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We are occasionally inspired to write articles about aspects of English history and culture...the following are the most popular:

Walking the Heart of England Way

The Heart of England Way is a long-distance pathway that crosses 100 miles of the beautiful scenery of central England, passing southwards through the counties of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.

The walk follow an enjoyable mix of farmland and woodland and along river banks - with little to give away the closeness of the Birmigham city conurbation not far to the west for much of the route. It starts from Milford, a village in Staffordshire a little way south of Stafford on the road towards Rugeley. (Note: this is also near to the Staffordshire Way long distance path).

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Queen Boadicea

Queen Boadicea (aka Queen Boudica) lived in the Norfolk region of England where she was wife to King Prasutagas, head of the Iceni tribe.

Our knowledge of her life and actions is incomplete, but it is accepted that she was a person of royal birth who had two daughters. It is also said that she was fierce looking, with a strident voice and a great mass of red hair.

Following an earlier attempt at rebellion against the Romans by Prasutagus, about 10 years earlier, the Iceni lived a moderately peaceful life. This lasted until King Prusatagas died. It seems he had left a share of the territory to the Romans as his legacy, as a kind of ‘peace offering’.

See history of Queen Boadicea

Lynmouth Lifeboat Incident

A remarkable story of courage and human endeavour, the story of the Lynmouth lifeboat incident takes place in 1899. It is of course a true story (originally related in print in ‘An Illustrated History of Lynton and Lynmouth’ by John Travis) and is related here in tribute to the brave men involved.

The story takes place on the north Devon coast, starting on the 12th January 1899.

See Lynmouth lifeboat incident

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Richard Arkwright

Richard Arkwright (1733-1792) did perhaps more than any other single person to transform the face of England and to help usher in the modern world as we know it.

On a basic level he revolutionised the world of cotton weaving in the 18th century, bringing prosperity to a large part of northern England – especially himself. He achieved this by the use of the ’spinning frame’ – an invention which produced stronger cotton more efficiently than the existing ’spinning jenny’, and later through a water-powered variant called the ‘water frame’.

See story of Richard Arkwright

British cheeses with unusual and silly names

Humorist Dave Barry once wrote that the traditional dishes of England include “Toad in the Hole, Bubble and Squeak, Cock-a-Leekie Soup, Spotted Dick, Bug-in-a-Bucket, Willie One-Polyp, Tonsil-and-Toast, Whack-a-Doodle Johnson, and Fester Pudding.” If you’re familiar with UK food, you already know that only about half of those names are jokingly fabricated, while the other half, despite the distasteful sound, are decidedly real.

The names of British cheeses can also ring strangely in American ears, and there are a lot of them to do the ringing. With over 700 types of cheese being made and sold in the Queen’s land, it can be daunting for a tourist to select one in the first place. With that in mind, here are some of the oddest-sounding British cheeses, and a brief guide to what lies beneath the laughable moniker.

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Domesday book

It was sometime in 1085 that William the Conqueror had the idea of the Domesday Book, an ambitious project to list all the landowners in England – including how much land they owned, what it was used for, and what it was worth.

During the course of the next year or so groups of Royal officers visited each county and held public enquiries to determine the land ownership of that county, with the help of a local ‘jury’ or committee. Remarkably the project was completed in 1086 and covered more than 13000 landowners across the country, an astonishing achiecvement given the technology and information available, and the absence of efficient transport in many parts of the country.

See The Domesday Book

Three of the best traditional English recipes

This article features three traditional English recipes – Cornish Pasty, Scotch Eggs and Bread and Butter Pudding – that are still very common in England today: I hope you enjoy them!

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Cycling Coast to Coast: the CTC cycle route

Looking for something a bit different? In reasonable shape? Why not try the C2C cycle route! If you are a keen cyclist, or looking for an excuse to get in shape it could be just the thing for you. The C2C – Coast to Coast – route runs from western Cumbria, at Whitehaven, to Sunderland on England’s north-east coast and passes through a great deal of beautiful countryside.

See Cycling Coast to Coast: the CTC cycle route

Weekend breaks in the North of England

The North of England is home to many of most beautiful and interesting destinations that are perfect for weekend breaks. The Peak District, Liverpool, York, Newcastle and the Northumberland National Park all call the north home and illustrate the vast array of unique locations you can find in northern England.

The Peak District is a wonderful escape all year round but as with most places particularly delightful in the spring and summer. Easier walking trails are abundant and bringing a picnic is always a good idea. Activity expeditions are also available so if you fancy rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking and gorge scrambling then you should definitely consider this option.

See Weekend breaks in the north of England

English myths and legends

Many myths and legends find their home in Ancient Greece, where mythology has thrived for centuries. However, England has its very own heritage of myths and legends that includes some of the most well-known and popular legends in the world.

In recent yeras the passion and interest for true English myths and legends has certainly been revitalised and many of the locations connected with these stories can still be visited today.

See English myths and legends

Cornish beaches

The Cornish coast has different characteristics to the north and south. To the north, the beaches of the Atlantic tend to be broad and sandy; while to the south (and the English Channel) the beaches are smaller, sometimes pebbly or rocky, and separated by coves and headlands.

One thing you can be sure of in a county with 700 kilometres of coastline and several hundred beaches in Cornwall, and with both the north and south coasts easily accessible - a visit is unlikely to leave you disappointed whatever you are searching for in a beach.

The Cornish coast has different characteristics to the north and south. To the north, the beaches of the Atlantic tend to be broad and sandy; while to the south (and the English Channel) the beaches are smaller, sometimes pebbly or rocky, and separated by coves and headlands.

One thing you can be sure of in a county with 700 kilometres of coastline and several hundred beaches in Cornwall, and with both the north and south coasts easily accessible - a visit is unlikely to leave you disappointed whatever you are searching for in a beach.

See beaches of Cornwall

Cheap London

London has long ranked amongst one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in or visit. According to the Daily Telegraph visiting London's palaces, the opera or the ballet is twice as expensive as checking out the sights in Washington DC or Amsterdam.

The recent weakening of the pound, however, means that the cost of visiting London are now lower than it has been in years. With an array of tips on how to savour the cultural sights and sounds of London on the cheap, now is the perfect time for the savvy traveller to visit London.

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