OUT OF TOWN

Where London - - Sight Seeing -

Ash­molean Mu­seum of Art and Ar­chae­ol­ogy

Bri­tain’s first pub­lic mu­seum dates back to 1683, when the politi­cian Elias Ash­mole left his col­lec­tion of an­tiq­ui­ties and nat­u­ral cu­riosi­ties to the Univer­sity of Ox­ford. See Raphaelite paint­ings, Egyp­tian mum­mies and Oliver Cromwell’s death mask.

To 4 Jun: The Nee­dles Ex­cel­lency. Con­tem­po­rary work in­spired by 17th-cen­tury English em­broi­dery in the Ash­molean col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing cas­kets and pic­ture pan­els stitched in a va­ri­ety of silks and metal threads us­ing raised work tech­niques. Tue-Sun 10am-5pm. Free ad­mis­sion, charges for spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions. www.ash­molean.org. Beau­mont St, Ox­ford, OX1 2PH. T: 01865278000. Off map. Sta­tion: Padding­ton to Ox­ford.

Blen­heim Palace

See three cen­turies of trea­sures in mag­nif­i­cent state rooms at this Baroque palace, the birth­place of Sir Win­ston Churchill. The palace is set in 2,100 acres of ‘Ca­pa­bil­ity’ Brown park­land and for­mal gar­dens. 3- 4 Jun: Triathlon. 8-12 Jun: Gif­fords Cir­cus. 15-18 Jun: Noc­turne Live. A se­ries of outdoor con­certs, in­clud­ing one from the com­poser of the scores for Harry Pot­ter, E.T., Star Wars and In­di­ana Jones. 23-25 Jun: Blen­heim Palace Flower Show. Palace daily 10.30am-5.30pm; park daily 9am- 6pm; for­mal gar­dens daily 10.30am- 6pm. Adult £24.90; child £13.90. www.blenheim­palace.com. Wood­stock, Ox­ford­shire, OX20 1PP. T: 01993- 810530. Off map. Padding­ton to Ox­ford, then bus S3.

Hamp­ton Court Palace

Once home to King Henry VIII, this Tu­dor palace and maze is set in 60 acres of park­land right on the river Thames. You could eas­ily spend a day here. Palace, for­mal gar­dens and maze daily 10am- 6pm. Adult £23; child £11.50. www.hrp.org.uk. Hamp­ton Court, East Mole­sey, Sur­rey, KT8 9AU. T: 0844- 482 7777. Off map. Sta­tion: Water­loo to Hamp­ton Court.

Leeds Cas­tle

Fairy­tale 900-year-old cas­tle with a moat, gar­dens and park­land. Lose your­self in the spi­ralling yew maze, and see 100 species of birds in the aviary.

To 4 Jun: Chelsea Fringe – In­side Out. The gar­den­ers of Leeds Cas­tle are turn­ing their world ‘in­side out’ and rein­vent­ing the gar­den shed with a minia­ture recre­ation of Leeds Cas­tle gar­dens on the in­side, and the tools of their trade on the out­side. Grounds & gar­dens daily 10am-6pm; cas­tle daily 10.30am-5.30pm. Adult £24.90; child £16.90. www.leeds-cas­tle.com. Maid­stone, Kent, ME17 1PL. T: 01622-765400. Off map. Sta­tion: Vic­to­ria to Bearsted.

Oster­ley Park and House

Ex­plore this beau­ti­ful coun­try home dec­o­rated as it would have been in the 1780s, then stroll its de­light­ful for­mal gar­dens or stop for a snack in the sta­ble tea­room. House 11am-5pm; gar­den 10am-5pm. Adult £10.90; child £5.45. www.na­tion­al­trust.org.uk. Jersey Rd, Isle­worth, Mid­dle­sex, TW7 4RB. T: 020- 8232 5050. Off map. Sta­tion: Oster­ley/Isle­worth.

