Places in Britain associated with legends, or legendary people; or a story – a British legend – often a traditional one, that may or may not be true!

The legend of Wayland’s Smithy

Waylands Smithy

Wayland’s Smithy was my next stop on a visit that included Uffington’s White Horse and hillfort.  The Smithy is a Neolithic tomb – technically a chambered long barrow, similar to the one at West Kennet – and it is located about a mile and a quarter to the west of the ramparts of Uffington Castle, […]

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Uffington’s White Horse – etc

Uffington White Horse

I’d tell you a tale of a battle fought and won, a dragon slain near an old fortress, an ancient trackway and a magical metalworker that flies through the skies and will shoe your horse for a few coins.  True, at first glance, what some may dismiss as a few arty scrapings on chalk downs,

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Is the Cerne Abbas Giant one of Britain’s most loved figures?

Cerne Abbas, Giant, Dorset

This is an appropriate question, since it is rumoured that couples creep up to the Cerne Abbas Giant at night in order to make babies.  As the Giant is cut into a hill with a reasonable degree of slope on it, the mechanics of their actions must be somewhat of a challenge; but each to

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Easter, eggs, bunnies and buns

Easter, daffodils

It should be simple enough to write a bit about Easter, I thought.  After all, it is the most important festival in the Christian calendar, and a good deal of Britain’s heritage, at least for the last fourteen centuries or so, has been informed by a Christian tradition.  So we should be sure of our

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St Andrew, patron saint of Scotland

St Andrew, St Andrews, Fife

Scotland’s national saint, St Andrew, has his day on 30th November.  As well as being the patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew is the patron saint of Amalfi, Barbados, Greece, Romania, Russia, the Ukraine, singers, spinsters, would-be mothers, fishmongers and fishermen, gout and sore throats.  According to the Scottish Government’s website, St Andrew’s Day “is

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National Wallace Monument

National Wallace Monument

Beyond Scotland, ex-pat Scots and a few informed corners of Britain as a whole, not many people would have heard of William Wallace before the 1995 film, Braveheart.  The American, Mel Gibson, directed and starred in the movie, playing the downtrodden, noble, medieval Scottish hero battling the evil English, led by Patrick McGoohan – who

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St Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham

Ruins, Chapel, Heysham, stone graves

This is one of our friend Jeni’s favourite places and she said we should go; so of course we did. Heysham (pronounced ‘hee-shum’, not ‘hay-sham’) sits on Lancashire’s coast at the southern end of Morecambe Bay.  I knew of Heysham as a ferry port, offering services to the Isle of Man and Ireland, as well

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The Great Stone of Fourstones

Great Stone of Fourstones, boundary marker, Lancashire, Yorkshire

Up on the moors on the edge of the Forest of Bowland is a large, box-shaped, chunk of rock.  It sits just inside North Yorkshire on the border with Lancashire.  With characteristic English wit and imagination, it is known as the Big Stone, or the Great Stone of Fourstones – because apparently there used to be

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Orford Castle – and a merman

Orford Castle, Suffolk, British castles

There’s not much left of Orford Castle, except for its keep – but that’s absolutely spiffing.  At the cutting edge of medieval castle design in its day, the keep has managed to survive for 800 years, still dominates the surrounding Suffolk countryside and coast; and the views from the top are terrific. Orford Castle was

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