Some of these posts are vehicles for pixels, some for words; some posts have both working in harmony; icons atop each post signal this. (Most of these posts use small thumbnail photos which, when clicked, will pop up larger versions.) These places can also be viewed on a map.

Bostadh on Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis
First posted on November 5, 2023

Bostadh (or Bosta) on Great Bernera island on the north-west coast of the Isle of Lewis is another of those atmospheric edge-of-the-world places - an outpost on an outpost.

Eilean Glas Lighthouse
First posted on October 30, 2023

A lighthouse in the Outer Hebrides, facing inwards across the Minch and the Little Minch, is planted on the southern tip of Lewis and Harris on a peninsula on the east coast of Scalpay island - itself barely two and...

Wells Cathedral's Chapter House steps
First posted on June 11, 2023

There is a slender marble column rising up at the foot of Wells Cathedral’s celebrated Chapter House steps.

The Cosmic House
First posted on June 8, 2022

The recently opened Cosmic House, in leafy Holland Park’s Lansdowne Walk, transforms a handsome and sober 1840s Victorian brick and stucco villa on the outside into an Arts and Crafts cum Dada cum New Age fantas

The Church of St. Thomas Becket, Fairfield
First posted on May 22, 2022

Way out in open fields, with no churchyard of its own, in a parish of marsh, ditches, sheep and cattle, stands the church of St. Thomas Becket.

The Collector Earl’s Garden
First posted on January 15, 2022

Arundel’s castle looms over the town and the River Arun. Its massive bulk - a mix of round and square towers with a curtain wall - dominates the skyline. Parts of it have stood since the 11th century.

The Spanish Chestnut Avenue at Croft Castle in Herefordshire
First posted on January 9, 2022

Croft Castle in Herefordshire in the Welsh Marches, occupies a site of rising and falling fortunes that has been home to the Croft family since the Norman Conquest (save for an interval of just under 200 years).

Old Soar Manor
First posted on January 8, 2022

Old Soar Manor in Kent is a miniscule portion of a small 13th century manor house. Save for a couple of glazed windows, the buildings are open to both weather and birds.

Carlyle's House
First posted on January 7, 2022

A painting by Robert Tait in the front parlour of 24 Cheyne Row dated 1857 shows Thomas and Jane Carlyle in their front parlour - at 24 Cheyne Row.

Penshurst Place
First posted on January 1, 2022

The Baron’s Hall is the older and smaller of two great halls at Penshurst Place in Kent. Completed in 1341, it uses chestnut for the roof because it is lighter but stronger than oak.

Claydon House
First posted on December 31, 2021

Externally Claydon House in Buckinghamshire is a rather sober place. Its symmetrical west front of seven bays in cut stone suggests conformity to an austere Georgian style of architecture - and no bad thing.

The Queen's House Greenwich
First posted on December 31, 2021

The Queen’s House at Greenwich was built for Anne of Denmark, the queen of King James I. Work started in 1616, but Anne died in 1619 and never lived there.

The Old Royal Naval College's Painted Hall
First posted on December 30, 2021

Downriver from central London’s more eye-catching historic buildings, the Greenwich ensemble known collectively as Maritime Britain is one of Britain’s 33 cultural UNESCO

Oxburgh Hall
First posted on December 30, 2021

Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk is a magnificent brick-built, moated house of great charm. It has been home to the Bedingfield family since the 15th century.

Chastleton House
First posted on December 30, 2021

Chastleton House in Oxfordshire is a compact Jacobean gem of faded surfaces, bumps and blemishes. Since the early 1600s, its occupants aspired to a status above county gentry but habitually fell short.

Broughton Castle
First posted on December 29, 2021

Broughton Castle in Oxfordshire is a moated, fortified Tudor manor house.

First posted on October 21, 2021

Just a hundred miles north-west of Glasgow, where the COP26 conference is being held in November, lies the Inner Hebridean Isle of Coll.

Petworth House
First posted on June 24, 2021

Petworth House in West Sussex is a place of superlatives. It is a Grade I house (meaning a property of exceptional interest).

Ightham Mote
First posted on February 3, 2020

The name Ightham Mote - whose four-consonant apparent tongue-twister contributes to the surprisingly easy Item Mote - may be derived from the Anglo-Saxon words eyot and ham, meaning ...

The i360, Brighton
First posted on November 25, 2019

It has been difficult not to glimpse the Brighton i360’s pencil-thin outline from the South Downs, showing it black against the sea below it or flashing sunlight off its aluminium and glass surfaces as the coast...

Lincoln Cathedral
First posted on November 9, 2019

Lincoln’s majestic cathedral dominates the surrounding plain from its spectacular perch atop Lincoln Cliff. Its bulk - already planted 50 metres above the surrounding plain - soars skywards a further 83 metres.

Hardwick Hall
First posted on November 9, 2019

Hardwick Hall exudes the ego of Bess of Hardwick - its builder - as much as it is today buffeted by the constant drone of traffic from the nearby M1 motorway, both equally transient and...

Stokesay Castle
First posted on November 8, 2019

Climb to the top of Stokesay Castle’s south tower and you are rewarded with a 360 degree prospect that could be one of the loveliest in all England, the gently rolling hills of Shropshire, Houseman’s “blue

First posted on November 3, 2019

Sezincote near Bourton-on-the-Hill, Gloucestershire, was an early 19th century attempt to replicate the architecture of the Mughal Emperor Akbar who ruled from 1556 to 1605 and was known for his conscious mingling of...

St Botolph's Church, Hardham
First posted on October 20, 2019

The white-washed St Botolph’s Church in Hardham, West Sussex, was almost certainly built before the Conquest.

