Winchester, King Alfred's Capital of England
Winchester in Hampshire, England is a very popular tourist destination. Coach loads of visitors arrived and depart on Broadway in the city centre. Watched over by an imposing figure – the Anglo-Saxon King, Alfred the Great. His statue, created by Hamo Thornycroft, was placed there in 1901 to celebrate one thousand years since Alfred became king of England and made Winchester his capital. Alfred had successfully defended Wessex, a region of Southern England, against attacks from the Vikings and whoever ruled Wessex inherited the title of King of England ...
Exploring the Historic Waterways of Winchester in England
As I made my way across the water meadows of the River Itchen I found it difficult to believe I was not far from the city centre of Winchester. I was surrounded by leas of lush grass and thickets of trees. Beyond these I occasionally glimpsed the sparkle of water in the river. I was following in the footsteps of the poet Keats who found inspiration walking here during a stay in Winchester. Once upon a time, thousands of years ago, the River Itchen flowed through the centre of what is now Winchester. The Romans, skilled in engineering, altered the river flood plain and diverted the River Itchen further to the east. They also drained the land so that the town could be extended eastwards, allowing them to build over the former marsh. Just ahead of me, bathed in sunshine, were the beautiful medieval buildings of Saint Cross Hospital and the Almshouse of the Noble Poverty ...
Five Intriguing Attractions on the Isle of Wight
In the past the Isle of Wight has attracted many famous residents and visitors. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert built their family home, near Cowes. Lord Alfred Tennyson, poet laureate and the most famous Victorian was also a resident on the island. Today, its delightful old-fashioned ambience and easy accessibility from England's mainland ensure that the island is still a popular destination...
Osborne: The Home that Albert Created for Victoria
Victoria was Queen of England and Albert was her Prince Consort when they decided they needed a home for their large family away from public eye. Their search took them to the Isle of Wight, a place that that Victoria already knew and liked. Improved railway communications meant it was possible to travel between London and the island in four hours. It was here they found the Osborne estate perched on a hill on the outskirts of Cowes ...
Lyndhurst, the Heart of England's New Forest
Lyndhurst has been the throbbing heart of England’s New Forest since William the Conqueror made it his base when he established his hunting grounds here over nine hundred years ago. Today Lyndhurst is still central to the activities in the New Forest. The road into the village snakes around the summit of a hill topped by its glorious gothic parish church with its iconic towering spire...
Balmer Lawn Hotel - a Brockenhurst Beauty in England's New Forest
Ideally situated in the village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest the Balmer Lawn Hotel is as steeped in history as the common land,Balmer Lawn, that surrounds it. Once known as Palmers Lawn it is recorded that the waters of the Lymington River that flow past the hotel were known as Palmers Waters and there was a small settlement here known as Palmers Hamlet. The lawn was once the site of an annual horse race but complaints of damage to the turf brought that to an end. Today it is home to the Brockenhurst Cricket Club. The lawn extends behind the hotel and is perfect for an early morning walk ...
Lymington, the Coastal Capital of the New Forest in England
Lymington in the New Forest of England has an unusually wide High Street. It was built like this to accommodate the large Charter Market that has been held here since 1250. Early every Saturday morning around one hundred market stalls are set up and line the High Street on both sides. Generally referred to as a Georgian street this road actually features an eclectic mix of Georgian, Victorian, Art Deco and traces of Medieval architecture. I joined the crowds of visitors thronging the High Street to browse the various stalls that ranged from pet products to home-made bread...
Animals First in the New Forest Village of Brockenhurst
Despite the persistent drizzle I could feel the magic of the forest outside pulling me outside and away from my cosy hotel room. I was staying at the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, a village in the famous New Forest. Ancient grazing rights are still upheld here and ponies, donkeys, sheep cattle and deer graze freely throughout the forest. At the front of my hotel is a cricket ground and sheltering under the trees surrounding it I could see two small ponies ...
An Adventure on the Isle of Wight - Victoria's Island
After disembarking from the car ferry at East Cowes on the Isle of Wight I made my way to the Tourist Information centre a short distance from the terminal. Armed with bus timetables and maps I set off to find Osborne House. I had been assured it was just ten minutes up the hill. Twenty minutes later I realised I should have specified I was travelling on foot …
Marwell Zoo – My Self-Guided Safari Walk
“I can’t remember how much I spent on animals but I do remember selling my Rolls Royce to buy some zebras” So said John Knowles, founder of Marwell Zoo in 1972 and now home of the biggest collection of ungulates in Europe.