A stately home, Blickling Hall forms part of the Blickling Estate in the village of Blickling, in Norfolk. The current Jacobean house, Blickling Hall was built on the ruins of a manor house, former home of the Boleyns and birth place of Anne Boleyn. Cared for by the National Trust since 1940, Blickling Hall is a popular destination throughout the year. It is more popular around May 19 each year as visitors try to get glimpses at the ghosts of Blickling Hall.
Anne Boleyn: Biography
Born: c1501 | Blickling Castle, Norfolk
Died: May 19 1536, Tower Green, Tower of London | Executed
Reigned: June 1533 – May 1536
Coronation: June 1 1533
Parents: Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Duke of Norfolk
Spouse: Henry VIII
Children: Elizabeth I
Succeeded by: Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife
Ghosts of Blickling Hall Norfolk
Blickling Hall is said to be haunted by Britain’s most famous ghost – Anne Boleyn. Each year on the anniversary of her execution, May 19, she is reportedly seen arriving by coach drawn by headless horseman and four headless horses. Dressed in all white, she carries her severed head and glides the rooms and corridors until daybreak.
Sightings of Anne and the carriage have been frequent and reported by witnesses giving it some degree of credibility. In 1979, an apparition, supposedly of Anne was sighted in the library.
Another reported sighting of a ghostly inhabitant of Bickling Hall is Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father. Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire was an ambitious man who engineered the marriage of his daughter, Anne Boleyn to King Henry VIII. He also betrayed Anne and his son George at the trial of Anne to save himself. Anne and George were executed. Folklore has it that for his wrong doings and as penance, he is required to cross a dozen bridges before cockcrows for a thousand years. His route is from Blickling>Aylsham>Burg>Buxton Coltishall>Meyton>Oxnead and finally to Wroxham.
Thomas Boleyn is reportedly seen carrying his severed head under his arms, and gushing flame from his mouth. (There is a flaw in this tale, as Thomas Boleyn died in his bed, with his head intact!)
Headless apparitions of the Boleyns are not the only ghosts of Blickling Hall. This magnificent mansion is said to be haunted by Sir John Fastolfe, the fifteenth century knight. He is seen throughout the building.
A ‘Grey Lady’ has also been reportedly seen floating through walls.
A little background to Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Blickling Estate was originally owned by Sir John Fastolf of Caister between 1380 and 1459. He made a fortune during the Hundred Years’ War. His coat of arms is still on display here.
Later, the property became home to the Boleyns, Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and his wife, Elizabeth Howard, daughter to Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey between 1499 and 1505. Three of their surviving children were born at Blickling – Mary, Anne and George.
Blickling Estate was purchased by Sir Henry Hobart, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and 1st Baronet from Robert Clere in 1616. He commissioned Robert Lyminge, the architect to design the current Jacobean structure. The Blickling Hall seen today was built on the ruins of the manor house owned by the Boleyns.
The property stayed in the Hobart’s family until it was passed down to William Kerr, the 8th Marquess of Lothian.
During the Second World War, the house was requisitioned and served as the Officers Mess of the RAF Oulton. Afterwards, the house and the entire Blickling Estate was passed to the National Trust.
The house was de-requisitioned after the war and the National Trust rented it out to tenants until 1960. The Trust began working on the property to restore it to its historical style and beauty. The house, Blickling Hall, Gardens and Park was opened to the public in 1962 and has continued to be cared for by the National Trust and remains open the same to this day.
How to visit Blickling Hall, Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Blickling Hall, Gardens and Parkland that forms Blickling Estate is cared for by the National Trust. It is said that one day at the Estate is never enough! Nevertheless, if one day is all you have, then a visit will not disappoint as the Blickling Estate has something for everyone.
The Gardens and Park are open throughout all seasons but to avoid disappointment, ensure to pre-book your visit.
My sincere wish is that you enjoyed reading this post and you shall enjoy reading all related articles on this blog. This page is curated to add value to your visit to Blickling Hall and I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Do let me know in comments below.
A Quintessential Odyssey | Best 8 UK Scenic Train Journeys
Add a touch of adventure to your relaxing, comfortable and scenic journey, making train travel in UK a quintessential odyssey.
