British Military Attractions
Britain’s often bloody history has left thousands of years of sites to explore.
left us Hadrian’s Wall, stretching across the country. At Housesteads near Hexham
, the remains of a great fort built to keep the northern barbarians at bay can be visited. At the other end of the country and our history, The Needles Battery on the Isle of Wight
fulfilled a similar function, but this time to face the Germans during WWI and WWII. In earlier times Britain’s wooden walls, our ships, defended our shores. Our most famous warship, HMS Victory
, is displayed in Portsmouth
These days a visit to the museum is no longer a trudge around endless glass cases. The Imperial War Museum
is renowned throughout the world, and as well as the Lambeth Road site in London
there is its Duxford Air Museum
, and its northern arm in Manchester
, with displays and activities to fire the imagination.
A wider perspective can be gained from visiting some of our historic battlefields. Three which changed British history forever are well worth the effort. The site of the Battle of Hastings
, where in 1066 the Normans seized this country in one bloody victory, is managed by English Heritage. The Battle of Bosworth
site, near Sutton Cheney, where the Tudors killed Richard III
and established their dynasty, offers a fascinating day out, with a visitor centre and country park to fill the mind with history and the lungs with fresh air. And up near Inverness the last battle on British soil, Culloden, where the Stuart hopes ended, offers a visitor centre and battlefield tour.
In County Durham
Harperley POW Camp provides a reminder of the intimacy and tragedy of war, a stark contrast to the vision of grandeur that conflict sometimes creates.
Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals - George Orwell
On this day:
America Invades Whitehaven - 1778, Great Colchester Earthquake - 1884, Knox-Johnston completes first solo non stop voyage around the world - 1969
More dates from British history