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United Kingdom & Ireland Travel Articles

Travel notes and articles for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland. Articles posted must be approved by the Admin before they are published.
A virtually unchanged fortified manor house and a much loved family home of the Manners family Haddon Hall is one of the nicest stately homes we have visited. It is only a short distance from Chatsworth House, but is completely different. Set high on a cliff overlooking the River Wye, it is a virtually unchanged medieval fortified manor house. It is one of the seats of the Dukes of Rutland. Between 1700-1912, they lived in Belvoir Castle and Haddon was left unlived in and untouched. In...
For many people their first view of Bolsover Castle is from the M1, on top of a hill dominating the surrounding landscape. It was a display of wealth which was meant to be seen and to impress. Although it appears at first sight to be a medieval castle, it is in fact a C17th rich man’s extravagance, built for show rather than defence. Entry through the grand gateway takes you into a grassy area with a massive old copper beech tree in the centre. To the left is the Riding School, with the...
Formal gardens and a woodland walk Hodsock Priory gardens are only open for 5-6 weeks from early February for the snowdrops and are a popular day out with locals. It is a very slick operation. The Priory is set in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside to the south west of Blyth. The house was altered and enlarged in the C19th, when it became known as Hodsock Priory. It is not normally open to the public. The family live in the old servants quarters and the rest of the house is...
Home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and one of the great treasure houses of England. Chatsworth House was built to impress. Set in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales it is surrounded by a Capability Brown Landscape and has been in the same family since it was built. A house was built here by Bess of Hardwick and her second husband, Sir William Cavendish, who was Treasurer of the Kings Chamber and one of Henry VIII’s commissioners for the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Bess was a...
England’s Greatest Tudor House... Burghley House is a grand sixteenth-century English country house near Stamford, Lincolnshire. I visited Burghley House in September 2019. I've written it up on several pages as there are so many pictures! It makes an excellent day out. Some background William Cecil, Lord Burghley was the Principal Secretary and Lord Treasurer for Queen Elizabeth I and one of the most important men in her kingdom. He built Burghley House on the edge of Stamford as a...
The best collection of preserved and working trams in Britain. Crich Tramway Village is a fascinating museum catering for all ages. For those of us who remember trams, there is the thrill of seeing them in action again. For the youngsters there is the excitement of climbing the narrow spiral staircase to the top deck and turning the seats round for the return journey. Trams are definitely different. 
The village is run by a team of dedicated staff and volunteer enthusiasts, who are only...
Home of the Brigg raft Brigg is a small market town in Lincolnshire and, like so many others throughout the country, there is nothing really special about it. Its main claim to fame are the remains of a Bronze Age raft now displayed in the Heritage Centre. This was originally discovered in 1888 by workmen digging for clay. The remains were fragile and susceptible to drying out so it was covered over to preserve it. It was eventually lifted in 1974 and kept in storage at the National...
The first water powered spinning mill. The Derwent Valley Mills is a World Heritage Site and was the first place to successfully spin cotton fibres by machine using water power. Richard Arkwright built his first spinning mill here in 1771, along with Cromford village to house his workers. This was one of the first industrialised factory sites in the world, and also one of the largest. It made a fortune for Arkwright, who was reputedly the wealthiest commoner in the country at the time. In...
Stamford is a town of churches and their towers and spires still dominate the town. Only six of the original seventeen medieval churches survive. One of those is now deconsecrated and in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. ST PETER’S CHURCH was possibly the first church in Stamford and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Set on the top of a hill above the river, this was once the focal point of the town with the newly built Norman Castle. By the C14th the church was in a state of...
An unspoilt town regarded as one of the finest stone towns in England. Seen from the A1, Stamford is an attractive stone town dominated by the towers and spires of its Medieval churches and surrounded by fertile Lincolnshire countryside. It rivals the stone towns and villages of the Cotswolds and, like them, its prosperity was based on wool. Stamford has a long history as an important crossing point on the River Welland. It was an important Saxon burgh, and one of the 5 controlling...
Bakewell is an attractive small market town of gritstone buildings set on the River Wye in the Peak District. It is the main service town for the area and is also popular with visitors, especially on Mondays when the weekly market with over one hundred and fifty brightly coloured stalls selling everything under the sun, line Granby and Market Streets. It still has a thriving livestock market on the edge of the town. There is a monthly farmers market as well as the yearly food festival...
Shops, a crooked spire and George Stephenson. Chesterfield is a large market town in north Derbyshire and an important regional centre. It is sufficiently far away from Sheffield and Derby to have a thriving shopping centre and one of the best markets in the area. It is also famous for its church with the crooked spire. It is an attractive place to wander with its mix of architectural styles, including early C20th ‘black and white’ timber frame buildings. The pre war brick and stone...
Short History of Lincoln Lincoln is an important regional centre which is popular with locals but has yet to be discovered by the tourists. It is dominated by the cathedral, set on top of the hill, which is a prominent landmark for miles across the flat Lincolnshire landscape. The name Lincoln probably comes from the pre-Roman iron age settlement of Lindon (Lin means pool and don means the foot of the hill) which was around what is now Brayford Pool. The town first came to prominence in...
Owston Ferry is a small village on the west bank of the River Trent, about ten miles north of Gainsborough. As its name implies, Owston ferry has been an important crossing point on the River Trent since ancient times. Before good roads and rail links, the river was also an important trade route between Gainsborough and Hull. It was originally two settlements, Owston (from the old Norse for east farmstead) and based on the higher ground to the west of the Trent where the church is, and...
Off the tourist beat but well worth a visit. Most people ignore Barton upon Humber as they zoom over the Humber Bridge. When the bridge opened in 1981 (late and over budget), it was the longest single span suspension bridge in the world and soon became a major tourist attraction. Set on the south bank of the river, Barton upon Humber is an attractive small town with a long history. The towers of Barton’s two churches can be seen from the A15. St Peter’s is the oldest, dating from the...
Sweyn Forkbeard and the Mill on the Floss. Ignored by the tourists, Gainsborough is a market town in the north west corner of Lincolnshire. It is a pleasant small town with a lot going for it. It has a long history and was one of the capital cities of Anglo-Saxon Mercia. Sweyn Forkbeard and his son Canute defeated the Anglo-Saxon Army of Ethelread the Unready here in 1013. Sweyn was killed when he was thrown by his horse in Gainsborough a few weeks later and has rather disappeared from...

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