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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