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Interesting Palaces to Visit in London

When visiting England, London is a must to see some of the more famous palaces. I find Hampton Court, The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace the most interesting. England still has the most famous living monarchs in history. Currently, Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch and resides in Buckingham Palace. Hampton Court was built by Henry VIII’s Chancellor Wolsey and was subsequently given to the king. The Tower of London was built in the 11th century and was the main residence but then became the prison during the Renaissance period. And of course Buckingham Palace was the residence for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first and has been the main residence since.

Hampton Court was out of town back in Henry’s time and was considered a country residence. It is situated on the Thames and is in the Borough of Richmond. Before the 1700’s Hampton Court was used as a part time residence of the royal families. The royal families and friends could travel there up river by the Thames. Hampton Court was expanded and refurbished during the 1600’s but one unifying architectural feature is the pink brick. Many parties, dances and entertaining events were held at Hampton Court.

The Tower of London is perhaps most famous for the be-headings and deaths that have taken place there. But at one time it was the official palace of the royal family. It is located in what is now Central London on the North side of the Thames River. It was completed towards the end of 1066. William the Conqueror made some additions to the Tower of London, giving the palace its reputation of oppression. Starting in 1100, the palace was used as a prison though this was not its main purpose. It did eventually grow into its primary purpose by the Renaissance. To mention going to Tower was to inspire fear in the hearer of the words.

Buckingham Palace is now the official residence of the royal families and has been since 1837. Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to live in the palace. Buckingham Palace is also where the Royal Household orchestrates Royal Ceremonies, State visits and Investitures. These events can only be held in the most opulent of surroundings. Though the palace is not officially a museum it does house some priceless decorations and furnishings that is fit only for the kings and queens that have resided there. There are some areas of the palace that are open for tourists to see and other areas that are strictly off limits. Some 50,000 people visit the palace each year as guests. And of course most tourists don’t want to miss the famous Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.

Hampton Court, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace

There are many palaces in and around London that are worthy of a visit however, Hampton Court, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace all have a unique role in history that make them of particular interest in my opinion. London is a city that is so rich in history that in order to do it justice you need more than a few days to see it and truly appreciate the city.

Take a C.S. Lewis Vacation: Investigate Sites Associated with Him

If you’re visiting England and enjoy C.S. Lewis through his Chronicles of Narnia, his Space Trilogy or his books like Mere Christianity or The Screwtape Letters, why not spend part of your vacation investigating some of the sites associated with him?
The first and most obvious place to plan a visit would be at the Holy Trinity Headington Quarry Church in Oxford. Holy Trinity is where C.S. Lewis is buried but, more than that, is where he chose to worship for a total of 30 years. They have a nice shrine in the back of the church dedicated to him, and you can even sit in the same spot on the pew that he spent 30 years on.

The pew and the spot is easily located as there is a gold plaque on it and I was able to find it right away. It was amazing to think that C.S. Lewis once sat in church weekly right where I was sitting, and it’s even more neat if you happen to bring along one of his books for photo opportunities (even if this is seemingly not the greatest thing to do in a church). You’ve come all this way, so you must take pictures after all.

Not far from the church is Magdalen College at Oxford University. Here you can see the building where C.S. Lewis once had rooms in when he was a tutor. You can also walk down Addison’s Walk and see where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien had their daily walks and talks which inspired C.S. Lewis to come to God – which is something he was inspired to do while striding down Addison’s Walk.

If you’re in Oxford, why not have lunch at the Eagle and Child Pub? This is where C.S. Lewis and his writer friends – known as The Inklings – met up to discuss literature and everything under the sun. J.R.R. Tolkien discussed The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings here with his friends in The Inklings while C.S. Lewis talked about his Narnia ideas.

If you’re in London, look no further than Hampstead Heath, which is where C.S. Lewis lived for a time, and after walking across the snowy heath got his inspiration for the snowy scenes in The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe.

Visiting The Kilns is a must. This is where C.S. Lewis lived from 1929-1963 with his brother Warnie. Speaking of The Kilns, Lewis said, “I never hoped for the like.” The Kilns is a place of vast beauty and even if it wasn’t for C.S. Lewis it would still be a wonderful place to visit.

