Seduced by Salisbury (Part 2)

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” This famous quote by writer L.P. Hartley opens his novel The Go-Between, and I think it gets to the heart of why I enjoy history so much: it’s just like travelling, but in your imagination. There’s the same excitement of learning and discovery, of figuring out how things work,…

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Seduced by Salisbury (Part 1)

[ PART 1 ] [ PART 2 ][ VISIT WILTSHIRE ] [ If you follow along on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter you may have caught my trip to Salisbury this past weekend — I am reposting it on the MissElaineous Blog to make it easier for everyone to access. ] I have a confession to make. Narrow, winding stairs are my…

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Making the Past Present (Part 2)

[ PART 1 ] [ PART 2 ] We are all time travellers. We just happen to be moving towards the future at the pace of one day at a time. But the past is all around us and, with the help of the right person, it’s possible to find it. John Swann of the Travelling History Company is one…

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Making the Past Present (Part 1)

[ PART 1 ] [ PART 2 ] Car parks are not exactly known for having great views. Indeed, that is one of their defining characteristics: whether situated underground, in a multi-storey tower, or sandwiched between shops, they tend to prioritise function over form and practicality over aesthetics. So pulling into Chepstow’s Castle Dell car park was unexpected: as the view of a medieval…

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Delightful Devizes

Sometimes travel planning can be a hassle: searching for the best price for flights, trying to find accommodation that meets all your criteria, or ensuring that what you want to see is actually open while you’re there. At other times, outings can fall into place at the touch of a button. In this particular case, that button was the Facebook…

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Bound for Beer (Part 4)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] My final morning in Beer dawned as one of those late spring/early summer days that seemed absolutely perfect, the type you wish would go on forever. The mist of the past few days had completely vanished, leaving blue skies in its wake, and the colours along…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 3)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Rather than the antiquated local museum I was expecting, from the moment you step inside Seaton Jurassic it is clear that time, money, and passion have gone into creating an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. You start off by exploring a Victorian…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 2)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Arriving in Beer in the evening, MrElaineous and I only had a brief moment to look around before settling into the B&B for the night. What we saw certainly seemed picturesque. There was a stream running along the village’s main road so you were never far…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 1)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] MrElaineous and I are teetotal or, as I like to put it, totally about tea. This means that there was a degree of irony in our recent trip to the Devon village of Beer as we wouldn’t be partaking in the eponymous beverage, but we did…

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AS SEEN ON TV (PART 2)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ] From the 16th-century Tudor Brockhampton Manor we journeyed forward in time to the 18th-century Neo-classical Berrington Hall. One of the property’s claims to fame is being the last completed commission of “Capability” Brown. In a remarkable stroke of coincidence for someone who doesn’t watch a lot of television, a few…

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OF LONGLEAT, LONDON, AND LIGHT

If Christmas did not exist, I think modern Britons would have invented their own winter holiday. After all, the ancients had their own festivals to ensure the rebirth of the sun, and as the weather turns colder and days shorter, there needs to be something to look forward to and add a splash of warmth into the very heart of the dark…

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TIME + TRAVEL

I can’t remember what initially piqued my interest in Chester. It may have been word of mouth, or perhaps seeing it on Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys, but it sounded absolutely perfect for me as a recovering archaeologist. Its origins are Roman, it has a well-preserved medieval wall, and many of the buildings date from the 17th-19th centuries (or at least look like they do,…

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THE WONDERS OF SWINDON

I was first introduced to the wonders of Swindon many years ago through Jasper Fforde’s delightful Thursday Next series. There were airships, migrations of mammoths, and kickass literary adventures to be had in this enchanted town off the M4. Having worked in Swindon for over two years, I can say with a great deal of confidence that Mr. Fforde was exercising not only his imagination…

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ROUSHAM WALKABOUT

Blenheim Palace. Chatsworth. Stourhead. The honours list of top gardens in Britain seemed obvious. So it was with some surprise that MrElaineous and I watched TV presenter Monty Don award this title to Rousham Gardens, a property we had never heard of, despite it being located in Oxfordshire, just a stone’s throw from the mighty Blenheim.Which, come to think of it, is likely one of the…

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A STORY IN STONE

Ammonites are time travellers from the distant past who took the long way around. Their beauty–and the story they tell–make them one of my favourite things to collect.

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Shaftesbury Views

Back in June, my husband put together a surprise trip to London for me. Well, I knew we were going to London, but had no idea what activities were planned. It was incredibly liberating to turn the reins over to someone else to arrange everything, and when he asked if I wanted something similar for my birthday/wedding anniversary, I jumped at the chance. This was how…

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Chippenham: Gateway to the World

It’s a running joke that one of Chippenham’s best features is that it allows you to get to other places very easily. It’s practically a stone’s throw from the lovely villages of Lacock and Castle Combe, a short drive to the market town of Malmesbury, the railway station and M4 open Bristol, London, mid Wales, and beyond to Chippenham residents, and the wonders of…

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All Roads Lead to Machynlleth: A Welsh Adventure (Part 2)

[ INTRO ] [ PART 1 ] [ PART 2 ] [ PART 3 ] [ Are You the Spider or the Fly? 11 Lessons for Health and Wellbeing after a Digital Detox ] The second full day in Wales dawned grey, cloudy, and wet. However, having enjoyed two days of sun and blue skies, we really couldn’t complain, especially since we had planned on this being an inside day—we…

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All Roads Lead to Machynlleth: A Welsh Adventure (Part 1)

[ INTRO ] [ PART 1 ] [ PART 2 ] [ PART 3 ] [ Are You the Spider or the Fly? 11 Lessons After a Digital Detox ] It was, I’ll admit, not the most auspicious of starts to our WiFi-free Welsh holiday. Autumn colds had been making the rounds of the office, and this plus work stress…

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MissElaineous Travel Blog: Escape, Explore, Discover, Enjoy