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Seeing Stonehenge beyond a pile of rocks

‘It’s just a pile of rocks’. Take a look through the comments on Tripadvisor (or any review site) and you’ll find many visitors who were spellbound by the ancient stones at Stonehenge, and plenty of others for whom it was an overpriced and underwhelming attraction. Just how do different people experience the same place in such a […]

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A Day Out in Portsmouth

Portsmouth has enjoyed plenty of media attention in the last year or so since the opening of the new Mary Rose museum at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. We decided to have a day out in Portsmouth recently to see the Mary Rose as well as to explore one of the few large towns in the UK which […]

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Travelling close to home – why nearer can be better

I can’t help but feel that there’s something unadventurous about taking a trip in our own country. People speaking the same language, familiar food and even the reassuringly boring shops when we need to pick up something we’ve inevitably forgotten to pack. And yet there are few places that I look forward to visiting as much as I do in […]

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Dunwich – an English town lost to the sea

The main street through the village looks pretty but unremarkable. A pub on the corner giving off the tempting smell of freshly-fried chips; a row of old cottages with a rusty bench in a modest front garden; a stone church with a sleepy, slightly overgrown graveyard. But Dunwich in Suffolk is no ordinary village. Despite […]

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St Albans kingfisher – more photos

When I posted my first set of photos of the St Albans kingfishers back in January, I assumed our good fortune in having these colourful birds frequenting our local park would be short-lived.  Here we are in mid-March and they’re still with us, visible most days along the River Ver as it runs alongside the […]

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The Kingfishers of Verulamium Park in St Albans

We must have walked around Verulamium Park in St Albans hundreds of times, dodging the swans, geese and marauding hordes of small children as we make our way around the lake and along the banks of the River Ver. During that time, we’ve gone out of our way to try and spot kingfishers on our […]

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The changing views from Westminster Bridge

Whenever I see the view of the London Eye from Westminster Bridge I’m reminded of the conmen who often sit along its busy eastern pavement. A line of men and women perform the ages-old scam of inviting punters to guess under which of the three cups they have hidden a ball. The crowd around each […]

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Why the City of London is an open history book

I’ve mentioned this before on this site, but the history you can uncover with even a minimal effort on a walk through London never ceases to surprise me. Take last week for example… We popped into the church of St Martins Within Ludgate, just down from St Paul’s Cathedral, to admire one of the few surviving […]

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A guide to free toilets in London

Having visited London quite literally hundreds of times in recent years and being cursed with a well-documented weak bladder, I’ve often been caught short on my trips around the city. Central London is a haven of presentable and reasonably hygienic toilets and there’s absolutely no reason why you’d ever need to pay any money to […]

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Imber – Britain’s abandoned village

You don’t expect to find a church completely surrounded by a double ring of barbed wire in the heart of the English countryside. But then St Giles is no ordinary church, with very few services and access to the building allowed for a maximum of 50 days a year. For the rest of the time […]

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