Everything you need to know about Bristol City Football Club

Bristol City Football Club is the name of a professional soccer team that currently plays in England. The league that the club plays in is called the Coca-Cola Championship League and it is the second highest division of English soccer. Over the years Bristol City FC have not been the most successful club, but they have still had their fair share of victories over the years. The club itself was founded in 1887 which makes it one of the oldest professional soccer teams in English soccer. The common nickname for Bristol City FC is The Robbins.

Ashton Gate

Ashon Gate is the name of the soccer specific stadium that Bristol City FC play their home games in for the Coca-Cola Championship League. Ashton Gate is a soccer stadium that is capable of holding 21,497 soccer fans at any given time. Ashton Gate itself is located directly in the center of Bristol, England. The stadium is located on the southwest side of the city just south of the Avon River. The average attendance for Bristol City home games at Ashton Gate is 16,466. The stadium was built in 1904 and it is the stadium that Bristol City FC currently play in to this day.

Accomplishments of Bristol City Football Club

Bristol City are one of the lower ranked teams in the English Football System, but they have still had their fair share of accomplishments over the years. For example, in 1934 the club managed to be crowned the champions of the Welsh Cup. They were also able to win the second division title during the 1905-06 season. Bristol City FC also won the Football League Trophy in 1986 and 2003. Their most notable accomplishment was when they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1909.

Bristol City FC Mascot

The mascot of Bristol City FC is currently Scrumpy the Bird who happens to wear a beanie cap to the games. The colors of Bristol City FC are red and white with a small hint of black, at least these are the colors that appear on their jerseys. Puma is the company that is currently responsible for creating the jerseys that Bristol City FC wear in the Coca-Cola Championship League.

Summer Travel Portsmouth

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, there’s nothing like the New England seacoast for summer travel fun. Tucked between the thriving city of Boston and the picturesque Maine coast is Portsmouth, New Hampshire – an often overlooked destination that nevertheless offers all the history and charm of better-known stops.
Whether you’re interested in history, shopping or something in between, there’s sure to be attractions to pique your curiosity in Portsmouth.

Strawbery Banke

At the south end of town, along what was the waterfront in centuries past, is the outdoor museum district known as Strawbery Banke. Comprised of over 40 historic buildings – ten of which are open to the public – the historic neighborhood is staffed by tourguides and historic interpreters in period costume. Visitors learn about colonial and early American life – including exhibits and demonstrations on cooking, archaeology, construction, trade and commerce. The unique civic project was begun over 50 years ago in the face of the threatened demolition of Portsmouth landmarks via urban renewal, and has been open to the public since 1965.

Breweries

There are three different breweries operating in Portsmouth and open for tours. At the Pease International Tradeport, a converted air force base, the Redhook Ale Brewery offers tours, beer and ale samples, and the Cataqua Public House restaurant. You can even buy fresh beer by the half-barrel. Across I-95, the Smuttynose Brewing Co. has been producing beers like Shoals Pale Ale and Old Brown Dog Ale since 1994. Tours and tastings are conducted on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Downtown, the Portsmouth Brewing Co. offers a variety of seasonal brews – many available in large 64-ounce “growler” jugs. Tours are given Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons.

John Paul Jones House

This yellow Georgian-style home was built in 1758 for a sea captain – but his name was Gregory Purcell, not John Paul Jones. However, Jones – the “father of the US Navy” and hero of the Revolutionary War – rented a room in the house for a period of time in 1777, and again from 1781-2. It’s the only remaining house associated with Jones, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been operated as a museum since 1920.

USS Albacore

Portsmouth, and the town of Kittery, Maine across the Piscataqua River, have a long tradition of shipbuilding. Jones stayed here while his ships Ranger and America were being built. Among the ships built here were the Navy’s first submarines – including the Albacore, the forerunner of today’s nuclear-powered subs, which was launched in 1953. Today, the Navy’s first underwater boat is open to visitors within sight of where it was built. Also on the site is a memorial to the nation’s submariners lost at sea.

Shopping

While Kittery, Maine and its dozens of outlet stores is just a couple of miles up the road, downtown Portsmouth boasts an eclectic group of shops – especially along Market Street downtown. The brick Federalist-style buildings and narrow street are little changed from generations ago. They still serve as a quaint but vibrant retail center, with specialty shops, restaurants, and antiques.

Located about an hour from Boston and 40 minutes from Portland, Portsmouth is a destination not to be missed during your New England visit.