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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places to visit and things of interest in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – over 780 entries have been listed as of July 2020.  Most entries have links for further information.


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Arnside, Cumbria

Arnside was a tiny fishing village until it grew as a holiday destination in Victorian times. It is located on the estuary of the River Kent on the north-eastern corner of Morecambe Bay, within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is predominantly residential. There's a small pier, a collection of shops and cafes, a couple of pubs and easy walks along a modest promenade with lovely views of the Cumbrian mountains. The tides at Arnside go out a long way, and turn very quickly creating a tidal bore when the water floods back. It is also highly dangerous to venture onto the sands. Nearby Arnside Knott, a limestone hill, provides woodland and open hillside walks and is famous for its views over Morecambe Bay - and its butterflies and flowers. On the Silverdale side of Arnside Knott is Arnside Tower, a Pele tower built as a defence against border (Scottish) raiders. The railway (Furness Line) between Lancaster and Carlisle via Barrow-in-Furness crosses the River Kent via the Arnside viaduct.

Location/Address: Arnside
County: Cumbria
Post Code: LA5 0HE
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Useful Website Address: Arnside online website
Tip/Nearby: Arnside Knott, Levens Hall, Carnforth, Kendal
Primary Management: Local Authority

A limestone/sandstone hill offering grassland, meadow and woodland walks, with great views over the Kent estuary and Morecambe Bay. Famous for wildflowers and butterflies. Nearby Jack Scout's cliffs are good for bird watching and sun sets. Limited parking. Signposted from Arnside.

Location/Address: Arnside
County: Cumbria
Post Code: LA5 0BP
Main Historic Period: N/A
Tip/Nearby: Arnside, Sizergh Castle, Morecambe
Primary Management: National Trust

Beachy Head is a famous chalk headland and landmark, immediately to the west of the town of Eastbourne. There are fine views and walks along the cliffs, approx 500 feet above sea level. There is parking nearby and at Birling Gap further along the coast. Beachy Head has an interesting history and was used as a listening and lookout post during WW2. The cliffs are, however, extremely dangerous and the area has a high death-rate, through a combination of foolish accident and, unfortunately, suicide. Beachy Head lighthouse began operating in 1902.

The post code below is for the nearby pub.

Location/Address: Nr Eastbourne
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN20 7YA
Main Historic Period: N/A
Useful Website Address: Official Beachy Head website
Tip/Nearby: Eastbourne, Seven Sisters Country Park
Primary Management: Local Authority

In the Middle Ages, the small village of Blakeney was a thriving port handling exotic products like spices. Silting of the harbour changed its fortunes and it’s now an attractive tourist destination and a good base for exploring north Norfolk. It is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Norfolk Coastal Path passes through the village and the whole area is a magnet for walkers and wildlife lovers. The harbour and surrounding marshes are owned by the National Trust and is a nature reserve. Within the village are the remains of the medieval Blakeney Guildhall, the twin-towered medieval St Nicholas church as well as pubs and restaurants. The largest seal colony in England can be visited by boat to Blakeney Point, which (with restrictions to protect wildlife) can also be walked to from nearby Cley-next-the-Sea. Samphire is grown on the point and, as well as seals, ringed plovers, oystercatchers, brent geese and common teal can also be spotted.

County: Norfolk
Post Code: NR25 7NE
Main Historic Period: All
Useful Website Address: Norfolk tourist site
Tip/Nearby: Nature reserve, seal spotting, Holkham Hall, Castle Acre...
Primary Management: Local Authority

Brownsea Island (aka 'Branksea') is the largest island in Poole Harbour (about 1 mile x 1/2 mile) and is primarily a wildlife area of woodland, heath and wetland, home to red squirrels and a variety birds. There are trails and events, including open air theatre and an annual round the island swim. Brownsea was chosen by Baden-Powell to try out his scouting ideas and is also said to have inspired Enid Blyton. Brownsea Castle, originally 16th century, is currently (August 2016) leased to the John Lewis Partnership as a staff hotel and not open to the public. Access to the island is by ferry from Poole.

