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  • Blandford Forum - A Georgian Gem in England

    Blandford Forum - A Georgian Gem in England

    In 1731 a great fire swept through the small market town of Blandford Forum in Dorset. It destroyed ninety per cent of the town. Thanks to some unusual circumstances it was quickly rebuilt and today it is the best example of a small Georgian town in the UK ...

  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park - the only one of its kind

    Yorkshire Sculpture Park - the only one of its kind

    The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an international centre for modern and contemporary art featuring some of the world’s finest artists. Their work is displayed in displayed in the open-air and its four galleries. This glorious park occupies the huge historic estate that once surrounded the beautiful Bretton Hall built in the Palladian style of architecture ...

  • Novotel in York, England

    Novotel in York, England

    The Novotel in York is nicely appointed on the bank of the River Foss and a short walk from the city centre. When I arrived I was warmly welcomed and settled in the lounge as my room was not ready. I had a light lunch from the bar while I waited. It was really good comprising fresh artisan bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a small salad ...

  • Exploring the Cathedrals and Abbeys of Northern England

    Exploring the Cathedrals and Abbeys of Northern England

    It was a big step to take, going on a special interest holiday, but I was curious to see what it was like spending a few days learning about one topic in depth. As I have always had a fascination for churches I chose the Cathedrals and Abbeys of Northern England, organised by the Cultural Travel Company, part of the Martin Randall Travel group. Our group of twenty-seven was based inYork throughout the trip and we travelled in a luxury coach to the cahehdrals and abbeys we visited. The itinerary was well-balanced and optimised our time during the four days of the holiday. On our first afternoon we walked through York city centre to York Minster. Before we left our hotel each one of us was given a whisperer with an earpiece so that we could hear our speaker, Jon Cannon who gave us an introduction to Medieval architecture as we walked along. I was already impressed ...

  • The Wild and Wonderful St David’s Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, Wales

    The Wild and Wonderful St David’s Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, Wales

    St David's Peninsula in Pembrokeshire Wales is a glorious mixture of wild countryside and interesting cultural sites. It encompasses two national treasures, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. I had already walked small sections of the latter during previous sojourns in Newport, St David’s City and Tenby …

  • Newport in Pembrokeshire, Wales - a Holiday Haven

    Newport in Pembrokeshire, Wales - a Holiday Haven

    Newport in Pembrokeshire, Wales stretches along the estuary of the Nevern River that goes down to the Irish Sea in Newport Bay. I started my walk around the town at the Iron Bridge and followed a very easy stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path that runs alongside the Nevern Estuary. The path is lined with trees on both sides with occasional glimpses of the estuary beyond them. As always in Pembrokeshire my walk was enhanced with the friendly greetings of passers-by ...

  • A Day Out in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales

    A Day Out in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales

    It was a very mixed group that gathered on by the tractor on Tenby beach as instructed. Old and young, able and not so able. There was no sign of a boat. Waves crashed on to the beach behind us as we all looked uncertainly at each other. There was no sign of a boat nor of anyone in authority. We all cheered up when a young man arrived, jumped into the tractor and reversed it and the jetty attached to it to the water’s edge. A few minutes later a boat arrived. As the boat nudged the end of the jetty each passenger was handed carefully aboard ...

  • St David’s, a Welsh Village that became a Charming City

    St David’s, a Welsh Village that became a Charming City

    St David’s on the ruggedly splendid Pembrokeshire coast in Wales is utterly charming. When I checked into the excellent Twr y Felin Hotel I had no sense at all of being in a city, albeit the smallest city in the UK. Close to my hotel, at the top of the High Street I found Oriel y Parc the visitor centre for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park which was designated as such in 1952 and incorporates St David’s Peninsula. The National Park was created to protect the environment and sets a fine example with its own visitor centre ...

  • The Cathedral and the City of Wells in Somerset, England

    The Cathedral and the City of Wells in Somerset, England

    Wednesday is market day in the City of Wells in Somerset, England. When I arrived in Market Place it was overflowing with stalls as it has done every week on Wednesdays and Saturdays for past 800 years. This market is part of the heritage of Wells and on a Wednesday it includes a Farmers Market. Wells also has a Charter granted by King John in 1201 to hold five Charter Fairs every year. These used to last for several days and involved feasting and entertainment in the evenings and trading in the market during the day ...

  • Panoramas and Portraits at the Excellent Twr y Felin Hotel in St David's Pembrokeshire

    Panoramas and Portraits at the Excellent Twr y Felin Hotel in St David's Pembrokeshire

    It was with great and justified pride that Emma showed me to my suite when I checked into the Twr y Felin Hotel in St David’s, Pembrokeshire in Wales. The Tyddewi (Windmill Tower) Suite occupies the three floors of the original windmill that was built here in 1806. This windmill had a chequered history being damaged several times in terrible storms and on two occasions its wings and paddles were blown off. Despite these misadventures the windmill ground corn intermittently for nearly a century until it ceased operations in 1904. New buildings were added and the windmill was first converted into a hotel ...

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