Places of Interest and worth a visit

Sulgrave Manor


Normal opening in 2013: Weekends from 11am.

Visitors to Sulgrave on non-event days, see the Manor on a guided tour. We are known for the excellence of our tours, which are both informative and entertaining.

Tours start at approximately 12.30, 2.30 and 4.00 and last for about 1 1/4 hours in the house; and then take a stroll around the beautiful gardens, designed in the formal style by Sir Reginald Blomfield; a study of the George Washington Exhibition above the Brewhouse; perhaps take light refreshments in the Buttery and browse in the gift shop.

We think you need half a day to fully enjoy and experience everything Sulgrave has to offer.

While children are welcome and involved in all tours there is a Children’s Tour on Saturdays at 1.45 (occasionally we are not able to hold this tour: please telephone in advance to check and avoid disappointment 01295 760205). Children’s Tours are also held on Family Bank Holiday Mondays and during Half Term weeks.

Light refreshments are available in the Manor Buttery during opening hours.

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology houses the University’s extensive collections of art and antiquities, ranging back over four millennia. Established in 1683, it is the oldest museum in Britain and one of the oldest in the world.


Pitt Rivers Museum

Visiting the Museumbracelet

Admission free

Opening Hours

10.00 – 16.30 Tuesday to Sunday

(and bank holiday Mondays)

12.00 – 16.30 Monday

The Museum Shop is also open at these times.

The Pitt Rivers Museum will remain open throughout 2013 via the normal entrance while there are the building works in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

map of the museum's location


The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW. The Pitt Rivers’ entrance is at the far wall of the OUMNH. Visitors need to walk across the ground floor to reach it.

See The University of Oxford’s maps for location.


The Museum unfortunately cannot offer parking facilities. Vehicles parking in the University’s Science Area without a permit are liable to be wheel-clamped. We suggest that you look for parking in either the side streets around the Museum or at the multi-storey car park. There are also five Park and Ride car parks (situated on the A40 at Headington; Red Bridge at the bottom of the Abingdon Road, near Kennington; Pear Tree Roundabout, Woodstock Road; Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington and Seacourt at Botley). The coach park is on Oxpens Road. The walk from the coach park and the multi-storey car parks to the Museum is about half an hour.

National Herb Centre, Warmington

The National Herb Centre is more than just a garden centre, we provide something for everyone for a great day out.  We are located on the B4100 just outside Warmington Village, 5 miles north of Banbury and 11 miles south of Warwick.


You will find an extensive range of herb plants to delight the chef, intrigue the gardener and fascinate anyone with an interest in herbal remedies or alternative medicine.   We also stock a variety of shrubs, alpines, climbers, fruit trees and roses.  Unfortunately we are unable to guarantee stock availability onsite for the plants listed in the catalogue as we only manually update the website once a week, if you plan to visit to purchase a particular plant listed please ring ahead on 01295 690999 to avoid disappointment.

For gardeners we have everything you would expect: assorted composts, pots, tools, seeds and bulbs.

Our shop stocks a wide range of accessories for the garden, home and outdoor living along with unusual gifts, herbal products and toys for kids. 

National Herb Centre

National Herb Centre


Our licensed bistro offers delicious, freshly prepared breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas and children’s lunch boxes, with a strong focus on using local fresh ingredients.  On warmer days, you can enjoy your refreshments relaxing outside and soaking up the sun in our rural location.


Entry to the nature trail and our display gardens is free.  Explore the great outdoors and enjoy breathtaking views over three counties.

Our nature trail winds down through the valley through fields , by ponds and into woodland with the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife in its natural habitat.

We have six specially designed herb gardens which demonstrate the versatility of planting herbs in your garden, and can inspire your own use of herbs.


We have created a natural play area which includes a labyrinth for children to explore and enjoy and a purpose built playframe.

We also run children’s craft activities and ‘really wild’ activities during school holidays.

Falconry Centre, Warmington

Falconry Centre, Warmington

 Falconry Centre, Warmington

Fir Tree Falconry is a well established Falconry Centre run and owned by Dian & Shaun Saunders. After being in the falconry world for a number of years Dian has a wealth of experience to pass on to you whether it’s a flying display, an owl evening or a falconry course you can be assured of a personal professional service.

