If you plan to visit castles, gardens, and historic houses during your stay in England and Wales, look into discount passes or memberships that offer significant savings. Just be sure to match what the pass or membership offers against your itinerary to see if it's worthwhile.
The National Trust, English Heritage, and the Historic Houses Association each encompass hundreds of properties. English Heritage's Overseas Visitors Pass costs £20 for a 7-day pass and £24.50 for a 14-day pass for one adult. You can order it in advance by phone or online or purchase it at a participating property in England. The National Trust Touring Pass, for overseas visitors, must be purchased in advance, either by phone or online. A 7-day pass is £22; a 14-day pass is £27.
VisitBritain's Great British Heritage Pass is £39 for 3 days, £69 for one week, and £89 for 15 days, and includes more than 500 properties belonging to English Heritage and the National Trust. The pass is sold online and at major tourist information centers in Britain. Family passes are available, too.
Annual membership in the National Trust (through the Royal Oak Foundation, the U.S. affiliate) is $55 a year, much cheaper than if you buy one in Britain. English Heritage membership is £46, and the Historic Houses Association is £40. Memberships entitle you to free entry to properties.
English Heritage (0870/333-1181. www.english-heritage.org.uk.)
Historic Houses Association (0207/259-5688. www.hha.org.uk.)
National Trust (0844/800-1895. www.nationaltrust.org.uk.)
Royal Oak Foundation (212/480-2889; 800/913-6565 in U.S. www.royal-oak.org.)
London Pass (0870/242-9988 in U.K.; 01664/485020 from U.S. www.londonpass.com.)
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