United Kingdom

Stonehenge, Wiltshire: are you a romantic or a rationalist?

‘Every age has the Stonehenge it deserves – or desires’ WHAT WE KNOW This is what we know for sure about Stonehenge: it was constructed over a very long period between 3,000 BC to 2,000 BC; it was, amongst other things, a burial ground; much of the stone was hauled from Wales; the keystones are […]

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Highgate Cemetery – the creative choice for a burial

Behold, we know not anything; I can but trust that good shall fall At last — far off — at last, to all, And every winter change to spring Alfred Lord Tennyson’s ‘In Memoriam’, at the entrance to one of the tombs in the Circle of Lebanon ‘Better a spectacular falure, than a benign success’  – Gravestone […]

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Little Gidding, Cambridgeshire: TS Eliot

LITTLE GIDDING Little Gidding Church is difficult to find, but unforgettable when found. It is a secluded place in remote Cambridgeshire countryside, with very few settlements in the vicinity. Little Gidding was the home of a small Anglican religious community established in 1626 by Nicholas Ferrar. It was founded around strict adherence to Christian worship […]

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Belfast: a bubbling spring of twentieth-century poetry

Community, fellowship, exchange KEY DATA Terrain: Urban Starting point: Titanic Belfast, BT3 9EP Distance: 6 km (3.5 miles) Time: 1/12 hours Map: The route can be found on Google at: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&mid=1wTcBVs0EpR8AQ86EnbyYceyCu5x1szQ-&ll=54.58245952594075%2C-5.956679726733729&z=14 Facilities: All city facilities BELFAST AND ITS TWENTIETH-CENTURY POETS If you had to name one city in these isles as the city of poetry, it […]

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Cardiff: Roald Dahl

ROALD DAHL (1916-1990) In the nineteenth century, Cardiff was the world’s greatest coal exporting port, and this created a diaspora around the docks of migrant communities from up to 45 nationalities that served the shipping business. These included Norwegian, Somali, Yemeni, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Caribbean and Irish people, creating the unique multicultural character of the […]

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Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater, Lake District: Wordsworth’s Daffodils

‘Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze’ GLENCOYNE BAY Imagine for a moment this ‘spot in time’. The spot is between the main road and the water at the south end of Glencoyne Bay, now also known as Wordsworth Point. The time is April 15th, 1802, vividly described by Dorothy […]

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Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire: William Shakespeare

‘Upon entering the town of Stratford, a feeling, I trust, something more elevated than of mere curiosity, naturally depicts the steps of every admirer of our divine Poet towards that spot which gave birth to the most extraordinary genius this or any other country has ever produced…’ Samuel Ireland, 1795 KEY DATA Terrain: Pavements throughout […]

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Sandaig, Glenelg, The Highlands; Gavin Maxwell, Ring of Bright Water

‘Nowhere in all the West Highlands and Islands have I seen any place of so intense or varied beauty in so small a compass’ The inspiration for this walk…The Ring of Bright Water (1960) This was very much my parents’ book, I had noticed it on the bookshelf at home, but it hadn’t really caught […]

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Inspiring Places: Bournemouth, Dorset

‘The Evergreen Valley’, ‘A city set in a garden’ ‘The pines, the chines, steeply-rising cliffs, parks, gardens, heathlands, amusements, esplanades, sands, and sprawl add up to the strange unique character of Bournemouth. A fascinating, pine-scented phenomenon’. Thomas Hardy ‘The real Bournemouth is all pines and pines and pines and flowering shrubs, lawns, begonias, azaleas, bird-song, […]

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Near Sawrey, Lake District: Beatrix Potter

‘Hill Top is to be presented to my visitors as if I had just gone out and they had just missed me’ The inspiration for this walk… The World of Peter Rabbit (from 1902 onwards) My parents would come round to Bill & Laddie’s for dinner frequently and, only being about five years old, they […]

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