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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Jane Austen's House Museum

Jane Austen's House Museum is located in the village of Chawton near Alton in Hampshire. The museum occupies the 18th-century house (also known as Chawton Cottage) in which novelist Jane Austen spent most of the last eight years of her life. Jane Austen lived in the house with her mother, sister, and a long time family friend from 7 July 1809 until May 1817. Shortly before her death she moved to lodgings near her doctor, where she stayed for six weeks before she died. The Jane Austen House Museum is a Grade I listed building.

Jane Austen's House Museum, Winchester, UK.

Upon her arrival at Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen had already written three novels in draft form: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. These novels may have been revised at the cottage prior to their publication. In addition, Austen wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion while living at the cottage.

Jane Austen's House Museum.

Jane Austen's House Museum is located near the A31/A32 roundabout in the centre of Chawton Village. Visitors to Chawton may also like to visit nearby Winchester and view the magnificent cathedral in which Jane Austen is buried.

Jane Austen's House Museum
Chawton, Alton
Hampshire
GU34 1SD
Tel: 01420 83262

Hours: 10.30am-4.30pm

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bela Bartok Statue in Onslow Square

A life-size statue of the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok (1881-1945) stands in Onslow Square a short walk from South Kensington underground stationin London. The bronze statue on a granite base is the work of Hungarian sculptor, Imre Varga.

Bela Bartok Statue in Onslow Square, London.


Bartok visited London on a number of occasions from 1922 on. His stayed at 7 Sydney Place in South Kensington, which was the home of Sir Duncan Wilson and Lady Freda Wilson at the time. A blue plaque at the house records his stays while performing in London.

Bartok is shown in the statue wearing a trilby and overcoat. There are other statues of Bartok by the same sculptor in Brussels, Budapest and Paris.

Bartok is considered one of the most important classical composers of the 20th century. His work is full of the rhythms of Hungarian folk music, which he studied, recorded and collected during his time in Europe. Bartok fled his native country for New York in 1940 to escape the Nazis.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Walmer Castle

Walmer Castle in East Kent in the south east of England makes for a pleasant half-day tour along with nearby Deal Castle.

Walmer Castle, Kent, England.


Walmer Castle, like Deal Castle and Sandown Castle, was built by Henry VIII between 1539 and 1540 as an artillery fortress to protect England from overseas invasion from France.

Walmer Castle consists of a central keep, four circular bastions and a moat. During the 18th century, the castle morphed into a private residence for the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

Extensive gardens were added during this time and are one of the main reasons to visit this lovely English Heritage maintained site.

Walmer Castle Gardens, Kent, UK.


The castle interior is a museum with various exhibits relating to the castle's history and its various residents.

The superb Queen Mother's Garden was designed by the noted garden designer Penelope Hobhouse.

Walmer Castle
Kingsdown Rd, Walmer, Deal
Kent CT14 7LJ
Tel: 01304 364 288

Walmer Castle has various opening times depending on the season. Summer is generally 10am-6pm daily. Please consult the website above for full details.
Admission £10.10 (adults)

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum is on Oxford Road in the university area of Manchester.

The Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester.


The Manchester Museum is housed in an historic red brick building, designed by Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905) in 1890. Waterhouse was also the architect of Manchester's Town Hall and the Natural History Museum in London. Later extensions to the museum were undertaken by Waterhouse's son and grandson.

The museum is a real mix of different exhibits including archery, dinosaur skeletons, ethnography, mineralogy, natural history and entomology exhibits, Egyptian mummies and even a vivarium.

The Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester.


The origins of the museum go back to the 19th century and the collection of the local Manchester manufacturer John Leigh Philips (1761-1814). After his death the Manchester Natural History Society was established to preserve the collection, which also expanded rapidly, thanks to donations by the members over the years.

Highlights of the Manchester Museum include the large Egyptology collection with stone temple sculptures and the Living Cultures collection with a range of exhibitions from all over the world including exhibitions of Japanese art and furniture.

The Manchester Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year. The museum also has a shop with fair trade gifts and a cafe. The latter has reductions for students with a student card.

The Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester.


The Manchester Museum
Oxford Road
The University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL
Tel: 0161 275 2648
Hours: 10am-5pm; daily
Admission: Free

Manchester Oxford Road Station is 15 minutes on foot. From Manchester Piccadilly Station take a 147 bus (weekdays only). Other buses that run close to the museum are the 85, 86, 250, 41, 42, 43 and 111.

A visit to Whitworth Art Gallery can easily be combined with some time at The Manchester Museum.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Scuttler's Wine Bar

Next door to the The Lower Turk's Head pub in the Northern Quarter of central Manchester is Scuttler's Wine Bar.

Scuttler's Wine Bar, Manchester.


Scuttler's Wine Bar offers a wide range of excellent wines as well as several cask ales and decent food. Despite the narrow shop front the bar is surprising roomy once you enter and you can walk through from The Lower Turk's Head.

Scuttler's Wine Bar is close to the Arndale Centre.

Scuttler's Wine Bar
34 Shudehill
M4 1EZ
Tel: 0161 834 2910

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Monday, May 23, 2016

The Lower Turk's Head Pub

The Lower Turk's Head pub in central Manchester, close to the Arndale Centre in the Northern Quarter, is one of the city's oldest pubs dating back to 1745.

The Lower Turk's Head Pub, Manchester.


After being closed for a period, the pub reopened in 2013 and is located right next door to Scuttler's Wine Bar - a converted bookshop. The pub retains its original 1920's tile work and the interior has been lovingly restored with wooden benches, a brick fireplace and period signs.

There are seven bedrooms offering good value accommodation with optional breakfast.

The Lower Turk's Head Pub, Manchester, UK.


The Lower Turk's Head serves a range of local real ales and guest beers as well as food.

The name "Lower Turk's Head" supposedly comes from the fact there was another Turk's Head pub higher up Shudehill.

The Lower Turk's Head
36 Shudehill
M4 1EZ
Tel: 07814 184384

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hayfield

Hayfield is a pretty village at the foot of Kinder Scout in the Peak District. Hayfield is 18 miles south east of Manchester and about 10 miles north of Buxton.

Hayfield Cricket Club, Hayfield, Derbyshire.


Hayfield is in the pretty Sett Valley between the towns of Chapel-en-le-Frith, Glossop and New Mills. The village is a nice place to come for a pub lunch and a walk in the surrounding hills. There are a number of good pubs in the village including the Sportsman Inn, which is close to the outskirts and close to a walking trail along the River Kinder. Popular walks include going up to Kinder Scout (which is on the Pennine Way) and the Kinder Reservoir.

Hayfield, Derbyshire.

Hayfield, like many of the surrounding towns and villages such as New Mills and Glossop, developed during the Industrial Revolution, with the opening of a number of textile mills and a railway link to manchester. Nowadays, however, industry and railway line have both long gone and Hayfield has returned to being a quiet rural village. The nearest railway stations are at New Mills and Glossop and there are bus connections to Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Glossop, New Mills and Stockport.

Hayfield, Derbyshire.


The natural springs in the village, though no longer used as a source of drinking water, are still celebrated in annual "well dressing" ceremonies.

Hayfield is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon and is within easy reach of both Manchester and Stockport by car.

Castleton and Mam Tor are a short drive to the south east.

Hayfield, Derbyshire.


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