Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

June 21st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© Chabe01/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chabe01/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining. Queen Elizabeth spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. The 16th-century Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and the State Apartments, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public throughout the year, except when members of the Royal Family are in residence.   read more…

Hampton Court Palace in London

May 31st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Hampton Court Palace © flickr.com - Duncan Harris/cc-by-2.0

Hampton Court Palace © flickr.com – Duncan Harris/cc-by-2.0

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the borough of Richmond upon Thames, 12 miles (19.3 kilometres) south west and upstream of central London on the River Thames. Building of the palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII. In 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the cardinal gave the palace to the King to check his disgrace; Henry VIII later enlarged it. Along with St James’s Palace, it is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by King Henry VIII.   read more…

Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean

May 24th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Sustainability

Cannon Point at sundown © Blaine Steinert

Cannon Point at sundown © Blaine Steinert

The Chagos Archipelago or Chagos Islands (formerly the Bassas de Chagas, and later the Oil Islands) are a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometres (310 mi) south of the Maldives archipelago. This chain of islands is the southernmost archipelago of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a long submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean. As part of its British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos were home to the Chagossians, a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people, for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the United States to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Since 1971, only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, and only by military and civilian contracted personnel.   read more…

Goodwood House in Chichester

May 10th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Sport

© flickr.com - Ian Stannard/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Ian Stannard/cc-by-sa-2.0

Goodwood House is a country house and estate covering 4,900 hectares (12,000 acres) in Westhampnett, Chichester in West Sussex and is the seat of the Duke of Richmond. The house was built in about 1600 and is a Grade I listed building. The Monarch’s Way long-distance footpath crosses the downs from west to east, passing immediately south of the racecourse. The landscaped park and woodlands of Goodwood are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.   read more…

Chatsworth House

April 26th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Emperor's Fountain © Kev747

Emperor’s Fountain © Kev747

Chatsworth House is a stately home in Derbyshire, England, in the Derbyshire Dales 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northeast of Bakewell and 9 miles (14 km) west of Chesterfield. The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549. Standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, Chatsworth looks across to the low hills that divide the Derwent and Wye valleys. The house, set in expansive parkland and backed by wooded, rocky hills rising to heather moorland, contains an important collection of paintings, furniture, Old Master drawings, neoclassical sculptures, books and other artefacts. Chatsworth has been selected as the United Kingdom’s favourite country house several times.   read more…

Carnaby Street in London

April 1st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

© SisterLondon/cc-by-sa-4.0

© SisterLondon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster, Central London. Close to Oxford Street and Regent Street, it is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques. Streets crossing, or meeting with, Carnaby Street are, from south to north, Beak Street, Broadwick Street, Kingly Court, Ganton Street, Marlborough Court, Lowndes Court, Fouberts Place, Little Marlborough Street and Great Marlborough Street. The nearest London Underground station is Oxford Circus (on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines).   read more…

Kensington in London

March 20th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Serpentine Gallery © Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0

Serpentine Gallery © Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London. The district’s commercial heart is Kensington High Street, running on an east-west axis. The north east is taken up by Kensington Gardens, containing the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery and Speke‘s monument. South Kensington is home to Imperial College London, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Albert Hall. The area is also home to many European embassies.   read more…

Tower of London

March 1st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, London, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage

© Bob Collowân/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Bob Collowân/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 (Ranulf Flambard) until 1952 (Kray twins), although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard I, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.   read more…

Arts and Crafts Movement

January 18th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General, London

Philip Webb's Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

Philip Webb’s Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between about 1880 and 1920, emerging in Japan (the Mingei movement) in the 1920s. It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial. It had a strong influence on the arts in Europe until it was displaced by Modernism in the 1930s, and its influence continued among craft makers, designers, and town planners long afterwards. The term was first used by T. J. Cobden-Sanderson at a meeting of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887, although the principles and style on which it was based had been developing in England for at least twenty years. It was inspired by the ideas of architect Augustus Pugin, writer John Ruskin, and designer William Morris. The movement developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles, and spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and North America. It was largely a reaction against the perceived impoverished state of the decorative arts at the time and the conditions in which they were produced.   read more…

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