Victorian

Places, people or events associated with Queen Victoria, or the Victorian period in Britain,

Ravenglass to Eskdale and return

La'al Ratty

A meeting of the Ways and Means Committee decided that a visit to Ravenglass and its steam railway was required. Dissent would not be brooked.  Reports of riding the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway were examined.  Indeed, a stationary lurking locomotive had even been spotted a couple of times, at Ravenglass and Eskdale (respectively).  But the …

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Stocking fillers?

Stocking fillers, books, about Britain

Someone remonstrated with me the other day, saying that I could do more to promote my books.  Being the sort of chap that always takes advice, I have consequently embarked upon a brazen, crass, plug of the most vulgar kind.  Buy one of my books!  No – buy two!  If I publish another, buy that …

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Spurn

Spurn Head

Here is a dramatic tale – of shifting landscapes, lost settlements, abandoned military installations and wobbly legs.  It features the spindly, exposed, crooked finger of Spurn Head on the East Yorkshire coast.  Spurn is an enigmatic, fascinating and slightly scary place, a low-lying spit of glacial clay, sand and shingle, washed on one side by …

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Royal Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey Lady Chapel

Westminster Abbey is part of a World Heritage Site. It has been at the centre of English, and British, state occasions – coronations, weddings, funerals, services of commemoration – since William the Conqueror was crowned there on Christmas Day 1066.  In fact, its roots are pre-Conquest.  The powerful bishop, archbishop and later saint, Dunstan, established …

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St Giles’, High Kirk of Edinburgh

St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh

St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh is more properly known as the City Church, or High Kirk of Edinburgh, as well as the mother church of Presbyterianism.  As a shining example of one of those confusing curiosities that we Brits love so much, it is not technically a cathedral at all, although most people still refer …

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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

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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Attermire and the caves

Attermire Scar and Victoria Cave, Yorkshire Dales

Time for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales. We will stroll from the old market town of Settle, up into the hills and do a circuit of around 5 miles.  The route will take in the lonely starkness of Attermire Scar, the Victoria and Jubilee Caves and, along the way, encounter preparations for war.  This …

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The gardens at Sandringham

Sandringham, the Queen's Norfolk house

Sandringham is the private Norfolk home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  Unlike the monarch’s other properties, such as Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, which are owned by the Crown Estate, Sandringham is one of two residences that the Queen personally owns – the other being Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.  She inherited Sandringham from her …

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Walmer and the Warden of the Cinque Ports

Walmer, Warden of the Cinque Ports

We strolled to Walmer Castle from Deal in September sunshine.  Infamous as the place where the Duke of Wellington died, Walmer Castle was one of Henry VIII’s so-called ‘device forts’, a network of artillery strongholds built to protect England against possible French invasion.  Naturally, we have retained a few of these, just in case.  Walmer …

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World Heritage Sites in Britain

World Heritage Sites in Britain

Britain has 29 World Heritage Sites.  The United Kingdom has 30, including the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland but excluding overseas territories.  It would have been 31, but Liverpool’s maritime mercantile city was, sadly, stripped of its status in 2021.  Don’t let that put you off; Liverpool is more than worth spending …

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