Travel Ideas by the Wondering Englishman
Ely Cathedral: A Must-Visit Destination for History Enthusiasts and Cultural Explorers
= Ely Cathedral, located in the picturesque English countryside, is a masterpiece of architecture and a reminder of the country's long history and skilled construction. Since more than a thousand years ago, this magnificent building in the Cambridgeshire city of Ely has caught the attention of both tourists and residents. The fascinating history of Ely Cathedral is examined in this essay, along with its significance, architectural marvels, and the amazing experiences it can provide visitors. The 7th century marks the beginning of Ely Cathedral's magnificent history as the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. Saxon princess-turned-queen St. Etheldreda established it as an abbey in the year 673 AD. The abbey gained fame over the years, and in 1109 it became a cathedral. Due to its connections to various significant events, such as the English Reformation and the Civil War, its historical significance is clear. Ely Cathedral is recognised for its stunning architecture, which combines a variety of styles from many eras. The majestic Norman-style nave, which measures an astonishing 75 metres in length and rises to a lofty height of 23 metres, is the structure's most striking feature. Stone arches with exquisite carvings and vaulted ceilings are evidence of the time's master craftsmen. An engineering marvel is the Octagon, a later addition to the church. It replaced the earlier Norman tower that had collapsed due to structural problems and was built in the fourteenth century. Visitors to The Octagon can enjoy stunning lantern tower views of the surroundings that are illuminated by natural light. The remarkable art and valuables that are kept in Ely Cathedral add to its attractiveness. Beautiful stained glass windows representing biblical events can be seen in The Lady Chapel, a masterwork of mediaeval art. The elaborate woodcarvings in the cathedral, such as the well-known misericords, provide a window into the way of life and beliefs of mediaeval artisans. The cathedral's Stained Glass Museum features priceless examples of stained glass from across the centuries. Visitors can take in the works' dazzling hues and minute details while learning about the processes and backstories that went into creating them. Services, concerts, and other events are still regularly held at Ely Cathedral. The tranquilly of the area allows for thought and introspection on the part of visitors. Chapels, shrines, and memorials honouring saints, bishops, and historical individuals attest to the cathedral's deep spiritual past. Tourists that make the journey to Ely Cathedral will never forget their experience. Volunteer guides are available for tours of the cathedral, and they are well-versed in the building's history, architecture, and artwork. Climbing the West Tower rewards guests with panoramic vistas of the surrounding area. Music festivals, choir concerts, and holiday celebrations are just some of the events that take place in Ely Cathedral throughout the year, contributing to the lively atmosphere and providing excellent possibilities for cultural immersion. The perseverance, creativity, and brilliance of humanity are all on display at Ely Cathedral. This incredible building has been drawing in visitors from all around the world for centuries due to its cultural significance and jaw-dropping architecture. Ely Cathedral is a must-see if you are interested in history, appreciate architecture, or are just looking for a peaceful, beautiful spot to relax. Schedule a visit to this world-famous site and let the majesty and spirituality of it take you back in time. I always try my best to make a video of the destinations I visit - Ely Cathedral is without exception. In my latest video, I explore the history and take in a world within a tower. Do check it out if you are curious about Ely Cathedral and possibly prepping yourself for your first or next visit to this beautiful place. Getting to Ely by Train From London to Ely: The train is the most practical mode of transportation between London and Ely. London King's Cross or London Liverpool Street stations are where trains depart from. A direct train runs from London King's Cross to Ely. Depending on the train service and schedule, the trip usually takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can take a train to Cambridge from London Liverpool Street and then change to a different train headed for Ely. Depending on connections, the trip will take 1 hour and 30 minutes in total. From Cambridge Station, you can take a direct train to Ely, and trains between Cambridge and Ely run often, making it a practical option for travellers. The distance can be travelled in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the timetable and train service. Getting to Ely by other means If you'd rather travel by car, you can get to Ely from London by taking the M11 highway. The journey's duration varies based on traffic and is roughly 70 miles long. It usually takes between one hour and thirty minutes and two hours. Between Cambridge and Ely, there are bus routes that provide a substitute for other modes of transportation. Bus trips typically last between 30 and 40 minutes, however, actual travel durations may differ based on the flow of traffic and the particular bus route. Between Cambridge and Ely, there are bus routes that provide a substitute for other modes of transportation. Bus trips typically last between 30 and 40 minutes, however, actual travel durations may differ based on the flow of traffic and the particular bus route.
What else is there to see if I venture to the Town of Ely? Located in the county of Cambridgeshire, Ely, England, is a picturesque and historic city. It's a wonderful combination of photogenic scenery, interesting history, and fascinating sights. While visiting Ely Cathedral you may also want to take in the following sights in Ely: The mediaeval feel of the city's core is still present in modern-day Ely, thanks to the historic district's winding alleyways and timber-framed buildings lined with cosy cafes. Admire the buildings as you go from shop to shop, then reward yourself with a traditional cream tea at one of the city's many quaint tea shops. An interesting museum on the life of the despicable Tyrant, Oliver Cromwell's House can be found in the heart of Ely. Visitors can learn about Cromwell's historical significance through the interactive exhibits and period rooms. Although it must be noted they fail to criticise this man nearly enough – the days when the English see him for what he was can’t come soon enough. The rich history of Ely can be better understood by visiting the Ely Museum, a modest but instructive museum. Explore the evolution of Ely from its first inhabitants to the current day through displays of archaeological artefacts, hands-on exhibits, and displays highlighting the region's natural and cultural history. Just a short distance from Ely lies Wicken Fen, one of Britain's oldest nature reserves. This unique wetland habitat is home to an array of wildlife, including rare species of birds, plants, and insects. Visitors can explore the reserve through a network of boardwalks, nature trails, and guided tours, immersing themselves in the tranquillity of nature. The presence of the Great Ouse River in Ely makes for a picturesque setting for picnics, strolls along the water, and boat rides. Rent a boat and cruise the river at your leisure while taking in the picturesque scenery and fauna. And for some relaxation and outdoor recreation, head to Jubilee Gardens and Ely Park. These well-maintained green spaces provide a tranquil setting for picnics, leisurely walks, or enjoying recreational activities. Those are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the attractions of Ely. With its friendly locals, beautiful scenery, and rich history, Bath is a great place to visit if you want to learn about England's past and relax away from the stress and bustle of the city.
