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OUR NEXT EVENTS: Eclectic London - Weekend trip Fri Sep 08, 2017 @08:00

OUR NEXT EVENTS: Eclectic London - Weekend trip Sat Sep 09, 2017 @08:00

Our visits

Weekend trip September 8th to 11th

London is one of the world’s greatest and vibrant cities with 2000 years of history. It has been welcoming immigrants and people seeking refuge politically and religiously, rich and poor for at least 500 years and now is one of the culturally richest places on Earth.

This year we will explore some of its diversity and history over a long weekend from the 8th to the 11th September.

Arriving by Eurostar from Brussels a coach will take us first to Highgate cemetery. In the early 19th century, London was expanding rapidly. Most burials had been in graveyards attached to churches, but now lack of space and a perceived disrespect to the dead as these graveyards were being constantly re-dug, lead to a decision to create 7 huge cemeteries around London. All still exist, but the most famous is Highgate, where, amongst others, is buried Karl Marx. After we have been guided around the highlights our coach will take us a few miles to Neasden, a nondescript suburb of North West London that houses the most wonderful Hindu temple, in carved Indian marble and hardwoods. Following a vegetarian lunch in their restaurant, we will have a guided tour around the complex.

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Feudal castles and fortresses with their stories of battles and sieges between the English and the Welsh, stately homes, a brand-new gallery dedicated to William De Morgan’s ceramics, unusual churches, artefacts of an industrial past, magnificent gardens as well as “Capability” Brown’s last assignment, and a wall of not quite Chinese proportions (although it did stretch for 188 kilometres) are some of the things awaiting us on our 2017 UK Trip to the Welsh Marches and the West Midlands (June 20-25, 2017).

The geography and geology of these two regions has had an enormous influence on the socio-economic history of Great Britain for centuries, culminating in the 18th and 19th centuries with the Industrial Revolution. Today, the signs on the landscape are less obvious and we will be treated to breath-taking views, particularly in the Severn Valley around Shrewsbury and northwards along the Welsh border.

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The National Trust is reputed for the upkeep and preservation of historic buildings, for maintaining gardens and landscapes.

It is less well known that the NT also offers self-catering cottages for rent in stunning locations throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

From gatehouses to castle watch towers, pretty cottages to cosy bothies, coastal retreats to estate lodges, you can find holiday opportunities full of character, surrounded by beautiful views.

See NT Holiday Cottages


Our annual UK trip in June took us to the Anglo-Scottish border where we visited some of the ruined abbeys, magnificent castles and learned about reivers and ridings. The Scottish Borders is a region often overlooked by visitors to the UK’s most northern country; wrongly so in our opinion for it is one of great beauty.

Its main features are the bubbling River Tweed, which offers great salmon fishing, and the Southern Uplands. On the southern side of the border, are the Cheviot Hills and rugged Northumberland.

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June 21-27. Pictures will be put online asap.

After arrival in Kingston-upon-Hull with the overnight ferry, we crossed Britain into North West England. We made a first stop at Marsden Moor Estate (NT), a large expanse of moorland situated in the Pennines, to learn from its Rangers why the estate has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Travelling further through Lancashire we visited two Grade 1 listed Tudor NT houses, Rufford Old Hall and Gawthorpe Hall, which probably owe their survival to the industrialization of the area. Lancashire emerged as a major commercial and industrial region during the Industrial Revolution. By the 1830s, approximately 85% of all cotton manufactured worldwide was processed in this region.

The Lake District National Park, where we spent most of our time, is England’s largest National Park. It is known for its glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains and it has been the inspiration of a number of Britain’s literary and artistic geniuses. In particular, we learned about the lives of William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin and Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott. The Lakes, as it is sometimes called, is a popular tourist destination today but it was also so in the Victorian era and we recaptured some of the pleasures that they found in the region.

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