Alongside one of the oldest rail network in the world, UK boasts some modern networks as well that will have you enjoy very comfortable journeys. The rail network covers the whole country, serving more than 2,500 stations and the system is efficient and reliable. You are never too far away from a station dotted along the lines criss-crossing the country. You can leave London and be in Edinburgh in as little as 4 hours.
From the mountains of Wales, the romantic coastlines of England to the dramatic and jagged coastline of Scotland, train travel takes you through unforgettable scenery. Add a touch of adventure to your relaxing, comfortable and scenic journey, making train travel in UK a quintessential odyssey. Here is a selection of the best 8 scenic train travel in UK that you would absolutely enjoy when travelling by train.
1 | Scotland’s West Highland Line – Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland | Train Traivel in UK
1.1 | A touch of adventure & what to experience with the Jacobite
The Jacobite departs just a short distance away from Ben Nevis, UK’s highest mountain. The steam train gently chugs along a 67 kilometres (42 miles) track to reach Mallaig, an established fishing village, the final destination.
The journey through majestic mountains, tranquil lochs, silvery beaches and mystical beauty enchants a train traveller in what is often described as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world. Perhaps the most recognisable part of this journey is when the Jacobite crosses the iconic arches of Glenfinnan Viaduct, a scene made popular by the Harry Potter movies. This beautifully curved 21-arched viaduct has become a major tourist attraction since.
Beyond this, the journey takes you through the beautiful villages of Lochailort, stops at the most westerly mainland railway station at Arisaig, passing the deepest freshwater lock in Britain, Loch Morar and finally arriving near the deepest seawater lock in Europe, Loch Nevis.
If you are travelling to Edinburgh or Inverness from London, you can easily purchase your tickets via Trainline for a comfortable and seamless journey. Book in advance and take advantage of offers on cheap tickets. Learn more about Trainline and the various ticket types fromthis article.
2 | Bluebell Railway – An experience not to be missed! | Train Travel in UK
Britain’s oldest preserved standard-gauge passenger railway, Bluebell takes you on a 11-mile scenic ride across one of England’s most beautiful countryside in Sussex.
2.1 | A touch of adventure & what to experience at the Bluebell Railways
Go back in time
The steam locomotive runs between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, There are a number of vintage carriages that offer a quintessential experience and each of the railway stations are restored to a different period. Sheffield Park transports you back in time to the 1880s, while the refreshment room at Horsted Keynes takes you to the 1920s. A visit to Kingscote and you will experience rail travel in the 1950s. Railway staff are dressed in period clothing and you get to see the original working signal box as well. There’s a shop and a museum where you can spend some time learning more of the Bluebell Railway.
Sit back and enjoy a quintessential odyssey as you ride in the comfort and luxury of a bygone era. The journey takes you through an area adorned with a sea of beautiful bluebells as they come into bloom in Spring. Picturesque and postcard perfect scene.
A thorough English experience
While soaking in the beautiful Sussex countryside on this iconic ride, you may want to enjoy a thorough English experience as well. Book a seat on the Afternoon Tea Train where you will be served with a full afternoon tea which includes delicious sandwiches, scones and cakes.
Golden Arrow Dining
By far the most beautiful experience of all, is a ride on the Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Train. Recreating the once glamorous and famous Golden Arrow that linked London and Paris, the Pullman Dining Train is perfect for special occasions as it offers luxurious dining with style served to the standards of yesteryear.
2.2 | Practical information on Bluebell Railways
Bluebell Railways is managed entirely by volunteers. It is open on specific days of the week, mainly on weekends.
Sheffield Park Station is the best point to join the Bluebell Railway. This is situated on the A275 East Grinstead – Lewes main road, about two miles north of its junction with the A272. The Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park is well signposted with brown tourist direction signs from the A22 and A23 trunk roads. .
By Train: From Victoria Station (London) to Cooksbridge (Southern towards Eastbourne). From Cooksbridge, take a bus, 121 towards Sheffield Park. Alight at Bluebell Railway.
A unique mountain journey awaits any train traveller in UK when visiting Snowdonia, northwestern Wales. Marvel at the extraordinary and breathtaking landscape of Snowdonia National Park while onboard the Snowdon Mountain Railway as it ascends to the highest peak in Wales, Mount Snowdon.
