Category Archives: Landscape

Why the Fens Aren’t Flat and Boring

I hate our boring preconceptions about places. London isn’t rich, crowded and stuck-up, any more than Liverpool is gritty and down-to-earth. They’re just places where people live, love and wish-away their lives. Reality is what we all want to be … Continue reading

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Our North Wales Break, Part 1: Buildings (and sheep)

Maisie and I have decided that we’re not great ones for long holidays. We prefer to take three or four day breaks instead, and this year we decided to visit north Wales. Maisie was keen to see the well-known garden … Continue reading

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Alan Cadbury’s Abbey: Crowland

The Fens are open, flat and full of myths. One persistent myth is that Fenland is all the same; that there is no regional distinctiveness or identity. Outsiders cannot get beyond the straight roads, the even straighter dykes and the … Continue reading

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London’s Olympic Park: A Sign of Hope

It doesn’t seem very long ago that I was researching for material to include in my book The Making of the British Landscape. I well remember walking through Birkenhead Park, the modern world’s first urban park (1847) intended for the … Continue reading

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My Favourite Pictures (2): The Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire (1876)

On a clear sunny day the Ribblehead Viaduct can look as stunning as anything in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  I’d visited the place three times, first when doing a recce and then twice (start and finish) when we were … Continue reading

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The Fascination of Concrete…

The physical remains of our past are generally beautiful to look at. I don’t know whether it’s a result of time, antiquity or our imagination. Ancient churches are one thing, but even standing stones look wonderful, as they defy the … Continue reading

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The Compassion of Solitude

I can’t imagine how grim it must be to be a senior member of the Royal Family and always in the public eye. I think it’s the difficulty of getting away from people that makes life in the modern world … Continue reading

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