritage sites offer variety of events from knight’s joust to Norman’s going into battle with Herold’s army at Hearings, from Vikings to re-enactments of life during WWII.
The history come to life during these events and make you feel as if you fall through time!
7. Last but not least reason to become a member is that this organisation rely on members, partners and supporters to conserve, preserve and share the history for us and future generations.
Some amazing sites would disappear if not for dedication of English Heritage to undertake critical conservation work and safe history so we can admire and more importantly learn about the past!