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Attingham Park

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After visiting Wroxeter we went to the nearby Attingham Park.
Attingham Park

Dunham Massey

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Hardwick Hall

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Some photos from Hardwick Hall, including the nearby Stainsby Mill. The National Trust seem to have relaxed their rules on taking photographs inside some properties. Previously it was banned in most of their houses but at Harwick it was allowed but the use of flash was banned.


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Birmingham Back to Backs

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I was going to say that the Birmingham Back to Back houses were more interesting that I expected, but I didn't really know what to expect. The guided tour takes about an hour and you go through 4 different houses and one shop, decorated from different periods from the early 19th century through to the 1970s.

Walking from New Street station, we got to the houses much quicker than I was expecting. I recognised the stretch of Hurst Street but I didn't remember seeing the houses there before. I must have walked past them a dozen times without noticing them.

They were built when the surrounding area was still fields. None of the houses had running water - all the water had to come from the nearby 'Lady Well'. It isn't easy to imagine what the city was like back then but the short tour gave some interesting insights into the growth of the city.

Our only regret was that we missed out on visiting the sweet shop on the corner. It hadn't opened when we arrived, and was closed for lunch when we left.

A trip to Yorkshire

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While Emma was at the Topcliffe Hamster Show, I decided to visit a few of the nearby English Heritage and National Trust sites.


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Two more National Trust houses

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We visited a couple more National Trust houses today. We went around Chedworth House and the church, then drove to Waddesdon House. We didn't realise there was some kind of festival going on at Waddesdon but we managed to have a quick wander around the gardens.


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Pinhole Photography Day

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Sunday was World Pinhole Photography Day, where photographers are invited to take photographs using a pinhole camera.

These photographs were all taken over the weekend. Since they were taken on film, it took me a couple of days to develop the negatives, scan them in and prepare them for uploading.


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Chedworth Roman Villa

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The final place we visited on our way home was Chedworth Roman Villa. I thought we were never going to get there. We turned off the main road and followed several miles of narrow twisty turney roads. The route to the villa was well signposted but none of the signs gave a distance.

Roman Mosaics

The villa was quite impressive, with some well preserved mosaics. If a villa this well preserved had been found within a city, it would be famous but this one is in the middle of nowhere and seems to be fairly unknown. Even so (and despite the rain) there were a few other visitors while we were there.

Lacock Village and Abbey

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Lacock Village would have been picturesque if they hadn't ruined it by filling the high street with cars.

Lacock Abbey was interesting. This was the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of the photographic negative, which allowed multiple prints to be made of a single image.


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Rain had been forecast, so we went to Avebury early. The weather stayed decent while we were there.

Avebury Stone Circle

After walking around the circle, taking photographs, we had a look around the museums. We wanted to visit Avebury Manor but it didn't open until 2pm. We were going to drive back to Coventry, stopping at a few other places on the way, so we would be too far away by then.

Stonehenge and surrounding area

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First stop was Uffington. Unlike most of the other white horses in the area, this one is genuinely ancient, dating from the Bronze Age.

White Horse

Next was Stonehenge. It was a sunny day so it was predictably busy. You get a good view from the path around the site, and the roped off area means you can get photos without too many people in the way. The audio guide was reasonably interesting. Emma thought that Stonehenge itself was disappointingly small.


Later on we drove through Alton Barnes. The name was familiar but I couldn't remember why. There was a more modern white horse carved in the hillside, but that wasn't why I knew the name. Shortly afterwards, I remembered that I had read about Crop Circles in the area.

We were driving along the A4 and I commented that Silbury Hill was somewhere along this road. We rounded a bend and saw it to the side of the road, impressively huge.

On the way to Avebury, we actually saw a crop circle. It was the first time I had seen one. More information on this circle can be found here.

We drove through Avebury on our way to the hotel. The stone circle was impressively huge from the road, with one large stone almost overhanging the fence. It was getting a bit late. We planned to re-visit first thing tomorrow morning when we had more time.

Two National Trust Houses

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After a week of terrible weather and almost constant rain, we decided that if it was decent at the weekend we would go out somewhere. We chose two more National Trust houses.

First, Upton House. The house itself was a bit disappointing, being more like an art gallery than a residence. You didn't really get a feel for what it would have been like to live there. The grounds were better, the gardens were quite extensive and well landscaped with terraces and lakes.

The second house was Farnbrough Hall. The house was smaller but is still lived in so it's only open for a few days each week. The grounds were quite hilly so there was plenty of good exercise to be found walking to the end to view the Obilisk, along with various other buildings and follies along the way. We also saw a deer in the woodland walk - it bounded off as soon as it spotted us.  

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National Trust

Story location: Home / Blog / birmingham /

We decided to use our new National Trust memberships to visit a couple of nearby properties - Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton, both only a few miles from each other. We had a bit of a walk around each of the houses and parts of the grounds but it was a bit too cold to be spending much time outside.

Packwood House has interesting grounds, having an over-abundance of sundials and a Yew garden set out like the Sermon on the Mount. Baddesley Clinton House is slightly more unusual, set in a moat where we fed our sandwich crusts to the ducks.

Charlecote Park

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The place is described by the National Trust as a Superb Tudor house and landscaped deer park. I had a couple of days off work so we decided to go along and take a look. It's a bit early in the season and not all of the buildings were open but we spent an interesting couple of hours there.

Despite being a fairly sunny day, it was quite cold especially in the shade. It should be better in the summer - not only would it be warmer but there would be leaves on the trees so it would look better too.

We decided to join the National Trust while we were there. Emma had already decided to join because she gets the cheaper 'young persons' price. I decided to join because they had a voucher for discount membership. This means we'll get free entry to any of their other sites in the UK. Hopefully this will help us to


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