OUT OF TOWN

Where London - - Sightseeing -

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 to the Univer­sity of Ox­ford. See ar­chae­o­log­i­cal arte­facts, pre-Raphaelite paint­ings, Egyp­tian mum­mies and Oliver Cromwell’s death mask. Free ad­mis­sion, charges for spe­cial events. To 7 May: De­gas to Pi­casso. In­cludes works by De­gas and Pi­casso. Tue-Sun 10am-5pm. Free ad­mis­sion, charges for spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions. www.ash­molean.org. Beau­mont St, Ox­ford, OX1 2PH. T: 01865-278 000. Off map. Sta­tion: Padding­ton to Ox­ford.

Blen­heim Palace

See three cen­turies of trea­sures in this Baroque palace, the birth­place of Win­ston Churchill. The palace is set in 2,100 acres of ‘Ca­pa­bil­ity’ Brown park­land. To 23 Apr: Ex­hi­bi­tion: A Pas­sion for Fashion. Fashion through the ages. Palace daily 10.30am5.30pm; park 9am- 6pm; for­mal gar­dens daily 10.30am- 6pm. Palace, park and gar­dens adult £24.90, child £13.90; park and gar­dens adult £15.30, child £7.10. www.blenheim­palace.com. Woodstock, Ox­ford­shire, OX20 1PP. T: 01993- 810530. Off map. Padding­ton to Ox­ford, then bus S3.

Hamp­ton Court Palace

King Henry VIII’s for­mer palace has 60 acres of land. Palace, for­mal gar­dens and maze daily 10am-6pm. Adult £23; child £11.50. www.hrp.org.uk. 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. Cas­tle daily 10.30am-5.30pm; grounds & gar­dens daily 10am-5pm. Adult £24.50; child £16.50. www.leeds-cas­tle.com. Maid­stone, Kent, ME17 1PL. T: 01622-765 400. Off map. Sta­tion: Victoria to Bearsted.

Oster­ley Park and House

This coun­try home is dec­o­rated as it would have been in the 1780s. Stroll its for­mal gar­dens. House & Gar­den 11am-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. English Her­itage mem­bers get ex­clu­sive early-morn­ing tours. The vis­i­tor cen­tre has an ex­hi­bi­tion, shop and café. Daily 9.30am-7pm. Please check for prices. www.english-her­itage.org.uk. Ames­bury, Wilt­shire SP4 7DE. T: 0870-333 1181. Off map. Sta­tion: Water­loo to Sal­is­bury, then bus or taxi.

War­wick Cas­tle

Built by Wil­liam the Con­queror in 1068, this cas­tle is now a fam­ily-friendly ex­pe­ri­ence with land­scaped gar­dens de­signed by ‘Ca­pa­bil­ity’ Brown. Don’t miss Merlin: The Dragon Tower and dis­plays of me­dieval weaponry, as well as reg­u­lar fal­conry dis­plays. The dun­geon, with ac­tors, is a high­light. 7-22 Apr: Lit­tle War­rior Breaks. Kids can take part in me­dieval bat­tles. 8-23 Apr: Easter at War­wick Cas­tle. In­spired by the pop­u­lar kid’s sto­ries, you can get lost in a Hor­ri­ble His­to­ries Maze, see Hor­ri­ble His­to­ries Wicked War­wick live on stage and watch ea­gles soar. Please check for times. Cas­tle adult £19.20; child £16.80; cas­tle & dun­geon adult £22.80; child £19.20. 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 Watts Chapel.

To 9 Apr: Painted with Sto­ries: The Mak­ing of Maiolica. Ceram­i­cist Myra McDon­nell dis­plays her work in­spired by maiolica, the tin-glazed pot­tery of the Ital­ian Re­nais­sance.

From 12 Apr: Emma Bridge­wa­ter: Pomegranates. The ceramics de­signer and author dis­plays her work. 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 al­ter­nate days 11am Mon-Sat (please check). 1-29 Apr: Fab­u­lous Fash­ions. Kids can dress up in replica royal clothes, fol­low an Easter ac­tiv­ity trail and take part in an art work­shop. 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.

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