We have an impressive collection of birds of prey which will captivate and thrill any generation and the flying displays show the natural behaviour of the magnificent creatures, from Kasper the Kestrel, Zeus the Red Tailed Hawk to Willow the Barn Owl to name just a few.

Why not come and join us for refreshments over looking the well stocked fishing lake in the valley then browse our gift shop.

Blenheim Palace

Home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace is the birthplace ofSir Winston Churchill and a World Heritage Site.

Blenheim Palace was a gift from Queen Anne and a grateful nation to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough following his famous victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. Visit the gilded State Rooms, which house one of the finest collections in Europe, and the fascinating visitor experience, ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story’. The Churchill Exhibition includes the room where Sir Winston Churchill was born 1874.

Situated in Woodstock, just 8 miles from Oxford, Blenheim Palace is surrounded by over 2,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland, the great lake, and beautiful formal gardens, offering an unforgettable day out for all.

We look forward to welcoming you to Britain’s Greatest Palace

Filming at Blenheim Palace

gulliver1Blenheim Palace and its stunning gardens and parkland have been used as a location for many exciting feature films and television documentaries. The Palace’s impressive architecture and incredible scenery provides a stunning setting for filming, from classic period dramas, to factual documentaries and modern feature films. Some films place the Palace centre stage but others come to film small aspects you might not recognise at first glance such as part of a staircase or a glimpse of the maze. If you would like to contact Blenheim Palace to discuss filming opportunities please email
victoria1Gulliver’s Travels

The most recent large production filmed at the Palace was Gulliver’s Travels starring Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Catherine Tate and Billy Connolly, Jason Segel. Travel writer Lemuel Gulliver takes an assignment in Bermuda, but ends up on the island of Liliput, where he towers over its tiny citizens. Blenheim Palace starred as the Palace of Lilliput in the film, with stunning special effects,  scenes showed Jack Black as Gulliver towering over the Palace. Gulliver’s Travels is a 2010 fantasy comedy film directed by Rob Letterman and very loosely based on Part One of the 18th-century novel of the same name by Jonathan Swift, though the film takes place in modern day. The film stars Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Billy Connolly, Catherine Tate, Chris O’Dowd, James Corden as Jinks and Amanda Peet as Darcy Silverman and is distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Lemuel Gulliver has been working in the mailroom of a New York daily newspaper for the past ten years. Afraid to put himself out there, he considers himself a loser, as do all his peers. One day, after having finally had enough, he decides to declare his flame to the beautiful Darcy Silverman, the newspaper’s travel editor and one of Gulliver’s only friends…only to chicken out at the last minute and instead tell her that he’d like to try his hand at writing a column. Darcy accepts and sends him on an assignment to the Bermuda Triangle. There, Gulliver becomes shipwrecked and ends up on the island of Liliput, where he is twelve taller than the tallest man. For the first time, Gulliver has people looking up to him…

Watch a clip about this movie

The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend, is a dramatisation of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria’s rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert. The film chronicles Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne, focusing on the early turbulent years of her reign and her legendary romance and marriage to Prince Albert. At the heart of the film is the love story of Victoria and Albert, who she married in 1840.

The romance of Victoria’s marriage to Albert caught the imagination of Director, Jean-Marc Vallée.  “Victoria was lucky enough to find her soul-mate in Albert.  There was a mystical quality to their relationship.  They were born three months apart and the same mid-wife delivered them both.  They wrote the same things in their diaries and although their marriage was arranged, they really fell in love.”

This happy and fulfilled chapter also appealed to the film’s producer Graham King. “It is a pure love story to me.  It is a human story, a story that people can relate to rather than just being a standard period film or film about royalty.”

“Prince Albert was purposefully chosen for Victoria over his less attractive older brother, by his uncle King Leopold of Belgium,” explains scriptwriter Julian Fellowes.  “Leopold was using Albert to jostle for power and influence over the British throne and considered him ideal for a woman who was determined to marry for love.  What is interesting is that Albert fell for her completely.  He came from a very dour German court and suddenly he was with this girl who was out for a good time.  She loved dancing, music, riding. Everyone had overlooked the possibility that they would fall in love with each other.”