I am not sponsored by the British Government, Ely Cathedral or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com .
La Cuesta Tenerife: A Hidden Gem for an Unforgettable Holiday Experience
Welcome, fellow travellers. to the enchanting town of La Cuesta in Tenerife! Nestled in the heart of the Canary Islands , this hidden gem offers a truly unique holiday experience that sets it apart from other parts of Tenerife . Embark on a journey through the picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, and unmatched charm of La Cuesta.
A Tranquil Escape from the Bustle : Unlike the bustling tourist hotspots of Tenerife , La Cuesta provides a tranquil escape from the crowds. The town exudes a calm and relaxed atmosphere, offering visitors a chance to unwind and recharge amidst stunning surroundings.
As you meander through its peaceful streets, you'll find beautifully maintained houses adorned with colourful flowers, creating a postcard-perfect scene at every turn. Proximity to La Laguna's Historic Splendor : One of the major advantages of choosing La Cuesta as your holiday destination is its close proximity to the historic city of La Laguna. Just a stone's throw away, you'll find yourself transported to a bygone era. La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , captivates visitors with its remarkable architectural heritage. The city's historic centre boasts magnificent examples of Canarian architecture, characterized by elegant balconies, ornate facades, and charming courtyards. Wander through the city's narrow, cobbled streets, and you'll stumble upon hidden squares, such as Plaza del Adelantado, where locals gather for a leisurely chat or enjoy a coffee in one of the cosy cafés. Marvel at the grandeur of La Laguna Cathedral, an impressive structure that dominates the skyline. Step inside to discover a treasure trove of religious art and stunning stained glass windows. Gateway to Natural Wonders : La Cuesta serves as an ideal starting point to explore Tenerife's awe-inspiring natural wonders. Just a short drive away, you'll find yourself immersed in the breathtaking beauty of the Anaga Rural Park. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of ecosystems. Embark on a hiking adventure along the well-marked trails that wind through ancient laurel forests, offering shade and tranquillity. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs that plunge into the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a dramatic backdrop to your explorations. As you ascend to higher elevations, you'll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of lush valleys, rugged peaks, and picturesque coastal villages.
Authentic Local Experience : La Cuesta offers a truly authentic experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local way of life. This charming town is home to a diverse community of warm and welcoming locals who take great pride in their cultural heritage. Spend time conversing with the residents, and you'll discover their passion for their traditions, art, and cuisine. Delight your taste buds with the flavours of traditional Canarian cuisine in family-run restaurants. Sample local delicacies such as papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) served with mojo sauce or fresh seafood dishes prepared with ingredients sourced from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Engage in friendly conversations with locals at the local market, where you can find an array of fresh produce, regional cheeses, and handicrafts.
Cultural Exploration at Universidad de La Laguna : A distinctive feature of La Cuesta is its close association with the prestigious Universidad de La Laguna. As you wander through the streets, you'll encounter lively cafes, bookstores, and cultural events that showcase the intellectual and artistic spirit of the university community. Dive into the vibrant cultural scene by attending art exhibitions, live performances, or literary gatherings, where you can engage with talented students and professionals. Convenient Location and Connectivity : La Cuesta enjoys a convenient location, making it an ideal base for exploring the rest of Tenerife. The town benefits from excellent road connections, allowing easy access to various attractions and destinations across the island. Whether you prefer to venture north towards the stunning coastline or head south to experience the vibrant capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, La Cuesta's central location makes it a strategic starting point for your Tenerife adventure. Idyllic Beaches within Reach : While La Cuesta itself is situated more inland, the town provides easy access to Tenerife's beautiful beaches. Within a short drive, you'll reach popular coastal areas such as Playa de las Teresitas, a golden-sand beach with crystal-clear waters, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. If you're seeking a more secluded and natural beach experience, explore Playa Benijo, a picturesque black-sand beach surrounded by towering cliffs and backed by the lush landscapes of Anaga Rural Park. Festivals and Traditions : La Cuesta and the neighbouring city of La Laguna are renowned for their vibrant festivals and traditions. Plan your visit during the annual Fiestas de Mayo, a month-long celebration featuring colourful parades, lively music, traditional dances, and theatrical performances. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as locals don traditional costumes, and the streets come alive with joyous revelry. Authentic Accommodation Options : In La Cuesta, you'll find a range of authentic accommodation options that add to the charm of your holiday. Choose from charming guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, or rural cottages that blend seamlessly with the town's character. Enjoy warm hospitality from local hosts who can provide insider tips and recommendations to enhance your experience. My advice is to utilise Airbnb if seeking out a more authentic stay in La Cuesta. My friend has a 3 bedroom place in La Cuesta so if it's available. I highly recommend it. Check it out by visiting this link . Local Crafts and Artisans : For those interested in local arts and crafts, La Cuesta offers opportunities to explore traditional workshops and interact with skilled artisans. Discover the intricacies of Canarian pottery, witness the creation of vibrant textiles, or admire the craftsmanship of handmade jewellery. Take home a piece of Tenerife's cultural heritage as a memento of your unforgettable holiday. In conclusion, La Cuesta Tenerife is a hidden gem that promises an unforgettable holiday experience. Its tranquil ambience, proximity to historical wonders, access to natural beauty, authentic local experiences, and convenient location make it an enticing choice for discerning travellers. Embrace the slower pace of life, indulge in local traditions, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this enchanting town. Let La Cuesta be your haven of serenity as you embark on a journey of discovery, cultural exploration, and unforgettable memories on the captivating island of Tenerife. I am not sponsored by the Spanish Government, Tenerife or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com .
