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Visit Marlborough in Wiltshire if you like Tudor houses

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You have probably never thought of visiting Marlborough in Wiltshire, but it may happen that you find yourself in the area and want to drop by. The county of Wiltshire is definitely worth a visit if only for Salisbury and Stonehenge.

Marlborough is famous for its public school and its wide main street where markets have been held every Wednesday and Saturday for a very long time. Marlborough is located in the east of Wiltshire, in the mountainous and rural valley of the River Kennet, which flows through the town.

Its main street has many Tudor houses and beautiful shops with Georgian colonnades, behind which there are alleys that you can explore at your leisure.

St Mary’s Church, which has a 1400s facade, is located in Patten Alley, so named because pedestrians had to wear pattens, which were metal-soled shoe covers, to walk on mud on rainy days. The porch of the church has a ledge where the faithful left their patten before entering.

Other buildings of interest include those clustered around The Green (originally a Saxon village); the turn-of-the-century town hall overlooking the broad High Street; and the merchant house of 1600, now restored as a museum.

The Marlborough Downs

Marlborough College was founded in 1843 primarily for the children of the clergy. But the college has an older history, the Seymour family (that of Jane the third wife of King Henry VIII) built a mansion near the site of the Norman castle, which was replaced in the early 1700s by a building that became Castle Inn and it is now the oldest part of the College.

A cairn on the school’s private grounds is connected to King Arthur’s personal wizard, Merlin. It was said that he was buried under this mound and gave the town its name, Merle Barrow, or Merlin’s Tomb. Among the many notable alumni of the college were William Morris and John Betjeman.

Just outside Marlborough is the ancient Savernake Forest which is a magnificent expanse of woodland and land. King Henry VIII hunted wild deer here and his third wife’s family home was as close as we saw. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the forest is home to abundant wildlife, including a small herd of deer and 25 species of butterflies.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Stowe House a large building from the 17th century

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Stowe House, an old country house is located near the abandoned village of Stowe in Buckinghamshire. It is now a private school, but is open to the public during the school holidays along with the magnificent gardens and park.

The house was built in the late 17th century with the help of the great architect Christopher Wren who seems to have participated in the construction of most of the buildings in the second half of the 1600s. The palace was later modified,perhaps during the 1700s although the latest changes they were made in 1779. All the famous architects of the time such as John Nash, James Gibbs and Robert Adam worked to improve the building.

The palace belonged to members of the Temple family who made money and became members of the small aristocracy thanks to the sheep and wool trade. They bought the house and land here at the end of the 1500s but only a century later they decided to rebuild a home.

 

The Temple family produced several counts, viscounts and barons and their humble abode became a reference point for the nobility of half of Europe. The parties in this house were famous because they could last for days and days.

Now even if you manage to visit the villa, you will only see a limited number of rooms but it is worth going there only for the magnificent gardens which are managed by the National Trust, also during the course of the year there are always seasonal or artistic events. The gardens have several structures and statues and will keep you busy for a whole day.

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Morlaix in France, a medieval centrewith dreamlike houses

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Just look at a couple of photos of Morlaix in France to immediately understand that it is a city to visit, especially for those who love old medieval houses. But not only that, it is also a great base for exploring Brittany and the coast overlooking the English Channel and the Atlantic.

The thing you will notice right away is the incredible viaduct that dominates the city, it was built in 1861. The nice thing is that you can go up (at least up to the first level) and walk over it admiring the view, admission is also free.

There are also some of the old wooden houses that can be visited. One of the best known is the Maison dite de la Duchesse Anne which dates back to the 1400s and is a real beauty built in the style of the area. La Maison a Pondalez is another beautiful house from the 1400s, recently renovated that houses the city museum.

The beauty of Morlaix is also to wander aimlessly through its medieval streets and discover it in this way. You will also find a lively market every Saturday and a harbor which also hosts several yachts.

You will have no problem finding food, go around the Rue Ange de Guernisac to find excellent restaurants, if your wallet is low on funds you can always live on cider and galettes, Breton crepes made of buckwheat and also suitable for those who do not tolerate gluten.

If you have time ten km from Morlaix you can find the Cairn de Barnenez, a huge cemetery from Neolithic times, the largest in Europe

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Herm Island – a little hidden paradise

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Years ago I was introduced to Herm island by my dad. He loved Islands and discovering new places. He would investigate and learn all about strange places and make it his mission to visit them.

Herm is a tiny little Island with no cars motorbikes or roads to worry about, located in the Channel Islands it is only 3 miles from Guernsey. Perfect as a place to relax and forget the hustle and bustle of modern life. The fabulous unspoilt beaches and quiet sandy paths that wind around the whole island are a wonderful way to spend magical hours in splendid isolation.

Shell beach was one of  most amazing natural places I have ever experienced. The whole beach stretches for miles and is unlike anything else I have ever seen. Made up entirely of millions of minute, perfect, and wonderful , exquisite shells rather than sand that explains the name. 

Belvoir bay is a wonderful little cove  for bathing and it feels like you have discovered it all for yourself especially if you stay on the island and can enjoy it after the day trippers have left in the afternoon. A puffin-breeding colony is also located on the far end  of the island,the comical little birds are fabulous to watch.

Herm Island

 

Staying on Herm Island

There is only one hotel on Herm Island and it is pure quality, The White House Hotel is set in stunning  gardens and has captivating sea views. There are also a few holiday cottages and  a large field equipped with ready set up tents for families so you don’t have to bring all the equipment.

The only way to reach Herm is via boat, either aboard a private yacht or on the passenger ferry. Which takes just 20 mins to reach this paradise island. Boats operate all year round from St. Peter Port with an hourly ferry from May to Sept.

I spent many holidays over the years exploring and falling in love every time with this unique little place which I hope you will discover for yourself one day.

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