Location/Address: Poole Harbour
County: Dorset
Post Code: BH13 7EE
Main Historic Period: N/A
Primary Management: National Trust

The picturesque and very unusual village of Clovelly, with its distinctly Celtic-sounding name, is situated on Devon’s beautiful north coast.  A little frozen in time, with most of its buildings listed, it has been in private ownership since the time of Elizabeth I and home to the Rous family for over 400 years. A charge is payable for visitor access.  The village is still a working fishing port, clinging to a 400 foot cliff overlooking Bideford Bay. There has been no motorised vehicular access to its steep, cobbled, street since the 1920’s – just donkeys and sledges.   These days, donkeys are used to give children rides – all goods are moved using man-powered sledges.  Access to the village is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

County: Devon
Post Code: EX39 5TA
Main Historic Period: All
Useful Website Address: Clovelly estate website
Tip/Nearby: Bideford, Hartland Heritage Coast
Primary Management: Private - open to the public

The dramatic ruined castle of Thomas of Lancaster, executed for treason in 1322, stands on a rocky headland jutting into the North Sea. The castle went on to witness fierce fighting during the Wars of the Roses, but now the predominant sound is the shrieking of seabirds. A short, sometimes bracing, walk from either Craster or Embleton.

Location/Address: Craster
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE66 3TT
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Craster to Dunstanburgh
Tip/Nearby: About 8 miles north east of Alnwick.
Primary Management: English Heritage

Exmoor is one of Britain's National Parks - a mixed area of moorland, farmland and coast in north Somerset and Devon, with picturesque villages, tiny hamlets, prehistoric remains and bubbling streams. It can be toured by road as well as providing wonderful hiking country - and, like nearby Dartmoor, is famous for its ponies.

Location/Address: Exmoor National Park Authority
Exmoor House
County: Somerset
Post Code: TA22 9HL
Main Historic Period: N/A
Link to featured article: Britain's National Parks
Primary Management: National Park

The Farne Islands are located a few miles off the Northumbrian coast and are known for their wildlife and association with St Cuthbert. In summer, the islands are home to some 150,000 breeding pairs of seabirds – most famously, puffins; but razorbills, guillemots and eider ducks are also among the around 23 different varieties of birds that can be seen there. The islands are also home to the largest breeding colony of grey, or Atlantic, seals in England; about 1,000 pups are born there every autumn. There are 28 islands but only 3 can be visited – Inner Farne, Staple Island and Longstone Island. Inner Farne and Staple are owned by the National Trust. St Cuthbert, who is pretty much patron saint of the North of England, lived on Inner Farne as a hermit in the 7th century; his chapel on the island dates from the 14th century. Young Victorian heroine Grace Darling lived with her family on Longstone Rock, where her father was lighthouse keeper. It was from there that she and her father set out in their small open boat to rescue survivors from the stricken SS Forfarshire which had struck Big Harcar rock in 1838.

To visit the Farne Islands, you need to take a boat from the village of Seahouses. There are several private boat operators, each one offering slightly different options, but as of June 2020 only one is able to land visitors on Longstone. You must wear warm clothing, sensible footwear and a hat to protect your head from diving birds.

Location/Address: North Sunderland Harbour
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE68 7RN
Main Historic Period: N/A
Useful Website Address: Visit Northumberland website
Tip/Nearby: Bamburgh is just up the coast
Primary Management: National Trust

Golden Cap is a cliff and countryside estate on Dorset's Jurassic coast, with footpaths, views and access to the beach for fossil-hunting.

NB Particular care must be taken of tides and the high risk of cliff falls.

There are a variety of ways of getting to the estate. Stonebarrow Hill, where there is a car park and information centre with toilets and a small shop in an old radar station, is a good place to start. Post code below is approximate.  From the west, go through Charmouth and take the turning on right by Stonebarrow Manor into Stonebarrow Lane. NB this is extremely narrow. Head as far as you can until you're there!

Location/Address: Stonebarrow Hill
Located off the A35 between Lyme Regis and Bridport
County: Dorset
Post Code: DT6 7RA
Main Historic Period: N/A
Link to featured article: Between Golden Cap and Charmouth
Tip/Nearby: Charmouth, Bridport
Primary Management: National Trust
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