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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Courts Garden

The Courts Garden is a wonderful example of the English country style. The imaginative use of color and planting create many surprising vistas. The Courts Garden has been owned by the National Trust since 1943.

The Courts Garden

The Courts Garden also features lily ponds such as the one seen below.

The Courts Garden

A wide array of flowers in season create a spectacular view for visitors to The Courts Garden.

The Courts Garden

The Courts Garden is located on the B3107 in Wiltshire. Visitors can also take the footpath to nearby Great Chalfield Manor.

The Courts Garden
Holt, near Bradford-on-Avon
BA14 6RR
Locate Courts Garden on a map
Tel: 01225 782875

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reverend George Austen's Grave

The Reverend George Austen, father of the author Jane Austen, died and was buried in Bath in 1805.

The Reverend George Austen was buried in the churchyard of St. Swithin's Church in Bath.

The Reverend George Austen had married Cassandra Leigh, Jane Austen's mother, in the same church in 1764. The much weathered grave stone (see below) can be viewed by visitors.

Rev. George Austen's Grave
Adjacent to the grave stone, a plaque (see below) was erected in 2000 by the Jane Austen Society.

Rev. George Austen's Grave
St. Swithins Church
Bath, BA1 5LY
Phone: 01225 789168

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Lions of Bath 2010

The lion has been a symbol of England for nine hundred years. The three lion symbol started with King Richard the Lionheart. During 2010, 100 life-sized lions have been on display around Bath.

Lions of Bath

The Lions were all on display in front of the Royal Crescent on October 9-10, 2010.

Lions of Bath

Elvis and Michael Jackson were spotted among the pride.

Lions of Bath

The lions were auctioned on October 15th and 17th, 2010. The proceeds were given to local charities.

Lions of Bath
Visitors to Bath in 2010 could find Lion images in over 500 locations in and around Bath.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Coleridge Cottage

Coleridge Cottage was built in the 17th century. Coleridge Cottage was the home of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) for nearly 3 years from 1797. Within a year of moving to the cottage, Coleridge had written some of his most famous works including, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Frost at Midnight, and Kubla Khan.

Coleridge Cottage
Visitors to the cottage can see illustrations, photographs, engravings, and manuscripts associated with the poet.

Coleridge Cottage

Coleridge Cottage is located at the west end of Lime Street across from the Ancient Mariner pub in Nether Stowey. Coleridge Cottage is not far from Dunster Castle.
35 Lime Street
Nether Stowey
Bridgewater, Somerset
Tel: 01278 732662
Map of Coleridge Cottage

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle was the residence of the Luttrell family for over 600 years. In fact, a castle has stood on the site for over 1000 years, since Norman times. The Domesday Book records a castle in this location in 1066. Dunster Castle was a royalist stronghold and was besieged from 1645-1646 during the Civil War. Today, Dunster Castle is managed by the National Trust.

Dunster Castle

The oldest remaining portion of Dunster Castle is the Gatehouse (see below) which dates to the 13th century.

Dunster Castle

Inside the Gatehouse, visitors can learn about the military past of Dunster Castle.

Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle is open to visitors every day but Thursday from the 13th of March to the 31st of October in 2010.
Visitors can enjoy the garden and park which feature subtropical plants and Strawberry Trees throughout the year.

Dunster, near Minehead
TA24 6SL
Tel: 01643 823004
Map of Dunster Castle

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Newark Park

Newark Park was built around 1550 by Sir Nicholas Poyntz as a hunting lodge.

In 1790, Newark Park was remade into an elegant house for the Clutterbuck family by architect James Wyatt. Newark Park is now managed by the National Trust.

Newark Park

Visitors to Newark Park may well see the peacocks which stroll around the place.


Newark Park's grounds are mostly undeveloped woodlands crossed by footpaths. However, there is a lake (see below), walled garden, and summer house.

Newark Park

Newark Park is located south of the junction of the A4135 and B4058. Newark Park is open from the 3rd of March to the 31st of October in 2010.

