- Battle Abbey (East Sussex): At this site of the famous Battle of Hastings (fought on Oct 14, 1066), the Normans defeated King Harold's English army. William the Conqueror built a great commemorative abbey here; the high altar of its church was erected over the spot where Harold fell in battle. The abbey was destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1538-39). Some ruins and buildings remain, about which Tennyson wrote, "O Garden, blossoming out of English blood."
- Hastings Castle (Hastings, East Sussex): Now in ruins, this was the first of the Norman castles erected in England (ca. 1067). The fortress was unfortified in 1216. An audiovisual presentation of the castle's history includes the famous battle of 1066.
- Rye (East Sussex): Near the English Channel, this port -- one of England's best preserved towns -- was a smuggling center for centuries. Louis Jennings once wrote, "Nothing more recent than a Cavalier's Cloak, Hat, and Ruffles should be seen on the streets of Rye."
- Dunster Castle (Somerset): This castle was built on the site of a Norman castle granted to William de Mohun of Normandy by William the Conqueror shortly after his conquest of England. A 13th-century gateway remains from the original fortress. The Luttrell family held possession of the castle and its lands from 1376 until the National Trust took it over in 1976.
- Warwick Castle (Warwickshire): This is the finest medieval castle in England, lying on a cliff overlooking the Avon River. Its most powerful commander in the 1400s was the earl of Warwick, who, during the War of the Roses, was called the "Kingmaker." One of the best collections of medieval armor and weapons in Europe is behind its walls.
- Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal (southwest of Ripon, in North Yorkshire): These ruins evoke monastic life in medieval England. In 1132, Cistercian monks constructed "a place remote from all the earth." Explore the ruins as well as the Studley Royal, whose lavish 18th-century landscaping is one of the few surviving examples of a Georgian green garden.
- Conwy Castle (North Wales): Edward I ordered this masterpiece built after he subdued the last native prince of Wales. Visitors today can tour the royal apartment where Edward brought his queen, Eleanor. The castle's eight towers command the estuary of the River Conwy.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.