Dunluce Castle: A Must-See Destination from Belfast
Dunluce Castle, an awe-inspiring mediaeval fortification perched abruptly on a cliff edge in Northern Ireland, is an iconic landmark along the spectacular Causeway Coastal Route. This unique historical landmark provides tourists with breathtaking panoramic views of the craggy coastline as well as a riveting peek into the region's rich past. Exploring Dunluce Castle is an absolute must if you're planning a vacation to Belfast and considering a visit to the iconic Giants Causeway. In this extensive blog post, we will walk you through the many transit alternatives accessible from Belfast to this remarkable castle. What exactly is Dunluce Castle? Dunluce Castle has considerable historical significance in Northern Ireland. It was built in the 13th century as the MacDonnell clan's stronghold and eventually became the seat of the Earl of Antrim. This mediaeval fortress has witnessed decades of warfare, political intrigue, and love and tragic stories. Despite being damaged by warfare and natural factors, the castle's ruins ooze mystery and majesty, leaving tourists in awe of its architectural wonders and historical significance. Before you visit Dunluce Castle, watch the below video for a visual tour of the castle and it's history. This I hope will offer you a taste of the castle's allure and enhance your overall experience. Belfast Transport Options: Renting a Car : Renting a car is one of the most convenient ways to get from Belfast to Dunluce Castle. This choice provides you with the most flexibility and independence during your vacation. In Belfast, several car rental businesses operate, offering a diverse selection of automobiles to meet your requirements. The drive from Belfast to Dunluce Castle takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, and you'll be able to take in the breathtaking landscape along the Causeway Coastal Route. Guided Tours : Joining a guided tour is a fantastic choice for individuals who prefer a hassle-free experience or want to learn more about the history and significance of the place. Many tour companies provide day trips from Belfast to the Giants Causeway, which frequently include a visit to Dunluce Castle. These trips usually include transportation, a skilled guide, and stops at prominent locations like Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Dark Hedges. Public Transport : If you prefer to travel by public means, you can still get to Dunluce Castle from Belfast. Translink, Northern Ireland's public transport provider, operates bus services from Belfast to the adjacent town of Bushmills. You may take a local bus or a taxi from Bushmills to Dunluce Castle, which is only a short distance away. To guarantee a seamless journey, verify the bus schedules ahead of time. Private Transfers : Booking a private transfer service is another option to explore. There are several firms that offer comfortable and convenient door-to-door transport from Belfast to Dunluce Castle. These services allow you to choose your departure time and give a comfortable journey with educated drivers who can provide information about the area. Visiting Dunluce Castle from Belfast is an extraordinary experience that allows you to delve into the mesmerizing beauty and rich history of the Causeway Coastal Route. Whether you decide to rent a car, join a guided tour, rely on public transportation, or opt for a private transfer, exploring this historical gem should not be missed. The castle's striking ruins, breathtaking views of the coastline, and its proximity to the Giants Causeway make it a suggested place to visit for anyone exploring the wonders of Northern Ireland. To further enhance your anticipation and preparation for your visit, we encourage you to watch the embedded video above. It provides a captivating visual tour of Dunluce Castle and its surroundings, offering a glimpse into the castle's fascinating history and architectural splendour. As you plan your journey to Dunluce Castle, remember to check the latest information regarding opening hours, admission fees, and any other restrictions that may be in place. Ensure you allocate enough time to explore the castle grounds, admire the breathtaking views, and immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of this iconic historical site.
Embark on a memorable adventure from Belfast to Dunluce Castle, where history and natural beauty converge, leaving you with memories to treasure for a lifetime. I am not sponsored by the British Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com .
Liverpool: A Perfect Weekend Destination with Dramatic Transformation
Liverpool, a city formerly best recognised for its industrial past and legendary musical history, has changed dramatically over the years. As a result of its revitalization, it is now a popular tourist attraction and a fascinating weekend getaway. Liverpool has a lot to offer visitors, from its rich history and cultural attractions to its vibrant food and drink culture. Get ready for a weekend of excitement in this exciting city by packing your bags. If you are starting your trip from London, there are a number of easy ways to get to Liverpool. Trains leave frequently from London Euston, making this the most convenient and quick option. The ride lasts about two hours and takes you through the quickly vanishing English countryside. You can also fly to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which is conveniently located in the city, from any of London's airports. There is no understating the amazing nature of Liverpool's development over the years. The city has undergone a spectacular revitalization, evidenced by the designation of its historic waterfront as a UNESCO World Heritage site and a subsequent cultural rebirth. Liverpool, formerly a significant port city and industrial centre, has successfully remade itself as a centre for the arts, music, and technology. Examples of the city's development include the revitalization of historic sites like the Royal Albert Dock and the conversion of old warehouses into galleries showcasing cutting-edge modern art. Liverpool is a great city to spend a weekend in because there is something for everyone to do. The Merseyside Nautical Museum, winner of numerous awards, is a must-visit for any history buff interested in learning more about the city's rich nautical past. The world-famous Beatles Story Museum is an emotional trip through the band's history. The Tate Liverpool and the Walker Art Gallery both have collections of modern and contemporary masterpieces that are sure to inspire any art lover. If you want to get a feel for Liverpool's vibrant culture, a stroll along the redeveloped Albert Dock is a great place to start. Liverpool Cathedral, the largest in the United Kingdom, is well worth seeing for its stunning architecture and the breathtaking views that can be had from its tower. Sefton Park and St. George's Hall and Gardens are two great places to visit for some peace and quiet in a natural setting. Liverpool has a wide variety of hotels , hostels , apartments and other types of lodgings to choose from. You may find any type of accommodation here, from five-star hotels with waterfront views to little inns in charming neighbourhoods. Many hotels may be found in the city's central business district, putting visitors within walking distance of the city's top attractions, while neighbourhoods like the Georgian Quarter provide comfortable lodging in picturesque settings. Another option is to stay in the hip Baltic Triangle area, famous for its artistic culture and exciting nightlife. Liverpool's restaurant industry has blossomed in recent years, and the city now offers a wide selection of cuisines and drinks to suit any taste. Visit Baltic Market, a hive of independent food sellers serving up dishes from throughout the world, to get a flavour of the city's thriving street food culture. The Art School Restaurant is a fine dining establishment known for its wonderful cuisine made using ingredients sourced from the surrounding community. The Philharmonic Dining Rooms, with its elaborate Victorian architecture, is the place to go for classic pub meals and a pint of local ale. The Ropewalks district should be taken in if you want to experience Liverpool's exciting nightlife. The Cavern Club should be visited for its history as it's well-known as the venue that gave rise to The Beatles and is still a popular music venue. The unusual and eccentric taverns of the Baltic Triangle