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  • The Northgate, a Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

    The Northgate, a Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

    On a recent visit to the lovely Suffolk town of Bury St Edmunds I stayed at The Northgate a luxurious, yet not outrageously expensive boutique hotel close to the city centre. As soon as I entered the reception area I got the impression that someone really cared about this hotel. I sensed that a lot of thought had been given to the decoration of the rooms. In the lounge areas and restaurant beautifully blended pastel colours create a pleasing atmosphere that draws its guests in, invites them to make themselves comfortable. In the bar area bright orange seats amongst the creams and beiges created a sense of light-heartedness and enjoyment ...

  • Bury St Edmunds in the Limelight

    Bury St Edmunds in the Limelight

    Imagine over seven hundred unwashed bodies crammed into a small theatre. Only three water closets available; tallow candles burning for illumination and flares of powdered lime for spotlights. Performances would start late evening and last for four or five hours. Everyone knew their place and had their own entrance - gentry in the dress circle and upper dress circle, middle class in the stalls on benches and working class standing in the gods. It was hot and smelly but it was the place to be in town …

  • Exbury Gardens - Exquisite Woodland Gardens in England's New Forest

    Exbury Gardens - Exquisite Woodland Gardens in England's New Forest

    I was like a child in a sweet shop, running from one glorious bloom to another, camera snapping frantically. Exbury Gardens in the New Forest was welcoming the spring with a fantastic display of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Magnolias are my favourite. The first magnolia was brought to Britain in 1688 by a missionary from America. This sparked a lot of interest in the magnolia and by 1800 most of the American species were being cultivated here ...

  • Ringwood - Gateway to the New Forest

    Ringwood - Gateway to the New Forest

    Galloping through the Furlong Shopping Centre in Ringwood, Hampshire are bronze statues of a mare and foal created by Priscilla Hann. They are a beautiful reminder that Ringwood is in the New Forest and an ideal base for exploring further afield on foot, horseback, bus or bicycle. But spare some time to explore this historic market town that has some unique attractions, pretty walks and tours of the Ringwood Brewery …

  • Blandford Forum - A Georgian Gem in England

    Blandford Forum - A Georgian Gem in England

    In 1731 a great fire swept through the small market town of Blandford Forum in Dorset. It destroyed ninety per cent of the town. Thanks to some unusual circumstances it was quickly rebuilt and today it is the best example of a small Georgian town in the UK ...

  • Edinburgh Remembers - Personalities Commemorated in the City

    Edinburgh Remembers - Personalities Commemorated in the City

    Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, has many interesting monuments to the famous and infamous who have been associated with the city. The most striking is the Scott Monument, the tallest monument to a literary giant and dedicated to Sir Walter Scott. The cutest is the brass statue of Bobby Greyfriars the dog who mourned his master for fourteen years. And the most amusing a massive statue of Queen Victoria that the subject did not find at all funny. I started my visit at the Scott Monument ...

  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park - the only one of its kind

    Yorkshire Sculpture Park - the only one of its kind

    The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an international centre for modern and contemporary art featuring some of the world’s finest artists. Their work is displayed in the open-air and its four galleries. This glorious park occupies the huge historic estate that once surrounded the beautiful Bretton Hall built in the Palladian style of architecture ...

  • Novotel in York, England

    Novotel in York, England

    The Novotel in York is nicely appointed on the bank of the River Foss and a short walk from the city centre. When I arrived I was warmly welcomed and settled in the lounge as my room was not ready. I had a light lunch from the bar while I waited. It was really good comprising fresh artisan bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a small salad ...

  • Exploring the Cathedrals and Abbeys of Northern England

    Exploring the Cathedrals and Abbeys of Northern England

    It was a big step to take, going on a special interest holiday, but I was curious to see what it was like spending a few days learning about one topic in depth. As I have always had a fascination for churches I chose the Cathedrals and Abbeys of Northern England, organised by the Cultural Travel Company, part of the Martin Randall Travel group. Our group of twenty-seven was based inYork throughout the trip and we travelled in a luxury coach to the cahehdrals and abbeys we visited. The itinerary was well-balanced and optimised our time during the four days of the holiday. On our first afternoon we walked through York city centre to York Minster. Before we left our hotel each one of us was given a whisperer with an earpiece so that we could hear our speaker, Jon Cannon who gave us an introduction to Medieval architecture as we walked along. I was already impressed ...

  • The Wild and Wonderful St David’s Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, Wales

    The Wild and Wonderful St David’s Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, Wales

    St David's Peninsula in Pembrokeshire Wales is a glorious mixture of wild countryside and interesting cultural sites. It encompasses two national treasures, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. I had already walked small sections of the latter during previous sojourns in Newport, St David’s City and Tenby …

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