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Articles, Reading and Information


Sycamore Trees

The sycamore is one of the best-known trees in this country, and often grows to a great height. Its leaves are large and five-pointed, the main veins spreading from the top of the leaf stalk.

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Beech Trees

The beech tree is easily recognised by the olive-grey, smooth bark, and by the shape of the base of the trunk, which usually has the appearance of being formed by the union of several separate columns.

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Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Blickling Hall was owned by Sir John Fastolf of Caister in the 15th-century and his coat of arms is still on display. Ann Boleyn was born here probably in 1507 and there is a fascinating statue and portrait to see. It is said that Anne Boleyn's ghost returns here every year in a carriage on the anniversary of her execution.

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Chartwell, Winston Churchill's Home

Chartwell was the much-loved family home and gardens of Sir Winston Churchill between 1922 and his death in 1965. It is situated in the beautiful Kent countryside just a short distance from the pleasant town of Westerham.

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Croft Castle, Herefordshire

The castle is a three storey quadrangled manor house built round a central courtyard with castellated round towers at each corner. There are fine Georgian interiors to see with beautiful period furnishings.

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Dyrham Park House and Gardens

Dyrham Park is a late 17th-century mansion, garden and deer park set in 270 acres of ancient gardens and parkland in a beautiful Gloucestershire valley. This grand baroque house was designed for William Blathwyat who was a hard working civil servant during the reign of King William III.

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Forty Hall and Gardens

Forty Hall in Enfield is a Grade 1 Listed building in a beautiful landscaped garden which was built between 1629 and 1632 by Sir Nicholas Rainton, a former Lord Mayor of London. It is one of England's finest historic houses.

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King Edward VII (1841-1910)

When Queen Victoria died in 1901, her son Edward VII became King of England, and in such a short reign of just 9 years he became one of the most popular Kings of England both at home and abroad.

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King Henry II (1133-1189)

The English were happy the day young Henry was made king. He was wise, intelligent and brave as well as being the richest king of his time and having the largest estates.

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King James I (1566-1625)

James Stuart was the first King James of England, and the sixth of Scotland, and was a foolish and badly behaved man. He was the son of the unhappy Mary Queen of Scots and nobody could teach him how to behave properly.

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King Stephen (1092/6-1154)

When King Henry the First died, his nephew Stephen was made king in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey attended by great many Norman barons, English lords and bishops.

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The Minchenden Oak (Circa 800 years old)

Edward Walford reports that its spread in 1873 was 'no less than 126 feet, and it is still growing'. It is thought to be a survivor of the ancient Forest of Middlesex and may be some 800 years old.

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About Oak Trees

The oak flourishes in exposed and sunny situations, especially where the soil is well drained. It can be recognised by the zig-zag and wide-spreading boughs, which often spring from the trunk almost horizontally.

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Ocean Cruising

It is often said that once you take your first cruise holiday it will not be the last time you step onboard and set sail again in a floating resort. Enjoying a cruise holiday means you have the opportunity to wake up in a different place every day.

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