Welcome to the Discovering Places Blog

Uncovering the hidden heritage gems across the UK!

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Instow signal box. © 2011 Ted Forman.Instow signal box. © 2011 Ted Forman.

Think of South West England and you think of its superb and varied coastline. The best way to explore this magnificent landscape is on foot and the South West Coast Path National Trail makes this possible. It offers 630 miles of continuous coastal paths, from Minehead on the edge of Exmoor National Park all the way to Poole Harbour.

Read more about The South West Coast Path and the Tarka Trail »

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Green London tour, Great Northern Railway, © Green London.Green London tour, Great Northern Railway, © Green London.

This is one of my favourite tours and a real hidden gem of London, no one seems to know it’s there!

It follows the old Great Northern Railway, now a thin, hidden tract of trees, cutting through the surrounding urbanity, magically lit with dappled sunlight reaching through to the mossy undergrowth.

Read more about Reclaimed Habitats on the Disused Railway of the Old Great Northern Railway»

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Burley Walk, New Forest © Ordnance SurveyBurley Walk, New Forest © Ordnance Survey

Sometimes, getting out and about is the only way to discover those hidden gems and learn about the history about your local area. Clutching my trusty Ordnance Survey map, I ventured out for a walk in the New Forest one weekend. Starting near the village of Burley (a must-visit attraction around Halloween as it was home to a famous white witch in the 1950s) I was setting out on a short, two and a half mile circular route.

My directions told me I’d come across the remains of an old railway crossing and to turn onto the old railway line.

Read more about Discover the New Forest's Castleman's Corkscrew»

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Workhouse, lane, sloe gin

On the map it’s1919, though the sloe gin was made in 2010, and we’ve got a house which is twelve years old – or some predecessors have – under the shot glass. One or two of our elderly neighbours are small children nearby. Not everyone’s got a house, though. Can you spot the workhouse?

Read more about The lane between the workhouse and the sloe gin»

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Roman Road still in existenceRoman Road still in existence

At Flag Fen near Peterborough visitors can see not one but two old routes through the fens, both now unused and only newly visible since the 1980s. The main route through the site is a 1 km long wooden trackway that was built in the Bronze Age, between 1350 and 950 BC. A section of this is visible to the public in the Preservation Hall, preserved in situ, with posts indicating where it continues under the surface of todays fen landscape.

Read more about Flag Fen - the end of the road?»

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View along Deptford Creek to the Albany TheatreView along Deptford Creek to the Albany Theatre

After a week of uncovering quirky transport collections and museums around the country, it’s high time that we go out into the great outdoors to discover the old travel routes that have shaped the UK’s landscape.

Read more about Call to Action: Walking on Abandoned Travel Routes»

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Monkwearmouth Station staff, 1920s.Monkwearmouth Station staff, 1920s.

Monkwearmouth Station was commissioned by the famous railway entrepreneur George Hudson, former MP for Sunderland, and built in 1848. It’s now a grade 2* listed building, and serves the community as Monkwearmouth Station Museum, and is a transport museum.

Read more about Monkwearmouth Station Museum – ‘a little gem’»

18 November 2011

Eclectic Railways

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Heritage Railway Association

Today you can travel on 510 miles of Heritage Railways and Tramways in the British Isles. Well you could start today, but it would take you some time to complete your journey!

Read more about Eclectic Railways»

16 November 2011

My travel (re)collections

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Tuk Tuk

My eclectic collections aren’t so much about things I’ve brought back from my holidays but the memories I’ve had including the modes of transport I’ve taken. I love to travel, I love planes, trains and automobiles, buses, boats and bikes, walking, trekking, climbing and moving. I can’t really even sit in one place for very long. I am a mover (though I am not a shaker).

Read more about My travel (re)collections»

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Did you know that the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum Project is celebrating the heritage of British Transport?

Why? Because Waltham Forest is the home of the first all British Aviation flight, car, battery powered vehicle, the world’s first automatic underground railway, the builders of London’s buses, and can also boast many railway development firsts at Temple Mills and Stratford Railway Works.

The 2012 Olympic site complex being built for the games lies adjacent to the River Lea at Stratford and is about two miles from Low Hall, Walthamstow, and the home of the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum Project.

Read more about Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum - Britain's best kept industrial secret!»

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