Poole is a popular coastal town on Dorset’s stretch of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, an ideal place to visit on a cottage holiday. A lively town, whose population swells with summer visitors, it lives to the rhythm of the sea, claiming the world’s second largest natural harbour after Sydney and one of the most important yachting and maritime centres in the UK. The town has a lovely old heritage area to the north of the harbour, with narrow streets and quaint buildings constructed during the period of prosperity brought by merchant seamen in centuries past, and a modern, buzzy, harbour area which also houses the Brownsea Island nature and wildlife reserve.
Archive for August, 2011
A pleasant and accessible city, ideal to visit on a cottage holiday, Norwich is compact and interesting enough to merit a day’s exploration on foot, and provides a useful service centre for those holidaying on the nearby Broads and in the charming outlying villages and countryside. Keeping watch over the city, Norwich castle is one of the best surviving examples of military architecture dating from Norman times, and its massive, solid keep now houses a museum dedicated to archaeological and artistic exhibits, together with a natural history section. The Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum is also located here, whilst the regional capital boasts two other museums; Strangers’ Hall, which documents provincial domestic life in England, and the Brideswell Museum, dedicated to trades and industries.
On a cottage holiday, a visit to Ashbourne is a must. Ashbourne is a delightful market town with a lovely cobbled centre filled with speciality stores, such as the Derwent Crystal and Ashbourne Gingerbread shops, and a high concentration of Antiques houses. (more…)
Visitors on a cottage holiday will be tempted to explore Malvern. At the heart of the hills famed for the pure quality of their water, the town of Malvern has seen a steady trade in visitors since Victorian times, when the healing powers of the water were discovered to economic gain. Today, many wells survive, including the original Holy Well, above Malvern Wells, and St. Ann’s well, near Great Malvern, which can still be visited. Some are ruined, others restored, and still more take a little tracking down, hidden away in the hills and valleys of this most scenic landscape. The success of the spa town saw the creation of some elegant buildings, and modern Malvern still displays a wealth of architectural delights. Some date back long before the discovery of the spa waters; Malvern Priory belongs in the eleventh century, it is a cathedral-like structure with massive Norman pillars and beautifully carved detail. The Malvern Museum is not to be missed and is now housed in the equally stunning mediaeval surroundings of the Abbey Gateway.
As anyone visiting one of our holiday cottages in the area may know, sister villages Lynton and Lynmouth became known as ‘Little Switzerland’ in Victorian times. When war in Europe prevented the undertaking of the Grand Tour would-be travellers toured the UK and found a landscape of dramatic cliff coastline and beautiful wooded gorges on the fringes of what would become Exmoor National Park. (more…)