Take a trip down the western side of Windermere and down a few narrow roads, and you’ll reach Wray Castle. Built in the 1840s, this new-gothic creation was the brainchild of James and Margaret Dawson, a Liverpudlian couple, who moved to the Lake District because, well, why wouldn’t you? Unlike other castles I have visited throughout the course of writing for this blog, Wray is a bit of a fib. It emits an air of old-world majesty and you could be tricked into thinking it was once lived in by Dukes and Earls of times gone by. The tarmac surrounding the building kind of dampens the charm, but it is still quite an imposing construction.
The second day of our London trip (we’re back-tracking a bit here…) started with a visit to Kensington Palace. I’d never visited Kensington Palace before, not that I can remember at least; and our hotel was just around the corner which didn’t hurt!
Roughly 40km north of Paris, you’ll find Chantilly, a commune that was once part of the historic Valois region. In May, I took a trip up to Chantilly for a plant festival in the grounds of the château, combining it with a nosey into the building itself. What I didn’t realise at the time was that the castle is now the home of the Musée Condé, which has one of the best collections in France.
We’re on the home straight now in this series on the Île de la Cité with this fourth part about the Palais de Justice. First things first though. The Palais de Justice is really two things. It can refer to the Palais de la Cité complex, which includes the Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle. But it can also refer to the overground buildings containing the courtrooms. In this post I’ll focus more on the activities in the overground buildings, but there’s a little bit of a mix.
Part 2 of my Île de la Cité ventures took me to the Conciergerie, has been at times a prison, a royal residence, and is now a museum and functioning courts. This, along with Sainte Chapelle, are the last remnants of the oldest royal palace in France, which is pretty awesome. Before starting this properly, this one will be more of a history lesson than photographical exhibition, so you have been warned!
This weekend I took a trip to the Jardin des Plantes, in the 5th arrondissement with a friend, but before embarking off into the gardens, we first stopped for a drink in the Grand Mosque de Paris. In one corner of the complex, there is a small café with a gorgeous outside seating area at the entrance.
A few weekends ago, I took to the streets of historical Paris again, but this time I was exploring Paris in the Middle Ages with a friend. We set off quite late in the afternoon, so when we got to some of our destinations, they were sometimes closed. It didn’t stop us from seeing the sights though!