Historical Places, Rants and Whimsy, Travelling and Poking About

Ten Historic Sites I’m desperate to visit

January 2, 2016
All photographs open source, labelled for reuse.

All photographs open source, labelled for reuse.

Right, after an unfortunate hiatus I’m back for the #TravelLinkUp again this month. Now the theme is travel wishlists for 2016 but I don’t really plan that far ahead. I do need to return to New Zealand in the latter part of the year and this reality will no doubt stifle my travel bank account for the preceding months.

I’m heading that way for my step son’s wedding, and as much as I adore the coffee making shit out of the little ginger wildebeest, I’d be lying if I said the whole prospect doesn’t terrify me just a tad. Also, HOW THE FUCK IS BEN GETTING MARRIED? HE IS 18 AND I AM 22 AND NO ONE WILL CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE.

Now that that’s out in the open and can’t be unsaid, let’s get on with the blog. I love history, in fact it’s one of the best things about living in London. EVERYTHING is historical here. You can just soak that shit up while tripping over a cobble stone or getting twatfaced in any long standing yet surprisingly local public house.

In my time here I’ve been to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, the list goes on. But there is still more, for I AM FRANKIE THE CONQUEROR, WILLIAM’S INQUISITIVE HEIR APPARENT AND I WANT TO POKE AROUND IN DUSTY OLD CORNERS. This is quite a capslocky-yelly-type blog, isn’t it? That’s what history does to me.

1: Blenheim Palace
They call themselves Britain’s Greatest Palace and I’m willing to believe it. It looks fucking magical. I want to go there and hunt out every one of their pixies. Place like that gotta have pixies.

2: Jane Austen’s House Museum
I love Jane Austen. She inspired Colin Firth to jump in a lake. For that we thank her by going round to hers and maybe wearing a nice frilly bonnet while we do it.

3: Ben Franklin House
The place where Benjamin Franklin lived during his London years, running about the house naked (“air baths” he called it). They even found a pit of human remains underneath the house. Probably the remnants of Franklin’s landlady’s son in law’s anatomy school. Or Franklin was a serial killer. One of those things.

4: Edinburgh Castle
I haven’t been to Scotland, yet. It just seems quite far away. However, they have this bloody great, enormous, fabulous castle and if that ain’t the siren call for this drunken sailor then I don’t know what is.

5: Visiting Pocahontas in Gravesend
The eternal resting place of Pocahontas is just a short train ride away from London, folks. In a small churchyard in an ancient village in Kent, this is the perfect opportunity to learn some proper history for those of us who grew up surrounded by the Disney version of events…

6: Kew Palace
Cottages, kitchens, chairs that an actual Queen carked it in. An original Madame Tussauds wax work of George III also seems to be on the must see list. I’m down with that.

7: Banqueting Hall
The appeal of this one is twofold. Firstly it’s the site of Charles I execution. Secondly there’s a whole ceiling painted by Rubens. This makes it easy to drag the husband creature along. Maybe these particular paintings aren’t as full of raunchy naked ladies as you would expect of Rubens, but there’s enough tit there to get you by.

8: Tower Bridge
Obviously I’ve walked across Tower Bridge before. Many a time. But I’ve never put my hand in my pocket and bought a ticket to explore further. They have a glass floor now. They let you poke around in the engine room. Shut up and take my money.

9: Highgate Cemetery
Call me morbid, but old cemeteries fascinate me. I’ve already visited the East Cemetery with all its celebrity guests, but I need to see the West Cemetery. Admission is by guided tour only, but it definitely seems worth it. There’s an Egyptian Avenue and some brilliant views across London that only the living can truly appreciate.

10: Strawberry Hill House
While it sounds like a mystical land over the rainbow filled with marshmallow ponies and twinkly fairies, it’s actually a gothic castle. And a blogging favourite from Emma and Julie, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t know it existed!

I hope I can knock at least a few off this list…

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  • Blenheim Palace is amazing! I loved Edinburgh Castle as well.

    • It looks amazing! I really need to sort my shit out!

  • I’m embarrassed to stay that despite being a native England-er I’ve not been to any of these! I’m looking forward to seeing what you think of them 🙂

    • There’s still time Angie! You can begin to love history as much as I do! XD

  • You’ll love Edinburgh Castle! It’s amazing!!

  • adales8

    The Highgate tour is SO worth it! I’d do it again! xx

  • Perfect spots for me to now add to my travel list as I hardly get out enough at all, that sounds terrible doesn’t it haha xxx

    • Haha, it happens to everyone. Life gets in the way of living.

  • Blenheim Palace is on my wishlist for quite a while now. It just looks so dreamy!!! I’ve only been in Kew Palace, guess it helps to live next door. Need to visit more historic sites as well this year. I’ve done quite a few last year, as part of the National Trust membership

    • I have considered getting one of those. I probably should.

  • I’m not exactly a history buff but I’d love to visit some of these places too especially Blenheim Palace. I actually live only 15 minutes away from Gravesend but I never knew it had anything to do with Pocahontas – I may have to take a drive there!

    • I only knew because my father told me when I was little and went to see the movie… I was so relieved when it ended before she arrived in England and died!

  • I love Edinburgh Castle, that should be number 1 on the list…mostly because at the bottom of the hill you can get deep fried mars bars, they’re pretty special too!

    • Ha! They’re not actually listed in order of want, more like order as they occurred to me! 😉

  • WE NEED TO GET POCAHONTAS IN THE DIARY. Wait, that sounds weirder than it should…

  • I’ve done #4, #8, and #10. All worth it! I’m super into #2 and want to go asap. All of these places sound interesting though. Looking forward to reading about them when you visit 😀

    • I only found out about 2 a couple of months ago and it’s been obsessing my mind every since!

  • Great ideas! I’ve done Edinburgh castle, it’s great! #travel link up

  • I’d love to visit Blenheim Palace! I ticked off visiting Bletchley Park this year which was so good, but Blenheim is still on my list!

    C x | Lux Life

    • I really want to go in summer, but summer was a bit crap this year so I went to Hampton Court instead…

  • COME DO THE TOWER BRIDGE GLASS FLOOR WITH ME. I keep asking people to go but no one will…scaredy cats. There are always just so many places to visit, am adding a few of these to my ever-growing list…!

    • To be fair, the concept totally scares me, but I still want to do it XD

  • Oooh I really want to do Tower Bridge – after the Sky Tower, how hard can that floor be?! And the engine room would be fascinating! I really recommend Blenheim Palace, it was definitely home to a pixie or three.

    • I look forward to meeting these pixies XD

  • What I love about this is that you are going to make the most of weekends and see some gorgeous houses and gardens at the same time! I loved Blenheim – just make sure you read the instructions to the maze before you start!