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A tour of Burghley House

29 July 2017
image from A tour of Burghley House

All too soon we were at the end of our UK road trip but I wanted to make one more stop at Burghley House before returning home. This was one of the properties on my Historic Houses Association wishlist and it’s close to the A1 so it made for a convenient stop on our way back from Sheffield. After collecting our tickets at the visitors centre we headed to the upper floor of the Brewhouse where there is an audio-visual introduction to the house and a small exhibition space...

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A look inside Castle Howard, Yorkshire

22 July 2017
image from A look inside Castle Howard, Yorkshire

Whilst staying in the North York Moors National Park for a couple of nights we popped in to visit Castle Howard. This incredible stately home is located just outside the national park, about 15 miles north of York. Despite what the name suggests, Castle Howard is not a true castle. This term is also used for English country houses which were built on the site of a former military castle...

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A trip to Hogwarts (Alnwick Castle)

15 July 2017
image from A trip to Hogwarts (Alnwick Castle)

We had to cut our trip to Scotland short due to inclement weather but the strong winds, rain and hail weren’t going to stop me from visiting Hogwarts, or Alnwick Castle as it is known in the Muggle world. Located in Alnwick (pronounced annick) in Northumberland, this castle was one of the filming locations in the first two Harry Potter films. I could barely contain my excitement when I walked in and saw the Outer Bailey, where Harry and his fellow students learned to fly broomsticks with Madam Hooch...

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A visit to Conwy Castle

20 June 2017
image from A visit to Conwy Castle

The last stop on our tour of Wales was Conwy Castle. Like our previous stop, Caernarfon Castle, it was built by King Edward I and is one of the best preserved castles in North Wales. The castle was constructed as part of a wider project to create the walled town of Conwy. An estimated £15,000 was spent building both the walls and castle, which was huge amount of money for that period (the equivalent of £45 million in today’s money)...

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Caernarfon Castle - A Medieval Fortress in North Wales

10 June 2017
image from Caernarfon Castle - A Medieval Fortress in North Wales

Thankfully the weather had improved the day after our visit to Penrhyn Castle so we made our way to the town of Caernarfon to visit the famed castle. Caernarfon Castle was one of a series of castles built by King Edward I after his invasion of North Wales in 1282. After defeating the Welsh princes and bringing Wales under English rule, he built these castles to ensure that he could hold on to his new lands and keep a lid on rebellious activities...

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Visiting Penrhyn Castle in North Wales

28 May 2017
image from Visiting Penrhyn Castle in North Wales

Our hotel in North Wales was only about a 10 minute drive from Penrhyn Castle, so after we’d checked in we made our way there to squeeze in a visit before dinner. After parking up and having our membership cards scanned at the visitor’s centre, we quickly made our way up to the castle as we only had about an hour to see it before closing time. It’s elevated position gives you beautiful views of Snowdonia and the North Wales coast...

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A sunny afternoon at Dyffryn Gardens

20 May 2017
image from A sunny afternoon at Dyffryn Gardens

After visiting Caerphilly Castle in the morning, our next stop was Dyffryn Gardens which happened to be only a 5 minute drive away from our Airbnb. Dyffryn Gardens is a collection of botanical gardens surrounding a stately Victorian mansion. It’s about a 10 minute drive from central Cardiff but is easy to find as the roads are well signposted. You have to follow some narrow country roads once you leave the A48...

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Visiting Caerphilly Castle from Cardiff

7 May 2017
image from Visiting Caerphilly Castle from Cardiff

If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you probably know that I love a good castle! During my recent trip to Wales I was determined to visit as many castles as possible - they have more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world! The first on my list was Caerphilly Castle, which is easily accessible from Cardiff. Regular trains run between Cardiff and Caerphilly and the journey is about 20 minutes...