Palace of Holy­rood­house

The Queen’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence in Scot­land stands at the end of Ed­in­burgh’s Royal Mile, against the spec­tac­u­lar back­drop of Arthur’s Seat. Tour high­lights in­clude the state apart­ments and Mary, Queen of Scots’ cham­ber. Daily 9.30am-6pm. Adult £12.50; child £7.50. www.roy­al­col­lec­tion.org. uk. Canon­gate, The Royal Mile, Ed­in­burgh, EH8 8DX. T: 0303-123 7306. Off map. Sta­tion: Ed­in­burgh Waver­ley, then a 15-minute walk.

Stone­henge

The world’s most fa­mous stone cir­cle and a World Her­itage Site, Stone­henge is more than 5,000 years old. With ob­scure Ne­olithic origins, it is per­fectly aligned with the ris­ing sun at the sol­stice. Daily 9am- 8pm. Adult £17.50; child £10.50. www.english-her­itage.org.uk. Ames­bury, Wilt­shire, SP4 7DE. T: 0870-333 1181. Off map. Sta­tion: Water­loo to Sal­is­bury, then bus or taxi.

Syon Park

This stunning Palladian man­sion set in park­land is home to the Duke of Northum­ber­land. Don’t miss the in­cred­i­ble in­te­ri­ors, Grade I-listed land­scape gar­dens and Great Con­ser­va­tory. Please check for times and prices. www.syon­park.co.uk. Syon Park, Brent­ford, Mid­dle­sex, TW8 8JF. T: 020-8560 0882. Off map. Sta­tion: Water­loo to Syon Lane.

Wad­des­don Manor

Re­nais­sance-style chateau built in the late 19th cen­tury. Mag­nif­i­cent house and wine cel­lars, plus gar­dens and aviary. Please check for times and prices. www.wad­des­don­manor.org. Near Ayles­bury, Buck­ing­hamshire, HP18 0JH. T: 01296653226. Off map. Sta­tion: Maryle­bone to Ayles­bury.

Warwick Cas­tle

Built by Wil­liam the Con­queror in 1068, this cas­tle is now a fam­ily-friendly ex­pe­ri­ence with land­scaped gar­dens de­signed by ‘Ca­pa­bil­ity’ Brown. To 4 Jun: Wars of the Roses Live! Live joust­ing tour­na­ment. 17 Jun: King­mak­ers Me­dieval Ban­quet. A four-course meal with drinks and me­dieval en­ter­tain­ment. Please check for times. Cas­tle adult £26.40; child £23.40; cas­tle & dun­geon adult £31.40, child £28.40. www.warwick-cas­tle.com. Warwick, War­wick­shire, CV34 6AH. Off map. Sta­tion: Warwick.

Watts Gallery Artists’ Vil­lage

An arts and crafts gem in the Sur­rey Hills, with stunning Vic­to­rian paint­ings and sculp­tures. Visit The Tea Shop, then wan­der to the nearby Grade I-listed Watts Chapel. Tue-Sun 11am-5pm. Adult £9.50 (Tues £4.75); child free. Down Lane, Comp­ton, Sur­rey, GU3 1DQ. T: 01483-810235. Off map. Sta­tion: Water­loo to Guild­ford, then bus or taxi.

Wind­sor Cas­tle

The Queen’s week­end home and the world’s old­est in­hab­ited cas­tle. In­cludes state apart­ments fur­nished with art by Rem­brandt, Rubens and Canaletto. Chang­ing the Guard Mon; Wed; Fri & Sat 11am ex­cept Sun. Daily 9.30am-5.30pm. Adult £20.50; child £12. www.roy­al­col­lec­tion.org.uk. Wind­sor, Berk­shire, SL4 1NJ. T: 0303-123 7304. Off map. Sta­tion: Water­loo to Wind­sor & Eton Cen­tral or Wind­sor & Eton River­side.

Woburn Abbey and Gar­dens

Set in a 3,000-acre deer park, this his­toric house has been home to the earls and dukes of Bed­ford for nearly 400 years. Daily 11am-5pm. Abbey, gar­dens and deer park adult £17; child £8.50. www.woburn­abbey.co.uk. Woburn, Bed­ford­shire, MK17 9WA. T: 01525-290333. Off map. Sta­tion: St Pan­cras to Fl­itwick.

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