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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010


Avebury is a henge monument on a larger scale than its more famous cousin, Stonehenge. Unlike at Stonehenge, a visitor can still touch the stones at Avebury.

Construction of the monument began 5000 years ago in Neolithic times. The amateur archaeologist, Alexander Keiller, played a large role in discovering and preserving the site, and a museum on the site which is named after him contains some related archaeological finds.


Many gigantic "Sarsen" stones such as the ones pictured below can be appproached by visitors. Also, Avebury is the only stone circle in the world with a chapel and pub inside it. Nearby monuments include the West Kennet Long Barrow, Silbury Hill and Windmill Hill.


Avebury is located 6 miles west of Marlborough on the A4361 and B4003 which is not far from another National Trust property, Lacock Abbey.

National Trust Estate Office
High Street
Avebury, Wiltshire SN8 1RF
Tel: 01672 539250
Map of Avebury

© Britain-Visitor.com

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Harbour Inn Lyme Regis

The Harbour Inn in Lyme Regis, just up Marine Parade from The Cobb Arms is one of Lyme's most popular pubs, especially among the holiday crowds.

The pub is known for its fine food, especially its fish, and outdoor terrace seating.

There also some seats out on the beach as well. The Harbour Inn has a good selection of beers and wines and is also recommended out of season.

Harbour Inn
23 Marine Parade
Lyme Regis
Tel: 01297 442299

© Britain-Visitor.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Cobb Arms Lyme Regis

The Cobb Arms in Lyme Regis is situated on Marine Parade near the seafront not far from the Harbour Inn and is something of a Lyme Regis institution.

The pub has a wide range of wines and beers and has three rooms to let, two of them with full sea views. Well-behaved dogs are welcome and charged extra.

The Cobb Arms Lyme Regis
Marine Parade
Lyme Regis
Dorset, DT7 3JF
Tel: 01297 443 242

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010


Glastonbury, a small town of less than 9,000 people in Somerset, is now more famous for its annual music festival than the historic abbey that dominated the town's early history.

Glastonbury is associated with the legends of King Arthur, the Holy Grail and Avalon. The 12th & 13th century French poems of Robert de Boron created the myth of Joseph of Arimathea bringing the Holy Grail containing Christ's blood from the cross to the kingdom of "Avalon" in the west.

Glastonbury Abbey, dates from around the 7th century and was an important and extremely wealthy monastery during the following centuries. Both King Edmund (d. 967) and Edmund Ironside (d. 1016) were buried here and the abbey continued to flourish after the Norman conquest.

The monastery is now in ruins following its Dissolution in the reign of Henry VIII as many of the stones were removed for local buildings.

Glastonbury Tor, which rises up from the Summerland Meadows plain, is another feature associated with the Arthurian legend. The roofless medieval St. Michael's Tower sits atop the hill.

The increase in interest in English mysticism and the Grail Legend in the early 20th century lead to Glastonbury's present day importance as a New Age centre. There are scores of shops in town selling herbal remedies, crystals, New Age books and organic food.

The Glastonbury Market takes place every Tuesday in Market Place and there is a Farmer's Market on the 4th Saturday of every month in St John's car park. The nearby Gauntlet is a new development of 16 specialized shops.

Glastonbury's association with the Holy Grail and Arthurian legend has also inspired such diverse writers as William Blake (Jerusalem), John Cowper Powys (A Glastonbury Romance) and Thomas Hardy.

The Glastonbury Festival, which began in 1970, takes places annually in June in the nearby village of Pilton and has grown to become the largest green field open-air music and performing arts festival in the world, with attendances of over 170,000 people.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bristol Temple Meads Station

Bristol Temple Meads Station is Bristol's main railway station and a major transport hub with rail, bus and ferry connections.

Managed by First Great Western, the station opened in 1840 and was first designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The current main entrance to the station was built in the 1870s and is attributed to the architect Francis Fox.

There are First Great Western rail services to London Paddington, as well as local services to Bath Spa, Cardiff, Gloucester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Taunton, Weston-super-Mare and Weymouth.

CrossCountry provide train connections to Manchester Piccadilly, York, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. South West Trains run a few trains to London Waterloo.

There are buses from Bristol Temple Meads Station to Bristol Airport (A1 & A2) and on Temple Way to Bath and Wells. Local buses leave the station for the city centre, Clifton, Bristol Zoo and Redland.

