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Archive for england

The Story of Fleming

By Linda Tancs

Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin at St. Mary’s Hospital in 1928, a breakthrough that earned him a Nobel Prize. It’s only fitting, then, that the London hospital is home to the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum. Declared an International Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, you can see Fleming’s laboratory (restored to its 1928 condition) and explore the story of Fleming and his development of penicillin through displays and video.

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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.

Venice of the Cotswolds

By Linda Tancs

Bourton-on-the-Water is a charming village in the heart of England’s Cotswolds. It’s popularly referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” because of the stone bridges crossing the River Windrush that meanders through the center of town. You’ll find lots of yellow limestone buildings characteristic of the region, a perfect complement to the storybook scenery. You might be surprised to learn that there’s also a bird park, with over 130 species of birds on display and home to the only breeding group in the U.K. for king penguins. If you’re short on time, enjoy a whirlwind tour of the heart of town at The Model Village, a one-ninth scale replica.

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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.

Art Deco in Devon

By Linda Tancs

Burgh Island is a tidal island on the coast of South Devon in England located opposite the beach of the small seaside village of Bigbury-on-Sea. A strip of sand leading from the beach is all that will get you there during low tide; otherwise, the sea tractor will have to do. The island’s landmark is its Art-Deco inspired hotel, famously a retreat for mystery writer Agatha Christie. The island also served as a retreat of sorts for smugglers and pirates in the 14th century. Their hideout, the Pilchard Inn, is reputedly haunted. Speaking of pilchard (sardines), the story goes that fishermen would keep watch for pilchard at a chapel on the island (remains of which are known as “Huer’s Hut”). When shoals were sighted, they would cry out to other fishermen on Bigbury. The phrase “hue and cry” is said to originate from this practice.

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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.

An Elizabethan Adventure

By Linda Tancs

Longleat House is a stately manor in Wiltshire, England. Ancestral home of the Marquesses of Bath, it’s one of the finest examples of high Elizabethan architecture in the country. As one might expect of such a dwelling, it’s filled with exquisite art, an extensive library, an ornate Great Hall and a soaring staircase. What you might not expect is a safari park. That’s right—the grounds include a drive-through safari featuring lions, tigers, monkeys, a rescued elephant and an African Village offering up-close access and walk-throughs. Additionally, you’ll find native deer, which have occupied the estate since the 16th century.

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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.

Early Brick in England

By Linda Tancs

Brick was fashionable and new in the 15th century. So it’s not surprising that it would become the building material of choice for Herstmonceux Castle in Hailsham, England. The 15th-century, moated castle is one of the earliest examples of a brick-built building in the country. In addition to guided tours of the castle, you can enjoy 300 acres of serenity in managed woodland with beautiful themed and formal gardens. But now, during August bank holiday, that serenity is broken by the Medieval Festival, billed as the largest of its kind in the U.K. Activities include jousting, banquets, twice daily battles, living history encampments, falconry and archery.

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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.

Maryland’s Ties to Yorkshire

By Linda Tancs

George Calvert found favor with England’s James I. The King made him Baron Baltimore and granted him a charter to found a colony in America, which became the State of Maryland. Meanwhile, Calvert built North Yorkshire’s Kiplin Hall in the early 1620s as a hunting lodge. And so began the ties between Maryland and a British manor house that many Marylanders regard as their birthplace. The Jacobean house displays furniture, portraits, paintings and the personal belongings of the four families who have owned it over the past 400 years. You can thank residents of Maryland for its preservation, considering their funding of renovations following the hall’s abandonment in the 1950s after the death of the last owner. Enjoy the historic rooms (which you can freely roam) as well as long walks around the man-made lake, parkland and woodland paths.

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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.

A Library in Chains

By Linda Tancs

A chained library is a library where the books are attached to their bookcase by a chain, which is sufficiently long enough to allow the books to be taken from their shelves and read but not removed. One such library, aptly named Chained Library, is at Wells Cathedral. One of four remaining in Britain, it was built following instructions in the will of Bishop Bubwith, who died in 1424. It was the largest medieval library in England when it opened in the 1450s. Cathedral guides offer tours of this enchanting relic.

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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.

Railway History in York

By Linda Tancs

Billed as the world’s largest railway collection, the National Railway Museum in York, England, brings to life centuries of locomotive history. It’s also where they brought to life the Flying Scotsman, restoring it to its former glory and offering it for special passenger tours across the U.K. Boasting a collection of over 1 million railway-related objects, the facility hosts Mallard (the world’s fastest steam engine), a replica of George Stephenson’s Rocket (a pioneering steam locomotive invention) and the only bullet train known to exist outside Japan.

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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 Pilgrim’s Way

By Linda Tancs

Arguably one of the best known of England’s pilgrimage routes, Pilgrim’s Way is a journey from Winchester (or alternatively, Southwark) to Canterbury. It’s a well-trodden route, having been walked since 1172 to a shrine of Saint Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered there two years earlier. A typical journey from Winchester Cathedral lasts about 12 days; the Southwark route is shorter. Medieval pilgrims would’ve borne a rough tunic, heavy cloak and a wooden staff along with safe-conduct, written permission from their local priest in an effort to secure safe travel. These days, modern pilgrims can avail themselves of a pilgrim passport from cathedrals on the way as well as from Canterbury Cathedral on receipt of a self-addressed, stamped envelope. As you progress along the route, get at least one stamp in each place you stay. Some churches also have special pilgrim stamps and post a notice telling you who in the locality will stamp your passport.

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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 English Spa

By Linda Tancs

Yorkshire’s Harrogate is England’s original spa town. Due to the discovery of its bath waters in 1571 (credited to William Slingsby), it became known as “the English Spa.” It didn’t take long for spa visits to catch on, transforming the town into a posh resort. In Victorian times, a pump room was built to shelter the affluent as they took the famous waters. Today the Royal Pump Room is a museum preserving the history of the local mineral springs. In fact, within 2 miles of the town center are 88 mineral springs rising to the surface. You can still take the waters today at the luxurious Turkish Baths, a Moorish-style health spa offering saunas, a spa pool and a toning plunge pool.

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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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