Monthly Archives: February 2019

The Topography of Terror

The Outdoor Gallery, Berlin Wall and Air Ministry Building

The Topography of Terror

The Topography of Terror is both an outdoor and indoor museum on the site of the former Nazi headquarters for the Gestapo and SS.

It lies at the intersection of Wilhelmstrasse and Niederkirchnerstrasse, and covers the area once occupied by the Prinz-Albrecht Palais.

The area around Wilhelmstrasse was the main centre for the Nazi administration, and although Hermann Goering’s former Reich Air Ministry building (now German Finance Ministry) still towers over the Topography of Terror, most of these buildings have long gone.

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Wallsend and Segedunum

Wallsend and Segedunum

Lying about half-way between the centre of Newcastle and the mouth of the River Tyne, Wallsend is an easy and worthwhile metro ride out of the city.

As soon as you get off the train you know that you’re somewhere a bit different because the station goes by its Roman name of Segedunum, but the English name of Wallsend is perhaps just as appropriate because Segedunum was the fort at the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall.

The wall was built during the 120s AD and was originally planned to end at Pons Aelius (Newcastle), the lowest bridging point of the River Tyne. It was then decided to extend it out here, where the river then became the natural frontier between the Roman world and the Barbarians to the north. The fort was probably built around 127 AD.

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Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

I’d be the first to admit that Southwark Cathedral doesn’t have the immediate appeal of Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral, but there’s something likeable about this church on the south bank of the Thames.

Ok, maybe there’s not the same amount of architectural or historical interest as the other two, but what it does have is free entry and a really warm welcome – and if you want to take photos just buy the souvenir guide for a pound and you can take as many as you like.

The Cathedral stands close to the oldest crossing point of the River Thames at London Bridge, which was literally the only way to get across the river from the south for hundreds of years.

It’s thought that there was a religious house here during Saxon times, but it was after the Norman invasion that a priory was built dedicated to St. Mary. It became known as St. Mary Overie (over the river), a name that is still included in its official name of ‘The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St. Saviour and St. Mary Overie’. The dedication to St Saviour came about when it became a parish church after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

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Charlestown

Charlestown

Situated 2 miles south-east of St. Austell town centre in St. Austell Bay, Charlestown is a most enjoyable place to visit.

West Polmeor, as it was originally known, was just a small fishing village until a harbour was needed to fulfil the needs of the local mineral mines and clay pits.

A local businessman by the name of Charles Rashleigh was the man responsible for the building of the harbour, and in 1799 the village was re-named ‘Charles’ Town’ after him.

Although the Rashleigh Estate has changed hands several times over the years it is still in private hands. Today the harbour is owned by Square Sail who own a small fleet of Tall Ships which are not only popular with visitors but with television and film companies as well.

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Lympstone

Lympstone

Mention Lympstone to anyone, and they automatically think of the Commando Training Centre for the Royal Marines – but this small, attractive village on the River Exe is worth a butchers if you fancy a change of scenery on the journey between Exeter and Exmouth.

If you’re travelling by car it’s just a short detour off of the A376, but you can also travel by train using the single-track Avocet Line, which will give you the option of stopping in The Swan or The Globe for a drink and a bite to eat without worrying about the breathalyser.

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From Beacon Cove to Meadfoot Beach

From Beacon Cove to Meadfoot Beach

The coastal footpath between Beacon Cove and Daddyhole Plain is known as Rock Walk and only about a mile long, but it affords some of the best views in the bay, and if you continue downhill for a short distance you will then come to the impressive Hesketh Crescent and Meadfoot Beach.

This is a walk that people who don’t know it could easily miss, but even though it starts from just behind the Harbour it’s not long before you leave the crowds behind.

Beacon Cove lies next to Living Coasts which is a coastal zoo and aquarium belonging to Paignton Zoo.  You can’t miss the ‘Hairnet’, as locals call it, and to find the footpath walk along the Victoria Parade side of the harbour and at the end turn up Beacon Hill, where on the right hand side is a brown tourist sign pointing the way to Beacon Cove.

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Plymouth Hoe

Plymouth Hoe

The Hoe is one of the first places people head for on their first visit to Plymouth – and for good reason. This large open public space has one of the most fantastic views of any city in the country.

The views stretch out across The Breakwater and Plymouth Sound into the English Channel, and from Devon’s South Hams coastline in the east to Cornwall’s Rame Head in the west.

‘Hoe’ is an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘High Ground’, and although it isn’t that high above sea level it still affords commanding views, such as those that can be had from the colonnaded Belvedere near West Hoe.

Built on the site of a previous camera obscura, it was completed in 1891 at the end of a decade that saw the Hoe change from farmland to a city park.

Below it is a former bull ring that is now a memorial garden for various veterans’ associations from WW2 onwards.

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