My passion for TrailTale began in London, where I encouraged you to look for what is hidden underneath your nose and to see more than the ‘obvious’ gems of London. The same can be said about many picturesque towns in Great Britain, that are often overlooked by well-known places of interest.
Why not visit Rochester? An equal to the magnificent Canterbury, but receives far fewer visitors a year. Rochester is full of wonderful sites to see, a spectacular cathedral, and a castle that has taken me back to the days of the Normans. I have found the castle to be hauntingly beautiful and has been well maintained. Did you know that this town was favoured by Charles Dickens, who fulfilled his childhood dreams of owning the charming Gads Hill Place, a wonderful Victorian mansion?
Another favourite town of mine, that deserves greater recognition is the beautiful town of Tewkesbury, often overshadowed by Gloucester. Home to many stunning Tudor and medieval timbered houses, that can be found along the High Street. The Old Baptist Chapel on Church Street is not worth a miss and is near some charming tea rooms, where I like to stop at for some cheeky scones. A stroll along the Avon River is a delight on a sunny day, where you can enjoy some wonderful views of the town. But the jewel of the town is Tewkesbury Abbey a place of worship that is spectacular both inside and out.
My final ‘alternative’ recommendation would be Hertford, which in my opinion is just as beautiful as St Albans. Hertford is home to many incredible sites, including some castle ruins that I have found to be a wonder to explore. Christ’s Hospital is both important and exquisite to see. Established as a school to support intelligent children from poorer backgrounds, I can imagine that it is a marvellous place to obtain an education. Another place of interest is the Georgian Shire Hall which stands proudly at the edge of the high street, along with other picturesque period houses.
I hope that I have managed to persuade you to visit these wonderful, yet overlooked towns. The gems that can be found off the beaten track are often more magnificent than the tourist hotspots. Please enjoy your visits safely!