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Come walk with me in Wallingford

Heard of Wallingford? Probably not, but in the Domesday Book of 1085 it was named as one of only 18 towns in the country with more than 2,000 inhabitants. Wallingford was BIG in the middle ages. Founded in the 9th century at the lowest point of the Thames, a natural fording place, it still hasContinue reading “Come walk with me in Wallingford”

Palermo part 1 – Positivity pays off

We don’t get off to a great start in Sicily’s capital, Palermo. Our taxi driver can’t get his card machine to work so he hauls the husband off to find an ATM. Our hotel, the Porta Felice, is down a tatty backstreet and the welcome from the front desk is underwhelming. It’s as hot asContinue reading “Palermo part 1 – Positivity pays off”

The house that Wolsey built (and Henry took)

Today I’m visiting Hampton Court Palace. I’m in the middle of the final book of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, set at the Court of King Henry VIII, so it seems an appropriate time to soak up some period atmosphere at the royal residence that’s best known as his favourite home. There has been aContinue reading “The house that Wolsey built (and Henry took)”

Travels in my neighbourhood: Windsor & Eton

Today I’m just down the road from home in the twin towns of Windsor and Eton, joined by a bridge over the Thames. Both are pretty famous – one has the most renowned castle and the other the most well-known school in the UK, if not the world. I’ve been here many times before, butContinue reading “Travels in my neighbourhood: Windsor & Eton”

Travels in my neighbourhood: Runnymede

Poor old King John! He’s always the bad guy, that phony King of England. Meanwhile, his elder brother, Richard the Lionheart, is remembered as a hero by us Brits, despite the fact that he spent most of his time in France or on crusade in the Holy Land. He probably didn’t even speak English, whichContinue reading “Travels in my neighbourhood: Runnymede”

Come trot with me around Royal Ascot

Sorry, couldn’t resist that. As you know, Ascot has probably the most famous racecourse in the world, owned by the Crown. Today’s walk around the village of Ascot is ten kilometres long, so I will be taking it at a steady pace, definitely no cantering. I know this place quite well, as I lived hereContinue reading “Come trot with me around Royal Ascot”

Come walk with me in royal surroundings

I’m not one to name drop, but I do live just down the road from Her Majesty the Queen. In the Royal County of Berkshire. In the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Lucky old me! Hopefully I’m not lowering the tone too much. You’ll know about Her Majesty’s home at Windsor, it’s quite impressive.Continue reading “Come walk with me in royal surroundings”