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Archive for england

Exmoor’s Literary Landscape

By Linda Tancs

Exmoor is an enchanting landscape of moorland, woodland, coast and rivers in southwest England. It’s no wonder that it served as literary inspiration for R.D. Blackmore’s 1869 novel, Lorna Doone. A slice of this literary landscape, Lorna Doone Valley, is now preserved by the National Trust. On a short walk from Lorna Doone Farm you’ll experience the scenic views exactly as Blackmore described it all those years ago. And you’ll find plenty of camera-friendly sites along the way, like the ford at Malmsmead. Other waymarked walks will take you all the way to the coast.

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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.

Cornwall’s Secluded Enclave

By Linda Tancs

Bordered by the Fal estuary to the west and the Atlantic to the east, England’s Roseland Peninsula has been designated part of Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for its mix of enchanting coast and pastoral landscapes. St. Mawes is the Roseland’s only town, a tony retreat popular with summer visitors since Edwardian times. On the western end of town is the iconic St. Mawes Castle. Shaped like a clover leaf, it’s among the best preserved of Henry VIII’s seaside fortresses. In addition to its sweeping views of St. Anthony Head (the tip of the peninsula) and Falmouth, you’ll find intricate historic carvings on the castle walls, lauding King Henry VIII and his son Edward. A ferry runs in season between St. Anthony and St. Mawes.

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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.

Rosy in Hampshire

By Linda Tancs

Things are looking pretty rosy this time of year at Mottisfont, a historical priory, garden and country estate in Hampshire, England. In particular, its walled garden with 500 varieties of roses is in bloom. Created by Graham Stuart Thomas (an important figure in 20th-century British horticulture), the gardens were chosen to house many varieties that may otherwise have become extinct. The estate is set alongside the River Test, Hampshire’s longest river. Its beginnings as a priory in 1201 are revealed in the ancient stone behind panels. It later became the artistic retreat of British socialite Maud Russell in the 18th century. Get there soon before the thousands of blooms are spent.

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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.

What a Deal

By Linda Tancs

The seaside town of Deal in the English county of Kent gives fresh meaning to the phrase “what a deal.” Located where the North Sea and the English Channel meet, this charming town is where pastel-colored dwellings set within winding streets meet with fishermen’s cottages and well-preserved Georgian townhouses. A former smuggling haunt, the seaside gem also boasts two castles commissioned by King Henry VIII. Along with a seaside walk, you’ll enjoy the arts and foodie scene that’s thriving there. Easily accessible via train, the station is a short walk from the seafront.

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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.

Lifeboat History in Southwold

By Linda Tancs

There’s a museum for everything, even lifeboats. You’ll find one in the English seaside town of Southwold on the northeast Suffolk coast. Known as the Alfred Corry Lifeboat Museum, it showcases the 1893 Southwold No.1 Lifeboat ‘Alfred Corry’, Southwold’s lifeboat from 1893 until 1918. Launched 41 times, she saved 47 lives. Now restored to her former glory, the museum displays not only her story but that of the crew and local maritime history. The museum is located on the grounds of the harbor car park on Ferry Road.

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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.

The Cornish Caribbean

By Linda Tancs

About 30 miles off the coast of Cornwall, England, the Scilly Isles are a Cornish Caribbean, featuring azure seas, subtropical gardens and white, sandy beaches. It’s yours for the taking among the five inhabited islands—St. Mary’s, St. Martin’s, St. Agnes, Tresco and Bryher. St. Martin’s is the first island you’ll spot as you cross from the mainland. It offers an abundance of activities for an island just 2 miles long. You can relax on a remote bay with a colorful name like Bread and Cheese Cove. Or you might want to see the Day Mark (built in 1683), the earliest surviving dated example of a beacon in the British Isles. And then there’s the flower farm and vineyard and a dive school offering underwater adventures and snorkeling with seals. Everything is reachable on foot; you can also rent a kayak for a different perspective as well as a view of the surrounding islets. The island is a short flight away from Exeter, Newquay or Land’s End.

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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.

Medieval Meets Art Deco in London

By Linda Tancs

In London’s Royal Borough of Greenwich, medieval meets Art Deco at Eltham Palace and Gardens. Indeed, the manor house is a unique combination of ancient and contemporary. The oldest part of the dwelling is the Great Hall, the only remains of the medieval palace that served as the boyhood home of King Henry VIII. The rest is an Art Deco-style mansion built in the 1930s by millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, who saved Eltham Palace from ruin after years of neglect. Among the rooms of interest in the house are the map room where they planned their exotic world travels and the centrally-heated sleeping quarters designed for their pet lemur. The 19-acre garden is likewise not to be missed. The Rock Garden leads to the moat, crossed by London’s oldest working bridge. Closer to the palace, the terraced beds are awash in color now with primulas, pansies and tulips. The property is about a 15-minute stroll from Mottingham railway station, which is served by London Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations.

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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.

Exploring a Dome

By Linda Tancs

At 364 feet high, the dome of St Paul’s is the second largest cathedral dome in the world, an iconic part of the skyline of the City of London. At that height, you’ll find the dome’s Golden Gallery, a mere 528 steps from the cathedral floor. The smallest of three galleries in the dome, what it lacks in size it makes up for in sights. You’ll be treated to panoramic views of London that take in the River Thames, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

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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.

199 Steps and a Chair

By Linda Tancs

You’ll just need to climb a mere 199 stone steps to get fetching views of the harbor and town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, England. If that’s too arduous for you, then take the bus tour instead. No matter how you ascend, you’ll also get to visit the ruins of the Benedictine abbey that was founded after the Norman Conquest. A bit more off-the-beaten path is the abbey’s medieval, mile boundary marker. Known as the Whitby wishing chair, the seat-like stone base structure is all that remains of a cross marking the way to the abbey. As the name suggests, you’re supposed to sit in it and make a wish. You’ll find it at the junction of Love Lane and Stakesby Road on the western outskirts of town.

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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.

Country Life in Dorset

By Linda Tancs

Mapperton has been touted as England’s finest manor house. Located in Dorset, it was entered in the Domesday Book 1086 as Malperetone and was owned by a sheriff. Today’s Jacobean manor house still shows vestiges of the Tudor manor of the 1540s from which it originated. It’s the home of the Montagus, currently the Earl and Countess of Sandwich. Their ancestor, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, is credited with putting roast beef between two slices of bread. Perhaps his more notable achievement was reorganizing the navy and improving its ships. Seafaring achievement is likewise evident in the life of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, who became Charles II’s first general-at-sea. Their portraits are in the Sandwich collection, along with pictures by Lely, Van de Velde the Younger, Scott, Reynolds and Hogarth. Be sure to visit the gardens, rated as one of the top in the southwest. Tucked into a steep north-south combe, the period gardens descend among tumbling hills and unspoiled countryside.

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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.

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