The Bristol Ferry Boat (Tel: 0117 927 3416) arrives and departs from the landing stage in the Floating Harbour outside the station and sails to Bristol Bridge, St Augustine's Reach, the SS Great Britain in Bristol Harbour and Hotwells. The first boat leaves the station at 7.25am on weekdays and 10.10am on weekends.

Bristol's other large station is Bristol Parkway.

Bristol Temple Meads Station
Station Approach
Tel: 0845 700 0125

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rock Point Inn Lyme Regis

The Rock Point Inn in Lyme Regis gets mixed reviews from the non-locals who visit, eat, drink or stay.

There are great views of Lyme Bay out of the back windows but it is not advised to eat your fish and chips from the chippie next door in the pub itself.

The pub has a number of rooms to rent on its upper floors.

Rock Point Inn
Broad Street
Lyme Regis
Tel: 01297 443153

© Britain-Visitor.com

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chedworth Roman Villa

Chedworth Roman Villa showcases the remnants of one of Britain's largest Romano-British villas. This 4th Century villa was built on the site of a natural spring overlooking the valley of the River Coln. Today, Chedworth Roman Villa is operated by the National Trust.

Chedworth Roman Villa

The highlight of any visit to Chedworth Roman Villa is viewing the well preserved mosaics like the one pictured below. The villa also had under floor central heating, bath houses, a latrine, and a water shrine.

Chedworth Roman Villa
Archeological work continues at the site and more mosaics are being uncovered. A Roman coin was discovered on the day of my visit!

Chedworth Roman Villa
Chedworth Roman Villa is located not far from Snowshill Manor, another National Trust property, 3 miles northwest of Fossebridge on the A429.

Tel: 01242 890256
Map of Chedworth Roman Villa

© 2010 John Westby

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lyme Regis Map

Reference this map of Lyme Regis and its environs to find local attractions such as The Cobb, the Lyme Regis Aquarium, the Undercliffs, Seaton and the Lyme Regis Bowling Green.

View Map of Lyme Regis Dorset in a larger map

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Axe Cliff Golf Course Seaton

The Axe Cliff Golf Course in Seaton is over 100 years old having been founded in 1884 and designed by the legendary Scot James Braid, who won the Open five times in the early 1900s.

The 18-hole, par 70, 5969-yard course overlooks the Jurassic Coast on the Lyme Regis to Seaton Undercliff walk.

The course is free-draining, hilly, windy and challenging with great views out over Lyme Bay and Lyme Regis and inward into some beautiful Devon countryside.

Facilities include a bar/restaurant, putting green, shop and golf lessons. Membership is currently under 500 GBP pa. Clubs and shoes can be hired on the day.

Axe Cliff Golf Club
Squires Lane
EX12 4AB
Tel: 01297 21754
Google map of Axe Cliff Golf Course


Follow the A35 from Sidmouth/Exeter then turn right on to B3172 at the junction with the A358 to Seaton.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Monday, July 19, 2010

Assembly Rooms Bath

The elegant Georgian Assembly Rooms in Bath were completed in 1771 after two years in construction. Designed by architect John Wood the Younger, who was also the man behind Bath's Royal Crescent and The Circus, the building was at the very heart of fashionable society for the middle and upper classes in the city.

The building has four function rooms: a 30m-long ballroom, the most spacious Georgian interior in Bath, a card room, a tea room and the octagon, also mainly used as a card room.

The well-to-do would gather for balls and card games and the Assembly Rooms were a place where young people could meet in the hope of finding a suitable marriage partner. The Assembly Rooms are mentioned in two of Jane Austen's novels - Northanger Abbey and Persuasion - as well as Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers. Dickens is also known to have given public readings in the Assembly Rooms.

The building is now owned by the National Trust and houses the Fashion Museum, a collection of over 30,000 articles of clothing from the 16th century to the present day, begun by Doris Langley Moore (1902–1989), who presented her collection to the city of Bath in 1963.

The museum also displays the Dress of the Year collection from the 1960s to the present day featuring the work of some of the world's top fashion designers including Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, Mary Quant and Donatella Versace.

The Assembly Rooms can still be hired for private functions and the University of Bath has used the space for its degree ceremonies.

Assembly Rooms
Bennett Street
BA1 2
Tel: 01225 477 789
Google map of the Assembly Rooms

Admission free. Admission charge to the Fashion Museum.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ottery St. Mary

Ottery St Mary, south west of Honiton, is located on the banks of the River Otter in a pleasant valley.