and the historic pubs of Mathew Street are great places to spend a night at a more relaxed pace. Liverpool is a shopper's dream, with numerous places to satisfy one's need for retail therapy. Liverpool ONE is a popular shopping centre that features both high-end and mainstream retailers. There is a thriving community of unique boutiques, thrift stores, and cafes along Bold Street. Visit the Granby Street Market for a one-of-a-kind shopping adventure, where local artists and craftspeople sell their wares directly to the public. Theatres, concert halls, and comedy clubs are just some of the amazing entertainment options available in the city. Liverpool's Everyman and Playhouse theatres feature thought-provoking dramas and inventive productions, while the Liverpool Empire Theatre showcases world-class performances ranging from musicals to ballets. Experience live music at the renowned Cavern Club or laugh it up at the Hot Water Comedy Club. Weekend visitors with time to spare might choose day trips and excursions to the areas surrounding Liverpool. The scenic Wirral Peninsula is only a boat ride away, and it's full of great places to go for walks along the water and visits to quaint seaside towns like West Kirby and New Brighton. The beautiful countryside of the Lake District is easily accessible, providing access to gorgeous scenery and opportunities for outdoor recreation including hiking and canoeing. Liverpool is a city with a strong devotion to sports, especially football. Taking in a Liverpool FC game at their home pitch, Anfield Stadium will put you in the thick of the action - If you'd rather learn about the club's rich history firsthand, a stadium tour will do the trick. The surrounding village of Hoylake is home to the world-famous Royal Liverpool Golf Club, a championship course famed for its difficult links and magnificent views. Of course, all the real locals support Everton FC so don't neglect them if Liverpool FC tickets aren't available. In conclusion, Liverpool has evolved into a dynamic weekend destination, providing guests with a wide range of options. The city offers something for everyone thanks to its extensive history, fascinating museums, a large selection of hotels, and dynamic restaurant and bar scene. Liverpool is a fantastic destination for a weekend trip since it offers so many unique experiences, from sightseeing to music to food. I am not sponsored by the British Government, Liverpool council or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com . Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Cologne - much more than just a Cathedral - have you tried Kölsch?
The German city of Cologne, or Köln as it is spelt, is a fascinating study of opposites. It's a metropolis that manages to be at once tranquil and bustling, traditional and dynamic, and full of history and the future. The Kölner Dom, the city's magnificent cathedral, is one of the first sights visitors to Cologne will see. For nearly 700 years, this magnificent Gothic church has stood as a symbol of the city it overlooks. Standing in front of this majestic structure and taking in all of the fine intricacies of its façade can't help but fill you with awe. But the cathedral isn't all that Cologne has to offer. There is a lot of history in the city that has yet to be uncovered. If you take a trip through the Old Town, you can see many structures that were constructed during the Middle Ages. The Rathaus, the city hall, is a stunning structure. It is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture from the 14th century and has played a significant role in the history of Cologne. Cologne is another city that never sleeps. Locals and tourists alike frequent the Rhine River's shores. A trip down the river is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Along the riverfront, you can find many great places to eat and drink while you people-watch. Cologne's easygoing demeanour distinguishes it from other German cities. Locals in Cologne are noted for their friendliness and eagerness to chat over a Kölsch, the city's speciality beer. The fact that Cologne is the only city in Germany to produce its own beer is a source of regional pride. As a city, Cologne is dynamic as well. For instance, the Ehrenfeld region is a repurposed industrial zone that is now a hip and happening district of Berlin. There is an abundance of locally owned businesses, as well as street art and hipster cafes, in this area. Cologne's openness to contrast is undoubtedly the city's greatest strength. It's a city where seemingly opposite things coexist in harmonious harmony. You'll be struck by the interesting character of this city whether you're strolling through the ancient Old Town, checking out the trendy neighbourhoods, or just relaxing with a Kölsch along the riverfront. When you think of German beer, you probably think of the classic lagers and pilsners that the country is known for. But if you find yourself in Cologne, there's one beer that you simply can't miss: Kölsch. Kölsch is a light, crisp beer that is brewed exclusively in and around Cologne. It's been the city's signature beer since the 1800s and is an integral part of the local culture. In fact, Kölsch is more than just a beer – it's a way of life in Cologne. So what makes Kölsch so special? For starters, it's a top-fermented beer, which means that it's brewed at warmer temperatures than other German beers. This gives it a lighter body and a more refreshing taste. It's also served in small glasses, called "Stangen", which hold just 0.2 litres of beer. This is intentional – Kölsch is meant to be enjoyed in small, leisurely sips, rather than chugged down in large quantities. But what really sets Kölsch apart is the way it's served. In most bars in Cologne, Kölsch is served straight from the barrel. The waiter, or "Köbes", will bring you a fresh glass of beer as soon as you finish your current one. The glasses are tall and thin, with a narrow neck that helps keep the beer cold. The Köbes will keep track of how many glasses you've had by marking them on a coaster at your table. Don't worry about keeping track of yourself – the Köbes has got you covered. Kölsch is more than just a beer – it's a social experience. It's meant to be enjoyed with friends and family, and it's often served with local specialities like Himmel un Ääd (potatoes and applesauce) or Halver Hahn (rye bread with cheese and onions). The atmosphere in the bars is lively and convivial, with locals and visitors alike enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and the unique flavour of Kölsch. If you want to try Kölsch for yourself, there's no shortage of places to do so in Cologne. Head to the Altstadt (Old Town) and you'll find plenty of traditional beer halls and breweries serving up cold glasses of Kölsch. Früh, Reissdorf, and Gaffel are just a few of the most popular Kölsch breweries in Cologne. So if you find yourself in Cologne, make sure to try Kölsch. It's more than just a beer – it's a taste of the city's history and culture. And who knows – you might just fall in love with the laid-back atmosphere and convivial spirit that Kölsch embodies. So if you're looking for a city that is full of surprises, head to Cologne. It's a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Prost! If you are considering making a weekend out of Cologne. There are a number of options to choose from to suit all budgets. Over the years, I've had the fortune to stay in an array of hotels, apartments and various forms of accommodation while travelling. For the majority of travellers, I recommend Booking.com - yes there are hotel comparison websites such as Trivago and Kayak. However, from my years of travel experience, I've discovered both of these comparison websites do not have all the hotels, hostels and apartments listed. The reasons behind this could be some premises simply do not pay the comparison sights a fee or the reason could be something else. If you know of the reason do leave a comment below. However, I have discovered no matter what the location Booking.com will 9/10ths of the time have the most competitive deal and generally the most choice. However, if you are super keen to get the best deal- use Booking.com , Kayak, Trivago, Lastminute.com and Hotels.com in separate browser windows. I am not sponsored by the German Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com . Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
A magnificent place to visit in Edinburgh that won't cost you a penny?
