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Location - Western Europe; Capital - England - London; Population - England - 50.5 million; Currency - Pound Sterling MORE UK - ENGLAND

The Cotswolds is really close to Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick, but I hadn't realised until I was in Shakespeare-land. So I took a great value-for-money tour for the day with Go Cotswolds - November 2015. Also added is the fascinating Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, London's former regional headquarters during the Cold War. Another war-related location is Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, site of the World War II codebreakers and brought to life in the film The Imitation Game - January 2016.


uknote20 Pounds Sterling










eng5522Warwick's big draw is the medieval Warwick Castle, standing next to the River Avon


eng5499The castle is very popular with families, which lays on plenty of attractions for children - Warwick


eng5501Looking at Warwick Castle from the Collegiate Church of St Mary - Warwick














eng5496Climb the Collegiate Church of St Mary tower for great views of the city - Warwick














eng5505Take in the city sites from the church tower including Eastgate (a medieval gateway, middle left), St Nicholas Church (middle right) and of course the castle - Warwick


eng5510Inside the Collegiate Church of St Mary is the tomb of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick in the 16th century - Warwick


eng5513Stalls in the square at Market Place - Warwick














eng5514Next to Lord Leycester Hospital is Westgate, the second medieval gate still standing - Warwick














eng5516Lord Leycester Hospital was never actually a hospital but a retirement home, built in the 16th century for soldiers and their wives - Warwick


eng5517The public can access parts of Lord Leycester Hospital but not all of it, as it remains a retirement home to this day - Warwick


eng5519The small and narrow Castle Street lies close to the castle entrance - Warwick













eng5521Along Castle Street to the Collegiate Church of St Mary - Warwick














eng5526Another historic road worth wandering is Mill Street, which boasts several listed buildings - Warwick


eng5535First stop on the Cotswolds tour was a rather misty Dover's Hill, famous as the site of the Cotswold Olimpicks - Dover's Hill, Cotswolds













eng5537A traditional thatched house at Chipping Campden, Cotswolds. The Cotswolds is an area covering nearly 800 square miles and is the largest official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


eng5539Buildings are constructed with Cotswold stone, a local golden-coloured limestone which gives the towns and villages an bright, attractive feel - Chipping Campden, Cotswolds


eng5545The 14th century Grevel's House is the oldest house in Chipping Campden, Cotswolds













eng5544Inside the 17th century Market Hall, still used by traders - Chipping Campden, Cotswolds














eng5548The local mayor makes his way to church on Remembrance Sunday - Chipping Campden, Cotswolds


eng5554St James Church is a wool church, a church built from the proceeds of the wool trade, of which Chipping Campden was a major centre in the Middle Ages - Chipping Campden, Cotswolds


eng5560 The brilliantly quirky Broadway Tower, Cotswolds is a folly built in the late 18th century














eng5559It now hosts a museum, shop and nearby restaurant - Broadway Tower, Cotswolds














eng5567Climb to the top for some excellent views. Even better on a sunny day! Broadway Tower, Cotswolds


eng5572What really appealed was a visit to a relic of the Cold War, a nuclear bunker closed in 1991 but now open to the public. Similar structures can be found throughout the whole of Britain, though most have been shut down completely. See my York page for one of the nerve-centres - Broadway Tower, Cotswolds


eng5575The bunker was constructed to monitor and report nuclear explosions and resultant fallout - Broadway Tower, Cotswolds













eng5578Members of the Royal Observer Corps would spend three weeks cooped-up in a single room. Check the website for opening times - Broadway Tower, Cotswolds













eng5585Next up on the day-tour was a quick walk through Snowshill, Cotswolds


eng5586More of the traditional Cotswold stone giving the area its distinctive look - Snowshill, Cotswolds


eng5587Market Square is the centrepiece of market town Stow-on-the Wold, Cotswolds














eng5590 The square is surrounded by boutique shops, tearooms, cafes and pubs - Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds














eng5591Also on Market Square are the town stocks, so don't be too naughty - Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds


eng5592Away from the shops and tearooms is St Edward's Church - Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds


eng5594The town of Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds is known for its series of small river bridges














eng5600The Kings Men Stone Circle is one of three megalithic monuments that comprise the Rollright Stones, Cotswolds, probably built in the late Neolithic period between 2,500 and 2,000 BC


england2135The market town of Cirencester is one of several gateways to the Cotswolds














england2141 Walking through Cirencester Park towards St John the Baptist Church - Cirencester















england2140This lake is called, erm.. The Lake, in a private area of Cirencester Park - Cirencester


england2143 A short bus journey from Cirencester is Bibury, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Cotswolds














england2148 The Swan Hotel and out of picture on the left is a trout farm - Bibury, Cotswolds















england2149It's the definition of quaint and picture postcard, two phrases over-used in this neck of the woods - Bibury, Cotswolds


england2156One of the most famous streets is Arlington Row - Bibury, Cotswolds


england2166 It's a photogenic row of 14th century cottages originally built as a wool store - Bibury, Cotswolds














england2167 Arlington Row has featured in film and TV sets, and you may have to bide your time to avoid a tourist scrum - Bibury, Cotswolds













