Getting to know England's past
f you’re looking to get up-close and personal with England’s historical hotspots, it’s worth putting in a bit of legwork.
Take a stroll along York's city walls for example, and you’ll encounter battlements, a portcullis and even a fort. At around two miles, these are the longest and most complete town defences of their kind in the country, but the sights you’ll see are not all related to conflict.
There are plenty of peaceful spots, too – like the quiet York Museum Botanic Gardens, which surround the magnificent Multangular Tower.
Meanwhile, if you’re after something a little longer – not to mention rural – then try the Ridgeway , which straddles Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire.
This is reportedly England’s oldest road, and surprisingly little has changed in its 5,000-year history. You can still see the famous chalk White Horse carved into the hillside at Uffington, the eerie burial tombs of Wayland’s Smithy and the stone circle at Avebury. All very mysterious and ancient.
But if it’s olde worlde atmosphere you’re craving, then how about a trip to Bath ?
Walk along its cobbled streets and you’ll pass the intricate plumbing system of thermal pools that the Romans used for worship and sanitation.
And the Grand Pump Room where 18th-century ladies would assemble to “take the waters”, while debating the finer points of various social scandals.
If you’re keen to find out all the inside gossip, there are free guided walking tours of the city available.
As day melts into night, learn about the darker side of York.Original Ghost Walk, York
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