The railway begins its 7.5 kilometres (4.7 miles) track in Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon, at 1085 metres above sea level. Jump aboard one of the Railway’s oldest carriages, the Snowdon Lily or one of the contemporary ones for a modern feel.
3.1 | A touch of adventure and what to experience at the Snowdon Mountain Railway
A place of legends and unparalleled scenic beauty
A place of legend, these ancient Snowdonian mountains were the result of volcanic forces 450 million years ago and once, stood at 10,000 metres above sea level.
Your odyssey begins just as soon as you leave Llanberis. The Snowdon Mountain Railway crosses over one of the two viaducts, offering you views of the the majestic waterfall, Ceunant Mawr that plunges into the gorge. The journey continues into the open countryside, dotted with abandoned dwellings. Passing Hebron Station, climbing higher, the Hill of the Falcon can be seen in the distant, home of the Peregrine Falcon, the world’s fastest animal. To the north of the Hill of the Falcon is a cave. Legend has it that Owain Glyndwr, the leader of the last Welsh rebellion lies in wait to rise and lead his people once more against the English.
Your adventure gets even better as the carriages climb ever higher giving you overwhelming views of the landscape from the very top. On a clear day you may spot Ireland, England, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Georgina suggests: When at the Visitor Centre, try the Oggie, a Welsh type of pasty filled with local lamb and leeks.
3.2 | Practical information on Snowdon Mountain Railway
Open from 08:30am daily throughout the season (July-Oct 2020)
The destination is Clogwyn Station, which is ¾ distance to the summit of Snowdon. The journey time to Clogwyn is approximately 45 minutes and passengers have a 30-minute stop-over at this unsheltered station. Please be aware that there are no facilities at Clogwyn, or on-board the trains. The service represents approximately 2-hour experience overall.
You can easily get the train to Snowdonia no matter which part of UK you are at. There are direct services from London to Bangor that will take you to the popular North Wales coastal destinations. Make local connections via the Conwy Valley Line which runs through the Snowdonia National Park to Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog.
You could also take the North Wales Coast Line from Crewe to Holyhead which connects you to Bangor at the north-western edge of the park and Llandudno, where you can get the Conwy Valley Line down through the park as far as Blaenau Ffestiniog.
4 | Settle to Carlisle Railway | Train Travel in UK
The Settle to Carlisle Railway in northern England was completed in 1876 and is arguably the most impressive of Victorian engineering. The track is approximately 115 kilometres (72 mile) and offers magnificent views of the North Pennines, Eden Valley and Yorkshire Dales. A thrilling experience for train travel in UK, the journey takes you through remote and scenic regions, crossing 21 viaducts and 14 tunnels.
4.1 | A touch of adventure and what to experience at the Settle to Carlisle Railway
One of the most scenic journeys in UK
The most impressive of the 1 hour 40 minutes track is, without a doubt, the spectacular Ribblehead Viaduct with its 24 arches. The track takes you through the beautiful landscape of Cumbria. The Blea Moor Tunnel is one to look out for, built 5,000 feet beneath the Moor! It is a 2.4 kilometre railway tunnel and is the longest tunnel on the Settle-Carlisle Line. It’s located between Ribblehead Viaduct and Dent Railway. Also, don’t miss the Ais Gill. Ais Gill summit is the highest point in the Settle-Carlisle Railway at the Mallerstang Valley, at 356 m (1,169 ft) above sea level. The journey terminates at Carlisle. The historic city offers plenty to see and do, especially its 900 year old castle and cathedral.
4.2 | Practical information on Settle – Carlisle Railway
5 | Durham to Berwick-upon-Tweed | Train Travel in UK
Another spectacular scenery awaits train travellers in UK when they embark on a journey in the northeast coast of England. Previously voted as the most scenic route in Britain, the Durham to Berwick-upon-Tweed journey offers idyllic views, much unknown and unspoilt of the Northumbrian countryside.
