After visiting couple Spanish and a German speaking countries, we’re continuing our journey through Europe. Well, not the mainland Europe this time.
For starters, according to infoplease.com “the United Kingdom is a country that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Its official name is “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” So England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are part of the United Kingdom. And today we want to take you on a journey through England, a land of lords, red buses, black cabs, Beatles and obviously tea.
Then planning a trip to England most people instantly think about Big Ben, Madame Tussauds, Stonehenge and similar famous landmarks. Sure, it’s fine to tick some of the classic tourist boxes, but if you want to experience something marvel we suggest 5 places that you could not image existed in England.
Lud’s Church, Staffordshire
Lud’s Church is said to be made by the devil slashing the earth with a fingernail, creating a deep, unhealable wound. In reality it is an immense natural gorge with steep sides of rock carved into the Back Forest in Staffordshire, on the hillside above Gradbach. Druids call it a natural church: a place of worship formed by the earth itself, a spiritual corridor in the ground. The moment you descend the granite steps into Lud’s Church it is clear why it has inspired so many myths and legends. Daylight becomes a primeval gloom, condensation drips from the walls, the echoes are heavy and deathly.
Gradbach, which is the best place to start your journey to Lud’s Church, itself is a beauty spot like a tiny hamlet on the River Dane.
Two Temple Place, London
It has to be London’s most extraordinary mansion. And yet, so few people know about it! William Waldorf Astor (founder of the Waldorf Astoria), at the time the richest man in the world, built the house as an estate office and vault for his belongings. To visit the house you need to time it right as it’s only open to the public three months out of the year to display a changing exhibition.
Fun fact: This is where the wedding in the season finale of Downton Abbey was filmed.
The Shell Grotto, Margate, KentThe Margate’s Shell Grotto is an astonishing subterranean passageway. Just under 21 metres of winding passages decorated with 4.6 million shells were discovered in 1835. Even though this remarkable construction was discovered many years ago nobody knows its mission.
The Margate’s Shell Grotto is distinguished because of its interior. The walls are covered in images of gods and goddesses, trees of life and patterns of whelks, mussels and oysters. Some think it is an ancient Pagan grotto, others that it is simply an ornate Regency folly. With no definitive explanation or history, the Shell Grotto is Kent’s greatest mystery.
There has to be a reason why William Morris described Bibury as ‘the most beautiful village in England’. According to Fox News, Bibury is one of the most picturesque villages in the world. It sits a few miles away from Burford.
If you are wondering what to do in the small village of Bibury, we suggest to visit The St. Mary’s Saxon church at the center of the village, stroll through Arlington Row or take a walk along a path next to group of ancient cottages that date back to the 16th century. Do visit the Bibury Trout Farm and restaurant for freshly prepared trout meals. And for art lovers, the Arlington Mill Museum is a place to be.
Spitbank Fort, Portsmouth
Our most amazing discovery is Victorian Era Sea Fort. Spitbank Fort is now part of the seascape of the Solent – a great granite bastion between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. It was initially designed to defend Portsmouth’s naval dockyard from French invasion – today it stands as a testament to Victorian engineering.
Spitbank Fort Hotel is now home to nine luxury guest rooms, three bars, three restaurants, rooftop champagne bar, wine cellar, library, rooftop hot pool, sauna and sun decks. Many of the fort’s original features have been retained, featuring exposed brick walls, fortress windows and a couple of old cannons.
Victorian Era Sea for offers a great escape to a unique world where history meets luxury, indulgence and privacy. As well as exclusive use options, visitors can also experience Spitbank Fort by booking one of unique Fort Experiences. Travellers can book a visit either for an afternoon or for 24 hour.
It is located 1.6 killometers off the coast of Portsmouth.