I am looking to travel to the UK in July/August 2013, and have been researching some unique things to do. I have been to London and Scotland before, and am now looking for a different experience. Think English country gardens, the Knights Templars, medieval history and archaeology themed holidays. I will be keeping this list up to date as this research progresses on different ideas.
Stay in a castle with the Landmark trust http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk
The Landmark trust allows you to book unusual places to stay, such as castles, forts and towers. The only downside is that the minimum booking tends to be for about 4 days.
Help conserve British historical places with the National trust http://www.hfholidays.co.uk/national-trust
The National trust offers “working holidays”, where travellers stay at a site for 4 to 7 days (or more) and assist with some aspect of conservation of a historic site. There is a mixture of activities available, all at reasonable prices. Activities range from manual maintenance work to gardening or conservation, often mixed with some recreational fun (e.g. walks led by the local caretaker, kayaking trips, camping).
This is definitely one I will be looking in to some more.
Trawl through the banks of the Thames River with Dig Ventures http://digventures.com/dirty-weekends/
Dates for July/August 2013 aren’t up yet, but this looks like an interesting activity to look at the banks of the Thames river for relics of the past. Hopefully dates for Summer will be posted later.
Dig for old Roman forts with Archaeological digs http://www.archaeology.co.uk/digs
This site has a listing of different archaeological digs in the UK open to the public.
Earthwatch expeditions http://www.earthwatch.org/australia/expeditions/
Earthwatch offers experiences in nature, conservation or archaeological expeditions. There are two archological expeditions on there at the moment, one in Italy and one in Northern England. Both are 6 to 7 days, the Northern England one has an option for a 3 day weekend experience but doesn’t seem to actually involve practical digging.