5.1 | A touch of adventure and what to experience on the Durham to Berwick-upon-Tweed
The journey begins in the historic city of Durham, a cobbled university city with a Romanesque cathedral, taking you through Newcastle-upon-Tyne and picturesque rugged countryside of Northumbria. Heading north to the northernmost in England, the pretty coastal border town of Berwick. The coastal scenery does take your breath away! It is an area in northern England that is home to magnificent and stunning landscapes just waiting to be explored. For history buffs, look out for Alnwick Castle and Banburgh Castle along the way – both dating back to the Norman Conquest. The track ends at Berwick-upon-Tweed. You could spend a relaxing day at this coastal town and/or visit Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
Holy Island of Lindisfarne
Holy Island is a tidal island, cutting off from the rest of the world twice daily when the tides rise. An island as well as a picturesque village, Holy Island of Lindisfarne carries a wealth of history and remains a place of pilgrimage. (Lindisfarne Priory, the birthplace of Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the world’s most precious books). The island is also the final destination of one of Scotland’s Great Trails.
5.2 | Practical information on Durham to Berwick-upon-Tweed line
The Cumbrian Coast Line runs an impressive scenic route keeping you close to the shoreline, making its way between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness.
The scenic journey of 137 kilometres (85 miles), was chosen by Michael Portillo for the BBC Series, Great British Railways Journeys in 2010. The track offers train travel in UK one of the best scenic views, passing the fells of Lake District, quaint villages, rural countryside as well as the mountains on one side and the stunning views of the Irish Sea on the other. Much of the line dates back to 1800s and is punctuated by 26 stations, ordinarily giving a journey time of 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours.
6.1 | A touch of adventure and what to experience on the Cumbrian Coast Line
An adventure awaits…
The Cumbrian Coast Line is perfect for when exploring the outdoors in and around the Lake District National Park. Add a touch of adventure to your scenic journey and explore the legacy of the line at Millom Discovery Centre and enjoy a trip on the Ravenglass and Eskdale heritage railway. The town of Marypot that’s steeped in Roman history makes a perfect destination for history lovers.
6.2 | Practical information on the Cumbrian Coast Line| UK Scenic Train Journeys
7 | The Riviera Line | Train Travel in UKa Quintessential Odyssey
The Riviera Line is one of England’s best stretches of coastal railways, along the South Devon coast between Exeter and Paignton. The journey offers amazing views of spectacular beaches, green countryside and river crossings.
7.1 | A touch of adventure and what to experience on the Riviera Line| UK Scenic Train Journeys
The Riviera Line is a local line that departs from Exeter city centre, following the Exe Estuary and the coast. The journey includes nine stops in between, including at the seaside town of Dawlish and Teignmouth before heading onwards to the English Riviera. The train stops at Torre, closest for Torquay and Paignton, allowing you to step onto the beach in no time! The journey takes you through several picturesque villages, famous river crossings and beautiful countryside – sights which you may miss when driving.
7.2 | Practical information on the Riviera Line | UK Scenic Train Journeys
8 | St Ives Bay Line | St Erth to St Ives | Train Travel in UKa Quintessential Odyssey
This is one of the shortest rail journeys, less than 15 minutes but one of the best loved scenic train travel in UK – between St Erth and St Ives.
8.1 A touch of adventure and what to experience with the St Ives Bay Line
The train chugs along a pretty stretch of Cornish coastline, including the golden sands of Hayle Towans and Carbis Bay before terminating at St Ives. Short, swift and arguably one of the most enjoyable scenic rides one would experience. Head to the beach, explore the harbour, visit the Tate St Ives art gallery and wander the shops. The St Ives Bay Line also connects with services to Penzance in the south, making a coast to coast train travel in UK a splendid and viable option.
8.2 | Practical information on the St Ives Bay Line| UK Scenic Train Journeys
Wherever you choose to go, experience the hidden gems right across the UK, aboard steam locomotives, across jaw-dropping viaducts, and through rugged terrains — it takes train travel in UK to a whole new level. A quintessential odyssey awaits.
I sincerely hope this article is valuable to you in planning your scenic train travel journeys in UK. If so, I would love to hear your thoughts in comments below. As well, use the links embedded in this article and related articles to book your journeys, places to stay and activities to do. TTS earns a commission from qualified bookings and purchases to keep this blog going. You could also support us in other ways if you wish. As always, your continued support is highly appreciated and valued.