The town is associated with the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose father was vicar at The Church of St Mary of Ottery in the late 18th century. Other literary connections include William Makepiece Thackeray, who occasionally stayed in the village and set his novel Pendennis here and the 19th century Japan scholar and statesman Sir Ernest Satow (1843-1929), who is buried in the northeast corner of the churchyard.

The Church of St Mary of Ottery is Ottery St Mary's main attraction. The church is situated on Cornhill overlooking the town below.

The church was purchased and re-built in the 1340s by Bishop Grandisson of Exeter, who modeled it after nearby Exeter Cathedral. The weathercock on one of the twin towers is said to be the oldest surviving in Europe. The ornate interior, restored in 1977, has fine fan-vaulting, some grotesque decoration and an ancient astronomical clock dating back to the 14th century.

The names of the streets: Amen Court, Jesus Street and Paternoster Row reflect the ecclesiatical heritage of the original medieval town. Nowadays, a number of elegant Georgian and Victorian buildings survive in the town, some of which are marked by blue plaques such as The Old Convent, previously a Marist Sisters school.

Ottery St Mary connects to Exeter, Honiton and Sidmouth by bus. Ottery St. Mary is a short drive north of the seaside village of Beer. The town's tourist office (Tel: 01404 813 964) is at 10b Broad Street.

November 5 sees the annual Ottery St Mary tar barreling, when the local pubs sponsor a tar-soaked wooden barrel, which is then set alight and carried through the streets by men, women and children.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lytes Cary Manor

Lytes Cary Manor includes a chapel of 14th century heritage and a 15th century Great Hall. The well-known medieval herbalist Henry Lyte, author of Lytes Herbal, lived here. Lytes Cary Manor is now owned by the National Trust.

The Great Hall at Lytes Cary Manor is, as you would expect from an herbalist, surrounded by gardens. These gardens include some spectacular flower gardens.

There are also formal gardens and the one pictured below points to a dovecote in the distance.

Lytes Cary Manor is located near to both Barrington Court and Montacute House. Lytes Cary Manor is located off the A372 near the village of Kingsdon.
near Charlton Mackrell
Somerton, Somerset
TA11 7HU
Tel: 01458 224471
Google Map of Lytes Cary Manor

© Britain-Visitor.com

Barrington Court

Barrington Court was purchased by the National Trust in 1907. Barrington Court was later leased to and restored by the Lyle family. The "Court House" was built in the 1500s and is a magnificent Tudor style mansion. The Court House has been emptied of furniture but features an impressive staircase and wood panelling.

Barrington Court

Adjacent to the Court House is the remarkable Strode House built by the Strode family which now houses a restaurant and shop.

Barrington Court

The Strode House is fronted by formal gardens as well as a kitchen garden.

Barrington Court

Barrington Court (TA19 0NQ) is located only 8 miles from Montacute House on B3168 near Ilminster in Somerset.

Barrington, near Ilminster
Somerset TA19 0NQ
Tel: 01460 241938

© Britain-Visitor.com


A characteristic feature of the British countryside are wooden stiles that allow access for walkers and hikers through fences, but keep any animals inside.

Stiles have been built to provide a public right of way under legislation governing the countryside. The stile pictured is on the Lyme Regis to Seaton Undercliffs walk and clearly shows the footpath leading through the wheat field into the distance.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Cliffs At Beer

The chalk cliffs at Beer in Devon are a majestic sight rearing over the shingle beach.

Fishermen in Beer still draw up their boats onto the beach making for a colourful scene, especially in the summer months.

The annual regatta in Beer is to be held on Thursday, August 12th this year.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dorchester Map

Use this map of Dorchester in Dorset to navigate to places connected with the life of Wessex novelist Thomas Hardy. Sights features include Hardy's Cottage in Higher Bockhampton, the author's birthplace, Max Gate, where Hardy lived after he became famous and the churchyard in Stinsford where his heart is buried in a grave next to his first wife.

View Map of Dorchester in a larger map

© Britain-Visitor.com

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trago Mills Newton Abbot

The already huge Trago Mills store and leisure park in Newton Abbot, Devon just got bigger with the completion of a new themed garden area to give customers ideas for their homes and gardens.