Filming took place from August 2007 at 17 locations throughout England including Blenheim Palace that was used, among others, for a scene made to look like Buckingham Palace.

Graham King explains, “It adds so much to the film to shoot at these beautiful locations.  You look at these places and think how can you not shoot here?  Not only does the film look ravishing, but it’s important for everyone especially the cast and director to feel that authenticity and see that translate onto the screen.”

Watch a movie about this film

Harry Potter

A huge old Cedar of Lebanon tree in the Park at Blenheim Palace has a distinctive ‘O’ shaped hole in its trunk that captured the imagination for use in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Michael Goldenberg and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The story follows Harry Potter’s fifth year at Hogwarts as the Ministry of Magic refuses to believe the return of the evil Lord Voldemort.

The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry’s best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and is followed by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Live-action filming took place in England and Scotland for exterior locations and Leavesden Film Studios in Watford for interior locations from February to November 2006, with a one-month break in June. Post-production on the film continued for several months afterwards to add in visual effects.

Bollywood -Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

One of the most iconic Bollywood films of all time Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (‘Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad’) was filmed at Blenheim Palace in 2001 featuring a scene of massed dancing in the Great Court. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is a lavish movie that deals with the issues of class distinction and the roles of women and men in marriage. It opens with a grown Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) finishing his boarding school education and returning to visit his grandmothers before he goes home for Diwali. His grandmothers, haunted by the memory of Rohan’s estranged brother, Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan), sit Rohan down, and in their grief, tell him the story of his family. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… was the highest grossing Indian film in the overseas market until 2006, when its record was broken by Johar’s third film, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

Watch Visit Britain TV clip about this movie:

Indian filmmaker Karan Johar, director of the smash hit Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, loves shooting his movies on location in Britain. The magnificent stately home Blenheim Palace, Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, London’s British Museum and the vibrant shopping district of Covent Garden all feature and are all waiting to be discovered.


Warwick Castle

Britain’s Ultimate Castle, where you’ll

be surrounded by jaw-dropping history, magic,

myth and adventure!

  • Epic adventures for all the family
  • Stunning scenery, inside and out
  • Shows, battles and live entertainment
  • 21st Century food, drink and facilities
Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford

Reggie Heyworth

When my father started the Park in 1970 at Bradwell Grove, his family home, he hoped to give new life to a house and park that he loves, and to share with as many people as possible his enduring interest in nature.

Over forty years later, he and his family are delighted to welcome you to what is now one of the UK’s largest zoological collections and most exciting gardens. Millions of visitors in that time have discovered here the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

The Park relies totally on our visitors and receives no outside help from any other sources, so your visit is vital to all the staff and the animals here. It also enables us to support a thriving education programme, numerous endangered species breeding programmes and several vital conservation projects in the wild.


Shakespeare Experience

Shakespeares birthplace

Shakespeare’s birthplace

This is where the Shakespeare story began.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace has been welcoming visitors for over 250 years. William Shakespeare was born, grew up and he played here. He ate meals in the hall and he slept and dreamed in these rooms. Shakespeare also spent the first five years of married life in this house with his new wife, Anne Hathaway.

For millions of Shakespeare enthusiasts worldwide, the house is a shrine. You will discover the world that shaped the man and you’ll find out what other famous writers thought when they visited here. Well-known visitors have included Charles Dickens, John Keats, Walter Scott and Thomas Hardy.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a fascinating house that offers a tantalising glimpse into Shakespeare’s early world. It’s a special place that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.

Plus, you can enjoy live theatre everyday with costumed actors performing excepts from Shakespeare’s plays.

Discover where the young William Shakespeare courted his future bride Anne Hathaway at her picturesque family home.

Enjoy beautiful gardens in Stratford. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a thatched farmhouse with stunning grounds and gardens, which overflow with beautiful blooms, and traditional shrubs.The cottage is in Shottery, a hamlet within the parish of Stratford-upon-Avon. It is just over one mile from the town centre but can be accessed via a pleasant, well sign-posted footpath.

Anne Hathaway cottage

Anne Hathaway’s cottage

Visit Nash’s House and the site of Shakespeare’s last home at New Place where he died in 1616.

