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Welcome to the Discovering Places Blog

Uncovering the hidden heritage gems across the UK!


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St Michael's Mount, Cornwall. Copyright © David Chapman.St Michael's Mount, Cornwall. Copyright © David Chapman.

For thousands of years, the coast, where land meets the sea, has been a deeply spiritual place. Walking the South West Coast Path offers the opportunity to go on a spiritual pilgrimage to discover some of the most inspirational religious sites.

Read more about South West Coast Path National Trail»


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North Wales Pilgrim's Way. Copyright © Ron Williams.North Wales Pilgrim's Way. Copyright © Ron Williams.

Wild Wales – with the wind in your hair, the mountains rising up before you and the roar of the sea below you, the 21st century pilgrim can reconnect with the wonder of this ancient land. To go on pilgrimage is to set aside time to wander and wonder. A route across North Wales from East to West, ending on Enys Enlli/Bardsey Island has recently been established.

Read more about A Pilgrims Route for North Wales»


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old-teasel
Old Teasel's hyperbole competition

Welcome to 1960s Bath. In front of us is Parade Gardens, and the dinky little kiosk is where you pay. In my day it was a farthing. There were also flower-beds like cupcakes, and the bandstand caused the invention of rock music. The subject of this pilgrimage, however, is at the edges.

Read more about Old Teasel’s Hyperbole Competition»

24 February 2012

Wat’s Dyke Way


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View to the Clwydian Range from Moel y Gaer, Rhosesmor. All images courtesy of Wats Dyke Way Association.View to the Clwydian Range from Moel y Gaer, Rhosesmor. All images courtesy of Wats Dyke Way Association.

Although there is no certainty as to who Wat was, with some believing he was a king of Mercia, and others saying that he did not exist at all, and with the name Wat being a personal name during the Anglo-Saxon period, and even that the word could also mean wet or rough, the only certainty is that the dyke exists.

Read more about Wat’s Dyke Way»

22 February 2012

The Boudicca Way


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St Andrew's, Frenze. Photography by John Hawes. Copyright © The Churches Conservation Trust.St Andrew's, Frenze. Photography by John Hawes. Copyright © The Churches Conservation Trust.

The Boudicca Way is a long-distance footpath in Norfolk that runs between Norwich in the north and Diss in the south. It is some 36 miles long and is named after the legendary warrior Queen of the Iceni, whose tribe once inhabited the area, and passes through the beautiful, unspoilt rural countryside of South Norfolk and the Waveney Valley.

Read more about The Boudicca Way»


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team-dp
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St Martha's Hill on the Pilgrims Way, Surrey, England. Photography by Colin Smith.St Martha's Hill on the Pilgrims Way, Surrey, England. Photography by Colin Smith.

The versatility of the UK’s places of worship has truly revealed itself on the blog over the last few weeks. We’ve seen how they can be homes for hidden art, creative community spaces, and places to ponder the meaning of the after-life – often all at the same time. This week we’re looking beyond particular religious sites, and trying to take in the landscape that surrounds them as we follow the UK’s old and new pilgrimage routes.

Read more about Call to Action: Walking & Pilgrimages»

17 February 2012

Portland Churchyard


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St George's churchyard, Portland. Copyright © The Churches Conservation Trust.St George's churchyard, Portland. Copyright © The Churches Conservation Trust.

The best time to visit the stark magnificence of the churchyard at St George, Portland containing Thomas Gilbert’s Wren inspired church, is between the hours of noon and two pm.

Then the angle of the sun is most oblique to the face of the gravestones in this wild and rambling place. The delicately carved stones bear testimony to the ruthless power of the sea, which features on many stones as arbitrary and wilful. Personal stories are etched in the smooth white limestone with dismaying sincerity. William Hansford was killed ‘by the sea’ when it overflowed the village. His leg was broken in the attempt to escape and the house ‘fell on him’.

Read more about Portland Churchyard»

15 February 2012

Nunhead Cemetery


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mustgetoutmore
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Image courtesy of Friends of Nunhead Cemetery (FONC). Copyright © Moyra & Rodger Peralta.Image courtesy of Friends of Nunhead Cemetery (FONC). Copyright © Moyra & Rodger Peralta.

Nunhead… not a place I’d normally recommend. I mean I can think of prettier places south of the river. But it’s a great place to die. The cemetery is an oasis of calm, a monument to tranquillity and interesting headstones. I discovered it by accident, meeting up with another Mother-cum-child-in-buggy and desperately seeking an interesting walk.

Read more about Nunhead Cemetery»


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The chapel of St Stephen, Greek necropolis, West Norwood Cemetery. Copyright © Friends of West Norwood Cemetery.The chapel of St Stephen, Greek necropolis, West Norwood Cemetery. Copyright © Friends of West Norwood Cemetery.

During the early 19th century, London became the new home of Greek merchants and shippers displaced from the violent civil wars in their homeland. Here they could insure and finance ships through the City’s financial institutions, arrange for foreign letters of credit and trade cargoes which they could send through the port of London or Liverpool to reach the far ends of the Empire. In London they also constructed the most dramatic necropolis in the country.

Read more about The chapel of St Stephen, West Norwood Cemetery»

13 February 2012

Call to Action: Cemeteries


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team-dp
All Hallows Graveyard, Tottenham. Photography by Fin Fahey.All Hallows Graveyard, Tottenham. Photography by Fin Fahey.

Last week we discovered circuses hidden in churches and workhouses turned into hospitals in our week of extraordinary conversions. This week we’re delving into cemeteries, from those forgotten village cemeteries to the rather grander mausoleums.

Read more about Call to Action: Cemeteries»

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