Normandy’s D-Day beaches, Bayeux and Caen

In this 75th anniversary year of D-Day my brother and I made a short trip to Normandy to visit the D-Day landing beaches, museums and memorials.  We also visited the Bayeux Tapestry (depicting the Norman invasion of England in 1066) and the burial tomb of King William I in Caen.  It was a faced-paced visit [...]

Birthplace of the world’s most famous writer – Stratford-upon-Avon

The centre of Stratford-upon-Avon is packed with Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture and history that recall the life of the world's most famous writer, William Shakespeare.    This article shows you how to spend one day in Stratford-upon-Avon, exploring the town and its connections to the bard. We start the walk in Henley Street near the [...]

Hampton Court Palace – home of England’s most famous king

Hampton Court Palace was the home of England's most famous king from 1529 until his death in 1547.   With sixty acres of gardens and 750 acres of parkland, it was King Henry VIII's weekend and summer retreat from London.    Successive monarchs also saw the appeal and the palace was occupied by monarch's of the Stuart [...]

Style and grandeur at Chiswick House

One of London’s finest country homes is only a few miles west of central London.   Chiswick House was the centre of highly select gatherings of the Earl of Burlington’s family and friends in the 1730’s.   And around fifty years later it served the same purpose for the Duke of Devonshire and his sparkling (very ‘modern’) [...]

London’s best preserved seventeenth century country house

Ham House was built on land owned by King James I in 1610.   The lease of the house transferred between several royal courtiers until it was granted to William Murray in 1626 - during the reign of King Charles I.   Murray was granted the freehold ten years later.   Murray, a Scotsman, was a close friend [...]

England’s Lake District in the life and legacy of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was born on the 28th July 1866 in South Kensington, London.  She died, 77 years, later in the village of Sawrey in the Lake District, Cumbria.   At the time of her death, she had made a fortune writing books for children.  She left fourteen farms and 4000 acres of land to the National [...]

Hidden treasures of the Cotswolds

This article gives a route to visit some of the hidden treasures of the Cotswolds, an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' of around 800 square miles in size and sixty miles to the north-west of London.  Once in the Cotswolds, the route will take you around five hours allowing for stops. Head up the M40 [...]

48 hours in ‘The Athens of the North’

Earlier this year, we set off to 'The Athens of the North' to visit some of my old haunts, see the key sights once again - and watch a rather important rugby match. In the early 1800's Edinburgh re-branded itself 'The Athens of the North' to reflect its growing importance.  It has been the capital [...]

Codebreaking at Bletchley Park

Back from a fascinating (and technically mind boggling!) visit to Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes.  It's about an hour from London.    Featured in the film 'The Imitation Game', this was where the enemy codes and ciphers (Enigma and then Lorenz) were broken during World War Two.   See the early computing machines that did [...]

The beautiful Cotswolds in autumn

There’s a freshness in the air and the foliage is turning to brilliant hues of red, orange and yellow in the Cotswolds in autumn.  It's a wonderful time to don your walking shoes and head out to explore the beautiful Cotswolds. Whether in the villages or in the countryside you can have a good explore.  Walk [...]