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Hailes Abbey in Gloucestershire, a ruined Cistercian monastery

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Hailes Abbey is  a ruined Cistercian monastery , in the tiny quaint village of Hailes, near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. Founded in 1246 it was home to  the monks who lived and worshipped there  for nearly three centuries. of piety, culture and tradition. Before being  dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539. 

Sadly it was  torn down and the stones used in the local area for building and so little remains except a few beautiful arches and the ghost of footings marked out in the grassy meadow .  We wandered the site, faithfully following the contours of imagined walls and in the utter peace and quiet that pervades the whole area it was easy to imagine the sense of spirituality that must have settled into the ground over the years and still creates an aura of calm. 

The obviously once imposing ruins of the once wealthy Hailes Abbey are set in the  delightful Cotswold countryside. The sound of sheep in the distance has been heard for hundreds of years and it is easy to sit and soak up the serene and peaceful atmosphere and transport yourself into the past imagining chanting and incense.  We tried out the audio tour which added greatly to our enjoyment .

After spending much longer that anticipated wandering the Abbey grounds and sitting happily  in companionable silence, we set out in search of refreshments.  Luckily, although a small site, there is a wonderfully friendly and thoroughly educational little museum  which houses  various displays and the obligatory National trust and English heritage gifts plus  of course delicious ice creams and the cup of tea or a brew as my husband calls it, that we can never pass up! Hailes Abbey is not the most interesting architectural or historic site we have ever visited nor  indeed on the scale of many but its intimate atmosphere and real spirituality  lend it a  special quality. 

We drove there on a magical mystery tour one day but have since discovered that In June 2017, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) reopened Hayles Abbey Halt, a request stop half a mile from the abbey which allows members of the public to visit the site by rail for the first time in more than 50 years. A steam journey added to this special little site would make a fabulous addition to a day out !

Visit the English Heritage site on Hayles Abbey.

I'm a slightly deranged middle aged widow, living in the Cotswolds with two fabulously funny little dogs. A mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Determined to survive by writing to remember, to forget and to cope with grief. the memory of my husband supporting me, guiding me and probably laughing at me if there is a ‘somewhere’

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Travel

Douglas Corrigan, the man who flew to Ireland by mistake or maybe not…

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We still don’t know if Douglas Corrigan intended to fly to Ireland or ended up there by mistake. We know that he became famous for a while and was even nicknames “Wrong Way”. But his story is still fascinating.  Another of his claims to fame was that he was one of the builders involved in the Spirit of St Louis, Charles Lindbergh’s place. He was born in Texas in 1907 and died in 1995. This story takes back to the romantic days of early aviation. 

By Unknown photographer – http://www.hill.af.mil/museum/history/corrigan.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=520511

In the summer of 1938, Douglas Corrigan had landed in Dublin Ireland after a 28-hour flight from New York. Despite the grand achievement in the early days of solo transoceanic aviation, the pilot claims that he wasn’t supposed to travel to Europe. He actually filed to fly to Long […]

Click here to view original web page at simpleflying.com

In the summer of 1938, Douglas Corrigan had landed in Dublin Ireland after a 28-hour flight from New York. Despite the grand achievement in the early days of solo transoceanic aviation, the pilot claims that he wasn’t supposed to travel to Europe. He actually filed to fly to Long Beach, California! H

At the age of 31, Corrigan flew out to New York City from Long Beach. The pilot filed to return back to Southern California on July 17th, 1938, but during that foggy morning, he headed east from the 4,200-foot (1,300 m) runway of Floyd Bennett Field, flew into the mist, and vanished for over 28 hours. Nonetheless, he eventually appeared in Dublin, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.

When explaining the situation to officials, Corrigan said that he left New York en route to California but had then gotten mixed up in the clouds and haze. He also shared that he had an issue with his compass. Overall, the airman expressed that he noticed the error after flying for approximately 26 hours. However, there is good reason to believe that this transatlantic hop wasn’t actually a mistake.

Importantly, Corrigan, a man of Irish descent, in 1935, applied to the federal government for permission to make a direct trip from New York to Ireland, which was turned down. Officials felt that the aircraft was not in the right shape to make this transatlantic hop. He then made several modifications and additions over the next few years but was continuously denied. Despite not being approved for transatlantic flight, the government did certify the plane for cross-country trips.

Moreover, the U.S Centennial of Flight Commission highlights that Corrigan grew frustrated with the bureaucracy by 1937 and flew to New York late at night after authorities had gone home. He would then have filled his tanks and set flight for Ireland. Unfortunately, there were several mechanical issues while heading to the East Coast and he lost his window of safe flying weather. Therefore, he decided to fly back west.

 

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News

The best UK attractions according to Tripadvisor

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There are notable surprises in this list compiled by Tripadvisor users, for example you don’t find the great museums in London but we have museums in other places and two football stadiums. In first and second place we have two fairly predictable London attractions the Tower of London and Tower Bridge which are also close together although they don’t have much in common other than the name and proximity. The Tower dates back to 1100 and the bridge to 1800.

In third place we have Arthur’s Seat, the hill located in Edinburgh. Not only is this a nice walk, but once you get to the top you will have a nice view of the whole city. In fourth place we have Etihad Stadium, the Manchester United stadium. You can visit it when there are no matches, they organize a guided tour.

Arthur’s Seat

In fifth place we have Anfield Stadium, a practically sacred place for Liverpool fans. When there are no matches, the stadium is open for guided tours. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum ranks sixth, it is Scotland’s most visited free attraction. It has 22 themed galleries displaying over 8000 objects of international importance. Birmingham Back to Back is in seventh place, back to back houses were heavily used during the industrial revolution. Not really hygienic or comfortable and they don’t make us envy those times. The museum is a very informative blast from the past. Crumlin Road Gaol is in eighth place. An old Belfast prison closed in 1996 and reopened as a museum. There are guided tours of the prison and you can discover the story when women and children were held within its walls and of the political segregation of republican and unionist prisoners. In ninth place we have the magnificent National Railway Museum in York. Home to iconic locomotives and an unrivaled collection of engineering works, the museum celebrates the railroad’s past, present and future. What’s more, free. In tenth place we have the Churchill War Rooms which are located in London. Surprised? What did you expect to see in the top ten tourist attractions in the UK?

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Architecture

The strange Egyptian house in Penzance in Cornwall

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In all parts of the world there are always weird things to see and Cornwall is certainly no exception. If you go to Penzance, try to pass by the strange Egyptian house. It was built on Chapel Street by Plymouth architect John Foulston around 1835. At this time everything Egyptian was in fashion. In London at Piccadilly they had built the Egyptian Hall at the same time and the province tried to adapt to trends.

Photo: Jhsteel / CC BY-SA

It was a Plymouth bookseller who wanted this house, his name was John Lavin and he had a passion for maps and travel guides but he also traded minerals. He had then bought two properties here, which were in fact two cottages but he wanted to stand out so he had the two buildings join together with a single facade.

In addition to transforming the architecture of the two buildings, he also built a small mineral museum inside. The house still exists now and houses three apartments, it is a listed building. The interesting thing is that it is a precursor of the Art Deco that conquered the world a century later.

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