Château de Valençay

20 September 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Entry © Jean-Christophe BENOIST/cc-by-3.0

Entry © Jean-Christophe BENOIST/cc-by-3.0

Château de Valençay was a residence of the d’Estampes and Talleyrand-Périgord families in the commune of Valençay, the Indre département of France. Although geographically, it is part of the province of Berry, its architecture invites comparison with the Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley, notably the Château de Chambord. The manor was praised as “one of the most beautiful on earth” by George Sand, who also noted that “no king has owned a more picturesque park”. It is at an elevation of 135 m.   read more…

Big Sur in California

9 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

California Highway 1 near Ragged Point © flickr.com - Fred Moore/cc-by-2.0

California Highway 1 near Ragged Point © flickr.com – Fred Moore/cc-by-2.0

Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California between Carmel Highlands and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery. Big Sur has been called the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States,” a “national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development” and “one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation.” The stunning views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made Big Sur a popular destination for about 7 million people who live within a day’s drive and visitors from across the world. The region receives about the same number of visitors as Yosemite National Park, but offers extremely limited bus service, few restrooms, and a narrow two-lane highway with few places to park alongside the road. North-bound traffic during the peak summer season and holiday weekends is often backed up for about 20 miles (32km) from Big Sur Village to Carmel.   read more…

Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis

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

© PaddyBriggs

© PaddyBriggs

Graceland is a mansion on a 13.8-acre (5.6 ha) estate in Memphis, Tennessee, once owned by the singer and actor Elvis Presley. His daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, has been the owner of Graceland since the passing of her father. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community, about 9 miles (14.5 km) from Downtown and less than four miles (6 km) north of the Mississippi border. It was opened to the public as a museum on June 7, 1982. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1991, and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006. Graceland is the second most-visited house in the U.S. after the White House, with over 650,000 visitors a year.   read more…

Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

21 June 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…

Hôtel de Crillon in Paris

14 June 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris

© flickr.com - Julien Ricard/cc-by-3.0

© flickr.com – Julien Ricard/cc-by-3.0

The Hôtel de Crillon is a historic luxury hotel in Paris which opened in 1909 in a building dating to 1758. Located at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, the Crillon along with the Hôtel de la Marine is one of two identical stone palaces on the Place de la Concorde. It has been listed since 1900 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.   read more…

Hampton Court Palace in London

31 May 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…

Goodwood House in Chichester

10 May 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…

Château Margaux and Château Lascombes in Margaux-Cantenac

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

Château Margaux © Benjamin Zingg/cc-by-sa-2.5

Château Margaux © Benjamin Zingg/cc-by-sa-2.5

Château Margaux, archaically La Mothe de Margaux, is a wine estate of Bordeaux wine, and was one of four wines to achieve Premier cru (first growth) status in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855. The estate’s best wines are very expensive, with a standard-sized bottle of the Château Margaux grand vin retailing at an average price of $639. The estate is located in the commune of Margaux on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Médoc region, in the département of Gironde, and the wine is delimited to the AOC of Margaux. The estate also produces a second wine named Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux, a third wine named Margaux de Château Margaux, as well as a dry white wine named Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux which does not conform to the Margaux appellation directives.   read more…

Chatsworth House

26 April 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…

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