Dover Castle

22 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  11 minutes

Dover Castle © Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Dover Castle © Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Dover Castle is a medieval castle in Dover, Kent, England. It was founded in the 11th century and has been described as the “Key to England” due to its defensive significance throughout history. Some sources say it is the largest castle in England, a title also claimed by Windsor Castle. This site may have been fortified with earthworks in the Iron Age or earlier, before the Romans invaded in AD 43. This is suggested on the basis of the unusual pattern of the earthworks which does not seem to be a perfect fit for the medieval castle. Excavations have provided evidence of Iron Age occupation within the locality of the castle, but it is not certain whether this is associated with the hillfort.   read more…

Torbay on the English Riviera

11 October 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

View from Torquay towards Paignton © Kicior99/cc-by-3.0

View from Torquay towards Paignton © Kicior99/cc-by-3.0

Torbay is a borough in Devon, administered by the unitary authority of Torbay Council. It consists of 62.87 square kilometres (24.27 sq mi) of land, spanning the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, located around an east-facing natural harbour (Tor Bay) on the English Channel. Torbay is roughly equidistant from the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. A popular tourist destination with a tight conurbation of resort towns, Torbay’s sandy beaches, mild climate and recreational and leisure attractions have given rise to the nickname of the English Riviera. Torbay’s main industry is tourism. It has a large number of European students learning English. The fishing port of Brixham is home to one of England and Wales’ most successful fishing fleets and regularly lands more value than any UK port outside Scotland. It is also a base for Her Majesty’s Coastguard and the Torbay Lifeboat Station. Famous former residents of Torbay include author Agatha Christie, who set many of her novels in a thinly disguised version of the borough.   read more…

Poole – surf, rest + play

10 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

High Street © - David Lally

High Street © – David Lally

Poole is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is 33 kilometres (21 mi) east of Dorchester, and Bournemouth adjoins Poole to the east. The Borough of Poole was made a unitary authority in 1997, gaining administrative independence from Dorset County Council. The town had a population of 138,288, making it the second largest settlement in Dorset. Together with Bournemouth and Christchurch, the town forms the South East Dorset conurbation with a total population of over 400,000.   read more…


17 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

City Gate © Michel wal

City Gate © Michel wal

Boulogne-sur-Mer is a city in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department of Pas-de-Calais. The population of the city was 44,859 in the 1999 census, whereas that of the whole metropolitan area was 135,116. Boulogne-sur-Mer is the most important fishing port in France. 7,000 inhabitants derive part or all of their livelihoods from fishing. IFREMER (the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) and the Pasteur Institute are located in Boulogne Port.   read more…

The seaside resort of Trouville-sur-Mer on the English Channel

30 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Trouville-sur-Mer Beach © Stefi123/cc-by-sa-3.0

Trouville-sur-Mer Beach © Stefi123/cc-by-sa-3.0

Trouville-sur-Mer, commonly referred to as Trouville, is a commune in the Calvados department in the Lower Normandy region region in northwestern France with 5,000 inhabitants. The town’s inhabitants are called Trouvillais. The village of fishermen is a popular tourist destination in Normandy, approximately 200 km north west of Paris.   read more…

The seaside town of Deal in South England

29 March 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Seafront © Shantavira

Seafront © Shantavira

Deal is a town in Kent, England. It lies on the English Channel eight miles north-east of Dover and eight miles south of Ramsgate. It is a former fishing, mining and garrison town. Closely associated with Deal are the villages of Kingsdown, Sholden and Walmer, the latter being where Julius Caesar first arrived in Britain.   read more…

Plymouth in South West England

23 March 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Barbican and harbour © - Bex Ross/cc-by-2.0

Barbican and harbour © – Bex Ross/cc-by-2.0

Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the south coast of Devon in England, about 190 miles (310 km) south-west of London. It is situated between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound. Since 1967, the City of Plymouth has included the suburbs of Plympton and Plymstock, which are situated on the east side of the River Plym. Today the city is home to around 250,000 people, making it the 27th most populous built-up area in England and Wales. It is governed locally by Plymouth City Council and is represented nationally by three MPs. Plymouth’s economy is still strongly influenced by shipbuilding, but has become a more service-based economy since the 1990s. It has the ninth largest university in the United Kingdom by number of students, the University of Plymouth, and the largest operational naval base in Western Europe – HMNB Devonport. The city has ferry links to France and Spain.   read more…

Fowey in Cornwall

12 February 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Stefan Germer

© Stefan Germer

Fowey is a small town, civil parish and cargo port at the mouth of the River Fowey in south Cornwall in England. At the time of the 2001 census, it had a population of 2,273. Fowey is in the South Coast (Eastern Section) of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It lies at the end of the Saints’ Way and has ferries across the river to Polruan (foot) and Bodinnick (vehicle). There are many historic buildings in the town, including the ruins of St Catherine’s Castle, while Readymoney Cove possesses a local beach.   read more…

Penzance in Cornwall

22 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

The Wharfside Centre © - Mari Buckley/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Wharfside Centre © – Mari Buckley/cc-by-sa-2.0

Penzance is a town, civil parish and port in Cornwall. It is well known for being the most westerly major town in Cornwall and is approximately 75 miles (121 km) west of Plymouth and 300 miles (480 km) west-southwest of London. Situated in the shelter of Mount’s Bay (Towards the middle of the bay and probably the origin of the name is St Michael’s Mount), the town faces south-east onto the English Channel, is bordered to the west by the fishing port of Newlyn, to the north by the civil parish of Madron and to the east by the civil parish of Ludgvan. A ferry service is operated between Penzance Harbour and the Isles of Scilly by the Scillonian III, carrying both foot-passengers and cargo. Sailing time is approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes. A bus service run by the Skybus Airline Service connects with Land’s End Airport for fixed wing flights (15 minutes) to the Isles of Scilly. The buses leave from the railway station, near the taxi rank, rather than the bus station. Penzance is home to the new Newlyn Art Gallery establishment “The Exchange” which opened in 2007. Penzance is also the home of Penlee House, an art gallery and museum notable for its collection of paintings by members of the Newlyn School. Within Penzance town centre there are a growing number of commercial art galleries. Every December Penzance holds the Montol Festival a community arts event reviving many of the Cornish customs of Christmas, including Guise dancing.   read more…

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