Nash’s House was named after Thomas Nash, first husband of Shakespeare’s granddaughter, and a wealthy local property owner.Today, it is a well preserved Tudor building and the ground floor is furnished as it would have been in Nash’s day.

Next door to Nash’s House are the foundations of New Place. This was the house bought by William Shakespeare in 1597. By the late 1590s, Shakespeare was an established playwright and had amassed enough wealth to afford a new family home. New Place was the second biggest house in Stratford at the time and it was where Shakespeare lived when he was not in London. He died here in 1616.

Discover the site of the place where we believe Shakespeare wrote some of his later works such as The Tempest, From March 2010 until November 2012 the site was excavated in order to discover more about the Shakespeare story


Wander through the elegant home of Susanna Shakespeare and her husband, Dr John Hall. Enjoy the luxurious rooms and beautiful decoration of this fascinating house, befitting a wealthy physician of Dr John Hall’s status.

Examine the intriguing collection of apothecary’s equipment and books in the doctor’s consulting room along with a first edition of his medical notes published in 1657.

Relax in the beautiful gardens, breathe in the fragrant herbs as used by Dr Hall in his remedies.

Discover stories of the house’s famous past occupants

Unwind over a delicious snack or light meal in the Hall’s Croft cafe.

Halls Croft

Hall’s Croft

Step back in time for all the sights, smells and sounds of a real Tudor farm.

Explore the house where Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, grew up and experience for yourself the daily routine, skills and crafts the young William would have known from visits to his grandparents in the 1570s.

Help with tasks like skep-making and basket- weaving and ‘earn your keep’ at Palmer’s Farm with traditional chores such as threshing, bread-making, gardening and animal-tending.

Enjoy have-a-go archery (school and bank holidays) and daily falconry displays.

Enjoy refreshments and light meals served all day in the cafe.

See our rare breed animals roam the grounds and explore the nature trailsdiscovering abundant wildlife including woodpeckers, rabbits and deer along the way.

Mary Arden’s Farm is a working farm that keeps pace with the seasons, and with a programme of Tudor events and free repeat visits there is always something new to see and do and plenty reasons to visit time and time again. Look out for the daily activity boards during your visit.

Gaydon Heritage Centre, Motor Museum

An external shot of the museum


The Heritage Motor Centre is home to the world’s largest collection of British Cars; it boasts nearly 300 cars in its collection which span the classic, vintage and veteran eras and is a mecca for car enthusiasts.


Car Collection


Discover our Car Collection which is nearly 300 cars strong and find out how the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust was formed to secure the collection for the Nation.

Museum Collections Centre


Our plan is to build a new store here at Gaydon in 2013, with space for the 100 cars we have in reserve, together with space for expansion in the future. Once complete, the building will be open every day for you to look inside and a new group of tour guides.

Time Road Exhibition


Delve into our motoring history and browse our permanent motoring exhibitions located here at the museum.

Temporary Exhibitions


The Heritage Motor Centre houses a range of Temporary Exhibitions throughout the year, celebrating special milestones and unique historic vehicles.

Archive Collection


Discover the origins of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Archive Collections go back to the creation of British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968.

National Trust, nearby Properties

Farnborough Hall

Farnborough Hall

Farnborough Hall

Honey-coloured stone house with exquisite plasterwork and fine landscaped garden

Nestled in the heart of rural Warwickshire, surrounded by elegant lakes and fine landscape gardens sits Farnborough Hall. Made from the locally quarryed Horton honey-coloured stone, this country house shimmers in the sunlight.

Inside, the finest 18th-century plasterwork, depicting natural beauty and wildlife, adorns the interiors. On your way around you’ll spot many treasures that were collected during the Grand Tour, as well as sentimental family items and photographs.

Upton House and Gardens

Join the guests of Lord and Lady Bearsted and experience a weekend house party of a 1930s millionaire

Surrounded by internationally important art and porcelain collections, hear and discover more about family life and soak up the atmosphere of the party.

See the red and silver art deco bathroom and get close to artworks by El Greco, Stubbs and Bosch.

The stunning gardens – being returned to their 1930s heyday – have a sweeping lawn that gives way to a series of terraces and herbaceous borders leading to a kitchen garden, tranquil water garden and spring bulb displays.

