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5 heritage sites you should visit in 2024

Rewind thirty years and you’ll find See Brilliance at the beginning of an exciting journey about breathing new life into treasured historic buildings. In this highly specialised area of historic structure restoration, we’ve been fortunate enough to work on some of the UK’s most prestigious buildings, sites and monuments.

Historic England and English Heritage are the public bodies that serve as stewards for England’s historic buildings and monuments. They play a vital role in protecting and advocating for historical places and working with specialist restoration contractors like See Brilliance to ensure the character and significance of such sites are preserved for generations to come.

Across the UK, English Heritage manages and cares for hundreds of fascinating sites including 66 castles, 47 London statues, 7 palaces and 35 roman sites.

In this article we explore five of the UK’s must-see historic and heritage sites for 2024, including a brief history of each and things to look out for on your visit.

Hadrian’s Wall Birdoswald Roman Fort, Cumbria

Dating back to 122 AD, this stretch of stone isn’t just a wall; it’s a monumental 73-mile testament to the grandeur of the Roman Empire, peppered with more than 20 English Heritage sites for you to enjoy in a single visit.

Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts the remains of ancient buildings and temples dating back almost two-thousand years. There is plenty to do here too, from the scenic walks and trails that run alongside the wall to a selection of unimaginable town ruins set on a backdrop of spectacular views.

Tower of London

The Tower of London, with its imposing and sturdy walls, is a fortress that is steeped in history, whispered legends, and a fair share of bloody tales. Officially His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, this historic castle is nestled on the north bank of the River Thames in central London and is a quintessential symbol of regal power.

Today, the Tower of London is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting millions of visitors each year. It stands not only as a monument to the past but as a reminder of the power, politics, and sometimes the cruelty that shaped the history of the UK. It’s a place where you can walk the cobblestone paths and feel the weight of history in the air, a reminder of the Tower’s enduring place in the annals of time.

Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath

Bath, a city named for its famous Roman Baths, cradles one of the most well-preserved Roman remains in the world. The Roman Baths themselves are an ancient spa and a marvel of engineering and architecture that date back to around 70 AD when the Romans tapped into the only naturally occurring hot spring in Britain.

The spa complex includes the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House, and a museum collection featuring rare Roman artefacts. The Sacred Spring still bubbles up with the natural hot water as it did two millennia ago, revered in ancient times for its supposed divine healing abilities.

Nearby stands the ruins of a temple dedicated to Sulis Minerva, a hybrid of a local deity and the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, showing how the Romans integrated local beliefs into their own.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace, West Midlands

Situated in the centre of scenic Stratford-upon-Avon just to the south of Birmingham, this 16th-century home is where the world’s most famous playwright is believed to have been born in 1564 and spent his childhood years. It’s a house that whispers tales of a bygone era, with its original furnishings, creaky floorboards, and lattice windows, transporting visitors straight into Elizabethan England.

As you walk through the rooms, you can ponder the very walls that might have inspired the young William to pen his sonnets and plays. In the garden, you’ll find blossoms and herbs that nod to the characters mentioned in his plays.

Due to its town centre location, visitors of Shakespeare’s Birthplace can enjoy a day walking around Stratford-upon-Avon to enjoy the delights of local restaurants or even an evening at the Grade II listed Royal Shakespeare Theatre just a few minutes’ walk from Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of these iconic stones that have been basking in the sun and moonlight since 2500 BC. As we approach the 2024 summer solstice, thousands of people are already preparing to gather at Stonehenge to celebrate their spirituality and align with the sun in a way that’s nothing short of magical​​.

But be warned: summer solstice can be a busy time at Stonehenge, so it may be best to visit either before or after this event.

As well as experiencing the world-famous stone circle, a visit to Stonehenge in Wiltshire will give you access to the Stonehenge exhibition and museum where you can come face to face with a 5,500-year-old man.

With an extensive history spanning more than 4,500 years, Stonehenge is must-see attraction for any history fan. The exclusive Stone Circle Experience provides a unique opportunity to get ‘up close and personal’ with the stones outside of normal visiting hours.

Restoring historic buildings and monuments for three decades

See Brilliance has over 30 years’ experience in providing specialist restoration and cleaning services at historic and heritage buildings and monuments across the UK.

Using specialist systems for cleaning old masonry and stone, our experts can restoratively clean almost any surface back to its original glory, enhancing the image of a historic site and preserving the masonry for years to come.

Learn more about our restoration methods, including DOFF Steam Cleaning, TORC Cleaning, commercial façade and cladding restoration and stone facade cleaning. Get in touch with our restoration specialists to discuss your historic restoration project.

Download the See Brilliance 2024 brochure