Visitors to Newark Park may also want to visit nearby Horton Court and Woodchester Park.

Newark Park
Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge
GL12 7PZ
Tel: 01453 842644
Map of Newark Park

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Bath Locks

The Bath Locks are a series of locks located on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath. The canal links the River Kennet at Newbury to the River Avon at Bath. The canal was opened in 1810 and is 57 miles long.

Bath Locks

The canal and locks are now popular tourist attractions for boating, canoeing, fishing, walking, and cycling.

Bath Locks
Visitors to Bath can find the lock pictured above just off Rossiter Road near Bath Spa Railway Station.

Map of Bath Locks

Hotels and Guesthouses in Bath

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Old Sarum

The history of human habitation at Old Sarum dates from neolithic times (around 3000BC). A hill fort was erected by local inhabitants on Old Sarum around 500BC, and the Romans occupied the site from 43AD to 410AD. Later, the area was controlled by the Anglo Saxons and became one of the most important towns in the West Kingdom. Today, the site is managed by English Heritage.

Old Sarum

Visitors to Old Sarum today can see the remains of a Norman castle (see below) built around the year 1069AD.

Old Sarum
Visitors to Old Sarum can also see the remains of a cathedral and bishop's palace (see below) constructed between 1075AD and 1092AD.

Old Sarum
Old Sarum is located just off the A345. Old Sarum is located near Salisbury Cathedral and Mompesson House.

Wiltshire - SP1 3SD
Tel: 01722 335398
Map of Old Sarum

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stockport Town Hall

Stockport Town Hall on the A6 (Wellington Road South) near Stockport Station is geared nowadays more to weddings, conferences and ballroom and sequence dancing events rather than local administration, which largely takes place elsewhere, though Council and committee meetings continue to be held here.

Stockport Town Hall was officially opened in 1908 and is famous for its striking baroque facade of white Portland Stone, earning it the nickname of the "Wedding Cake Town Hall".

The architect Alfred Brumwell Thomas was something of a town hall specialist and was also responsible for the town halls in Belfast, Portsmouth and Woolwich.

It's possible to tour the interior with its marble staircases, stained glass windows, Wurlitzer organ and ornate wood carvings through appointment. See the number below for event inquiries.

The Wurlitzer 'Publix 1' organ was one of only sixteen of its kind ever made and was designed by the American theatre organist Jesse Crawford. The organ and its music are the centerpiece of the popular ballroom dancing events held in the magnificent ballroom.

Stockport Town Hall
Edward Street
Tel: 0161 474 3451
Map of Stockport Town Hall

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Devon Visitor on Twitter

Follow Devon Visitor on Twitter to keep up with our latest tweets and the tweets of other twitterers from the South West of England.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chipping Camden

Chipping Camden has been described as the loveliest village in the Cotswolds. Chipping Camden is a model for what would have been a prosperous wool town in the Middle Ages. Chipping Camden was one of the most important wool market towns in medieval times. In fact, the word 'chipping' means market.


Chipping Camden's short high street is hemmed by ancient buildings. This area is full of day trippers during the peak summer months.

high street
Chipping Camden's Market Hall (see below) was erected in 1627. The Market Hall provided shelter for the local produce market.

market hall
Chipping Camden's Banqueting House was built in 1613 by Sir Baptist Hicks. The Banqueting House was destroyed 32 years later by retreating Royalists and only fragments remain (see below). The Banqueting House site is open to visitors only 22 days a year.

banqueting house
Chipping Camden is located near the A44 and is not far from Hidcote Manor Garden and Snowshill Manor & Garden.
Locate Chipping Camden on a map

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guy Fawkes Day Bonfire Night

Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night is a macabre celebration of the discovery of the so-called "Gunpowder Plot" to assassinate King James I of England in 1605. People all over the country will attend firework displays or have private bonfires in their gardens with lots of rockets, sparklers and mulled wine to keep warm.