england2171The 11th century St Mary's Church - Bibury, Cotswolds


eng5710I love the road sign! Turn left for Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker













eng5706The 45m broadcast tower built on top of Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker. Until the 1990s the site formed London's regional government headquarters in the event of a nuclear attack












eng5664Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, which is now open to the public, was decommissioned in 1992 and closed in 1994. The visitor entrance was a guardhouse, designed to look like a farm cottage


eng5670An original (?) sign as you enter the bunker - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker


eng5672Below the mast is a large underground complex covering three floors, encased in 1m thick walls and built on shock absorbent gravel - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker
















eng5674The 110m long tunnel leading to the Bunker has a 90° bend to lessen the blast impact and to aid the defence of the Bunker entrance from intruders - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker














eng5691Thick blast doors (left) each weighing nearly 1.5tons mark the entrance to the Bunker - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker


eng5688The Floor was an operations room and contained a huge map on which to plot aircraft positions - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker


eng5689AWDREY, or Atomic Weapons Detection Recognition and Estimation of Yield, detected nuclear explosions and their size - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker














eng5693On the middle floor is the Prime Minister's room - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker
















Also in the bunker was a BBC Radio Room, very important in order to broadcast messages to the local population. Broadcasters could have included the Prime Minister, shown on the right as a grinning Margaret Thatcher - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker


eng5702Other rooms include a Sick Bay (pictured), dormitories, a Central Operations Room, water tanks, filter and plant rooms, Scientists Room, Communications Room, kitchen and washrooms - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker


eng6205Hastings is a coastal town in south east England, just over an hour from London














eng6209The cliffs give way to a shingle beach and the English Channel - Hastings















eng6208These black Net Shops were originally built in the 19th century to store fishing gear. Some have now been converted into fish stalls and an outside museum - Hastings


eng6216There's two funiculars, one on the east of town and one on the west, which take you up the cliffside and provide a great opportunity to view the beach and look seawards - Hastings


eng6214Hastings Castle was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century - Hastings














eng6203Looking westwards to the pier - Hastings















eng6200The town centre seafront looks good from a distance but it's a bit run down - Hastings














eng6220A few kms from Hastings is the site known to all British schoolchildren. The Battle of Hastings is situated at, funnily enough, the town of Battle


The Battle of Hastings took place here in 1066, pitting local King Harold against the Frenchman William, Duke of Normandy. Spoiler alert! William won, becoming known as William the Conqueror - Battle


eng5729Bletchley Park was the top secret (even higher: ultra secret) World War II site of the British codebreakers. They worked tirelessly on intercepting and decrypting German messages, as well as Japanese and Italian, sent over the airwaves













eng5730Inside the Mansion are various props from the 2014 film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley, on display until mid-2016 - Bletchley Park













eng5732A mock up of a bar from The Imitation Game. Cumberbatch played computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing who, in a group including Gordon Welchman, and inspired by Polish cryptologists (neither portrayed in the film), created the Bombe machines that cracked Germany's encrypted messages - Bletchley Park


eng5719In order to send encrypted messages the Germans made thousands of Enigma machines, originally invented at the end of World War I. Type a letter via the keyboard and a series of rotors and wires changed it to a different letter - Bletchley Park


eng5758Demonstrations of the Bombe machine are made at regular intervals in Block B, showing how 159 million million million(!) possible combinations created by the Enigmas were reduced to just over 600. These were then investigated using brain power, plus lots of paper and pencils - Bletchley Park














eng5742Hut 3 was where the Wrens (Women's Royal Naval Service) entered the approved codes into the Bombes - Bletchley Park














eng5743As the demand on the codebreakers grew, the number of personnel also increased and more buildings were required. Messages were passed from Hut 3 to Hut 6 for deciphering - Bletchley Park


eng5744In 1982 Gordon Welchman published a book called The Hut Six Story, which was disapproved of by the British and US organisations he worked for - Bletchley Park


eng5751Inside Hut 6 are the Message Registration Room, Interception Control Room and Decoding Room - Bletchley Park














eng5755Alan Turing's office is in Hut 8. In 1952 he was found guilty of gross indecency at a time when homosexuality was illegal in Britain. He died in 1954 after a suspected suicide - Bletchley Park













eng5761In Block B there's a sculpture of Alan Turing made from half a million pieces of Welsh slate. It's estimated the Bletchley Park codebreakers shortened WWII by two years and saved countless lives - Bletchley Park


eng6238Though she never lived here this was Anne of Cleves' house, the former wife of King Henry VIII, now a museum - Lewes














eng6235A very old building which is home to a ramshackle second-hand book shop - Lewes













lewespound1The Lewes Pound is one of several community-based currencies in Britain


An attractive place for a canalside drink just outside London is Berkhamsted, a market town in Hertfordshire



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LINKS - official Cotswolds site - England tourist board - Britain's official website - guide to Yorkshire - guide to south west England - guide to south east England - guide to north west England - guide to north east England - guide to east England - train information across Britain - National Express coaches cover Britain


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