Brooklands – home of British motorsport and aviation

Brooklands – home of British motorsport and aviation

Fifteen miles to the south of London is the home of British motorsport and aviation; Brooklands.    Motor racing took place here from 1907 to 1939 and aviation developed on the site at the same time - right up until 1989.    At one time, Brooklands was the most prolific aircraft factory in Europe. In [...]

Normandy’s D-Day beaches, Bayeux and Caen

Normandy’s D-Day beaches, Bayeux and Caen

Before the lockdown, my brother and I took a trip to Normandy (ahead of the 75th anniversary commerations of VE day on 8th May 2020).  We visited 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 [...]

Hatfield House and the Old Palace

Hatfield House and the Old Palace

The history of Hatfield House starts in 1485, when the Bishop of Ely (Cambridgeshire) constructed Hatfield Palace, today called the Old Palace. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-41), Hatfield Palace was acquired by King Henry VIII, passed down in sequence to his children; Edward, Mary and Elisabeth and then inherited by King James I [...]

The history of the British Army at the National Army Museum

The history of the British Army at the National Army Museum

The National Army Museum in Chelsea exhibits artefacts about the history of the British Army, its impact on society and key conflicts from the British Civil War to the modern day. There are five galleries spread over four floors.  These are; Soldier, Army, Society, Battle and Insights.   The Soldier gallery asks us if we could join the [...]

The must-see exhibits at the British Museum (part 2)

The must-see exhibits at the British Museum (part 2)

Welcome to part two of the ‘Must-see exhibits at the British Museum'!    Part one, published recently, explored the ground floor galleries.    Part two starts in Room 61 and will work clockwise around the entire first floor. Room 61   Here we find artefacts from the tomb of a senior (and very successful!) ‘financial [...]

The must-see exhibits at the British Museum (Part 1)

The must-see exhibits at the British Museum (Part 1)

In Bloomsbury, London is the world’s finest collection of historical artefacts under one roof - even the roof is a world-class masterpiece!    This article will highlight the must-see exhibits at the British Museum.    If you only have time to visit one museum or gallery, look no further! The British Museum is the world's [...]

London’s last great ducal residence

London’s last great ducal residence

Syon House, near Brentford, is home of the Percys, Dukes of Northumberland.   It sits in a 200 acre estate on the River Thames in Middlesex. The house we see today was built by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset in 1547, refurbished and enhanced by the Scottish architect Robert Adam in the 1760's and refaced in [...]

Charles Dickens’ London home – birthplace of his early novels

Charles Dickens’ London home – birthplace of his early novels

At the age of 25, Charles Dickens rented (as was normal practice of the day) a large home in Doughty Street, London.  He did this, just as his writing career (under the pseudonym of ‘Boz’) was taking off.  Dickens lived here happily with his wife, Catherine, and their three children. Charles and Catherine would go [...]

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

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 [...]

The Saatchi Gallery in London’s King’s Road

The Saatchi Gallery in London’s King’s Road

The Saatchi gallery is one of London’s premier contemporary art galleries.   It is based in an impressive Grade 2* listed building opened in 1801 as a school for children of soldiers’ widows.   From 1892 it served as the Duke of York’s Military School and in 1911 was re-named the Duke of York’s Barracks and became [...]