This week… chimney tops, ration books and guardian angels

Every September heritage houses, museums and other buildings throw open their doors to the public. Entry and tours are free despite the work of many of these organisations being independently funded, so a donation is welcome. The nationwide Heritage Open Days festival closes today and I took the opportunity take a peek behind the scenes over the nine-day event in Winchester. Here’s what I discovered.

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Exploring Britain: Cowdray Heritage Ruins

The history of one of the most important early Tudor houses in the UK is threaded through a Civil War, Henry VIII’s Reformation, and a devastating fire which all but destroyed the beautiful Cowdray House in 1793. This week I joined a tour around the ruins and ventured up the 70-odd spiral steps of the Kitchen Tower, the only part of the building still intact. Walking in the footsteps of history is always a slightly spooky experience and brings out the goosebumps.

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This week… boats, barnacles and beachcombing

As long as I can remember The Great British Seaside has been a staple in my travel life. Despite lounging on many wonderful beaches in Croatia, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Turkey and elsewhere, there’s nowhere quite like home for being beside the sea. The English coast is often symbolised by fish’n’chips and buckets and spades but there’s so much more with wide open sandy beaches to walk, sand dunes to explore and wildlife and flora. It’s been my go-to place during the past 18 months as I explored in all weathers. Here’s a retrospective album of snapshots by way of appreciation for British beach life.

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This week… Monaco, Muddler’s and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

We’re apparently now in a third wave pandemic in the UK but having made a bid for total freedom in recent weeks, it feels as though folks are determined to hold on to the promises of summer. This week I enjoyed a first pub lunch in more than a year (I never thought I’d write that sentence), a second hair cut and a coffee out, indoors! Heady times.

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This week… summer in the cities

This week I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to write about, I simply don’t feel the love. It’s June already and in the UK the summer passes so quickly. I mean to make the most of each and every day. So here, I’m taking time out to simply appreciate the beauty I’ve been enjoying close to home while we wait for the world to right itself. Where have you been exploring this week?

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