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Archive for england

The History of Science

By Linda Tancs

The Whipple Museum of the History of Science was founded in 1944 when Robert Stewart Whipple presented his collection of 1,000 scientific instruments and a similar number of books to the University of Cambridge in England. Today, the museum’s collection encompasses objects dating from medieval times to the present day. In addition to models, pictures, prints, photographs, rare books and other material related to the history of science, their vast collection includes instruments of astronomy, navigation, surveying, drawing and calculating as well as sundials, mathematical instruments and early electrical apparatus. You’ll also find famous works such as Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, explaining his theory of gravity, and Christiaan Huygens’s Horologium Oscillatorium, detailing the invention of the pendulum clock. Admission is free.

A Masterpiece in the Making

By Linda Tancs

Targeted for completion this year, the England Coast Path will become the world’s longest coastal walking route, hugging the entirety of the English coast for a whopping 2,800 miles. The path will pass through 23 English counties, highlighting along the way a variety of cliffs, castles, beaches, cities and nature reserves. The trek will offer something for everyone of all abilities and will be signposted. Let your own ambition be your guide.

House of Frankenstein

By Linda Tancs

In 1816, Mary Shelley wrote the world’s first science fiction novel, Frankenstein, in Bath, England. So the locale is an appropriate spot for an immersive experience known as Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein. Set in a Grade II historic property, the Halloween-worthy experience features four floors of frights, including the 8-foot monster that Shelley envisioned and Victor Frankenstein’s Escape Room, a puzzle-based escape game that lasts for one hour. The attraction is just minutes away from the city centre at 37 Gay Street.

A Time Capsule in Durham

By Linda Tancs

It isn’t every day you get to literally walk through a time capsule, so a place like the Beamish Museum in England’s County Durham is a real treat. Arguably one of the best open-air, living museums in the world, it offers faithful replicas of life in the Northeast from the 1800s to the 1950s. Among its many charms you’ll find a look at Rowley Station as it existed in Edwardian times, a replica of renowned Georgian quilter Joseph Hedley’s home, coal community cottages and a farm from the 1940s. The 300-acre site is served by vintage trams and buses. The closest train station to the museum is Chester-le-Street, where regular bus service from the town centre to Beamish takes about 20 minutes.

A Unique Island Community

By Linda Tancs

The Thames Estuary is one of the United Kingdom’s major estuaries. It extends from the tidal limit of the River Thames at Teddington Lock to the North Sea. The region comprises a cluster of cities, towns and villages. One of those places is Canvey Island, the whole of which is below sea level. Originally a salt marsh before being reclaimed by sea waters in the 7th century, it eventually became home to around 200 Dutch immigrants in the early 17th century, who reportedly sought refuge from the Duke of Alba (Alva), notoriously known as the “butcher of Flanders” for disposing of those who allied themselves with or provided aid to the troops leading the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule. The island’s Dutch connection is part of the history told in murals along the 14 miles of high sea walls safeguarding the locale against devastating flooding. The journey time from London via rail is about one hour.

An Electrifying Home in Northumberland

By Linda Tancs

Surrounded by one of Europe’s largest rock gardens, Cragside is a Victorian country house near the town of Rothbury in Northumberland, England. Built in 1863 by Lord Armstrong (a civil and mechanical engineer), it was the first house in the world to be lit using hydroelectricity, harnessing lakes on the estate to generate electricity through a turbine. You can take a walk around two of those lakes, one of many waymarked trails among the estate’s 1,000 acres.

Missions to Maharajas

By Linda Tancs

Saint Hill Manor is reputedly the finest 18th-century sandstone building in Sussex, England. It also boasts quite the history, having served a variety of purposes ranging from a Christian mission to the home of a maharaja of Jaipur. Its notoriety continued when it was acquired by L. Ron Hubbard as a family home and became British headquarters for his Church of Scientology. Tours of the house are available by advance booking, but the grounds are open daily and include nearly 60 acres of landscaped gardens, woodlands and lakes. The estate is located on the outskirts of East Grinstead, an ancient market town.

Stanway’s Famous Fountain

By Linda Tancs

Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, Stanway is noted for its Jacobean manor house, which boasts a famous fountain in its watergarden that opened in 2004. Rising over 300 feet, the fountain is the tallest gravity-fed fountain in the world. The rest of the manor’s watergarden is, of course, much older, created in the 1720s and considered one of the finest of its kind in England. It features a canal, a cascade and a pond at the tithe barn. While you’re there, don’t miss the restored watermill with its massive 24-foot overshot waterwheel, the eighth-largest waterwheel in England.

London’s Oldest Bookshop

By Linda Tancs

Hatchards is London’s oldest bookshop. It was established in 1797 by publisher John Hatchard and has occupied its current space at 187 Piccadilly since Georgian times. Far from a crusty old bookstore, it shelves are lined with the latest bestsellers and contemporary works along with time-honored classics. The store’s dedicated team can even source out-of-print titles. As one might expect, they’re the Official Bookseller to the Royal Household.

England’s Woodland Memorial

By Linda Tancs

A site of national remembrance, England’s National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is a woodland oasis featuring 25,000 trees with a collection of nearly 400 memorials honoring those who have served and sacrificed. The memorials are diverse in size and scope and represent a broad population of society, from military associations and charities to emergency services, fraternity groups and individuals. The 150-acre site is located on the edge of the National Forest on Croxall Road in Alrewas, close to all the Midlands motorways.

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