The hill pictured above is quite famous, it’s called Gold Hill, but not everyone knows that it is located in Shaftesbury in Dorset.
Gold Hill, is a steep, cobbled street with houses from the 1700s. It used to be a place known for for its views of the Blackmoor Valley, but became very famous when it featured in a Hovis bread commercial. Gold Hill has its own museum. It should be noted that this town is the only one of any importance on the hills in Dorset.
Shaftesbury was officially founded in 880 by King Alfred who fortified the city and also built an abbey. In the next century King Edward was assassinated by his stepmother at Corfe Castle and buried in Shaftesbury Abbey which then became a pilgrimage site. Now relatively little remains of this abbey, but you can visit the Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and in its garden you will see the ruins of the abbey itself.
You can also see St Peter’s Church, a Tudor-style Town Hall which dates back to the 1800s. If you wander around Shaftesbury and love literature you can stop at Ox House which was a house mentioned by Thomas Hardy in the book Jude the Obscure.
Shaftesbury also has a famous cultural and arts centre with many exhibits, of a very high standard for a provincial venue, and events. However, we must remember that Shaftesbury has only 7000 inhabitants and therefore things to do are very limited. You might not want to stay here for a week.
How to get to Shaftesbury?
You will almost certainly not come to Shaftesbury on purpose, but will pass by during a visit to Dorset. The whole area around Shaftesbury including the surrounding countryside is well worth a visit
To get there you can take the train to Exeter from Paddington in London and get off at Gillingham which is close to Shaftesbury. In fact, in Gillingham you can take the X2 bus which takes you there in 16 minutes.
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Douglas Corrigan, the man who flew to Ireland by mistake or maybe not…
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.
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 […]
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.
The best UK attractions according to Tripadvisor
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.
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?
The strange Egyptian house in Penzance in Cornwall
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.
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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