A friend and I picked Leamington Spa in Warwickshire as a good day trip location roughly half-way between where we each live. Our first stop was to wander around Jephson Gardens. Around five minutes from the train station the gardens, which are named for Dr Henry Jephson who promoted the town as a spa destination, were created in 1831 and have been a popular attraction ever since.
Another February, another Light Night. This is always a good event to go to every year and as ever the city centre was packed with people from all ages. For this year as well the event was spread over both the Friday and the Saturday night, though I only made it out on the Friday. There’s never enough time to see everything so we did a loop from Trinity Square to listen to some of the choirs, round through Market Square to the very impressive art works projected onto the Council House, over to St Mary’s Church in the Lace Market and then up to Nottingham Contemporary art gallery. A few of my favourite light displays are below.
Leamington Spa Railway Station was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1852 but this Art Deco designed station replaced it in 1939 and the station was Grade II listed in 2003.
I’d never really spent a lot of time at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery so I decided to rectify that one day last year. The BMAG first opened in 1885 and is a large Grade II* listed building that was a little hard to appreciate on my visit as construction work was going on all around it (the below photo was taken some years previously).
With a little time to kill before I caught a train home from visiting Ely Cathedral I decided to head to Ely Museum at the Old Goal as it seemed small enough that it wouldn’t take long to see everything. Admission was a reasonable £4.50 and I found the museum very interesting.
The Stained Glass Museum inside Ely Cathedral is the only UK museum of its type and as someone who loves the beauty and details of stained glass I was really looking forward to visiting and was not disappointed. Since it was founded in 1972 it has collected and preserved over 1,000 different stained glass panels and windows dating from the 13th century to the present, both religious and secular. Most are from the UK but there are some examples from Europe and the US as well.
I’d been looking for some places to visit that are easily accessible by train and I was surprised to find a pretty cheap ticket to Ely for less than £10 so decided that it was time to tick off Ely Cathedral from my to do list.
In 2022 it will be 100 years since Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered and this tour of treasures from the tomb which is visiting cities around the world is to celebrate both that and the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum where all of these items will return, many of which have never been outside of Egypt before.
The Heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath has been on my to do list for a long time and I finally decided to go while we were having some sunny weather. As I travelled by train I was able to use my train ticket to get a 20% discount on the entrance price and the cable car station (yes, you can travel by cable car up to the Heights) is only a short walk away from Matlock Bath Railway Station.
Lincoln Castle is directly opposite Lincoln Cathedral and I visited both with a joint ticket of £18. Built in 1068 by William the Conqueror the castle is also the site of a Victorian prison, one of only four original copies of the Magna Carta and Lincoln’s Crown Court, which is still in use today.