great places to visit off the beaten path.
Forty Hall, a Grade I listed Jacobean Hall, makes a great UK day trip on the Northern edge of London. Its site was once occupied by Elsyng Palance, a 14th century Royal Palace with connections to Henry VIII and the Tudors. History and heritage lovers as well as ordinary families and tourists will find plenty of activities and exhibitions to keep them interested.
The current hall was originally built in 1629 for Sir Nicholas Rainton, a City Alderman and Mayor of London. The Hall itself is set on about 264 acres in the London green belt, a designated conservation area. It is surrounded by formal gardens with shrubs, rose and herbaceous borders and lawns. There is also a large lake and a farm inside the grounds as well as a small cafe. Currently owned and managed by Enfield Urban District Council, since major restoration in the 1960s, it has operated as a local museum of art and decorative arts. It houses 17th and 18th century furniture and pictures as well as ceramics, glass and maps. The latest information on Forty Hall can be found on their website at: http://www.fortyhallestate.co.uk/
In addition to the Hall, a new organic vineyard is in its infancy here. It is the first commercial scale vineyard in London since medieval times. Wine tours will become available soon enough. See there website for more info: http://www.fortyhallvineyard.org.uk/
The nearest train stations are Turkey Street (rail) or Enfield Town (rail). Nearest Tube: Oakwood (more distant than rail stations).