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Archive for england

The Pearl of Dorset

By Linda Tancs

At the heart of England’s Jurassic Coast is the historic town of Lyme Regis. Locally known as Lyme, the designation Regis owes to its first Royal Charter given by King Edward I in 1284. Founded during the Saxon period, the pretty seaside town boasts narrow streets and Georgian architecture to complement its pastel-colored beach huts and rental cottages. Affectionately known as the “Pearl of Dorset,” it’s the site of curiosities like Granny’s Teeth (the stone steps along the Cobb harbor wall) and an endurance walk stretching from Lyme to nearby Seaton marked by the Undercliffs. Created by a series of landslips, the Undercliffs are only accessible on foot and lead to a jungle-like area of thick vegetation, one of the great wilderness areas of southern England.

An Abbey in the Moors

By Linda Tancs

Nestled in the tranquil valley of the North York Moors are the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, the first Cistercian abbey founded in the north of England and arguably one of the most beautiful ruins in the country. It was one of England’s most powerful and wealthy religious sites until its dissolution by King Henry VIII in 1538. A new museum displays previously unseen artifacts and explores the lives of the monks who lived there.

Horsing Around in Devon

By Linda Tancs

The Grand Western Canal in Devon was built in 1814 for use by the lime trade, deploying horse-drawn boats to transport stone to Tiverton Wharf. That heritage is preserved today by Tiverton Canal Co., which operates one of the U.K.’s last horse-drawn barges. Their wide beam, 75-seater horse-drawn barge operates a popular 2 1/2 hour return to East Manley that offers the opportunity to take a short walk to see the aqueduct and experience the bountiful wildlife among the unspoiled banks. Tours operate from April to October.

London’s Secret Garden

By Linda Tancs

Founded in 1673, Chelsea Physic Garden is one of London’s oldest botanic gardens. It contains a unique living collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful, medicinal and historical plants within its sheltering walls tucked away beside the Thames. True to its roots (no pun intended) as a training ground for apprentices in the identification and use of medicinal plants, its medicinal plant display is one of the largest in the world. The theme for 2017 is Weaves and Leaves: Fabrics and the Plants That Make Them. The garden is located between Royal Hospital Road and the Thames Embankment, a 15-minute walk from Sloane Square.

In Harmony With Nature

By Linda Tancs

Over a period of 35 years HRH The Prince of Wales has transformed a mere lawn into an organic paradise at Highgrove, his pastoral estate in Gloucestershire. Open on select dates from April to October each year, the Royal Gardens at Highgrove are harmonious with nature. Representing a combination of sustainability and artistic sensibility, a guided tour of his innovative garden design includes the Wild Flower Meadow, Woodland Garden, Carpet Garden, Walled Garden and Cottage Garden. The grounds at Highgrove have been acknowledged as some of the most inspired and innovative gardens in the United Kingdom. Tours of varying duration are available and must be booked in advance.

Ely’s Eels

By Linda Tancs

Despite being a noted cathedral town (boasting one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in the country), Ely is one of the smallest jurisdictions in England. It derives its name from the Isle of Eels, its designation when Ely was an island surrounded by marshland and eels were in great abundance. The importance of the eel to the local economy is celebrated to this day with the annual Eel Festival. Taking place tomorrow through May 1, the event is highlighted by a parade on Saturday beginning at Cross Green adjacent to the cathedral and incorporating a part of the Eel Trail, a circular route that takes you past all the key parts of this historic city. Of course you’ll want an eel-related souvenir, which is available at the Tourist Information Centre located in the former home of Oliver Cromwell.

Far East in England

By Linda Tancs

Famous for being the most easterly town from which to watch the sunrise in England, Lowestoft occupies the northernmost part of the Suffolk Coast. Home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the family-friendly town has two piers, a zoo, a theme park and a maritime museum exploring the town’s long history with the North Sea. And that’s in addition to the award-winning beach, staffed with lifeguards from April to September. If you’re not beachy keen, then check out The Scores, a series of ancient narrow lanes leading to the sea. Trail leaflets are available in many High Street shops. Visitor information points are located at Claremont pier, the library, the train station and Windsor Gallery.

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