Castles and forts

Castles, forts, hillforts, fortifications and other similar attractions and places in Britain.  They may have been primarily built for defence – but may also be symbols of power.

Ten things you really should do in Britain

Tiger Inn, East Dean

There’s no shortage of things to do and see in Britain.  But if you were visiting for the first time, what would you recommend?  Here are a few arbitrary suggestions, in no particular order, just to get the ball rolling: Get out of London Many visitors to Britain head straight for London.  It is one […]

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Sheriff Hutton in 30 minutes

Sheriff Hutton Castle

The Ryedale village of Sheriff Hutton is unlikely to be on most people’s tourist trails. Yet it is a reminder, if one is needed, that history, like love, is all around us.  Frankly, the first I heard of the place was when reading about the dreadful wars of the fifteenth century and learning that the

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The castle at Penrith

Penrith Castle

Penrith Castle doesn’t encourage the casual visitor, unless arriving by train.  The railway station is conveniently opposite the castle (probably built on the top of its medieval outbuildings), but anyone driving into town who isn’t a committed castle collector could be excused for not bothering over much.  A busy road runs into downtown Penrith alongside

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Molly visits Pevensey Castle, a Very Important Place

Pevensey Castle

We bowled up to Pevensey Castle on a blue-sky day in the company of Molly.  Molly, I should say, is a small dog of exceptional poise and dignity, but has no relevance whatsoever to our story.  She is mentioned merely in a cynical attempt to win the cute dog vote.  Sorry, Molly.  We have included

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A pilgrimage to Lindisfarne, the Holy Island

Lindisfarne

To visit Lindisfarne, a tidal island at the tip of north-east England, is to enter a different world.  It is a world of saltwater, seabirds and saints, a world of mudflats, mead and mystery that is still revealing its secrets. Our story begins in the shadow times before places like England, Scotland and Wales had

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Brough Castle, Cumbria

Brough Castle, Cumbria

The bleak ruins of medieval Brough Castle perch on the western edge of Church Brough, a peaceful collection of attractive, solid, old dwellings huddled round a small square with St Michael’s church in the background.  The village of Brough is divided by the busy A66.  The larger portion, Market Brough to the north of the

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The Needles – a tale of shipwrecks, Victorian forts and Cold War

The Needles, Old Battery, New Battery

The Needles, enormous 100-feet (30-metre) high chalk and flint stacks off the most westerly point of the Isle of Wight, are part of the Island’s iconography, and one of Britain’s most recognisable coastal features.  They are an exposed eroded section of a folded east-west band of chalk running through the Island, the remains of which

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Warkworth

Warkworth, castle, bailey

North East England does many things rather well, and one of them is castles.  There are dramatic coastal castles, like Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh, grand castles like Alnwick, frontier castles, like Norham, and castles you can stay in, like Langley Castle. Today, we’re going to take a look at Warkworth Castle, one of Northumberland’s great fortresses. 

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Craster to Dunstanburgh

Dunstanburgh, castles in Northumberland

There are several reasons to go to the little Northumbrian coastal village of Craster.  It is famous for its kippers, offers several pleasant eating options, an art gallery and is a popular base for bird watchers, fishers and walkers alike.  Our excuse was to revisit Dunstanburgh Castle, surely one of the most dramatic set of

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A tour of Stirling Castle

Visit Stirling Castle

You can see it from miles away.  Stirling Castle stands guard from the top of a massive volcanic plug, with steep cliffs on three sides, towering above the ancient crossing over the River Forth and the route armies take between Highland and Lowland.  It has witnessed so much of Scotland’s history, including two of its

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Arbeia upon Tyne

Arbeia, Roman, fort, South Shields

I’m driving through the terraced urban landscape of South Shields, in search of a Roman fort.  It is called Arbeia, a name believed to be a Latinised form of the Aramaic for ‘the place of the Arabs’, because the last known unit stationed there was a company of bargemen – possibly some kind of specialised

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The secret Cabinet War Rooms

IWM, Cabinet War Rooms, London

There are many secrets buried beneath London’s streets.  Once classified, but no longer, is the underground complex beneath the Government Offices Great George Street (GOGGS) near Whitehall, in Westminster: the Second World War Cabinet War Rooms.  These will forever be associated with Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill (1874-1965); thus, including a remarkable Churchill Museum,

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The road to Mediobogdum

Mediobogdum or Hardknott Roman Fort

The men of the 4th Cohort of Dalmatians were a long way from home.  They were undoubtedly cold and Hardknott Fort, which the Romans probably knew as Mediobogdum, must have seemed like the end of the world.  Certainly, situated in the mountainous northern region of the most northerly province of Imperial Rome, it was one

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