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Archive for england

Heights of the Mother

By Linda Tancs

In the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park is Castleton, a popular English village. It’s legendary as a walking center, thanks to the steep hills surrounding it on three sides. The most famous is Mam Tor (translated Heights of the Mother), standing at over 1,690 feet, site of ruins of a Celtic hill fort. Next to walking, its four underground show caves are a major attraction. Two of them, Blue John and Treak Cliff, are still actively mined for a yellow and blue fluorspar called Blue John. A third cave, Peak Cavern, was home to the last of Britain’s cave hermits. Unlike these three caves, Speedwell Cavern is only accessible via boat. The closest rail station to the village is in nearby Hope.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

London’s Cheese Bar

By Linda Tancs

Touted as the world’s first cheese conveyor belt restaurant, The Cheese Bar in London offers Pick & Cheese, a bar featuring a conveyor belt with glass-domed plates of cheeses sourced around the U.K. Pick as you please; prices vary according to the color of the plate. Bar seats are available on a walk-in basis for a one-hour period. In the heart of London’s West End, the venue is located just two minutes from Covent Garden Station at Short’s Gardens.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Garden Fit for a Queen

By Linda Tancs

London’s largest and best rose garden is fit for a queen. It is, after all, named after the wife of King George V. Opened in 1932, Queen Mary’s Garden in Regent’s Park boasts 12,000 roses, the city’s largest collection. You’ll find 85 single variety beds on display, exhibiting most rose varieties from the classics to the most modern English roses. The upcoming first two weeks of June offer the best blooms.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

What Lies Beneath in Suffolk

By Linda Tancs

Few areas expose the tribal origins of England better than Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. That’s where you’ll find an awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site from the seventh century unearthed in 1939, where a ship thought to be the final resting place of an Anglo-Saxon king was discovered. Akin to the discovery of a pharaoh’s tomb, the ship’s burial chamber revealed artifacts of a powerful leader, featuring a sword, shield, helmut and exquisite items crafted in gold and garnet. The ship is represented today by a full size, steel reproduction measuring around 88 feet long. Visit the High Hall for information on the lives of the Anglo-Saxons and just how Sutton Hoo came to be such a significant place in English history. Guided tours are also available.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Deserted Village in Yorkshire

By Linda Tancs

Halfway between Scarborough and Clifford Tower lies Wharram Percy, one of the largest and best preserved of Britain’s deserted medieval villages. Its name is derived from the aristocratic Percy family, who lived there between the 12th and 14th centuries. The village was continuously occupied for six centuries before it was abandoned soon after 1500 and today remains the focus of extensive archaeological research. Open during daylight hours, you’ll find the remains of a medieval church as well as grassed-over foundations of two manor houses and about 40 peasant houses and their outbuildings amidst the rugged terrain.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Hiding Places in Worcestershire

By Linda Tancs

It was no easy task to be a Catholic priest in Elizabethan England, especially after Elizabeth I lost her tolerance for the “old faith.” As a result, a number of safe houses sprung up. One of them was Harvington Hall, a moated manor house in Worcestershire. The grand estate boasts the largest number of priest hides in the country, including an entire concealed chapel. A false fireplace leading to an attic, trapdoors and crawl spaces behind beams or under stairs are among its secret spaces intended to foil priest hunters. You can reach the locale via train from London Euston to Kidderminster, which is about three miles away from the manor. Take bus line 42 or a taxi from there.

Intrigue at the Palace

By Linda Tancs

Who doesn’t love a good story? The walls of Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, England, are filled with them. At the Great Hall, for example, Edward II was forced to abdicate in 1327 upon rising tensions with his French wife. Centuries later, Robert Dudley (Earl of Leicester) laid out the iconic tower and a formal privy garden in a final attempt to gain the hand of Elizabeth I, who stayed at the castle several times. Those gardens have been reconstructed, along with a staircase leading to Elizabeth’s chambers. One of the best castle ruins in the country, its view across the fields is one of the most famous landscapes painted by English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner.

Undercover in London

By Linda Tancs

Ever wonder what it was like being a Cold War spy in London? You can catch a glimpse into the world of espionage with a spy and espionage tour conducted by an expert in the subject. A three-hour bus tour visits real-life sites used by British Intelligence as well as sites where secrets were exchanged, even by double agents. The tour ends at St. Ermin’s Hotel, former headquarters of MI6, where a very James Bond-like vodka martini awaits you.

A Bit of Everything in Tresco

By Linda Tancs

St. Mary’s is the largest island in England’s enchanted archipelago, Isles of Scilly, but Tresco is the only one that’s privately owned. That won’t stop you from experiencing the world renowned Abbey Garden, though. Established in the 1830s by Augustus Smith (an ancestor of the family responsible for the island), it hosts a spectacular collection of more than 20,000 exotic plants from 80 temperate coastal regions around the world. Smith also founded Valhalla Museum in a far corner of the garden, which displays figureheads salvaged from the islands’ shipwrecks in the 19th century. The garden is open daily. Fly to St. Mary’s with Skybus from Land’s End, Newquay or Exeter, or sail aboard Scillonian III from Penzance. Boat services from there will bring you to Tresco.

South Downs Way

By Linda Tancs

South Downs National Park is England’s newest national park (as of this writing), established in 2010. Spreading across Sussex and Hampshire, it covers an area of 627 square miles boasting fragile chalk and clay landscapes, woodlands and river valleys that earned it a previous designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The park is also home to the South Downs Way, one of 15 national trails in England and Wales (as well as the first bridleway national trail in England) and the only one to lie entirely within a national park. The nearly 100-mile route extends from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east. Download a walking map or details of connecting bus services to your phone and get on the Way.

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