Daugavpils is Latvia’s second city and is world famous as the birthplace of American painter Mark Rothko. It also boasts a stunning star shaped fortress and a dark Jewish history.
They were nicknamed ‘fart lamps’ in Edwardian times and caused quite a stink in their day. The gas sewer lamps of North Tyneside were unusual engineering wonders.
Starlight Castle is an intriguing name. It sounds like a Romantic castle or a Gothic house perched high on a hill in a novel by Mary Shelley or Bram Stoker. But what’s the story behind this mysterious castle not far from where I live in North East England? […]
Seville is renowned for its two most famous exports – Marmalade Oranges and Carmen. One has become more popular than the other, thanks to Bizet’s famous opera. You could be forgiven for thinking that Carmen was based on a real life character, but she was invented by the French writer Prosper Merimée in his […]
Standing by the trenches at Vimy Ridge in northern France, there’s a palpable silence, punctuated only by the occasional sound of muted bird song. It’s hard to believe that this was the place where one of the First World War’s bloodiest and most protracted battles took place in which more […]
Seville is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Lying in the heart of Andalucia, it makes for a perfect long weekend break with its heady mix of world-class architecture, artistic treasures, flamenco and great food. It’s an easy getaway from the UK with flights taking under three hours which means that […]
El Rocio is Spain’s strangest town. Nestled on the edge of the wild lagoons and marshes of Doñana National Park, the town looks like a film set from a spaghetti western. You’d be forgiven for thinking that cowboy Clint Eastwood might emerge from one of its taverns, unhitch his horse and ride off down the […]
It’s hard to imagine that the sleepy town of Aldborough was once on the front line of the mighty Roman Empire. Today, it’s a charming but sleepy backwater in north Yorkshire, by-passed by motorists who zoom past on the A1 on their journeys to bigger places. But back in the 2nd Century, Aldborough was […]
Fancy a trip to The Jitties? It’s an odd name. A jitty sounds like a bad case of stomach ache or an anxiety attack. Or perhaps a type of boat? But you’d be wrong. Actually, they are hidden alleyways bursting with history, lying off the beaten track in deepest Shropshire. ‘The Jitties’ are a maze of […]
Northumberland is one of Britain’s most beautiful counties, but this wild and wonderful place is also one of the least visited. It’s on my doorstep so no surprise that I’m its biggest fan. With fabulous beaches, historic castles and a stunning coastline, it’s a shame that more people haven’t discovered its […]