The High Kirk of Edinburgh, also known as St Giles Cathedral, is one of Scotland's most important religious landmarks. The church is situated on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh's Old Town, and its distinctive spire dominates the cityscape. For over 900 years, St Giles has played a central role in Scottish religious and political life, and its history is inextricably linked to that of the city and the nation. King David I of Scotland founded the first church on the St Giles site in the 12th century, dedicating it to St Giles, the patron saint of lepers. The church began as a small chapel, but it grew in size and importance over time. The church became the official place of worship for the city council and the Scottish parliament, which met in the church's Chapter House in the 14th century. St Giles has undergone many changes and renovations over the centuries, reflecting Scotland's changing religious and political landscape. The church's most recognisable feature is its striking crown spire, which was added in the 15th century and is now one of Edinburgh's most recognisable landmarks. The Thistle Chapel, which was added in the 17th century and is the home of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland's highest order of chivalry, is another notable feature. St Giles' interior is equally impressive, with a variety of architectural styles and artistic treasures. The massive Thistle Altar, which features a beautiful wood-carved triptych depicting scenes from Christ's life, dominates the church's nave. The stained-glass windows in the church are also noteworthy, with many dating back to the nineteenth century and depicting scenes from Scottish history and mythology. The Scottish Reformation , which began in the 16th century and resulted in the establishment of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, was one of the most significant historical events to occur at St Giles. With its minister, John Knox, one of the most prominent figures in the Scottish Reformation, St Giles played a central role in this movement. Knox's sermons at St Giles were famous for their fiery rhetoric and unwavering anti-Catholicism, and he was instrumental in establishing the Presbyterian Church as Scotland's dominant religion. St Giles is still an active place of worship today, as well as a popular tourist destination and cultural landmark. Visitors can explore the church's many historical and artistic treasures and attend regular services and concerts. St Giles is also important in Edinburgh's civic life, hosting events like the annual St Giles' Cathedral Music Festival and the Kirking of the Council, a traditional ceremony in which the city's elected officials are blessed by the church. St Giles Cathedral is a symbol of Scotland's history and identity, in addition to its religious and cultural significance. From the Scottish Reformation to King James VI's coronation in 1567, the church has been the site of many significant events in Scottish history. Its striking spire and elegant architecture demonstrate the skill and artistry of Scotland's craftsmen and builders, while its stained-glass windows and artworks reflect the country's rich cultural heritage. Finally, St Giles Cathedral is a notable and significant historical landmark in Scotland, as well as a testament to the country's religious and cultural heritage. It is a must-see destination for anyone interested in Scottish history and culture, with its beautiful architecture, stunning artworks, and rich history. Whether you are a visitor to Edinburgh or a resident of Scotland, St Giles is a place of inspiration and reflection, as well as a symbol of the Scottish people's enduring spirit. I am not sponsored by the Scottish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com . Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Essential items you need to pack when Travelling
Travelling can be an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful if you don't have everything you need. Whether you're going on a short weekend trip or a longer vacation, it's important to pack wisely. Here are some of the top things to pack for travelling. Passport and travel documents. Your passport is the most important document when travelling abroad, so make sure you pack it in a safe and easily accessible place. Don't forget to also bring any other travel documents you may need, such as visas, travel insurance, and flight tickets. The nice thing about the modern world your travel tickets, insurance documents and hotel bookings can now all be stored on your smartphone. Necessitating the need for carrying around a folder full of documents and tickets. Although to avoid your passport being damaged with all that travel I do reccomend you get a passport holder - many border agents don't take kindly to worn out passports. Money and credit cards. It's a good idea to bring a mix of cash and credit cards when travelling. Make sure to check the currency of the country you're visiting and have enough local currency on hand for small purchases. Personally, I’m a big fan of WISE - with this card I get to pay for all my transactions at the spot price with no fees. I highly recommend it! Electronics and chargers. If you're bringing any electronics, such as a phone, camera, or laptop, don't forget to pack their chargers. You may also want to bring a universal adapter if you're travelling to a country with different outlets. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to buy an adapter while at an airport because I forgot to pack one for the eighth time this year! In recent years plug adapters have got smarter . There is less of a need for 1 for the UK and 1 for Europe and 1 for Asia when all in 1's have it all covered. Medications and first aid kit. If you take any prescription medication, make sure you bring enough for your entire trip. It's also a good idea to pack a small first-aid kit with essentials like band-aids , pain relievers , and antihistamines . Personally, I always travel with a selection of vitamins . Taking multiple flights or long-haul flights can really run down the body. Boosting your immune system with all the essential vitamins can literally be a lifesaver. Do not leave home without them and if you forget - every country in the world has their own variants so don't be averse to picking them up when needed. The Correct Clothing and Shoes . The clothing and shoes you pack will depend on the weather and activities you have planned. It's always a good idea to bring comfortable walking shoes and a lightweight jacket or sweater , even if you're travelling to a warm destination. A real travel hack I've come to learn over the years is to generally pack neutral colours that can be combined, so you don't have to think of outfits. I tend to dress in black in the winter, that way everything goes together. In the summer - white T-shirts and comfortable shorts with secure pockets . Keep everything in one bag - laundry services are available all over the world so there is never a need to overpack. It's not fun lugging heavy bags around. Toiletries. As Chris Evans used to say “Don't forget your toothbrush!” - on top of that bring your Fluoride-free Toothpaste , Shampoo (if you have hair), and any other personal hygiene products you need. If you're flying, make sure they comply with airline regulations for liquids and gels. Although the maximum millilitre insanity will soon be coming to an end, as countries do away with their liquids maximum for flights. Travel pillow and eye mask. Long flights or train rides can be uncomfortable, so consider bringing a travel pillow and eye mask to help you sleep better. Now there are multiple types of pillows you could bring with you when travelling. Personally, I'm not a