Follow the winding driveway all the way to the end and you’ll reach Sizergh Castle. Well, you’ll reach the National Trust gift shop first, and then the castle, but you know what I mean! Despite being owned by the National Trust, Sizergh is still the home of the Strickland family, and they still pop back on occasion I’m told. It hasn’t always been in the hands of the Stricklands though. Sizergh Castle began life with the Deincourt family and remained that way until 1239 when Sir William de Strickland married Elizabeth Deincourt. And that, they say, was that.
The vast majority of my Cumbria-based posts to Holme & Away are focused on locations in the Eden Valley, and the eastern side of the Lake District National Park. This time, I am venturing out and heading over to the West Coast of Cumbria, to the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. It is practically on the opposite side of the county to myself and sits roughly 18 miles south of Whitehaven.
A few weeks ago, I made a visit to another local attraction and historical gem, Lowther Castle. I have already visited the parkland surrounding the Castle when I went to Lowther Show, and I thought it high time that I visited the shell of the building that remains. In 2017, they opened a new exhibition taking the visitor on a journey from its Medieval beginnings to present day. Let me tell you, it is hugely interesting, and so I shall tell you its story… very briefly. The whole thing would take days!
We’ve now reached the end (nearly) of 2017, and I have one last ‘real’ post to go before my festive hiatus. A few weekends ago, my friend, Amy, and I visited Lanercost Priory, near Brampton. The site has been a place of worship since the 12th Century, and it is now presented as a mix of ruin and functioning church. Like most places in the vicinity of the Scottish border, such as Carlisle Castle, it has a rocky history of raids and hardship; and, like Brougham Castle, there have also been a handful of royal visits.
As part of my birthday celebrations and presents, I was treated to a weekend in Liverpool with my sister. She’d bought me tickets to see Steps at the Echo Arena which was absolutely incredible, as well as a huge nostalgia trip!
We did also get the chance to wander along the waterfront and potter around the Museum of Liverpool for an hour or so. Liverpool is such a fantastic city, and it’s brilliant for shopping too. I may have spent one or two pounds in John Lewis!
If I had the ability to travel back in time, I would visit Versailles in its heyday every single time. As with many of palaces and castles which sit just outside of Paris, Versailles began its life as a hunting lodge, used by the King of France to entertain themselves, their guests, and to just generally show off. The lodge still remains, with the ‘envelope’ of the palace being built around it.
Travel 55½ km in a southeasterly direction from Paris, and you’ll reach Fontainebleau, a commune which actually covers a larger area than Paris itself. So it’s pretty big. Fontainebleau is known for its forest, and its château which has been developed over the centuries by successive French kings.
One of the must-see attractions in Paris is the Musée du Louvre, noted for its huge collection and iconic glass pyramids. Several people recognise the pyramids from the 2006 film ‘The Da Vinci Code’. based on the book by Dan Brown. Apparently, the film company paid the Louvre $2.5million for the privilege of filming in its galleries!
Taking a sightseeing cruise down the Seine in Paris was something I’d wanted to do since I first arrived in France, and it only took me about 10 months to finally get around to it! I probably wouldn’t have done so unless I was with these two champions:
To mark one year to the day that I first ventured to France, I thought I’d share some photos and history from the town where I lived: Maisons-Laffitte. It sits about 20km to the north-west of Paris, and is a great little town! I have already posted a few photos from walking out and about in the park, but I’ve not really said much about it… Until now!