Upton House

Upton House

Upton House

Upton House

Places nearby

Broughton Castle

Filming The Slipper and the Rose in 1975“Broughton Castle … about the most beautiful castle in all England … for sheer loveliness of the combination of water, woods and picturesque buildings.”

A generous tribute from historian Sir Charles Oman in 1898, and one continued by the noted diarist James Lees-Milne in a 1989 entry”It is still the most romantic house imaginable. English to the core, as Henry James says. … Perfection, what with moat, gatehouse, church, and gorgeous orange and buff stone”.

A more recent accolade came in 2003 inEngland’s Thousand Best Houses by Sir Simon Jenkins. The author gives only twenty of the thousand houses five stars — and Broughton Castle is proud to be one of them.

On this site you can plan your visitexplore the castle and the garden, pick up teaching materialsfor school visits, do some games on the children’s pages, and learn about some of the variety of events and goings-on in the Castle’s Life. Check the film page too for more on Broughton’s illustrious career in the movies, or the Archive section for various interesting articles and documents. We hope you’ll get the chance to visit us.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

  • The Madness of King George (1994)
  • Three Men and a Little Lady (1987)
  • Lady Jane (1986)
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
  • Joseph Andrews (1976)
  • The Slipper and the Rose (1976)
  • Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special (1975)article-0-0417A06F000005DC-197_634x286
    Roman Villa discovered in a field near Broughton Castle

     Archaeologist discovered Roman mega-villa bigger than the Taj Mahal is found in Oxfordshire Englandnazar

    Mr Westcott, who is director of The Association of Detectorists, said: ‘It is truly is a remarkable find of incredible historical significance.

    ‘We have only uncovered about one per cent so the possibilities of what we still might find are endless.

    ‘The only bigger one is at Fishbourne Palace in West Sussex – but that is a palace and we think that parts of it could date back to the 2nd century.

    ‘All other sites of this significance – with the exception of North Leigh near Witney – have a visitor centre and/or a museum, so it really is a big deal.’

    He says that it is possible Roman dignitaries visited for the sporting purposes.

    ‘Most of the other big courtyard villa’s were found in the 1800s and excavated using Victorian techniques’, said Mr Westcott.

    ‘All of the other discoveries had been done so by accident but in this instance, I had a theory and went with it.

    ‘The villa would be the real centre of rural industry and agriculture and although the persons living there would have been very wealthy and powerful there would have been all sorts of things going on from the cooks to slaves.

    ‘The more we are finding out about this part of north Oxfordshire, we’re realizing at the head of the triangle between Fosse Way, Akeman Street and Watling Street was a very important Roman area’, he said.

Hanwell Observatory

HCO comprises a group of amateur observers promoting astronomy in the community. Whether you have private or educational interests in the subject, our aim is to make astronomy accessible to you. We welcome public and school groups to star parties and other events that will open up the Heavens and share with you the wonders of the cosmos. If you are a student or teacher at a local school or university, please see the Education section for details of our current activities and how you can get involved. more…


Stars & Snowdrops 2013

17th February 2013

Thanks to the hundreds of visitors to Stars & Snowdrops 2013. Everyone who came on the extra Sunday enjoyed the beautiful snowdrops, spectacular views of the sun and the moon and the delicious cake! And a special thanks to everyone who braved the weather to come to Stars and Snowdrops the previous weekend. Despite the rain, over 100 visitors enjoyed the snowdrops, talking to the astronomers and, of course, the tea and cakes by the huge log fire! 

History at Hanwell

Archeologist Stephen Wass has recently begun a study into Hanwell Castle and it’s grounds, where HCO is based. Hanwell Castle, the area’s oldest brick building, was built by Henry VII’s treasurer, and the park’s 16th and 17th century water gardens were visited by royalty.

Visit HCO

You can visit the observatory for a stargazing evening, either privately booked for your party of 10-25 people, or on one of our scheduled public evenings. “Private” events are specifically for large parties, be they business outings, societies or educational groups. When we have arranged a schedule and have a working booking system, “public” events will be run on a first-come-first-served basis, where places may be booked by small groups and individuals.

Hanwell Castle, Stars and Snowdrops even,t every February.

Hanwell Castle, Stars and Snowdrops event, every February.

More links to places of interest and where to visit