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History

The rich tapestry of Britain’s history is full of fascinating characters, imposing castles and literary heroes. From the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to the Battle of Britain, the Tudor period to the Victorian era, Shakespeare to Dickens, Britain has a unique heritage like no other. Much of this historical treasure trove has been preserved to inspire us today.

Upstairs Downstairs

We explore what relationships were really like between the upstairs and downstairs residents of Britain’s big houses In the new Downton Abbey film, veteran housekeeper Mrs Hughes is unequivocal in briefing staff: “I want every...
Christmas Charles Dickens plates

How to celebrate Christmas like Charles Dickens

Don’t be a Scrooge! Celebrate the spirit and former haunts of Charles Dickens, the Victorian author who shaped our vision of the modern festive season On the evening of October 5 1843, Charles Dickens took his...

Guy Fawkes: the man behind the guy

The effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned throughout Britain at this time of year, but how much do we really know of the famous Gunpowder Plot conspirator? The classic rhyme “Remember, remember the fifth of November" features one of...

Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War: Part II

Oliver Cromwell was quick to seize control after the shocking death of Charles I, but was he hero or villain? On January 30, 1649 48-year-old King Charles I said goodbye to his children at St...
Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo, Stratford upon Avon review

While house-hunting in 1597, William Shakespeare would have known the handsome pub opposite his New Place. The Falcon was not a five-minute walk from Shakespeare’s Birthplace and across the road from Shakespeare’s Schoolroom. The world-class theatres built...
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland. Credit: Philip Sharp / Alamy

Northumberland Castles

Northumberland is home to more castles than any other English county. We travel to England’s northernmost region to hear tales of theft, murder and spooky apparitions Its location close to the Scottish border has meant...
John Rylands Library, Manchester

Hidden British libraries

We take a tour of some of the most historic and beautiful British libraries to find reading rooms worthy of our literary greats Oxford Oxford’s university libraries are among the oldest and most celebrated in the world....

Summer reading: British book settings

We visit the places that inspired iconic summer scenes in the works of some of our favourite authors. It is the brightest day you ever saw. The sun is sparkling on the water… The tide...
where JMW Turner lived

Where JMW Turner lived in Britain

Great English painter, JMW Turner, hailed by the critic, John Ruskin, as ‘the father of modern art’, undertook annual summer tours of Britain, but where did he live and love? As the Turner Prize, an...

House Rules

Combining a thousand years of history, the drama of modern-day politics and majestic architecture, a visit to the seat of British government is quite an experience If the walls of Westminster Hall, the oldest part...

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