fan of lugging extra things around with me, but everyone is different. I did, however, get a lot of use out of an inflatable neck pillow . The benefit of this is it can be put back into your bag (taking up almost no space) when it's deflated. Whereas a soft neck pillow usually takes up a lot of space and is often seen tied to backpacks or stuffed into hand luggage taking up valuable space. However, for travel and to keep your neck in good order, these things are essential when travelling long and far. For those of you needing to look less puffy in the morning after a day of travelling - a Patrick Bateman eye mask can't go wrong! Portable charger. A portable charger can be a lifesaver if you're travelling and your phone or other devices run out of battery. Personally, I travel with at least 2 of these at all times. If I’m going to sunny climates I bring a solar-powered power bank . If I’m having a city break and I know I’ll be doing lots of walking - I carry smaller portable chargers . The worst thing would be to be boarding your flight last and then your phone dies because it's out of juice. You could possibly be denied boarding without that digital air ticket. Don't allow your phone to ever run out of battery. Water bottle. Bringing a reusable water bottle can save you money and reduce waste while travelling. Just make sure to empty it before going through security if you're flying. Although fill up from filtered and fresh spring sources only. Avoid London tap water at all costs! Studies have proven Alex Jones was right about the Frogs . Entertainment. Bring a book, magazine, or tablet to keep yourself entertained during downtime while travelling. Long journeys are the best places to digest some of the most outstanding books of our world. Those classics you have always wanted to read in my mind are best read while on the road. The words of the greatest authors can often inspire us more when we are travelling. The advantage of a book is it won't disturb your fellow travellers. Be mindful if you are listening to loud music with crappy headphones . The rest of the plane or train does not want to hear your beats no matter how good they are! By packing these essentials, you'll be prepared for any situation that may arise while travelling. If you feel I've forgotten something from the list - leave a comment below and let me know what you would bring on that next trip. Thank you for reading, don't forget to double-check your packing list before leaving, and have a safe and enjoyable trip! I have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both, as sadly, YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com . Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Loved by Saints and Pilgrims - Glendalough is now frequented by Tourists
Glendalough, meaning “Valley of the Two Lakes”, is a glacial valley located in County Wicklow, Ireland. It is home to an ancient monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. The monastic site has been well-preserved and remains one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors every year. The monastic settlement at Glendalough consisted of several buildings, including a church, a round tower, and several other structures. The round tower, which still stands today, was used as a lookout post and a place of refuge during attacks. Visitors can also see the remains of St. Kevin’s Church, which was built in the 11th century and is one of the best examples of early Irish church architecture. The valley of Glendalough is also home to a number of trails, including the popular Spink Loop Walk, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Visitors can also hike to the top of Camaderry Mountain for panoramic views of the surrounding area. In addition to its historical significance, Glendalough is also known for its natural beauty. The valley is home to a number of streams, waterfalls, and two glacial lakes, Upper Lake and Lower Lake, which are surrounded by stunning mountains and forests. The area is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities including hiking, fishing, and bird watching. Visitors to Glendalough can also take a guided tour of the monastic site and learn about the history and culture of Ireland. There is also a visitor centre on-site, which offers information on the area and its history, as well as a gift shop and a cafe. Glendalough is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Irish history, culture, and nature. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a unique and beautiful place to visit, Glendalough has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and head to Glendalough for an unforgettable journey through Ireland’s rich history and breathtaking natural beauty. Glendalough has a number of hotels and Bed and Breakfast options scattered throughout it. Choose to stay in and around Glendalough no matter where you stay. I can guarantee, thanks to the Irish hospitality and the desire to always be accommodating, any option you choose in the area will be excellent value and worthy of your time and money. Use the Booking search tool to explore accomodation options. I am not sponsored by the Irish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com . Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
In a Knot about where to stay on the Ring of Kerry?
Nestled in the west coast of Ireland, is town, that at least from above, looks like a bow tie or a knot. A town that in the 21st century is frequented by many tourists who want to take in the picturesque Ring of Kerry. The famous Ring encapsulates some of the best scenery Ireland has to offer and a must visit for anyone trying to fully understand the Emerald Isle.
Sneem, is nestled between Irelands tallest mountains (Carrauntoohil) and the wild and rugged coasts that Ireland does so exceptionally well. When the tourists are away – one can imagine this being a very sleepy little village and yet when the tourists are here, the dynamics of this village/town change dramatically, as one contends for a place in one of the many locals with legions of American tourists trying to understand where their ancestors may have come from.
Sneem is a perfect place to begin or end the exploration of the ring of Kerry. Ideally with a car or a coach, you will need at least a day to fully take in the Ring of Kerry. Although if you are thinking of cycling the Ring you will need more than a few days to really appreciate all the stops in all its glory. Although it is very possible to cycle the entire ring in a day (many have done) you won’t have the time to stop and admire all the sights that really need to be taken in.
I’ll talk about the Ring of Kerry in another post, but for today – I think it should be noted that Sneem is a village, split into two, by the Sneem River. With the respective sides being known as North Square and South Square. Each part of the village has its own feeling and unique beauty. Although it must be noted that the best Fish and Chips are found on the North side of the village, while the best pint is (at least in my mind) found in the south side of the village. In the South of the village you will find the Catholic Church but what’s more fascinating is glancing to the right of this church you will find stone pyramid structures known as “The Way the Fairies Went”, also referred to as “ The Pyramids ”. The work was carried out to celebrate Sneem winning the National Tidy towns competition way back in 1987. Although, I think they in part, pay homage to the stone houses that you find on the Skellig Islands made famous by the Awful Star Wars Movie where Luke Skywalker was emasculated to make Rey Skywalker the star of the show. On the Skellig Isles you will find stone huts that date back to the 6th-8th Centuries.
