Tags: catacombs, France, History, Jewish Museum, Paris, Tourism, Travel
Moving slightly ahead of the year behind we come to a return to Paris from way back in August 2011.
I did want to go to the catacombs but unfortunately the line was literally around the block so that unfortunately didn’t happen. Guess I’ll have to come back again!
Luckily the Jewish Museum was an alternative that offered a good background to the Jewish experience in Paris, from the earliest days to today, including modern and religious art. Remember to pick up the audio guide as there’s limited English.
Pictures at Flickr
Tags: Kent, Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Tourism, Travel, UK
Take a day trip out of London and go visit Leeds Castle (and you don’t need to go to Leeds to get there).
The castle is actually in south-east England, in Maidstone Kent and is relatively easy to get to. Although you will have to time it with the coaches that will get you there and back again.
It is very easy to spend a day here walking through the grounds or taking in bird shows
If you’re here during a medieval showcase you may see some jousting!
Much of the castle was modernised during the 1920s so you’ll get a taste of the glamour of that period but you’ll also have opportunities to see other areas which highlight the 1000 year history of the castle.
It really is a lovely estate and one I’d suggest you try and get to.
Photos at Flickr
Tags: jephson gardens, Kenilworth, Kenilworth Castle, Leamington, Leamington Spa, Royal pump rooms, Tourism, Travel, UK
The final part of my west midlands tour from a year ago was visiting Leamington Spa and Kenilworth. I stayed at a central but less than great Travelodge (for the price should I really make my own bed?), although this was a year ago so perhaps it has improved.
Leamington itself, while showing signs of recession was a good central base for the surrounding area and was quiet and pleasant to walk without ever feeling dangerous. What’re the main things to do:
Royal Pump Rooms – The main museum for the town, showcasing it’s history as a resort town famous for it’s waters (and being popular with Queen Victoria)
Jephson Gardens – A set of gardens (shocking I know) near the pump rooms. Nice for a walk around.
Kenilworth Castle – this was undoubtedly the highlight of my time in the west midlands. A big call I know. Perhaps it was because I’d only heard of the castle in passing, that it took a bus ride and a walk to find or maybe the other sites from the region had tempered my expectations. The Castle, like so much in Britain has a storied history, particularly as home to Robert Dudley the love of Elizabeth I.
Most of the Castle is now in ruins and that’s what gives this site its power for me. For once British weather was only overcast and windy but lacked rain. Venturing through the collapsed walls with nothing but fields surrounding you, with the air whipping around provided an excellent atmosphere. Dare I say even a romantic one?
I realise my in-depth descriptions may make Leamington Spa sound quite dull. Perhaps it is but sometimes you need a bit of a break and Leamington offers just enough stuff (or access to stuff) to make a weekend of it. Or if you feel like it a day trip.
Photos at Flickr
Map at Google
Tags: Lord Leycester Hospital, Merlin, St John's House, Tourism, Travel, UK, Warwick, Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, Warwickshire museum
While continuing my recap of adventures had a year ago, here is round up of what Warwick has to offer.
Warwick Castle – It’s apparently Britain’s ultimate castle and does quite feel like it. There are some extensive grounds to picnic or stroll around, although you do have to share it with some peacocks. The history of the castle and its place in broader British history is interesting, such as its involvement in the civil war and even attempts at modernising its power supply offer something for everyone. Oh wait you don’t think that’s enough? OK well there are trebuchet, knights and archery displays too.
You’ll have to pay additional charges if you want to do the Merlin (as in the tv show) tower and dungeon shows. Both of which I did do and they have high snark/campiness values but if you can put that aside you might have a laugh. I only smiled wryly. Warwick Castle is the primary attraction hence all the time spent on it here. It is silly and over the top but there is something slightly endearing about it especially on a nice day and when you get to the top of the battlements and have a view over the surrounding area. It is possible to spend a good chunk of the day here but also have enough time to check out Warwick’s other sites.
Warwickshire museum – a mid sized museum with some interesting displays covering the geology, dinosaurs, neolithic, Roman, medieval and modern history of the area. A good overall view.
St John’s House – a larger museum offering a social history of the area, covering everything from home life to the military. I got here quite late in the day so had to rush around in about 20 minutes but if you can spare 30-40 you should get a decent idea.
Lord Leycester Hospital – is a 16th century building that’s primarily a home for retired servicemen but given its age is also home to a museum and also permits tours of its chapel (apparently Tolkein got married there) and gardens. The staff were quite friendly and it was a pleasant wander although the military history didn’t really engage me (I put that down to fatigue). NB the link is to Wikipedia as their main site doesn’t appear to be working.
After all of that I don’t really know if ‘adventures’ was the right term. Nonetheless it was pretty interesting if a touch commercial, although the castle offers a lot for families.
Photos at Flickr
Map at Google