The United Kingdom boasts some of the world’s most remarkable history, and some of the most important events in European history have occurred within the bounds of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Well-known sites such as Big Ben and the London Bridge get thousands of visitors a year, but the United Kingdom is far more than the famous tourist spots—it is a historical testament to centuries past that can be viewed through these gems that the average tourist may be unfamiliar with.
Falls Road Republican Murals, Belfast, Northern Ireland
The modern history of Northern Ireland is at once tragic and fascinating. Hunger strikes opposing British rule have been commonplace in Ireland for centuries, but in 1981 a large scale hunger strike began at the Maze prison protesting the withdrawal of special privileges for de facto prisoners of war. Out of this hunger strike came dozens of murals from Northern Irish citizens supporting the hunger strikers. Since then, they have taken on numerous other political issues as well as Irish legends and events in Irish history. Political rebellion is an integral part of Irish history, and when in Ireland it is imperative to experience the remnants of it firsthand in order to understand Irish culture.
Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales
Built in the year 1067, Chepstow Castle is the oldest surviving stone fortress in the United Kingdom. It sits on top of a limestone cliff over the River Wye, and it has protected the route into Wales via England for nine decades. For 600 years the castle was in a state of constant change due to changing military fashions that necessitated flexibility in the castle’s structure, and it is unusual in relation to other British castles in that it was built mostly out of stone without relying on a timber base.
Fishguard and Goodwick Railway Station, Pembrokeshire, England
Initially closed in 1964, Fishguard and Goodwick railway station reopened in 2012 and currently provides the best route from London to walking the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline or to see the place from whence the stones were gathered for Stonehenge. Fishguard and Goodwick are twin towns that provide a rural and relaxed atmosphere, at a slower pace than one would get in the large English cities accessible by the railroad. Despite the rural feel, Fishguard and Goodwick have a good number of permanent residents, and plenty of stores to keep visitors occupied.
Abbotsford House, Roxburghshire, Scotland
Abbotsford House was built by the writer Sir Walter Scott as his home in the Scottish Borders. Dating from 1811, the house currently boasts some of the most fascinating pieces of historical memorabilia in Scotland, including Rob Roy’s weapons, Napoleon’s case book, and a bullet and a piece of oatcake from the Culloden Battlefield, all of which were collected by Sir Walter Scott. Visitors may also see paintings and collectibles from many generations of the Scott family, though the acquisitions have ceased since the death of the last of his descendants in 2004. The house is currently owned and maintained by the Abbotsford Trust.
The United Kingdom is a beautiful and fascinating place to visit. By allowing yourself to experience the less touristy spots, you will be getting a taste of the real United Kingdom, and experiencing some of the richest history in the world.
This article was written by John Davis, an avid travel blogger who loves sharing his knowledge so you can have better travels! He writes this on behalf of Southlakeland Parks, your number one choice when looking for lake district static caravans for sale. Check out their website today and see how they can help you find the best caravans in the UK.