Sneem has a number of hotels and Bed and Breakfast options scattered throughout it and due to the numbers who stay in Sneem daily the population of the village hits the thousands. When I last stayed in Sneem, I stayed on the Southern edge of the village at the very modern and super accommodating Sneem Hotel . With breath-taking views; should you opt for a lakeside room, it’s a highly recommend stay (at least by this Englishman’s standards) should you be taking in Sneem and the Ring of Kerry.
Alternative options can be found scattered around Sneem and although I may not have stayed in all these options – I can guarantee thanks to the Irish hospitality and the desire to always be accommodating any option you choose in Sneem or he surrounding area will be excellent value and worthy of your time and money. I am not sponsored by the Irish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com . Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Dear Corrupt Conservative Party
Dear Conservative party, I'm utterly dismayed at the state of this party and the state of this once great nation. I've been a member of the Conservatives since the 1990s. And yet since regaining power in 2010 you have enabled the total destruction of this once great country. I do believe this destruction isn’t down to incompetence but is instead fully orchestrated by those who pull the strings of those in power. As a lifelong Conservative - I considered giving up my membership back in 2018 when I was thrown to the wolves by the Conservative party when a left-wing hacktivist decided to write a libellous set of articles on me . This matter was made worse by the inaction and incompetence of the Conservatives at the time. I got no support from the Conservatives between 2018 and 2021 while the articles remained up. The Hackney Citizen later admitted Libel at the end of 2021, and yet it was only then, was I able to try and rebuild my career. I watched a party and a government make a dog’s dinner out of Brexit - cowering to the corporations, the corrupt civil servants, and the press. Yet, despite us finally leaving – this government has wasted any advantages that would come from leaving the EU. They could have abolished all the unnecessary paperwork imposed on the city of London by the EU and yet in 2022 – nothing. They could have scrapped the European convention on Human rights and yet in 2022 – nothing. Brexit has been wasted and in my mind setup in this way so those who pull the strings will pull us back to that corrupt political union when the time comes.
I stood in defiance as I watched the corrupt Conservative Government act like Communist China – anyone would think they had colluded with the Chi-Coms by the way they set about engaging with the public in 2020 and 2021. The WEF instructions, clearly were being fed to them into enforcing tyrannical lockdowns and pushing Vaccines, Vaccines so good that they were never tested to stop transmission ; so of course, they clearly didn’t work! This corrupt government led by the propaganda outlet of Nadim Zahawi’s YOUGOV side hustle pushed vaccine passports and the idea of digital IDs onto a submissive scared nation . Despite all claims that this was all for the countries benefit, when in fact it was simply mirroring communist China and bowing to the demands of the WEF. Despite all this deliberate tyranny, I kept paying my monthly direct debits to the Conservative party in the hope that maybe, just maybe I would get to speak out and have a say in the direction of the party. I watched as I saw the Conservative Government standing idly by as fighting age men crossed the channel illegally , only to be welcomed by our corrupt border force to then be placed in 3-5star hotels across the country . I watched with dismay as Property Developers channelled money to the conservatives so that the government would encourage the mass importation of new arrivals with each year that passed. With the sole intention of propping up the property markets that seemed to be the only reason the UK wasn’t capitulating economically. I watched as Net Migration ballooned , year after year, despite the mass exodus of Brits from the UK who were sick of seeing their neighbourhoods and country change forever. Those who remained watched as crime and civility spiralled out of control – as communities that were once homogenous no longer were. The perils that came with importing waves upon waves of new arrivals was ignored by those who served Serco and their property magnet friends. New Labour in 1997 opened the flood gates to changing the dynamics of the country by side lining the native brits for the needs of outsiders. And yet, under the Conservative Government the flood gates were opened even wider. The party, the government and the system has led the country to this spiralling collapse, and it is to the detriment of hard working Brits who were never asked if any of this was acceptable. People look at banana republics and see the corruption – little do they imagine that one of the world’s oldest democracies in the world would stink to high heaven with corruption it does today. Is this collapse of the west led by the UK orchestrated – if it isn’t then every involved should be sacked because they reek of incompetence. The question I now ask myself – do I continue paying the miniscule direct debit to the Conservative party in the hope that I can change the rotting corpse or just sack them off and completely turn my back on this party that is Conservative by name only in the 21st century!?!
Answers and thoughts below.
Poznan Poland - uniquely beautiful and worth your time and energy
Krakow, Warsaw, and Gdansk - these are cities people tend to imagine when thinking of Poland or when they are considering visiting Poland. And yet Poland is much much more than these places, with a tremendous much more to offer. Each time I take a peek at this beautiful country I’m forever surprised and in awe at what an exceptional country it is. Recently I found myself visiting the beautiful city of Poznan. Not a city I had considered until recently but that was due to change when I realised I could get to Berlin from Poznan very easily.
At first, I simply used Poznan as a place to fly in and out of. Ignoring what it had to offer; as getting to Berlin (at least at the time) was more important. However, I came to realise that Poznan was a place that needed to be visited and absorbed for its own merits, not just used for its convenient airport and transport links to Berlin. In my latest video, which can be found on my YouTube Channel - The Wondering Englishman - I took it upon myself to see how much of Poznan I could explore in 24 hours. Should you be curious about that adventure - sit back with some snacks and enjoy. , Of course, I didn’t capture everything in Poznan in 24 hours - this would be nigh on impossible. It also means I have plenty of reasons to return in the near future when the time permits and flights are at the right prices.