Trago Mills is a very popular place and a destination for tourists as well as local shoppers. The new garden areas include: a Devon thatched country cottage, a Cornish seaside garden, a classical garden complete with columns and grottoes, a low maintenance garden, an environmental garden, an Alpine pass, an Oriental garden and a railway cottage. In addition visitors can wander a canal street and a wildlife pond area.

The whole thing is very new and could do with some years of maturing so that plants start to fill their space. But it is already a fun place to visit.

Trago Mills has three stores and leisure parks in operation: the original Liskeard, Newton Abbot and Falmouth with a new site in Merthyr Tydfil in the planning stage.

The Newton Abbot leisure park already includes The Bickington Steam Railway and the Trago Mills Model Railway, one of the largest model railways in the UK.

Trago Mills was founded by Mike Robertson and is now run by his son, the somewhat controversial Bruce Robertson.

Trago Mills
Liverton Newton Abbot
Devon TQ12 6JD
Telephone 01626 821111

© Britain-Visitor.com

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pulteney Bridge Bath

Pulteney Bridge in Bath, which spans the River Avon in the eastern part of the city is another Georgian masterpiece up there with The Circus and The Royal Crescent as highlights of any visit to this wonderful city.

A Grade I Listed Building, Pulteney Bridge was designed by the Scottish architect Robert Adam (1728-1792) and is one of the few bridges in the world with commercial buildings on both of its sides.

The bridge has undergone a number of vicissitudes since it was completed in 1773 and indeed the appearance of the three-span bridge is much different from its original form of the late 18th century.

The Palladian style of the bridge is obviously influenced by some of the great Renaissance bridges of Italy, including the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and the Rialto in Venice, places Adam would no doubt have admired on his Grand Tour.

The bridge is in use for buses, cyclists, pedestrians and taxis, though there are plans afoot in Bath City Council to limit all vehicular traffic over the historic bridge.

Google map of Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge Bath, England

Pulteney Bridge Bath, UK

© Britain-Visitor.com

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Circus Bath

The Circus in Bath is another superb example of the UNESCO World Heritage listed city's Georgian architecture.

Designed by John Wood the Elder, the three blocks of town houses arranged around a central green space, were originally known as King's Circus. The buildings were completed by his son John Wood the Younger in the mid-18th century.

Seen from the air, The Circus and adjoining Gay Street, where the Jane Austen Centre is located at No. 40 form the masonic symbol of a key.

One of the obvious influences on the Palladian architecture of The Circus is the Colosseum in Rome. Wood copied the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns seen on the facades of the buildings.

Famous residents included the politician William Pitt, the artist Thomas Gainsborough and his sister Mary Gibbon.

The success of The Circus saw its design later copied in such famous public spaces as Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus in London.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The Gothic Revival mansion at Tyntesfield was built by the guano magnate William Gibbs starting in 1863. Gibbs was one of the richest men in England at the time.

William's grandson George was later named Baron Wraxall in 1928. What was known as Tyntesfield Estate has been greatly reduced in size and is now owned by the National Trust.


Tyntesfield is now being restored and the restoration work can be viewed by visitors. The fact that Tyntesfield is open during the restoration is unusual.


Tyntesfield is only 7 miles southwest of Bristol on the B3128.

Tel: 01275 461900

© Britain-Visitor.com

Prior Park Landscape Garden

Prior Park Landscape Garden is a remarkable example of the English Landscape Movement. Prior Park was created by the post office mogul Ralph Allen between 1734 and 1764 as a site for all of Bath to see. The Palladian bridge pictured below is one of only three in the world.

Prior Park Landscape Garden
Ralph Allen combined with the architect John Wood to create a mansion at Prior Park. The two men built the mansion in order to promote the use of Bath Stone for building because Allen owned the quarries which are the source of the stone.

Prior Park Landscape Garden

Prior Park is managed by the National Trust as is nearby Lacock Abbey. Prior Park is located just off Ralph Allen Drive in the city of Bath.
Tel: 01225 833977

© Britain-Visitor.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gravel Walk Bath

A short stroll from the Jane Austen Centre on Gay Street is Gravel Walk, just off Queen's Parade Place in Bath.

Known as something of a Lover's Lane in Jane Austen's day, the path was a route for sedan chairs heading to and from the town centre and following the path will take you almost into Victoria Park behind The Circus and The Royal Crescent, with fine views of the backs of houses and their gardens on Gay Street.

Gravel Walk is the setting for a love scene between Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth in Austen's novel Persuasion.

© Britain-Visitor.com