WARWICK – Warwick Castle, built on the site of a motte & bailey, constructed by William The Conqueror in 1068. Lord Leycester Hospital, superbly preserved group of 14th century timber framed buildings, including the museum of the Queens Own Hussars.
ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA – Royal Pump Rooms, museum and art gallery. A largely Regency town with later Victorian additions.
BRAUNSTON – The Stop House, where boats were gauged and paid tolls. A well known canal centre. Some know Braunston as “The home of narrowboats”.
STOKE BRUERNE – Canal Museum, telling the colourful, sometimes harsh history of the waterways and the people who worked them.
WILLEN PARK – Peace Pagoda, built by the monks and nuns, the first to be built in the western hemisphere. It enshrines sacred relics of Lord Buddha. 1000 cherry and cedar trees are planted on the hill around in remembrance of the victims of all wars.
BLETCHLEY PARK – The home of code breaking and intelligence in World War 2 and the birthplace of modern computing. Historians believe the work done here shortened the war by 2 years and saved countless lives.
LINSLADE & LEIGHTON BUZZARD – The town centre, including Overseas Food Market and regular weekly market. Ascott House, irregular timber framed house built 1606 with extensive additions. French & Chippendale furniture, oriental porcelain, paintings. Grounds and gardens cover 12 acres.
Whipsnade Zoo, set in 600 acres of the Chiltern Hills. Home to over 2500 animals from furry and feathered to jumbo and majestic, steam train, sea lions showing off their skills.
COLLEGE LAKE NATURE RESERVE – See wildlife all year round. Depending on the time of year, look for nodding snowdrops along the woodland edge, redshank breeding on the islands, common terns diving into the lake or green hairstreak butterflies along the paths in spring. In autumn, the colours reflect in the calm lake on a sunny day, the arrival of wintering wildfowl and the recognisable forked tails of circling red kites.
Display of old agricultural equipment.
BERKHAMSTED – See previous blog, 25 April
APSLEY – The Paper Mill, the world’s oldest mechanised paper mill, where visitors can experience making their own piece of paper. The birthplace of paper’s industrial revolution.
CASSIOBURY PARK and WHIPPEDELL WOODS – Extensive parkland.
BATCHWORTH LOCKS – Canal Centre, working model of canal & lock. See the restored boat “Roger”.