Places in Britain associated with a work of literature, or a well-known author, poet or other writer.

A short visit to Southwold

Visit Southwold

It is said that Britain’s seaside towns are looking tired: unfortunately, in many cases, that’s true.  But there doesn’t seem to be too much wrong with Suffolk’s Southwold.  So we’re just going to show you a few photographs of this lovely little East Anglian resort, taken on an all-too brief visit on a warm, cloudless, […]

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Robert Burns, an’ a’ that

Tam o' Shanter

What is all the fuss about Robert Burns? Robert – Robbie or ‘Rabbie’ – Burns was a prolific poet and lyricist, who died more than 200 years ago.  He is Scotland’s favourite bard, still revered throughout the land, the world over by those of Scottish descent – and, in fact, by many non-Scots as well. 

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Dracula and Whitby

Whitby Abbey, Dracula

The great tempest broke rapidly and without warning in the darkness.  The sea around Whitby convulsed, waves rising in growing fury, over-topping one another, beating white-topped on the sands, rushing up the cliffs and breaking with great spumes over the piers of the harbour.  Adding to the difficulties and dangers of the night, a huge

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Our Brontë tour begins in Haworth

Haworth, Bronte Parsonage, Cemetary

Who was the third Brontë sister?  It’s a good question for quiz night down at the Olde Rupturede Ducke.  There was Charlotte and Emily, of course – the authors of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights respectively.  But who wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall?  Tracy Brontë, perhaps?  Or Chelsea?  No – if you’re a literary

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RAF100 – calling Biggles

RAF, Biggles, Sopwith Camel

Captain James Bigglesworth, known as Biggles, absent-mindedly tapped a fresh cigarette on the back of his hand and anxiously eyed the grey eastern sky.  Algy – the Honourable Algernon Montgomery Lacey – was long overdue from patrol over the lines and his fuel would be getting low.  Just then, the melodic hum of a Bentley

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Churchill’s Chartwell

Chartwell, Churchill's home

Winston Spencer Churchill (1874-1965) was one of the greatest Englishmen that ever lived, and a brilliant man.  Now, before anyone gets all hot and bothered about him being an imperialist, racist, capitalist, aristocrat, enemy of the working-class, opponent of women’s suffrage, self-publicist, reckless adventurer, glutton and all the other dreadful and unfashionable characteristics he may

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Lawrence of Arabia’s bolt-hole

Clouds Hill, T E Lawrence, Dorset

A tiny cottage, close to the Dorset HQ of the Royal Tank Regiment at Bovington Camp, was once owned by one of Britain’s most fascinating and enigmatic figures, T E Lawrence – also known as Lawrence of Arabia.  The cottage is called Clouds Hill and it was built in 1808 as a forester’s or labourer’s

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Secrets of the Middle Temple

Lamb and Flag, paschal lamb, Agnus Dei, Lamb of God, Middle Temple, Knights Templar

Some years ago, I was fortunate to be invited to do some work for the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in London.  The days I spent there were almost like being in a time capsule; all around were ghostly whispers from our past, of crusader knights, Magna Carta, the Wars of the Roses, the

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In which we go in search of Pooh, and find A Little Something

Ashdown Forest, Winnie-the-Pooh

When I first saw this heading, I thought to myself, like you probably did, “I don’t think I want to look for Pooh; it sounds as though it could be rather unpleasant.” Then a growly voice from the past said, rather dolefully, “I suppose you mean me? The best bear in all the world.  Anyway,

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Aslan and Gandalf go for a pint

Eagle and Child, bar, Oxford

How often do you walk into a pub mentally dwelling on things like wizards and talking lions?  Be honest now.  If you need help with this, try stepping over the threshold of Oxford’s Eagle and Child, because it was a favourite watering-hole of close friends JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. Disappointingly, there’s nothing obviously magical

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Give us a song, Caedmon

Parish Church of St Mary's, Whitby

This is the story of England’s first known poet. Once upon a time, many many years ago, there was a good herdsman who lived on a cliff top called Streaneshalch.  The herdsman’s name was Caedmon; he was no spring chicken and was actually quite shy.  Nearby on the cliff top was a great Abbey, ruled

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Blooms and a mystery at Exbury Gardens

Rhododendrons, azaleas, south-east, England, Gardens

The wealthy banker Lionel de Rothschild bought the Exbury Estate, in Hampshire, in 1919.  In 1922, work began on creating what is now a 200 acre garden, internationally famous for its rhododendrons, azaleas, rare trees and shrubs.  Exbury Gardens are open to the public, nestle on the eastern edge of the Beaulieu River in the

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