Haddon Hall
First posted on October 10, 2019

When the rain of Derbyshire falls on the Peak District, the stones of Haddon Hall are scoured by it and progressively rounded.

St. Celynin‘s Church at Llangelynnin
First posted on September 8, 2019

Sloping down to the seashore and pointing towards distant Bardsey Island, which appears as a smudge of shadow shaped like a jockey’s cap on the far horizon, is the medieval St.

Parham House
First posted on May 24, 2019

Some of this country’s finest houses are perched on a hilltop, others tucked away in woodland, some dominate a landscape with imposing intent, others block uninvited entry with obvious fortification.

Uig Sands Chessmen, Isle of Lewis and the British Museum
First posted on October 2, 2018

The oldest rocks in Britain are found in the Outer Hebrides. These are twisted Lewisian gneisses which were formed up to 3,000 million years ago, two-thirds of the known age of our planet.

House for an Art Lover
First posted on August 30, 2018

On the inside this might be just another sugar-coated wedding venue - for which purpose it can indeed be hired - but the grey flanked House for an Art Lover in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park is another key

The Hill House
First posted on June 28, 2018

Try for a moment to imagine the noisy industrial clamour of Glasgow at the very start of the twentieth century, when shipyards and their associated engineering works made the Upper Clyde the ship-building centre of...

First posted on June 27, 2018

Be prepared to be overwhelmed when visiting Lacock Abbey (even on a heavily overcast day, as it was when we visited it).

Kew Gardens and the Temperate House
First posted on June 22, 2018

Kew Gardens, June, first sunny day for a while, first visit and one is weak-kneed and pea-brained at the scale and splendour of the place.

First posted on June 19, 2018

A separate post on this site marks the joy I feel about parts of the Kintyre peninsula in western Scotland.

The Kintyre shoreline
First posted on June 16, 2018

Kintyre, not too unlike a finger of home-made shortbread on the map, leaves Argyll behind by bending a knuckle at Tarbert and then pointing nearly due south towards the shores of Northern Ireland, leaving at its tip...

First posted on June 16, 2018

Shed tears today that the beloved Glasgow School of Art has yet again been enveloped by flame and gutted by fire. Shed tears that an icon of the Glasgow skyline is again a source of black smoke.

Great Chalfield Manor
First posted on May 28, 2018

Browning’s “Oh, to be in England now that April’s there” tugs with even greater poignancy as May moves on and the season’s heat builds under blue skies.

First posted on May 18, 2018

I‘d not be troubled if above the entrance to the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre it said “Here be Giants” because everything about this place is, well, gigantic, whether stamped into being by Finn McCoo

Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple
First posted on May 12, 2018

What a mouthful, a place called “Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple”. What a puzzle that the person who built it was called “the Earl-Bishop”, an earl or a bishop, well both actually.

First posted on April 27, 2018

When faced with another couple of tourists saying how welcoming and kind they found everyone in Belfast, our driver Danny said, “Well, yes, that’s it really. Belfast people are very kind to everyone.

Rathlin Island
First posted on April 21, 2018

Rathlin Island is Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island. It lies 15 miles from Scotland’s Kintyre Peninsula and is a 6 mile ferry hop from Northern Ireland’s Ballycastle.

First posted on October 31, 2017

Dominating the lower stretches of the River Adur as it flows towards Shoreham, and perched imposingly above the A27 Shoreham Bypass, is Lancing College Chapel.

Casa Batlló, Barcelona
First posted on May 2, 2017

Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia would have been a competitive whirl in the years between 1870 and 1914, with wealthy residents vying with each other to build or renovate homes on this fashionable city centre avenu

Casa Milà, La Pedrera, Barcelona
First posted on April 24, 2017

Casa Milà was Antoni Gaudí’s fourth project on Barcelona’s main avenue Passeig de Gràcia and was to be his last civil work before he devoted himself entirely to...

First posted on April 8, 2017

Judged by almost any standard you choose, Barcelona’s Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is extraordinary.

The dance in moonlight
First posted on December 1, 2016

This post is not just about a place. It is about an event.

Standen House
First posted on July 26, 2016

Standen House near East Grinstead was the home of a successful Birmingham solicitor and his family.

Barrington Court
First posted on June 22, 2016

But 10 miles away from Montacute House, Barrington Court is another fine Somerset manor house.

Montacute House
First posted on June 22, 2016

If you saw the BBC 2 serial Wolf Hall, you will have seen a little of the inside of Montacute House in Somerset.

East Coker
First posted on June 16, 2016

East Coker, a small village on the border of Somerset and Dorset, placed its mark on my mental map when I first read T.S. Eliot’s long poem Four Quartets.

Auch cathedral
First posted on August 22, 2014

Our nearest big town is Auch and, although Auch Cathedral is not spectacular, is has some truly spectacular stained-glass windows and choir stalls.

Trapeharde's wheel of time
First posted on April 19, 2014

There’s a finger of land that stretches out from Trapeharde and continues on through the woods, emerging in a valley on the other side of the trees.

Lewes Crescent, Brighton
First posted on November 24, 2013

Some of our visitors have heard of the English seaside city of Brighton (where we lived before we moved to France in 1998).

The Maquis de Meilhan
First posted on September 27, 2012

Not far from us here in the Gers is a monument that marks a battle that took place between a group of French Resistance fighters and a battalion of German soldiers on the night of July 6th and 7th 1944.

Bostah Iron Age Village
First posted on August 4, 2012

The Isle of Lewis is the most northerly island in the Outer Hebrides and therefore lies in the path of the wild Atlantic Ocean.

The Glasgow School of Art
First posted on August 3, 2012

Scotland’s Outer Hebrides - where we recently took a few days’ break - are a long distance away so a night-stop in the fascinating city of Glasgow is well worth it.