The man charged with blowing up the Houses of Parliament in London, Guy (aka Guido) Fawkes, a Catholic soldier-of-fortune from York, was arrested on November 5th, and tortured in the Tower. He was subsequently taken after a perfunctory trial to the Old Palace Yard at Westminster on 31 January 1606 with his fellow conspirators to be hung, drawn and quartered.

Fawkes managed to escape the worst of his fate by jumping from the scaffold thereby breaking his neck and killing himself. The rest of the grisly punishment was nonetheless performed on his corpse. His entrails were ripped out, his genitals cut off and burnt and his body chopped into pieces.

Fireworks displays in the south west of England celebrating this successful interdiction of 17th century religious terrorism include:


Thursday 4th November
Bath Rec Fireworks Display

Saturday 6th November
University of Bath Fireworks Display


Sunday 7th November

Bradley Stoke Town Council free public fireworks display at the Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road, Bradley Stoke BS32 8HL
Gates open 4:30pm; Food from 4:45pm; Display starts 6pm; no alcohol or sparklers

Friday 5th November
Dowend Fireworks Show
King George V Playing Fields
Gates open at 6pm


Friday November 5th
Westpoint Arena
5.30 gates open
6.00 Heart roadshow & entertainment
7.30 Firework display


Friday November 5th
6.30 pm onwards
Plymouth Hoe and Plymouth Sound
Madeira Rd Plymouth

November 5 also 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 even children.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Grotto at Stourhead

The Grotto at Stourhead can be viewed from across the water at Stourhead's impressive landscape garden. The landscape garden at Stourhead, created by Henry Hoare II in the 1740s, is considered to be on the the world's finest 18th century landscape gardens. Stourhead is now managed by the National Trust.

The Grotto at Stourhead
One cave in the Grotto features the river god (see below).

The Grotto at Stourhead
A second cave in the Grotto features the sleeping Ariadne (see below).

The Grotto at Stourhead
At the base of the cave wherein lies Ariadne is engraved a poem by Alexander Pope which reads as follows:
Nymph of the Grot these sacred springs I keep,
And to the murmur of these waters sleep;
Ah! Spare my slumbers, gently tread the cave,
And drink in silence, or in silence lave.

The Grotto at Stourhead
Visitors to Stourhead can find the Grotto by following the walking trails through the garden. The garden itself is open throughout the year everyday from 9AM to 6PM.

Stourhead Estate Office, Stourton, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 6QD
Tel: 01747 841152
Location map of Stourhead

Gillingham is the nearest railway station about 6 and a half miles away. Stourhead is near Stourton, off the B3092 road, 3 miles north west of Mere (A303) and 8 miles south of Frome (A361).

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Jane Austen's House in Winchester

Jane Austen lived the last six weeks of her life in Winchester in this house. She died in the house on the 17th of July, 1817. She is buried in nearby Winchester Cathedral.

Jane Austen's House in Winchester
Jane Austen's House in Winchester is privately owned and not open to visitors.

Jane Austen's House in WinchesterJane Austen's House in Winchester is located on College Street just outside the medieval Kingsgate.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park was designed and built in two stages. The first stage (1692) was designed by Samuel Hauduroy, and the second stage (1704) by the well-known architect William Talman. Dyrham Park has been featured in films such as 1993's Remains of the Day. The house was built by William Blathwayt who was King William III's Secretary of War. His passion for all things Dutch can be seen in the paintings and furniture to be seen in the house. Today, Dyrham Park is managed by the National Trust.

Dyrham Park
Dyrham Park features 110 hectares of garden and rolling parkland.

Dyrham Park
Visitors to Dyrham Park are likely to encounter the deer which wander throughout the park.

Dyrham Park
Dyrham Park is located a short drive from Bath on the A46. The house is open to visitors from 11AM-5PM from 13 March to 31 October in 2010 and the park from 11AM-5:30PM throughout the year. Visitors to Dyrham Park should also visit nearby Prior Park Landscape Garden, Lacock Abbey, and Tyntesfield.

