LivingTravelEnglish Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass: How to Get the...

English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass: How to Get the Most Out of It

The English Heritage Foreign Visitor Pass makes deciding what to see and how much to spend on historic site tickets easy – and much cheaper than buying tickets from one site at a time

This discount pass for free unlimited access to an edited selection of over 100 of the best English Heritage sites is the kind of bargain visitor, whether beginner or veteran, not to be missed. And what is that? Don’t you live in the UK? Luckily, this pass is only available to foreign visitors.

Here’s what it’s all about and how to use it:

There is so much to see and do

Even edited, the selection of English Heritage sites to visit is staggering. They include castles, abbeys, Roman ruins, and prehistoric monuments, as well as several homes of important figures in the history of science, politics, and the arts. These are just a few:

  • Battle Abbey and the 1066 Battle of Hasting battlefield with its fabulous new visitor center
  • Stonehenge
  • Down House, the home of Charles Darwin, in Kent
  • Tintagel Castle, connected by legend to King Arthur
  • Whitby Abbey – where Count Dracula landed
  • Hadrian’s Wall: the northern frontier of the Roman empire
  • Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island

A brochure that comes with the pass lists all the sites that are included, along with opening times and locations. But you can get a good idea ahead of time with the Foreign Visitors Pass Map, posted online.

Great value for money

The provisions of the English Heritage Pass are particularly generous. It is available in 9 and 16 day versions for:

  • Single adults
  • Families , including two adults and up to four other family members under the age of 19 living in the same household. Children under 5 years old are free.
  • Two Adults – An unusual, money-saving option not often offered.

Prices start at £ 31 for a 9-day single adult pass, and go up to £ 69 for a 16-day family pass. The time period of the pass begins the first day you use it and lasts for 9 or 16 days in a row. The English Heritage Foreign Visitor Pass is paid only if you visit only three sites. And the more places you visit, the more you save.

What else comes with the pass?

In addition to free and unlimited entry to more than 100 historical attractions, many of them iconic sites, the pass also includes:

  • Free or reduced-price entry to hundreds of special events, such as jousts and re-enactments
  • Free 280-page color keepsake guide including maps and information on 300 other free sites cared for by English Heritage

How to get the most out of it

  • Make Sure It’s Really For You – If you’re interested in fabulous homes furnished with notable art collections, the English Heritage Pass may be right for you if your visit will take you close to furnished and decorated properties. Many English heritage properties are ruined castles, historic battlefields with visitor centers, and prehistoric sites such as Stonehenge. This is a pass for anyone interested in history, archeology, architecture, and gardens. There are some important exceptions, of course. Apsley House, the former home of the Duke of Wellington in the heart of London, has bright interiors and a large collection of paintings. Chiswick House and Marble Hill House are sumptuously furnished. As a general rule, castles will be mostly ruins with visitor and exhibition centers, houses can be fully or partially furnished.
  • Group your visits into geographic groups : English roads are slow and often winding. It may take about twice as long as the distance in miles might suggest. And the 9 or 16 days that the pass lasts are consecutive days that start the first time you use the pass. To best accommodate yourself, try to keep the sites you visit relatively close to each other. Then move to another area and do the same.
  • Check Opening Hours Carefully At some sites, opening hours are limited to a few days a week or a few hours every day. Sometimes you can visit the gardens and gardens at any time, but you can only access the interiors at specific times. Marble Hill House, for example, an elegant Palladian mansion by the Thames in Twickenham once owned by a king’s mistress, is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, and then only for guided tours. So check all of this before planning your itinerary or you could look at a site that is closed when you arrive.

The first time you use the pass

The pass is non-transferable and you must present proof of your identity the first time you use it. You will also need to provide proof that you actually live abroad, so please bring an official document with your non-UK address.

How to buy it

The pass is available online from the English Heritage website. Please save your confirmation email as you will need it to collect your pass. You collect your pass when you arrive in the UK from any English Heritage site. Bring your proof of purchase email, the credit card you used, and proof of your foreign address and you’re good to go, or as the English say, “Bob is your uncle!”

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