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

Introducing Ingleborough

Ingleborough from Twisleton Scar

Yorkshire’s Ingleborough is a curiously shaped hill, large and looming.  That said, there are bigger features in the world, even in our ever-modest Britain; but being over the benchmark height of 1,000’ (2,372’ or 732 metres to be precise), Ingleborough qualifies to call itself a mountain.  Locally, it’s known as a ‘peak’ – one of …

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A bit about Constable Country

Willy Lott's House at Flatford Mill

ABAB’s regular reader (thank you – the cheque’s in the post) will know that my knowledge of art could be sketched on the back of very small postage stamp.  Nevertheless, in the endless pursuit of intriguing stories and occasionally stimulating bits of Britain, which may attract and amuse, the intrepid Bit About Britain team set …

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Tarr Steps

Tarr Steps, ancient clapper bridge in Somerset

The Devil was a busy little bee in days gone by.  Some might say he still is, but in any event he crops up all over the British landscape – including at the Tarr Steps, a famous clapper bridge over the river Barle, Somerset, in the Exmoor National Park.  Clapper bridges, river crossings of dry-stone …

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Lulworth & Durdle

Lulworth & Durdle sounds like a law firm.  Commissioners for oaths; adversarial specialists; rip-off fees; incompetence guaranteed – that sort of thing.  I have known at least four firms that should have been called Bungle, Overcharge & Obfuscate. Anyway, close by the Dorset village of West Lulworth on England’s Jurassic south coast is Lulworth Cove.  …

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Weald and Downland

Weald & Downland Museum, West Sussex, UK

Builders in the past were very selfish people.  They put their buildings up without considering for one moment that, one day, their structures might inconveniently stand in the way of a new road, town centre development or shopping centre. Fast forward to an intriguing museum on the South Downs in West Sussex, near the village …

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The Vampire of Dent (and other stories)

Dent, Cumbria

You’ll find the small village of Dent, sometimes known locally as Dent Town, on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales.  This was once part of Yorkshire’s West Riding but is now inside the county of Cumbria.  The narrow roads through achingly beautiful Dentdale seem never-ending; it’s almost a relief to arrive amongst Dent’s old …

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The sweetest spot that fancy can imagine

Levens Park, Cumbria

This was the opinion of Thomas West (1720-1779) when referring, not to a lady of his acquaintance, but to Levens Park, in Cumbria. The quote appeared in West’s ‘Guide to the Lakes’, allegedly, the first tourist guide to England’s Lake District, published in 1778. Levens is in the south of the county, just outside the …

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In search of Robin Hood

Robin Hood is one of England’s enduring legendary heroes.  Deprived of his rightful inheritance and outlawed, Robert of Locksley (or Loxley) shelters in the King’s forest of Sherwood, where he assumes natural leadership over the vagabonds and other outlaws in hiding there, all victims of medieval England’s harsh laws and brutal penalties for infringement.  Robert …

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Britain’s National Parks

Lake District National Park

We all know what a national park is.  Although definitions vary, they are usually rural areas of natural (or naturalised) beauty designated as ‘special’ in some way by their national governments.  Normally, the environment within a national park, including its flora and fauna, are protected and there are particular rules about what you can, and …

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Bloody meadow, Towton

Great events fall upon people and places, sometimes without warning.  But time takes everything out of focus until there’s nothing obvious to show that anything ever happened there, and no trace of the people who took part.  For example, take the peaceful, and fairly nondescript, farmland south of the little Yorkshire village of Towton: here, …

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