Poznan is located in west central Poland and came about in the middle ages. The city in recent years is known to the Poles as an important cultural and business centre, and one of Poland's most populous regions, with many regional customs such as Saint John's Fair (Jarmark Świętojański), traditional Saint Martin's croissants and a local dialect. Poznań is the fifth-largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Poznan has a population just shy of 550,000 souls, and the Poznań metropolitan area which comprises of Poznań County and several other communities is inhabited by over 1.1 million people. It is one of four historical capitals of medieval Poland and the ancient capital of the Greater Poland region. Poznań is a centre for trade, sports, education, technology and tourism. It is an important academic site, with about 130,000 students and Adam Mickiewicz University , the third largest Polish university. The city's other renowned landmarks include the National Museum, Grand Theatre, Fara Church and the Imperial Castle. The name Poznań probably comes from a personal name Poznan, "one who is known/recognized", and would mean "Poznan's town". It is also possible that the name comes directly from the verb poznać, which means "to get to know" or "to recognize", so it may simply mean "known town". The city was first referenced in 970 AD. Although some historians suggest settlement was likely in this vicinity for much longer than that. For centuries before the (an event that essentially is credited as the creation of the very first Polish state, the Duchy of Poland), Poznań was an important cultural and political centre of the Western Polans. It consisted of a fortified stronghold between the Warta and Cybina rivers on what is now Ostrów Tumski. The island where the Cathedral now stands. The city is dripping in over 1000 years of recorded history and I’m certain when more people dig further then will find even more history waiting to be found. A city that certainly gives historians and culture seekers a run for their money as they walk the cobbled streets and try to imagine all those that came before them. From unique places to eat to fun places to drink; Poznan has something for everyone seeking out an alternative weekend destination. And because it's often not considered by many as the go-to destination, Poznan is reasonably affordable! From affordable comfortable central accommodation to affordable food, drink and excursions to museums. This place won’t break your budget and you will be left with a warm feeling about Poznan and a feeling that you have discovered something you must tell your friends about. The last two times I stayed in Poznan I stayed at the B&B Hotel Poznan Old Town - which is located right in the centre and an absolute bargain when you consider Breakfast is included. On my second trip to Poznan, I stayed at accommodation - This was also incredibly central and ticked all the boxes when it came to providing comfortable accommodation with excellent value - both places I would happily stay at again for the right price. Of course, Poznan has hundreds of options - so bargains can be had if you shop around. Check out the accommodation map below just to give you an idea of what's on offer. I am not sponsored by the Polish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com . Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
The Rock of Cashel - Ireland - a wonder of the Emerald Isle
Ancient kings, patron saints and unparalleled beauty – the Rock of Cashel brings together Ireland's long legacy and trademark stunning scenery. Silhouetted against the sky, rising above the lush green fields of the surrounding countryside, the Rock is home to over 1,000 years of history, right at the heart of Ireland's Ancient East. The Rock of Cashel is one of the wonders of the Emerald Isle ; a truly wonderful place to visit and explore the history of this magical and spooky place with a very dark history. Found southwest of Dublin and northeast of Cork in mystical Irland is a hill known to the locals and to many around the world as The Rock of Cashel. Dripping in history and wonder it is on many to-do lists for those who visit Ireland. Thankfully because it is relatively distant from most places in Ireland the Rock of Cashel isn’t completely overrun by tourists - at least just yet. According to local legends, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles north of Cashel. Local legend states that St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel. Although this mound or hill as it may be referred to where we find the Rock of Cashel has been here since the ice age - so sadly a nice idea about St Patrick but simply not true. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries. The oldest and tallest of the structure is the well-preserved Round Tower - 28 metres, or 90 feet. Its entrance is 12 feet from the ground, necessitated by a shallow foundation (about 3 feet) typical of round towers throughout Ireland - if you are curious what they are like from the top or to climb - do check out my video on Kilkenny where I climb the Round tower in Kilkenny Ireland. The tower was built using the dry stone method. Modern conservationists have filled in some of the Tower with mortar for safety reasons. The Cathedral, built between 1235 and 1270, is an aisleless building of a cruciform plan, having a central tower and terminating westwards in a massive residential castle. The Hall of the Vicars Choral was built in the 15th century. The vicar's choral were laymen (sometimes minor canons) appointed to assist in chanting the cathedral services. The Office of Public Works undertook the restoration of the Hall as a project in connection with the European Architectural Heritage Year, 1975. Through it, visitors now enter the site. In 1647, during the Irish Confederate Wars , Cashel was sacked by English Parliamentarian troops under Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin. The Irish Confederate troops there were massacred, as were the Catholic clergy, including Theobald Stapleton. Inchiquin's troops looted or destroyed many important religious artefacts. In 1749, the main cathedral roof was removed by Arthur Price, the Anglican Archbishop of Cashel. Today, what remains of the Rock of Cashel has become a tourist attraction. Price's decision to remove the roof on what had been called the jewel among Irish church buildings was criticised before and since. The entire plateau on which the buildings and graveyard lie is walled. An extensive graveyard is to be found in the grounds around the buildings, including a number of high crosses . Scully's Cross, one of the largest and most famous high crosses here, initially constructed in 1867 to commemorate the Scully family, was destroyed in 1976 when lightning struck a metal rod that ran the length of the cross. The remains of the top of the cross now lie at the base of the cross adjacent to the rock wall. Cormac's Chapel, the chapel of King Cormac Mac Carthaigh, was begun in 1127 and consecrated in 1134. It is a sophisticated structure, with vaulted ceilings and wide arches, drawing on contemporary European architecture and infusing unique native elements. The Irish Abbot of Regensburg, Dirmicius of Regensburg, sent two of his carpenters to help in the work and the twin towers on either side of the junction of the nave and chancel are strongly suggestive of their Germanic influence, as this feature is otherwise unknown in Ireland. Other notable features of the building include a barrel-vaulted roof, a carved tympanum over both doorways, the magnificent north doorway and chancel arch and the oldest stairs in Ireland. It contains one of the best-preserved Irish frescoes from this time period. The Chapel was constructed primarily of sandstone which has become waterlogged over the centuries, significantly damaging the interior frescoes. Restoration and preservation required the chapel to be completely enclosed in a rain-proof structure with interior dehumidifiers to dry out the stone. It is now open for limited tours to the public. All in all, a beautiful and magical place to visit and in my mind should be added to everyone's itinerary when visiting the Emerald Isle. If you manage to visit it or have visited it previously let me know what you thought. The wonderful crows who call the Rock of Cashel their home make the trip worth it alone.
Either take a road trip from Dublin or Cork or alternatively, stay in the area. When booking accommodation in Ireland and around the world I like to use Booking.com I am not sponsored by the Irish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel . As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee . I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com . Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman #Ireland