Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

England South East Region

Berkshire

One England’s historic counties, Berkshire is also one of the few landlocked counties in southern England. Home to a number of Bronze and Iron Age hillforts, as well as Windsor Castle and Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. The county has a number of important historic battlefields, from King Alfred’s time to the English Civil War. In the early middle ages the area was part of the Kingdom of Wessex before being integrated into the English state.

Buckinghamshire

Home to much of the Chiltern Hills, prehistoric inhabitants of this area established the small hillfort at Ivinghoe Beacon, while the Romans built the villa at Bancroft. Several burial mounds were erected in the county, used in the Roman era at Thornborough and in the early medieval period at Taplow. Buckinghamshire is probably best-known for its stately homes. One of these elite homes, the late 19th-century Bletchley Park, later played a crucial role during WWII as the base for a team of code-breakers.

East Sussex

Created by the 1974 partition of Sussex, East Sussex is today best known as the home of one of southern England’s most vibrant cities, the coastal resort of Brighton. The area has been inhabited since prehistory, with a variety of monuments from the Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages along the South Downs, an area of upland that has its eastern limit in the county. East Sussex takes its name from the South Saxons who settled here in the early middle ages, and in 1066 it is where the history changing Battle of Hastings took place.

Hampshire

Hampshire is located more or less at the centre of England’s southern coastline, on the English Channel. Whether you enjoy exploring history in quiet countryside locations, exploring maritime heritage along the coast, or the stories of successive periods in a city. Hampshire has all three. From the history of English literature at Jane Austen’s Chawton, the remains of the Mary Rose in Portsmouth, to the histories of Winchester and Southampton from Roman times to the present.

Isle of Wight

The island has a number of archaeological sites from as early as the Neolithic to the Romano-British period. To defend the island from foreign attack, King Henry VIII had Yarmouth Castle built, while the Victorians added the Golden Hill Fort for the same purpose. The most famous attraction on the island is was Osborne House, built in the 1840s as a summer retreat for Queen Victoria and her family. The island provided a retreat for more than just monarchy, and in 1912 Quarr Abbey was formed here for a group of Benedictine monks.

Kent

Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England.’ Being close to the continent, Kent absorbed Roman influence even before becoming part of the Empire. An independent Kingdom of Kent emerged after the collapse of Roman rule, eventually becoming integral to the Christianisation process – Canterbury Cathedral is still the heart of English Christianity and was a major medieval pilgrimage site. Later rulers saw the importance of defending Kent’s coast, reflected in the castle at Dover, King Henry VIII’s fortifications at Walmer and Deal, and the 19th-century Martello Towers.

Oxfordshire

Oxford University, active by the late 11th century, is not only the oldest university in England but also the second oldest in the world. While Oxford is full of fascinating historic buildings and important museum collections, the surrounding county around it is also rich in archaeology and history. Some of England’s most important prehistoric sites can be found here. Oxfordshire’s medieval heritage can be seen at the ruined castles in Oxford and Deddington, as well as at the Great Coxwell Barn, which would have been one of the largest warehouses in England during the Late Middle Ages.

Surrey

Evidence for prehistoric activity in Surrey can be seen at the Abin