Category Archives: Travel

Goodbye, Shropshire!

This week marks the end of my family’s two-year stay in Clungunford, Shropshire, England. This weekend, we’ll be back in London, having moved out of Balham back in 2011. After a somewhat nail-bitingly stressful removal over the weekend, I have a bit of time to reflect on what was a momentous couple of years, with the launch of… Read on

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The Merchant’s House, Marlborough, Wiltshire.

After our stay at the Stonehenge campsite last Autumn, Gavin and I made our way to Marlborough, which is a lovely town in Wiltshire, England. This amazing house was built for and lived in by a wealthy seventeenth-century silk merchant named Thomas Bayly. The construction is believed to date from between 1653 and 1700, and the interiors have… Read on

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Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum’s latest exhibition Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution is the largest-ever exhibition about Samuel Pepys and has over 200 objects on display (some of which come from private collections!). Early last month, I attended a private viewing of this exhibition, and I finally have time to write my thoughts about it. With such a packed title, you… Read on

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Hurley and Henley-on-Thames

This week’s camping has taken us into the Berkshire countryside, where we stayed at a lovely campground a pleasantly long walk from the village of Hurley. This idyllic village is precisely the sort of place foreigners like me imagine an English village to be. There are beautiful old buildings, some of which date back to the 12th century!… Read on

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The Basilica di San Marco, Venice, Italy

Two Sundays ago (my how time flies!), I attended the 8am Easter Sunday service at the iconic Basilica di San Marco by the Piazza San Marco, Venezia, Italy. In this, the first of a series of articles from my recent trip to Venice, I would like to briefly cover a fraction of the history of this building and… Read on

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Castle Howard, Yorkshire

Yesterday on Hoydens and Firebrands, I submitted a short post about He Who Commissioned Castle Howard – Charles Howard,  3rd Earl of Carlisle. Following on from that post, which gives an overview about the life of the Charles Howard, I would like to share what I learned there this weekend and some photos from my visit, if I… Read on

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The 17th Century Lady Takes on Cat Bells and Derwentwater

I just returned back home from an adventure in the Lake District, and although I haven’t anything remotely historical to relate to you, (although this area hasn’t changed drastically since the 17th-century) I think you might enjoy some of the photos (which belong to me, obviously). Like this: My husband travelled up from Birmingham and we faced several… Read on

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Blakesley Hall, Birmingham

I had a glorious trip to the lovely Blakesley Hall yesterday and I had a truly spiffing time. The sun was out, it wasn’t raining or blowing a gale, so I was well pleased. I was, as some of you know from my tweets, quite disappointed to discover that most historic houses here in the Birmingham area are… Read on

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Abington Park Museum, Northampton

I walked over to the local Abington Park Museum today and took a few photos to share with you. As it less than a 10 minute walk from my in-law’s house here in Northampton, I have visited it several times. There has been a house on this land since the late 1000s, but what I am very interested… Read on

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The Blake Museum

Blake Museum is nestled in a little street near the heart of Bridgwater, only a few minutes walk from St. Mary’s Church at 5 Blake Street, Bridgwater, TA6 3NB. This was the home of Admiral Robert Blake (1598-1657) who was one of the most important men from this town. His bust is on display in St. Mary’s Church.… Read on

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St. Mary’s Church, Bridgwater

A church has stood in this spot since before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The painting in the middle, above the altar, is a seventeenth century piece called The Deposition, and there is controversy as to who the artist was who painted it. Some say it is Italian, others, Spanish. It could be Murillo or Guido. We may… Read on

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The Sedgemoor Inn

I’m just adding the review for this that I gave them on TripAdvisor: I was in this area researching for my novel about the Duke of Monmouth and the Battle of Sedgemoor. Doing this, I worked up quite an appetite, and I looked around for somewhere to eat. This inn has excellent location, right next to the historic… Read on

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Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Westonzoyland

This week, I was very fortunate to be able to go to Somerset. My husband celebrated his fortieth birthday last weekend and we were given a two night stay in East Bower, Bridgwater. It couldn’t have been more perfect because, as some of you know, I have been working on a novella about the Duke of Monmouth for… Read on

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The Gardens at Hever Castle

Continuing on from our last post on the history of Hever Castle, we come now to its gardens. Hever Castle is lovely, but it’s gardens are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen in the world. There are dozens of different varieties of flowers and plants along the sprawling landscape. It was here that I saw a garden of… Read on

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Don’t Miss the Last Free Garden History Tours at Kensington Palace!

I can’t believe it. We are almost at the end of the second summer of doing the Garden History Tours at Kensington Palace. It’s been exceptionally rewarding yet again. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many nice people from around the world and it’s been great fun to talk about the rich history of the palace’s… Read on

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Paleis Het Loo, The Netherlands

Het Loo – Home of William & Mary The Palace is quite easily reached from Amsterdam via train to Apeldoorn, then a short, comfortable bus ride to the palace. From there, one walks into a heavily-forested area, with a path leading up to the ticket office. I met my friend, writer Patric Aalders here with my husband and… Read on

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Gokyuzu

Anytime we’re in the Haringey area of London, where my husband used to live, we always go to Gokyuzu for their awesome Turkish food. Oh my gosh it’s so much food and so nice. The bread reminds me of my mom’s homemade bread – her mother Mercedes worked for a Middle Eastern family in Chile and we’ve kept… Read on

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Kensington Palace Garden History Tours

This is the first time Kensington Palace has offered Garden History Tours! They will be free of charge and last between 45 minutes to 1 hour. All you need to do is sign up at either the Queen’s Entrance or the hub area inside the palace. Please be aware these tours are only for the summer months, from… Read on

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