Last Updated on
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.
One of two RAF museums in Britain (the other one is in Hendon, north London), RAF Cosford displays 70+ aircraft, including the world's oldest Spitfire, with exhibits shown in three historic hangers. On site is the National Cold War Exhibition, which tells the story of this uncertain period in our history and where you can see all three of Britain's V-Bombers - the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant.
Originally a 12th century chapel for the adjacent castle, the church was severely damaged during the Civil War and the nave was rebuilt in 1654 during the Commonwealth. It contains a large number of boxed pews, two of which have canopies, and several texts, including the Lord's Prayer, painted on the church wall. There's a charming war memorial in the churchyard.
A perfect medieval fortified manor house, little changed since it was built in the 13th century, including original timbers. A wonderful timber-framed gatehouse was added in the 17th century. The castle stands next to the parish church of St John the Baptist and, as English Heritage says, it's unforgettably picturesque.
St Andrew's, Wroxeter, dates from before the Norman Conquest, though, like all medieval churches, it has been added to and developed over the years. It contains re-used Roman stonework, including columns used as gateposts to the churchyard and the base of a column used as a font. It has Saxon features in the walls. It also has a set of astonishing Tudor tombs, with scarily life-like effigies. If you're minded to, you can also stay overnight in the church. Use the link to Churches Conservation Trust.
Viroconium - Roman Wroxeter - was the fourth largest Roman city in Britain, equal in size to Pompeii and with a population of maybe 10,000 people. It began as a frontier fort, then a legionary fortress and went on to have a 500-year history before fading away. Now, it largely lies under the Shropshire countryside. But the excavated bath complex provides a fascinating insight into Romano-British urban life, with tantalising glimpses into the post-Roman period - the Dark Ages. There is also a reconstructed Roman town house on the site, built using Roman methods. Down the road, along Watling Street, is the modern village of Wroxeter. St Andrew's church has re-used Roman columns as gateposts and an adapted column base as its font.
17th century farm, extended and refurbished in 19th. Its fame is as a hiding place for the future King Charles II following his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Charles hid in one of two 'priest holes' in the house, having first escaped detection by climbing an oak tree in the grounds and, before that, briefly at nearby White Ladies Priory. As well as the interior of a small Stuart farmhouse, there is a pleasant garden, stables, smithy and cowhouse. A descendent of the oak tree that Charles climbed is still there. And its a relatively painless walk to White Ladies Priory.
The Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire has been the seat of the Earls of Lichfield (family name Anson) since 1831 – the 6th Earl still has apartments there. Arguably, Shugborough’s most famous son was the 5th Earl, the internationally renowned photographer Patrick Lichfield, who died in 2005. His private apartments can be visited as part of a tour of the house. The mansion is set in 900 acres of idyllic parkland, there's a historic farm with rare breeds - and the garden is a peach. If you're a conspiracy lover, Shugborough is also famous for alleged associations with the Holy Grail. The property has been owned by the National Trust since the 1960s but leased to and managed by Staffordshire County Council. In 2016, the Council handed the property back to the National Trust, who decided to close it until March 2017 to enable upgrading works to take place.
A small museum dedicated to Violette Szabo GC, British SOE agent during the Second World War, who worked against the Nazis in occupied France until her capture by the Gestapo. She was shot in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in 1945, aged 23. Violette's story was told in the 1958 film, Carve Her Name With Pride. The museum is in the grounds of a small house where Violette stayed several times and was established by her aunt, Rosemary Rigby MBE. The museum also covers the work of SOE, the Special Operations Executive, in general as well as the stories of other agents.
Hereford Cathedral was founded in the year 696 and is dedicated to Ethelbert, a young late 8th-century king of East Anglia who was murdered on the orders of King Offa of Mercia (or his queen) and who was interred in the church. There is no trace of the earlier buildings; the current structures date from the 11th and 12th centuries and there is a magnificent Norman nave, with massive Romanesque arches. The Cathedral is famous for its chained library and its many treasures, not least the Mappa Mundi, a graphical representation of the medieval world, physical and spiritual, made (possibly for the Cathedral) by Richard of Holdingham in the early 14th century. The Chained Library, an early form of security system whereby books are literally chained to shelves in such a way that they can still be read, dates from 1611. Among its many manuscripts is an 8th century gospel and a copy of Magna Carta from 1217.
The National Memorial Arboretum is a centre of remembrance for the fallen - members of the armed forces, civilian services and ordinary people. It is set in 150 acres of reclaimed gravel pits between the rivers Trent and Tarne. There is an astonishing variety of memorials - 320 of them at the last count - to every conceivable group you can imagine - surrounded by 30,000 trees. It is both impressive and humbling.
The NMA is managed by the Royal British Legion.