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This is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse. It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019. Most entries have links for further information.
Bletchley Park was the home of the top-secret code breakers of World War Two, whose work had a profound impact on the war; it has been claimed that their success in intercepting enemy signals and breaking codes shortened the war by two years. For years, very few people knew about their work, most famously centred on German Enigma cipher machines, but information started to become more available in the 1970s. Bletchley Park was in a poor state when taken over by Milton Keynes Borough Council in 1992. A trust was set up to conserve the site and turn it into a museum and it opened its doors to the public in 1993. A massive restoration project took place and BP is now a major tourist attraction.
Bletchley Park also includes the National Museum of Computing and has featured in several films and TV productions.
The Ridgeway is thought to be Britain’s oldest road, in use for at least 5,000 years. It is one of the trackways that used to run along the dry higher ground in ancient times. The Ridgway, in its modern trail form, covers 87 miles from Avebury, Wiltshire, to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. There are various prehistoric remains along its route. In its original form, it stretched from the Dorset coast to the Wash.
Oxford University's museum of art and archaeology, with objects dating from 8,000 BC. Particular collections include ancient Egypt, the only Minoan collection in Britain, Anglo Saxon artefacts (including the Alfred Jewel) and contemporary artwork from around the world. The Ashmolean is the oldest public museum in Britain, founded in 1683.
Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, has more than 1500 listed buildings from every period of history since the 11th century. It grew as a river crossing - a ford for oxen - in Saxon times at a strategic position beside two rivers, the Thames (known locally as ‘the Isis’) and the Cherwell. The crossroads of the old town is known as the Carfax, a word derived from the Latin for ‘four forks’. Though known as the home of Britain’s oldest university, dating from the 13th century, there was also considerable industrial development in the 20th century. The university consists of some 38 colleges and the first one, University College, was founded in 1249. Many of the colleges can be visited and have beautiful gardens as well as stunning chapels and halls. The colleges have educated world leaders as well as authors, scientists, actors and comedians. Balliol College has produced several prime ministers, including Herbert Asquith, Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath and Boris Johnson.
Oxford is an easy city to wander in and there’s an architectural gem around most corners. Get a map and work out a route. Each college has something special, but favourites include Balliol, Christ Church, Magdalen, Merton and Exeter. Take a tour of the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Don’t miss sites like the Sheldonian Theatre or the Bridge of Sighs. World class museums include the Pitt-Rivers and the Ashmolean – the world’s oldest public museum. Visit the Oxford Botanic Garden – the UK’s oldest botanic garden. Take a trip on a punt and pop into one of Oxford’s historic pubs. Oxford is also famous for its literary connections and places that have been featured in film or on TV.
Balliol is one of the colleges of Oxford University. It was founded by John de Balliol in 1263, has occupied the same site ever since and claims to be the oldest college in Oxford, and the world. Its attractive buildings are predominantly Victorian, however. Balliol's widow Dervorguilla of Galloway, established a permanent endowment and their son, John, was King of Scotland. Balliol has an impressive list of alumni, which includes writers, politicians and scientists. A few random examples: Boris Johnson, Robert Peston, Herbert Asquith, Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath, Aldous Huxley, Graham Greene and William Beveridge.
Visitors can tour the grounds and some of the buildings, except when college events take place.
A tavern since 1695, the Lamb & Flag is owned by St John's College and was voted Oxford's best pub by CAMRA members in 2016. It has some association with JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and was apparently where Thomas Hardy wrote most of his last novel, Jude the Obscure.
Exceptionally interesting and beautiful 15th century church built on an ancient site in an unusual, and historic, village. The church is best known for the elaborate tomb of Alice de la Pole, Duchess of Suffolk and granddaughter of the poet, Geoffrey Chaucer. Her father, Thomas, is also buried in the church. The author Jerome K Jerome is buried in the churchyard.
12th century parish church most famous for its Fettiplace memorials, two ornate carved 17th century monuments each featuring three recumbent effigies of members of the local Fettiplace family. The churchyard also contains the graves of four of the Mitford sisters, Nancy, Unity, Diana and Pamela and their parents. A further notable memorial is to HMS P514. The church also contains 15th century misericords and is in a charming location.
Enormous 18th century home of the Dukes of Marlborough. The estate was given to the 1st Duke, John Churchill, as a reward for his military victories against the French. Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim and has many associations with it. The estate is a World Heritage Site and one of the 'treasure houses of England."