Museums and galleries

A building, collection or organisation in Britain that you can visit and see objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest.

IBCC – Recognition, Remembrance, Reconciliation

IBCC, Lincoln

In 2015, a rust-weathered steel spire was erected on the skyline above the City of Lincoln.  It is 102 feet, more than 31 metres, high – by no coincidence equivalent to the wingspan of a Second World War Lancaster bomber.  The spire is the dramatic centrepiece of The International Bomber Command Centre, which commemorates the

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The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Unlike Balmoral, which is a private home, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is the Monarch’s official residence in Scotland.  And parts of it are open to the public.  So, assuming you don’t get to visit palaces too often, you should pop in when you’re next in town.  It is situated at the eastern end

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Bourton-on-the-Water, model village


Bourton-on-the-Water is one of Britain’s honeypot villages.  Situated in the Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that straddles five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire), Bourton-on-the-Water’s main claim to fame is that it is a very pretty village surrounded by lots of other very pretty villages.  Perhaps ‘honeypot’ is an archaic term

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A walk round Montgomery

Montgomery, Powys

We went to the small town of Montgomery, in Powys, for some much-needed peace and quiet – and found it.  Girdled by lush landscape, the old county market town of Montgomeryshire has a Georgian appearance and is a peach, a place to mentally recharge.  There is little to attract the seeker of brash entertainment, or

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The Devil’s Porridge

Mixing the Devil's Porridge

There is an exceptional little museum in the unassuming village of Eastriggs, in Scotland’s Dumfries and Galloway.  The Devil’s Porridge Museum tells an unusual tale, of ‘the greatest factory on earth’, what it produced and the people that worked in it.  It is a reminder of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  The factory was called

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Discovering and visiting Mary Rose

Nat Lewis Instagram @british_history_explorer

In the story of the Mary Rose, we took a brief look at the history of the famous Tudor warship, said to be a favourite of Henry VIII’s, that sank without warning on 19 July 1545, with the tragic loss of about 500 lives. Now, we hear a bit about her recovery, her treasures, what

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The story of the Mary Rose

The Solent

Every now and again, something takes our breath away.  I thought I knew roughly what to expect when visiting the Mary Rose Museum.  I broadly knew the story: the 16th century English warship, a favourite of Henry VIII’s, that sank with the tragic loss of most hands.  I remembered when she was raised from the

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A visit to Whitby

Yorkshire coast

Whitby, one of Yorkshire’s go-to seaside towns, conjures up so many images: the ruined abbey, dominating the skyline and old harbour, tales of Captain Cook, Dracula, the semi-precious Whitby Jet, days by the seaside – and, of course, fish ‘n’ chips.  On the other hand, maybe you are familiar with the place from the evocative

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Paying homage to the BBMF

BBMF, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

It was the only time I ever saw our dour, ill-tempered, Polish foreman remotely happy. As a student one hot summer long ago, I had a labouring job on a new section of motorway. It stretched into the distance, an elegantly excavated scar across the land, punctuated with bridges and bright yellow vehicles. One day,

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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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Walking around Oxford

All Souls Oxford

I’m not easily given to hyperbole; I’ve told you that a million times.  But it is genuinely hard to think of a British town that can be quite so achingly beautiful as Oxford. Perhaps I should qualify that by saying that I refer to the few square miles of the city centre where, quite frankly,

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Bletchley Park beyond Enigma

Bletchley Park

Part 2 – Lorenz and legacy Enigma was only part of the Bletchley Park story. As early as 1940, listening stations began to pick up enciphered teleprinter messages.  These worked in a completely different way to messages enciphered on an Enigma and utilised two main types of even more sophisticated enciphering machines, the Geheimschreiber (secret

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