About 40 minutes from my parents is Warwick Castle. Warwick Castle is a medieval castle built by William the Conqueror in 1068. It was used as a fortification until the early 17th century, when Sir Fulke Greville converted it to a country house. It was owned by the Greville family, who became earls of Warwick in 1759, until 1978. It's now open to the public and the for the bargain of 18 British pounds you can pretend to be a princess or knight for the day.
It is one of the most beautiful castles in England and well worth a visit... oh and my husband proposed to me in the Rose Garden here in 2002 !
Just down the road is Stratford and we just had time to see Shakespeare's house before the dark descended!