Dyrham Park
Dyrham, near Bath
SN14 8ER
Tel: 0117 9372501
Map of Dyrham Park

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Stockport Market

The very old market at Stockport was at the heart of the original medieval town at the foot of St. Mary's Church.

Stockport Market place dates back to the 15th century and Stockport Market itself received its charter way back in 1260.

Threatened with redevelopment at the turn of the twentieth century, the market was saved by a citizens' petition and a regeneration project with National Lottery money restored the Covered Market Hall to its former Victorian glory.

Market stalls are now housed in a Victorian Covered Market Hall, a Produce Hall opposite and on the streets around them. The street market is open on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday with the Covered Market and Produce Market also open on Thursdays in addition to Tuesday, Friday and Saturday as well.

Sadly the market's popularity is threatened once again by the preponderance of huge drive-in supermarkets in the suburbs of the town that keep many people away.

Stockport expanded during the industrial revolution to become a centre of hat manufacturing and grim industrial landscapes pictured by Friedrich Engels in his classic "The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844" but the market place has survived as a reminder of Stockport's earlier history.

Locate Stockport Market on a map

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Shakespeare's Grave

William Shakespeare and his wife Anne are interred at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. The church dates from 1210. Shakespeare himself was a "lay rector" at the church. Shakespeare's burial took place in 1616.

Holy Trinity Church

Shakespeare's friends and widow erected his bust (see below) on a wall in the church in 1623.

Shakespeare's Grave
Shakespeare's widow, Anne, is buried here as well as other members of the family. The register entries of Shakepeare's baptism and burial are also to be found here.

Holy Trinity Church

The Holy Trinity Church is open to visitors. Visitors to Shaespeare's grave are asked to make a donation of £1.50. Summer opening hours (April-September) are Monday-Saturday: 8.30am - 6pm and Sunday: 12.30 pm - 5 pm.
Visitors are welcome throughout the year but opening hours vary.

Holy Trinity Church Parish office
Old Town
Stratford upon Avon
CV37 6BG
Tel: 01789 266316
Map of the Holy Trinity Church

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral in central Bristol is built on the site of the Abbey of St. Augustine which was founded in 1140AD. Bristol Cathedral is a famous example of a "Hall Church" because the nave, aisles, and choir are the same height.

Bristol Cathedral
The full name of Bristol Cathedral is the "Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity" which it became in 1542. As can be seen from the sign below, portions of Bristol Cathedral were built at very different times.

Bristol Cathedral

The "Elder" Lady Chapel of Bristol Cathedral (see below) was added in 1220 AD.

Bristol Cathedral
The nave (see below) was completed as recently as 1877.

Bristol Cathedral
The first Anglican female priests were ordained at Bristol Cathedral in 1994.
Bristol Cathedral is open everyday from 8:00AM and admission is free.

Bristol Cathedral
College Green
Tel: 0117 9264879
Map of Bristol Cathedral

Find accommodation in Bristol

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The George Inn at Lacock

The George Inn at Lacock is located in a building which has been used as a pub since 1361. The pub maintains its historic feel with features such as low ceilings and uneven floors.

The George Inn at Lacock
One interesting feature at the George Inn is the turnspit dog wheel. The turnspit dog is an extinct breed that was trained to turn the wheel (see below) which was connected to a spit over an open fire that would rotate and cook the meat evenly.

The George Inn at Lacock
The open fireplace (see below) is still in use today and the spit can still be seen.

The George Inn at Lacock
The George Inn at Lacock is family friendly and features an extensive garden used as an eating area in the summer. The George Inn at Lacock is located very near Lacock Abbey and a short drive from Great Chalfield Manor, The Courts Garden, and Westwood Manor.

The George Inn
4 West St
Lacock, Wiltshire
SN15 2LH
Tel: 01249 730263
Map of the George Inn

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