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Archive for england

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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Heights of Abraham

By Linda Tancs

Spanning 555 square miles and covering parts of the counties of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, Peak District National Park is the UK’s oldest national park. One of its most appealing destinations is the Heights of Abraham, a hilltop park in Derbyshire reached by cable car, providing spectacular views across the Derwent Valley. And you’ll likely not miss the park’s iconic symbol, the millstone, produced in Derbyshire as early as medieval times. Hundreds of them still lie scattered across parts of the park.

Inspiration for Ivanhoe

By Linda Tancs

England’s Conisbrough Castle reputedly inspired Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Ivanhoe. The iconic, medieval stone castle is near Doncaster in historic Conisbrough. Strategically located on a large knoll, its most stunning feature is perhaps the massive, four-story limestone keep with six wedge-shaped buttresses. “Conisbrough” derives from the Anglo-Saxon word “Cyningesburh,” meaning “the king’s borough.” However, little is known of the site until after the Norman Conquest, when an earthwork fortification was likely built by the castle’s original owner.

England’s Seafood Coast

By Linda Tancs

The heart of England’s “Seafood Coast” is Brixham in South Devon. Not surprisingly, then, it serves as a venue (along with Paignton and Torquay) for the annual Seafood FEAST. Taking place through October 6, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy world-class seafood. Brixham Fish Market alone brings in more than 40 species of fish. While you’re there, why not take a trip on a heritage sailing trawler or on the steam train with its stunning views of the coast.

A Towering View in York

By Linda Tancs

York boasts some of the finest medieval churches and buildings in England, so you’ll want one of the best vantage points to absorb the skyline. That would be Clifford’s Tower, where you’ll find unmatched views of the historical city as well as York Minster and even the North York Moors in the distance. The tower is all that remains of York Castle (built by William the Conqueror), a site which also served as a prison and a royal mint. Your self-guided tour features a tactile model in the courtyard, showing how the site once looked.

A Knock-Out in London

By Linda Tancs

What’s a collector to do with a motley assortment of historic anesthetic apparatus? Why, donate it, of course. That’s what Charles King did in England when he donated his collection to the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) in 1953. That conveyance formed the basis for the development of the Anaesthesia Museum, part of the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre in London. The earliest object in their collections is a resuscitation set from 1774. A unique resource for research into the history of anesthesia, the museum also contains Morton’s demonstration of ether inhalation in 1846 as well as modern anesthetic machines. As part of their World War I commemorations, the AAGBI has compiled an extensive oral history from interviews with anesthetists who served in wars from Vietnam to more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Open Monday to Friday, admission to the facility on Portland Place is free.

Music for All in North York Moors

By Linda Tancs

Moor, coast, forest and dale. It’s all there in England’s North York Moors National Park. And with sunlight extending well into the evening this time of year, there’s plenty of time to enjoy it. August also brings a flush of purple to the area’s prized heather, another reason to visit, along with the many village, arts and music shows. A favorite is the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival, a gathering of renowned classical musicians from around the world, bringing beautiful music to nine churches within the heart of the park. St. Peter & St. Paul in Pickering hosts the opening concert of the festival, taking place this year between August 11 and August 24.

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