Tower Bridge is the most famous bridge in London, but perhaps the Albert Bridge is the most beautiful and certainly the most delicate bridge. Named after Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, the best time to see this bridge is after dark when over 4000 lights illuminate it.
But its pastel colors play with the sunlight at any time, it is a bridge to be seen several times, with the sun, the moon and the clouds. The Albert Bridge connects Battersea to Chelsea and is a modification of a cable-stayed bridge but has been modified several times due to its instability. Initially, you paid to cross the bridge but it was not very successful and after six years it became a bridge open to the public.
If the bridge has a delicate look it is no coincidence, this structure has always been delicate and shaky since its inauguration in 1873.
The thing got worse with the advent of the car and heavy vehicles. Especially the SUVs driven by the wealthy inhabitants of Chelsea. Another problem was that the bridge was used by troops from Chelsea Barracks to cross the Thames, and hundreds of marching men were a danger to the bridge. For this reason you still see signs instructing the troops not to march on the bridge.
The problem of dogs on the Albert Bridge
Another thing that ruins the bridge is the urine of dogs taken for a walk from Chelsea to Battersea Park, in short, dog pee corrodes the wood of the structure.
In the 1950s, the bridge was due to be demolished, but vigorous campaigning by prominent supporters, including the poet John Betjeman, who was fighting at the time against the destruction of many historic buildings, stopped the demolition.
In 1973, pillars were placed to strengthen the bridge which remains the least used of London’s bridges. It was recently closed for restoration for a year and officially reopened in 2011 by two dogs from Battersea Dogs Home, aptly named Prince and Albert.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – a pub with a literary history
In Hampshire looking for Jane Austen
Many people when they think of Jane Austen, they think of Bath, in fact, the well-known British writer lived for 25 years in the county of Hampshire.
This county appears relatively little in her novels, but if you go to Hampshire, you can visit some places related to the writer. In particular we can visit a museum dedicated to her which is located in a small brick cottage where the writer lived from 1809 to 1817.
This after having lived in Southampton and Bath. Clearly these larger places gave her ideas and inspiration that she would not have had in the country but it is only after returning to a quiet place that Jane Austen resumed writing.
The museum is located in Chawton and you can still see the original furniture such as the desk where Austen àwrote some of her works.
Edward, the writer’s brother had become rich and while Austen frequented wealthy circles, she was not from a wealthy family. The brother lived nearby and visiting him meant frequenting a wealthy and fashionable environment. His brother’s house still stands today and is called Chawton House, a 16th century Tudor-style house.
The house now houses in its library a collection of books written by women if you go just outside the house of St Nicholas church you will see the graves of Austen’s mother and sister. If you want to continue your Jane Austen tour in Hampshire you can take the scenic railway called Watercress Line to Aston where the Jane Austen festival is held every June. Aston was where Austen used to shop regularly.
The Vyne is a house definitely worth visiting, it is located near Basingstoke and was a house from the Tudor times, where Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Catherine of Aragon and many others also stayed. Jane Austen was a friend of the family who lived here at the time and therefore she used to come often and participate in the dances and other social gatherings.
Jane had to leave her beloved cottage when her health deteriorated and so she went to live in Winchester to be near her doctors. That is why her grave is in Winchester Cathedral. Originally her grave did not say she was a writer because all of her books were published anonymously when she was alive
Dunster Castle in Somerset; what you can find
The castle on a hill called Tor has existed since before the Norman invasion, even though it was made of wood until the end of 1100.
In the late 1300s the castle was purchased by the Luttrell family who lived there until 1976 when the castle and land were donated to the National Trust.
On several occasions, especially in the Tudor period, the Luttrell family renovated the property practically transforming it into a villa.
In 1800 it was renovated again to adapt to modern tastes, it was the times of the Neo-Gothic revival and then the castle was transformed into a building in that style that is as you see it now. The architect who worked there was Anthony Salvin, also famous for the works of Alnwick Castle which is Hogwarth in the Harry Potter films, therefore2nm you can imagine the style.
Almost nothing remains of the medieval castle now except the large tower and the ruins of some towers. The castle can be visited in spring and summer and is managed by the National Trust, if you are registered with this organisation you will not pay the entrance fee.
Among the many things to see at Dunster Castle are the interiors which are undoubtedly interesting, a portrait of John Luttrell’s Tudor times showing him along with the three graces and several Greek goddesses.
Dunster Castle is also home to several species of bats that you can find in the park, and don’t miss the gardens which are an oasis of the Mediterranean in the middle of Somerset.
The views of the Bristol Channel that you can get from the park are also not to be missed. You can also visit a perfectly functioning old water mill.
Like all self-respecting castles Dunster Castle has a ghost, rumored to be in King Charles’ bedroom. Dunster Castle also hosts numerous events throughout the year, from falconry to Easter egg hunts.
Concerts coming up!
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