I am so happy that you guys have allowed me to talk about history and I can actually discuss some of my favorite sections on here for the past several months. Right now, it’s been about British royal history and the lone Russian Imperial Family post, but hopefully I’ll be talking about other eras that have always interested me too. I do have three more possible “versus” posts coming soon, but I wanted to do something a little different this week and explain a little bit more about why I had to change my bucket list destination from London to just England in general.
London will forever be my main destination. It currently holds the #1 spot in my heart but everybody is familiar with London and while that’s nothing to be sad about really, I actually know about different cities and villages that surround London as I’ve been able to learn more about the Plantagenet and Tudor eras and I really liked to visit them just as much.
I’ve actually been longing to create this post for the past two years. Yeah, I said TWO years! I realized after I finished this post that I didn’t go into any details on how much these castles were handicap accessible, although I know I will not be able to go up to the second floors, as there were no working elevators at the time! So this will be a rough list, because I can always figure out other places to add on, but at least you’ll get an idea of where I’d like to visit one day! Oh, I probably should say that I don’t have any plans of going there anytime soon. If I’m honest, I feel like I’d need more than one week to get my fill and visit some of my favorite places and landmarks. I’ve always wanted to stay there for two weeks to a month at a time so I don’t have to rush things and I can enjoy being in the moment.
Hampton Court Palace – located in London
If you are into the Tudor times like me, you may think that King Henry VIII was the one who created Hampton Castle/Palace, but he wasn’t. It was actually one of his most trusted advisers Cardinal Thomas Wosley. He had it built for himself but gave it to Henry. After the demise of both Wosley and the Catholic church, it was still one of his favorite places.
Hampton Court is one of my favorite Tudor palaces. It’s also the one I know the most about too. It’s very unique as it is mainly used with red brick, that’s not traditional when you think of the gothic look to buildings of that time! I also love the subtle gestures towards Anne Boleyn in different corners of the entrances. It’s kind of shocking that they were never plastered off after she was beheaded but maybe Henry had forgotten he had them put in? At least that’s what I’m thinking what happened!
Ludlow Castle – located in Shrosphire
Ludlow is one castle that I feel I still have a lot to learn about, but I know it was the place where Prince Arthur lived when he was a boy and teen. When he married Katherine of Aragon, this was where they lived for the first few months before he died. I think it was a popular place to send the heir apparents to study with their tutors and the clergymen. Elizabeth of York’s younger brothers Edward V and Richard, Duke of York was set there. When Edward was about two years old he was sent to live away from court life and his parents. King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour’s son Edward VI was also taken there as a young boy too.
Ludlow would be considered a “ruined” castle as it hasn’t been kept up to shape as several other palaces have in recent years. It no longer has the second floor and grass has grown over the walls and ground. However, it still looks imposing! These ruined castles, abbeys and houses are still fascinating to people because there is still so much history to them and that’s why people still want to visit them.
Warwick Castle – located in Warwichshire
Warwick Castle is another favorite of mine. It has always been owned by a noble family, mostly the Earls of Warwick and eventually privately to different families. The first earl to inherit the stunning castle was Henry de Beamont in 1088 and it was given to him by William the Conqueror.
I became interested in Warwick Castle after learning about “The Kingmaker” (Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick) as he was the cousin to both Edward IV and Richard III. Richard’s daughters married the younger brothers of Edward, Isabel married George, Duke of Clarence and Anne married Richard, Duke of Gloucester who later after the death of Edward she became his Queen Consort. I think Warwick Castle has this interesting yellow glow to it. Everytime I see pictures of it, I see like a very plain shade of yellow within the stone.
Hever Castle – located in Kent
Hever Castle is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII the one responsible for Henry’s sudden change to the Protestant faith and wanting to divorce his wife Katherine of Aragon after she wasn’t able to give him a son and heir. Anne lived there with her parents Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Lady Elizabeth Howard and siblings Mary Boleyn (who was also a mistress to King Henry VIII) and George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford.
What is surprising is that Hever hasn’t been on my radar that long as despite the fact that I’ve always been a huge supporter of Anne Boleyn, I just figured her childhood home had been destroyed years ago either from old age or during the aftermath of World War II and the Blitz. So when I did find out that it was still standing, I was kind of happy! If you’d like to see the inside of Hever Castle, you need to look into The History Review on Facebook and take a look at Hayley Nolan’s podcast/videos, you’ll be just as amazed as I was of the inside of this place!
I have two other cities I’d like to pop into, first there’s Bath. It is known for the Roman built baths, they thought the waters had healing powers and so they created baths all over the city. One thing that I want to say about Bath is that, despite not knowing a lot about King George III “The Mad King” and his son and the regency age that his son George IV who had command of Great Britain in the early 1800’s, I have always found the history of Bath during this time period interesting. Besides the baths themselves, there are some very cool architecture and I’ve been very fond of the townhouses, but then again I like townhouses anyway! Every country has a different design and paint them in quirky colors, but “The Royal Crescent” in Bath are my favorite. It is a giant half circular row of townhouses that were first used for the wealthy. but honestly I still feel like you need to be pretty wealthy to be able to afford one of these apartments!
One of my favorite girls and blogger Kelly recently went to Bath and wrote about her experiences about what to do and what not to do in Bath. She took photos while she was there so you can see the beautifulness of the two locations I just spoke about in the last paragraph to get a better idea of the amazing things it has to offer.
York is the second and a very historic place in many ways. There are castles and abbeys there, but there’s other things too, like a museum called the “Jorvik Viking Centre” because after the Romans, the Vikings invaded and inhabited it. York has a rich history of both invasions and are still finding artifacts from the area. I feel like my dad would love this place too since he’s so interested in the Vikings.
Fellow blogger Kelly of Let’s Go Somewhere Nice has been very helpful with telling me some of the history about York that I kind of knew about, I heard the story once on Mysteries At The Museum about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The story is pretty interesting and every year on November 5th, I have to fight the urge to want fireworks! Look up the story and then you’ll understand what I mean. I follow a fun group on Facebook that talks about the past and present day British royals, and a follower Nic James had posted some pictures of his trip to York and Edinburgh, Scotland on the page. I’m not that familiar with a lot of the landmarks yet, so I left her a question about a beautiful gothic cathedral that she told me later is called York Minster. I recently watched a special about England’s Northeast side and I got to see the inside of the beautiful church. She left me a great quote about York that I wanted to share in this post because it sounds like my kind of place!
It’s full of folklore, ghost stories, majestic architecture, tradition; all mixed together and steeped in history.
One of my dreams is also to visit the burial sites of some of my favorite monarchs and put roses by their effigies. I’d like to visit Peterborough Cathedral as that’s where Katherine of Aragon is buried, people like to put flowers, her symbol pomegranates, and pray for her by her tomb. And then I’d like to place three white roses on the site of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral. I’d also love to visit Westminster Abbey and Tower of London do the same thing with Elizabeth of York, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey but tie both a red and white rose together and lay them by their sites.
If you could choose any place in the world to visit for two weeks or a month, where would you go? And why are those places important to you?
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