Landmarks (outside London)


Seeking architechture to admire?

Here's a sample of Britain's best over the ages...

 

1. Alnwick Castle 5. Hadrian's Wall 9. Stonehenge
2. Angel of the North 6. Salisbury Cathederal 10. St Michael's Mount
3. Canterbury Cathederal 7. Spinnaker Tower 11. Warwick Castle
4. Conwy Castle 8. Stirling Castle 12. York Minster

 

Details of these locations are below. For full BritRail Map click here.


Fallas de Valencia 20151. Alnwick Castle

 
History comes to life at Alnwick Castle, this turreted fortress has been used as a location in the Harry Potter films and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. The castle has also been in the Percy family for over 700 years.
 
Discover  opulent State Rooms filled with a stunning array of art and furniture, dress up as a knight, view the castle's museum
and on certain days of the year see themed characters act out life from days gone by.
 
Nearest station: Alnmouth - plus approx. 10 minute bus ride (No. X18) to location

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Completed in February 1998 Antony Gormley's The Angel of the North has become one of the most talked about pieces of public art ever produced.
 
Built on a hillside, this piece of art was designed to withstand winds of up to 100 mph. Made of 200 tonnes of steel, 20 metres high and witha wingspan of 54 metres you will have to get up close and personal with the angel to believe the size of this piece of art.
 
Nearest station: Newcastle - plus approx. 30 minute bus ride (No. 21) to location

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One of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. The Arch Bishop of Canterbury's Cathederal can be dated back to 597 when St. Augustine baptised the Saxon king Ethelbert. Subsequently it was completely rebuilt in 1077 and added to over the years.
 
Pilgrims and tourists have been visiting the Catherderal since the Middle Ages and it remains one of the most visited places in the country.
 
Everyone is warmly invited to walk around or attend any services taking place.
 
Nearest stations: Canterbury West or Canterbury East

Fallas de Valencia 20154. Conwy Castle

 
Built for Edward I, Conwy Castle (or Castell Conwy in Welsh) is one of the finest remaining medieval castles in Britain. Made with stones so deep there was no need for inner walls.
 
Of all his castles in Wales, King Edward I spent the most on Conwy with an estimated spend of £15,000 by its completion in 1289.
 
Today visitors can walk around the wonderfully in tact remnants of Conwy Castle largely untouched over time and walk up the turrets to get amazing soldier's eye views of the surrounding land and down the river conwy. 
 
Nearest station: Conwy

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Once the Northern limit of the Roman Empire, in 122AD Emperor Hadrian instructed a defensive fortification to be built right across Britannia (Britain) from the Irish Sea to North Sea. 
 
The limites (walls) were often up to 6 metres tall and were used to distinguish the boundaries of the Empire. Hadrian's 80 mile wall had a fort every 5 Roman miles and milecastles with two turrets in between.
 
Today remains of the wall, a milecastle and a Roman fort can be seen and there is the Roman Army museum close by. A National Trail can also be walked over many days along the route of the wall.
 
Nearest stations: Many depending on where you wish to visit along the site of the wall?

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With more than 750 years of history, Salisbury Cathederal will inspire all visitors. Holding one of the original copies of King John's Magna Carta, a charter which encouranged movements for freedom and constitutional government in Britain, also used around the world.
 
Another highlight of Salisbury Cathederal is it's tower tour. Climb up the 332 steps to the base of Britain's tallest spire and enjoy the views across this medieval city.
 
Nearest station: Salisbury

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The tallest tower in Britain outside of London.
With observation decks up to 105 metres (344 feet) above sea level, visitors to the Spinnaker Tower are treated to a 350 degree view of Portsmouth and 23 miles of its surrounding area. Shaped like a Spinnaker sail, it reflects the maritime heritage of Portsmouth.
 
Come on up if you like a good view. If you are daring you can walk on the glass floor Sky Walk, or perhaps you might just want to partake in some refreshments from one of the two cafes at the top.
 
Nearest station: Portsmouth Harbour

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On a hill of volcanic rock stands Stirling Castle, key to the kingdom of Scotland. It is ideally situated between the Scottish Lowlands and Scottish Highlands and right above the river Forth. 
From ancient beginnings it grew into a royal residence and its strategic importance is shown by the fact it was so fought after, changing hands 8 times in 50 years during the Wars of Independence. 
 
It is well worth a visit to see a castle which witnessed such famous battles as Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn within sight of its walls. 
 
The town of Stirling below the castle itself being a classic old Scottish town.
 
Nearest station: Stirling

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Possibly one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world, Stonehenge can be dated back as far as 5000 years ago.
 
The most iconic and well known megalithic structure, the stone circle, was erected around 2500BC in the late Neolithic period. Round burial mounds from the Bronze age can be seen on the landscape around Stonehenge and the surrounding area.
 
There is a visitor's centre at Stonehenge and also a collection of artifacts found from excavations in the Salisbury Museum. Whilst visiting, there is also the largest stone circle in Europe at Avebury nearby, if ancient history is your thing it is well worth a view.
 
Nearest station: Salisbury - plus approx. 33 minute bus ride (Stonehenge Tour Bus) to location

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Walk across a granite pathway through the mud flats at low tide to reach this charming castle on a hill.
 
St Michael's mount is a tidal island just off the shore in Cornwall. Although most likely visited since the Bronze Age, it wasn't until the Norman conquest do we see Monks first settling this almost identical island to their home tidal island at Mont St Michel in Normandy. The island's current form came from the earliest dated buildings around the 12th century, the harbour's addition in the 15th century with the village and summit buildings being rebuilt between 1860 and 1900.
 
Having survived conflicts and storms St Michael's Mount is a unique place to visit. Travel to the quiet British village of Marazion in Cornwall and take time to appreciate the buildings and a cream tea before heading down to the beach to make your journey across to st Michael's Mount... just remember to check the tide times so you don't get stranded on your visit!
 
Nearest station: Penzance - plus approx. 15 minute bus ride (No. 2) to location
 
This medieval castle steeped in history and character is a great day out.
 
Originally built in 1068 for William the conqueror this motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone during the 12th century for King Henry II, which is the castle you currently see.
 
Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire in Engkand and Warwick Castle itself stands in the city centre and on the foot of the River Avon, which once provided a moat around part of the castle. Today the River Avon still flows by the castle.
 
Get hands on with the castle, its grounds and various interacive atttractions as well as viewing some of the many daily shows or activities. The only thing guaranteed not to be from olden times is the quality food served on site in the main restaurants
You do not have to be an historian to enjoy a great day out at Warwick Castle.
 
Nearest station: Warwick 

Fallas de Valencia 201512. York Minster

 
With foundations dating back to the nation's early history, York Minster is a world reknown heritage site.
Come and admire the styled stonework and many beautiful stained glass windows, such as the Great East window dating back to the 15th century, inside the largest cathederal of its kind in Northern Europe.
 
Take a look around the Undercroft to view the old Roman origins or scale the heights of the Central Tower via its 275 steps. Children can obtain an Explorer Backpack to take on the free discovery trails and also relax with a story book in the children's chapel.
 
With regular services and special events, be sure to check out the events calendar before you arrive.
 
Nearest station: York

 

 
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