Fun things to do in England

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Most Viewed Things to Do in England

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    Englands Textile History [Helmshore lancshire]

    by gwendar Written Jun 20, 2014

    This one of those places that you find by chance a museum dedicated to a bygone industry
    the Helmshore textile mills are situated on the river ogden in the small Lancashire village of the same name.
    It is well worth a visit to see and learn about the fascinating history of the manufacture of textiles

    Helmshore mills set in the rossendale valley Helmshore mills visitor enterance The rear mill next to the disused railway viaduct Some of the old mill machines Again machinery inside the mill
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Brougham castle History by a peaceful river

    by gwendar Written May 23, 2014

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    A visit to Brougham castle in cumbria northwest England.
    This very picturesque castle dates from the 13th century and is situated by the river Emont
    set in the eden valley.
    A complex of passages and spiral stairs makes this a vey interesting castle to explore.
    The castle was founded by Robert de Vieuxpont.

    Brougham castle in bright sun. 2 views of the Keep View from upper gallery castle outer wall upper passage way
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Hadrians Wall Path

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 5, 2014

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    Even though the Romans conquered Britain in AD 43, they always struggled to keep the barbaric northern tribes out of their southern possessions. Emperor Hadrian established a border between the Roman Empire and the lands of the Caledonians (later Picts) by ordering the construction of a massive defensive wall in AD 122 that reached from the Solway Firth to the River Tyne for roughly 140 km. After almost 2000 years, it is still there (or at least, significant parts of it) and remains one of the most marvelous results of military engineering.

    A hiking path - marked by a white acorn - runs parallel to the wall, from Bowness - on - Solway to Newcastle (Wallsend). It is possible to hike the most beautiful part between Carlisle and Chollerford in 3-4 days. A realistic day goal would be to hike between 10-15 miles per day. Possible routes: Carlisle-Walton or Lanercost (Day 1), Walton/Lanercost - Walltown (Day 2), Walltown & Winshield Crags to Steel Once Brewed (Day 3), Once Brewed - Chollerford (Day 4). It is possible to combine Day 2 and Day 3, but it is a hard days walk then.

    Advice:
    - plan your daily hikes realistically. I would recommend to split the distance between Walltown and Chollerford (the "Crags") into two separate hikes due to the terrain. It`s the best part, you don`t want to rush through here.
    - walking sticks and weatherproof clothing is a must
    - sunscreen
    - it is a very rural area, so pack provisions and plenty of water
    - ATMs are rare, take all the money you need with you; not every B&B accepts credit cards
    - as the B&B`s along the fill up quickly, preebooking is essential
    - choose B&B`s close to the the path; you don`t want to figure out how to get into the next town at the end of your hike when there is no taxi or public transport
    - if you don`t want to carry a large backpack, make use of a luggage transport. There are many companies here that pick up your luggage at your present accomodation in the morning and drop it at the next one for a small fee in the afternoon. A very wise investment.

    Personally, I would always use Bowness or Carlisle as an entry point to the path, and not Newcastle. If you choose Newcastle as your start, you have one leg of the hike which leads mainly through the city and another one which runs parallel to the busy B6318 road. So the west-east-direction would be my preferred route.

    Hadrians Wall

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    Cambridge

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 5, 2014

    Cambridge is a beautiful university city with gothic-style college buildings dating back to the 13th century and picturesque bridges - the most famous being the "Bridge of Sighs" over the River Cam. Famous students of Cambridge include Isaac Newton, Bertrand Russell, John Milton and Lord Byron; also, many founders of Harvard University in the USA where educated in Oxford. Cambridge scientists won more nobel prizes than any other university in the world. Among the most interesting colleges are St. Johns College, Magdalene College, Trinity College, Pembroke and Clare College. Keep in mind that some colleges charge entry fees and that access to some parts may be restricted, especially during examination times. It is also well worth walking along the River Cam, where hiking paths criss-cross the college grounds.

    Cambridge

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    Oxford

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 5, 2014

    Oxford is best-known as a university town, and its main attractions are related to the many colleges residing in historic buildings, such as St. Johns, All Souls, Christchurch, Lincoln, Balliol or Brasenose, dating back to the 13th century. Famous teachers and pupils include Tolkien, C.C. Lewis and Oscar Wilde. Many "Hogwarts" scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed here. Most colleges charge an entry-fee for visitors; during examination times, access to some colleges or rooms may be restricted.

    Apart from the historic colleges, other sights of Oxford are the magnificent Bodleian Library, Christchurch Cathedral and the Radcliffe Camera building. From the Carfax Tower, one has a great view of the many spires of Oxford.

    Oxford

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    Sissinghurst Gardens

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 5, 2014

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    Near Sissinghurst village (Kent) one of the best-known gardens of England can be found. The manor itself dates back to Saxon times, saw many owners and additions and was at one time even used as a prisoner camp in the 7 years war. The gardens were created in the 1930`s by Vita Sackville-West, a poet with a fondness for gardening, and her husband Harold Nicolson. The garden is defined by hedges and brick walls, which separate different "themed" gardens. A remarkable feature of Sissinghurst Gardens is the fortified gatehouse; from the top one has a superb view on the gardens.

    Sissinghurst Gardens

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    Penshurst Place

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated May 5, 2014

    Penshurst Place is a manor building near Tonbridge, Kent, about 50 km south east of London. The building dates back to the 14th century; since the mid-16th century, it was owned by the Sydney familiy and at times, used by King Henry VIII as a hunting lodge. Inside Penshurst Place portraits, medieval tapestries, armour collections and a Toy Museum can be found. On the grounds, extensive gardens add to the beauty of the place. Penshurst Place was also a film location for "The other Boleyn girl" and Shakespeare adaptions.

