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United Kingdom & Ireland Travel Articles

Travel notes and articles for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland. Articles posted must be approved by the Admin before they are published.
Names of historic eras in Britain. Historic eras are visible in the present day through their architectural remains. We experience the layers of history when we stand in a prehistoric stone circle in Wiltshire and look over to our car parked on the nearby road. Most of the United Kingdom has been settled since Prehistoric times and all the historic eras have left something for us to see. Many guidebooks describe a time period as "Georgian" or a church as "Norman with a Perpendicular tower"...
Brief history of the British Letter Box. We have letter boxes in the US, but most of us put our outgoing mail in our mailbox, put up the red flag and the mail carrier takes it when delivering the day's mail. In England the Royal Mail delivers to your front door but does not take outgoing mail. Instead we walk to the nearest red letter box. These are scattered throughout towns, sometimes built into a garden wall or the wall of an old house. It is called the "Royal" Mail because originally...
A small sample of some of the great specialist food shops, pubs and restaurants. Focused very much on specialists, so no supermarkets or chains. These are places that are unique to Norwich and places we use pretty regularly. Just two layers - city centre, for places very much walkable within the centre, plus a suburbs layer for places you could walk to, but might choose to take car, bicycle, taxi etc. I'll look to add some more places, such as the Fat Cat pub, Lakenham creamery ice-cream...
Kingston-upon-Hull (or Hull as it is more usually called) is tucked away in the bottom right hand corner of Yorkshire is well off the usual tourist itinerary. Since winning the coveted European City of Culture for 2017, it has made tremendous strides to rediscover itself and put its name very firmly on the map. The city has been detattified and there is a wide and varied programme of events 
throughout the year. This began with a massive firework display and you can’t ignore Hull now... 


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On the tourist map for 900 years. Little Walsingham is a timeless small village of brick, flint and timber frame houses based around the village pump house in the depths of rural Norfolk. In the Middle Ages, Little Walsingahm was one of the four great shrines and places of pilgrimage alongside Rome, Santiago del Compostella and Jerusalem. All the kings of England from Henry III to Henry VIII visited it. Then came the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and Walsingham became a rural backwater...
Again, you are spoilt for choice and this is a very brief section covering some of my favourites. The north east was the centre of early Christianity and Lindisfarne Priory was founded in the C7th by St Aidan and St Cuthbert was Prior here. The beautifully illustrated Lindisfarne Gospels were written here in the C8th. The church survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries, becoming the parish church, but the rest of the priory buildings are now in ruins.The small museum has a collection of...
The North Tyne is off the main tourist beat and gets few foreign visitors. Many British tourists only manage a day visit. This is a shame as the area warrants a longer stop. There are lots of ideas in this guide to the area There is information about walking trails here. Kielder is also the site of an impressive sculpture trail.The area suffers little light pollution at night and is now a Dark Sky Park with an observatory. If you have never seen the wonders of the Milky Way, this is the...
To many people, Hadrian's Wall IS Northumberland and the main reason most people visit. Hadrian’s Wall is a world heritage site and snakes across some of the most dramatic scenery in England. This map shows the major sites along the wall. There is a footpath along the length of the wall. Unless you specifically want to walk the whole length of the wall, limit yourself to the middle section between Housesteads and Walltown. This has the best remains, the best scenery and the best walking...
Northumberland is one of England’s hidden secrets. Most people rush through on their way to Scotland. This is a shame as they miss so much. There are glorious empty beaches stretching for miles as well as the largest man made lake and man made forest in the country. Over the years, we have visited Northumberland many times. Each time we go back, it feels like going home. The Northumbrians are such friendly and welcoming folk. I love the wide open spaces, where I can relax and breathe again...

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