Have a splendid time exploring UK by train.
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Avoid airport hassles and travel anywhere in UK and Europe by train. Enjoy a relaxing, comfortable and a scenic journey – adding a touch of adventure to your trip.
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Southwark Cathedral – Why you should visit this Oldest Gothic Cathedral in London
has a very special fulltime resident!
Southwark Cathedral London is an Anglican Church and is located in the South Bank of River Thames. Located just next to the Borough Market which is a thriving environment and easily accessible via London Bridge Station [see below on Useful information]
Southwark Cathedral London | A magnificent Gothic Cathedral and a historical masterpiece
This magnificent Cathedral boasts a Gothic architecture and a history that goes way back to 606 AD where people have come here to worship. It was once, the site of Roman pagan worship. . The original site was mostly destroyed by fire in 1212 but there are remnants of original Norman construction of ragstone rubble, chalk and lead. These Norman influences can be seen in the rounded arches at the back right of the Cathedral and the arched doorway that leads into the church. The distinguishable medieval Gothic elements can be seen in parts of the front of the Cathedral as well.
Southwark Cathedral London | A significant place of worship and hospitality
Described “as ‘thin places’ where you can glimpse and touch a little bit of heaven and experience something of the hospitality of God”, Southwark Cathedral is truly a remarkable Church. In my travels, I have visited many Cathedrals, but this was something else…there was a sense of peacefulness at this Church which I had not experienced elsewhere before.
I learnt that back in the day, this Priory was important to London not just as a place of worship but also because it was a place for education and hospitality – John Gower, the poet, once lived here. His tomb is located in the north aisle of the nave of the Cathedral. It is a brightly coloured tomb – you will not miss it.
The interior of the Cathedral boasts another splendid sight. The incredible architecture with its intricate details, the curves, the alcoves and the stained glass windows…there are no special words except that it is simply “beautiful” – see ⇓⇓. The vaulted ceilings are a Must See! With the sunlight coming through into this large and airy space, it makes walking through the Cathedral a very relaxing experience.
The stained-glass windows – splendidly beautiful with the sun shining through.
Hope that I have convinced you enough to visit Southwark Cathedral, but if not, then I am certain the following attraction will – a visit to the member of the Southwark Cathedral family…
Doorkins Magnificat at Southwark Cathedral London
I visited Southwark Cathedral a couple of times since last summer, and besides the stained-glass windows, the breath-taking Gothic ceiling and its history, the highlight of my first visit was Doorkins Magnificat. I was with MT, who took a picture of this adorable furry baby, asleep in her bed. Doorkins is 12-years old and she likes to sleep. She does not like to be disturbed as she would be grumpy! She has been part of the Cathedral’s family since 2008 and has her own line of merchandises, her story book and a twitter account [@DoorkinsM]. To read more on Doorkins,click here
Other highlights at Southwark Cathedral London
Shakespeare’s Memorial and window
The Harvard Chapel
The Herb Garden
The Archaeological Chamber
Travel tips and Useful information on Southwark Cathedral London
Opening times: 08:00 to 18:00
Entry – is FREE
Photography permit – £1.00 and it comes with a Souvenir Guide
Fully accessible for wheelchair users and limited mobility users.
Getting to Southwark Cathedral London:
The best way to get here is by the Underground or Trains. The nearest Station to Southwark Cathedral London is London Bridge, less than 5-minute walk.
Exit London Bridge, onto Tooley Street. opposite the Hay’s Galleria. Cross-over and head west towards London Bridge Hospital. Walk-under London Bridge and past the London Tombs and Mudlark Public House. You will reach the courtyard on the north side of the Cathedral.
Trainline in Britain and UK is one of the best platforms offering cheap, competitively priced tickets for comfortable and timely journeys. Purchasing a ticket through Trainlline is convenient because of their user-friendly App and tools that comes with it.“
With so many sights in London to see and a gazillion things to do, Southwark Cathedral often goes unnoticed by tourists. A beautiful attraction, it is a place I would recommend and sincerely hope that this post has been valuable to you in planning your visit.