    Penshurst Place

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    East Marton Village [North Yorkshire]

    by gwendar Updated Apr 30, 2014

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    The little village of east marton is road village found on they A59 road some 5 miles from the town of Skipton it is most known for its famous canal bridge which is a double arch along with some very fine canal scenery the village itself also has a very fine church and some handsome houses along with a very nice old English pub [THECROSS KEYS] See separate review A nice café next to the bridge in picture 2 called [ABBOTS HARBOUR]
    A point of interest the village was formerly called Church marton.

    The famous double arch canal bridge A59 above leeds/liverpool canal at east marton St peters church East marton from canal bridge The former village post office Church view and view towards pendle hill
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Architecture
    • Photography

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Leeds Castle

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 30, 2014

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    The moated Leeds Castle is located in Kent, close to Maidstone village. Since the 12th century, a castle existed in this location, being a residence for King Edward I., and later Katherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII. The new castle as it looks today is mainly the result of additions in the 18th century. This picturesque castle has a maze, a grotto and a unique museum of dog collars.

    Leeds Castle

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    London

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 30, 2014

    It is practically impossible to give all useful information about London in a single tip, so I recommend my VT London page for more comprehensive insights. One cannot possibly see all London sights in a single journey. For a first-timer, a week would be necessary only to see the major sights.

    My humble attempt to cluster worthwhile London sights:

    - for panoramic viewpoints of London, try the London Eye, the viewing platform of St. Pauls Cathdedral or "The Shard" skyscraper
    - iconic London squares are Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden
    - many parks add a touch of green to London, my favourite being Kew Gardens, St. James Park, Regents Park, Kensington Park and Holland Park
    - famous palaces, castles and feudal mansions of London: of course Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Somerset House ...
    - the churches Westminster Abbey and St. Pauls cathedral
    - the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben clocktower
    - Tower Bridge and scenic paths along the River Thames
    - the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum
    - the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Collections (Tate Britain and Tate Modern), the Royal Academy of Arts
    - the historic suburb of Greenwhich
    - historic Highgate and Kensal Green cemeteries
    - the Harry Potter film studios at Leavesden
    - Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

    St. Paul`s Cathedral

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    Hever Castle

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 30, 2014

    Hever Castle - in the village of Hever, Kent, about 50 km south-east of London, is a 13th century country house, former seat of the Boleyn family in the 15th and 16th century and childhood home of Anna Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII of England.From 1903 to 1983, ownership went to American billionaire William Waldorf Astor, who added extensive Italian Gardens to the grounds.

    Hever Castle

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    Carlisle

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 30, 2014

    Carlisle is a city in the border region of Cumbria, long disputed between England and Scotland. It is said that Carlisle is the most-often besieged city in the United Kingdom; thus, the huge red-brick Carlisle Castle was put to the test very often, last in the Jacobite Rebellions.

    In a pedestrian underpass between the city and the castle, the curse of the Archbishop of Glasgow against the Border Reiver families (robber barons of the English-Scottish border area) is set in a huge stone, as a remembrance to the troubled past of Carlisle. It is said to

    The Carlisle Cathedral is very wortwhile seeing. It was created as an Augustinian priory and became a cathedral in 1133. In the reign of King Henry VIII the monastery was dissolved, but the cathedral, with wonderful stained-glass windows, remained.

    Carlisle is an easily accessible entry point to the Hadrians Wall hiking path. The path starts behind the castle, along the River Eden.

    Carlisle Cathedral

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    Harry Potter Studios Leavesden

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 30, 2014

    If you like the Harry Potter-books and movies, Leavesden Studios north of London is your Holy Grail. The film studios have plenty of sets, props and costumes, and you can explore them at your own pace. Sets include the Great Hall, Hagrids Hut, Dumbledores Office, the Hogwarts Common Room, the Knight Bus and Privet Drive. The exhibition also includes a realistic replica of Diagon Alley and a scale-model of Hogwarts which really is the crown-jewel of the tour. You even can do a short green-screen video of yourself on a broom flying through London!

    I recommend to plan this as a daytrip as there is plenty to see (4 hours at least). To get there, take an express train to Watford Junction from London Euston Station. An inexpensive shuttle bus leaves every 15 minutes from here to the studios (and back). Or, you can book a bus tour from central London to the studios (which will be more expensive).

    Important notice: You have to order tickets on the internet before your visit and choose a fixed time slot for the start of your visit! It is not possible to buy tickets at the studios! The advantage is that they manage the crowds quite efficiently this way, and the exhibition never felt overcrowded.

    The only drawback is that the gift shop at the end of the tour is rather expensive, so if you go with children insisting you buy the new Nimbus 2000, it might become an expensive visit!

    Diagon Alley

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    Chartwell

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 29, 2014

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    British prime minister and war leader Winston Churchill bought the Chartwell estate in 1922 and lived here until his death in 1965. The luxurious home - open to the public - includes his artist studio with a selection of his best paintings, and beautiful landscaped gardens with a view on the Weald of Kent.

    Chartwell

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    Lanercost Priory

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 29, 2014

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    Lanercost Priory in Cumbria is the ruin of a medieval abbery, dating back to the 12th century. The priory was often involved in the wars for Scotlands independence; King Edward I., but also scottish raiders, visited the priory. The destruction of the priory came later with King Henry VIII and the dissolution of English monasteries. The parish church remained intact and is still in use. Many beautiful stained-glass windows can be found here.

    Lanercost Priory is located along the Hadrians Wall hiking path. Easiest access by car is from Carlisle.

    Lanercost

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