Places to visit, of interest or beauty, in Britain’s countryside.

Helvellyn, England’s third mountain


England, unlike Wales, is not a mountainous country.  Indeed, it is fair to say that other countries, with the possible exception of Holland, have mountains that come in larger sizes than England’s.  But England does have some fairly serious lumps of rock and Helvellyn is one of them.  At 3,117 feet (950 metres), it is …

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5 easy walks in the Lake District

Lake District, Keswick, Derwent Water

A Bit About Britain is delighted to welcome Jo Williams, traveller and blogger at Lost Wanders, and Jack Russell expert, as a guest writer introducing readers to five easy walks in the Lake District. 5 easy walks in the Lake District Get out of London and England has some amazing countryside waiting to be explored. …

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St Benet-at-Holm

St Benet's Abbey

David and Marilyn had just been touring Norfolk and told us about St Benet’s.  “It’s exactly the sort of place to be featured on ABAB,” Marilyn enthused.  I had never heard of it; so of course, whilst making a progress through East Anglia, we decided to drop in. The once great fortified abbey of St …

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Ten of the best places to visit in North East England

Bamburgh Castle

Frankly, you’ll be spoiled for choice if you’re looking for things to see and do in North East England.  From dramatic, wild coast and countryside, to wildlife, castles, Roman remains, the simple grandeur of Durham and the culture and vibrancy of Newcastle upon Tyne, there is something for everyone.  To start you off, here is …

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Ten of the best in the west

Polperro, Cornwall

South West England has two main draw-backs: it is popular and, as it’s on the west, it can suffer from wetness – particularly at its extremities.  Other than that, it has pretty much everything, including mystery, prehistory, history, cuteness, grand vistas, impressive buildings and plenty of things to do.  For an introduction, see A Bit …

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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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Norber Erratics

Austwick, Clapham, Yorkshire

A Bit About Britain’s geomorphological expert will know that erratics are rocks that have been transported by a glacier, and left behind when the ice has melted some distance from where they started.  It’s a descriptive term, because ‘erratic’ means “uncertain in movement, irregular in conduct, habit, opinion” (Oxford dictionary of English) and rock erratics …

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Touching the lost past of Ninekirks

Ninekirks, St Ninian's, near Penrith

It’s hard to beat soaking up the atmosphere of an elegant historic house, or imagining life being restored to the grim ruins of a once-mighty castle. But there’s also a special kind of magic getting off the well-beaten tourist track to explore some less obvious aspect of our past, an attraction that isn’t widely advertised, …

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Hunting Hobbits in Lancashire

Cromwell's_Bridge, Lancashire

Middle Earth is in Lancashire; it’s official.  Just as Beatrix Potter was inspired by the Lake District, Thomas Hardy by his native Dorset and AA Milne, in a manner of speaking, found Pooh in Ashdown Forest, so JRR Tolkien is claimed to have been illuminated by the verdant countryside of the Ribble Valley.  John Ronald …

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St Leonard’s, Chapel-le-Dale

St Leonard's, Chapel-le-Dale

We stepped down the lane in the dappled sunlight of a still frosty winter afternoon.  It has an ancient, lived-in, feel to it, does the hamlet of Chapel-le-Dale.  Sitting astride a Roman road, evidence of long-vanished communities are shown on the Ordnance Survey map with the word ‘settlement’ printed over various places close-by, in old …

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Brimham Rocks, bairns and the Bee Gees

Places to visit near Harrogate

Brimham Rocks could surprise you, a landscape of fantastically shaped crags and boulders that might look more at home in a theme park.  It’s a place you should visit if you can’t afford the ‘bus fare to Arizona, Utah, or anywhere else that has an abundance of weirdly eroded rock formations.  Not that Britain doesn’t …

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In the middle of Scotland

Stone at the Centre of Scotland

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of Scotland?  Not just vaguely messing about in it, as it were, or immersed in its cultural hub (wherever that is), but bang in the geographical centre of the country? There really is a centre of Scotland – of course there is – and its location is …

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