Villages

Interesting villages to visit in Britain, including hamlets, whether in England, Wales or Scotland.

The time capsule of Culross

Culross and the Forth

It’s become something of a cliché, to describe a place as ‘being frozen in time’, or similar.  But in the case of Culross, a small village on the north bank of Firth of Forth in Fife (try saying that after too many sherbets), there’s an element of truth in the statement. Most of Culross manages […]

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The importance of Eamont Bridge

Eamont, Athelstan, Cumbria

It is hard to wrap your brain round, but the small Cumbrian village of Eamont Bridge was once an international frontier crossing.  Well – kind of.  At first glance, it seems a nondescript sort of place, stretching along the A6 in typically linear northern fashion, so that both ends of the village could be blocked

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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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Craster to Dunstanburgh

Dunstanburgh, castles in Northumberland

There are several reasons to go to the little Northumbrian coastal village of Craster.  It is famous for its kippers, offers several pleasant eating options, an art gallery and is a popular base for bird watchers, fishers and walkers alike.  Our excuse was to revisit Dunstanburgh Castle, surely one of the most dramatic set of

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Wharram Percy DMV

Wharram Percy, DMV, Yorkshire

We tend to see modern towns and villages as permanent things. They may change, but it’s hard to imagine the landscape without them and easy to take it for granted that they will last forever.  Yet the world is littered with places that have been lost along the way – abandoned communities, traces of old

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Buckler’s Hard

Bucklers Hard, places to see in Hampshire

They used to build big ships on the New Forest’s tranquil, pretty, Beaulieu River.  Men of war that formed part of the Royal Navy’s wooden walls, when Britannia ruled the waves: vessels 150 feet, or more, in length, with 70 menacing cannons poking through gun-ports and crewed by hundreds of officers and men; ships that

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From a house in the clouds to a fort

Thorpeness, meare, House in the Clouds, Suffolk

We are in the east of England, on the Suffolk coast.  The town of Aldeburgh was once a thriving Tudor port; that’s where we’ll find the fort. And Thorpeness, well – Thorpeness was purpose-built in the 20th century – and that’s where we’ll find our house in the clouds. Few people now will have heard

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The train will arrive in a heartbeat

North York Moors Railway locomotive at Goathland

I was on a boys’ weekend in Whitby. You know, don’t you, that ‘boys’ in this context actually means ‘grown men’. In fact, it would be more accurate to say ‘mature men who should know better’. But we’ll settle with ‘boys’; it’s a comforting euphemism. It’s just occurred to me that ‘euphemism’ can be a

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Chiddingstone’s Chiding Stone

Chiddingstone, Kent, visit Britain

You’ll find a curious thing at the end of a little path beside the school in the Kent village of Chiddingstone.  It’s a great lump of sandstone, formed about 135 million years ago when this part of the world was a swampy mess.  And this large rock is called the Chiding Stone, because (so they

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Imagine if George Washington had been Lancastrian

Washington House

There are two villages called Warton in Lancashire, both of them with connections across the Pond.  One, just west of Preston, is known for the airfield used by the United States Army Air Forces during World War Two.  Further north, the other Warton nudges the border with Cumbria.  And there, inside the medieval parish church

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Souter lighthouse

Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear

I journeyed to Souter from Gateshead through seemingly endless housing estates.  The drive seemed curiously out of time, as though my car was in a bubble of the past, a mood somehow pricked at the first, innocent, exciting, sight of the sea.  Souter is easy to find; but you shouldn’t miss spotting a lighthouse, should

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Mitfords, Fettiplaces and P514

St Mary's, Swinbrook, Oxfordshire

My chum Dave was at it again.  Like me, Dave is tickled by the past and finds there’s more and more of it each day.  “You must visit Swinbrook,” he said over a pint at The Olde Ruptured Duck one Friday.  “Fettiplace memorials in the church.  Amazing.  Would go well on A Bit About Britain.”

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