Monday, 3 August 2015


Think Nottingham and you automatically associate it with Robin Hood. This city is just 30 miles south of Sheffield and of equal distance to Leicester. It was once part of the Kingdom of Mercia. The 11th Century Nottingham Castle has a chequered past and is known for the fact that it was besieged by King Richard the Lionheart upon his return from the Crusades and also as the place of the final showdown between the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood.

Nottingham is also famous as the home of the famous brand of Raleigh Bicycles. The castle on the sandstone hill is not the 11th century castle at all but a more recent structure in the form of a mansion built by the Duke of Newcastle in the late 17th century. This in itself was burned down by rioters in 1831 and today the building has been partly restored to house the city Museum and Art Collections.

Nottingham was notorious in the Industrial Era as a slum city. The housing conditions were atrocious with poor sanitary conditions and serious sewage and litter problems. In 1831 there were riots in the city which were caused when Parliament decided against reform to give Britain's industrial cities and towns better representation.

Modern day Nottingham is a very popular tourist destination and holds events throughout the year. This busy city has an excellent transport system and some good independent and branded shops with plenty of restaurants and cafes for the visitor. 

For more photos of Nottingham click here


Derby is situated on the River Derwent just 14 miles from Nottingham. With a population of approximately 250,000 it is home to the first factory in the world - Lombe's Mill and arguably the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Derby was also an important strategic home for the British Railways Industry.

Derby today is known for its transport manufacturing with its Rolls-Royce aircraft engines, Toyota Cars at Burnaston and the last remaining train manufacturer Derby Carriage and Wagon Works or Derby Litchurch Lane Works as it is now called.

Historically Derby suffered in the same way as Nottingham with its notorious slum housing estates, the majority of which were cleared during the 1930's. The city of Derby today has a vibrant town centre as the Gateway to the Peak District and as the UK's most central city it has good access to the rest of the UK via road or rail.

For more photos of Derby click here

Thursday, 9 July 2015


Holmfirth is situated just 6 miles from Huddersfield in the Holme Valley. Surrounded by stunning countryside this small town developed around an old corn mill and bridge which dates back to the 13th century. The old English meaning for Holmfirth or Holm Frith is Holly Wood or Holme Woods. 

Like most Yorkshire towns and villages the inhabitants prospered through textules. Holfirth in more recent times benefits from having the Peak District National Park on its doorstep and from its new found fame as the home of the BBC comedy "Last of the Summer Wine". Visitors can actually use Sid's Cafe and even take a special tour of the town in a vintage vehicle which starts off from the famous cafe.

Holmfirth has another claim to fame through its sacuy seaside postcards by the firm Bamforth & Co. The town is a picturesque mix of stone cottages and houses. Tourism is the main revenue for the town which is susceptible to flooding. Local Agriculture is still thriving and one of the towns main employers at Longly farm has one of the leading Jersey herds in Europe. The town has some good restaurants cafes and independent shops.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Mirfield Monastery

The Community of the Resurrection  was founded in Oxford in 1892 by a priest named Charles Gore. Originally from Oxford the community moved to Mirfield in 1898.

The monks at the Resurrection are Anglican and the community is dedicated to the mystery of Christ's resurrection. The worship of God is at the heart of community life and anyone is welcome to attend their services.

The monks lead a quiet and dedicated life and also run a bed and breakfast facility. For a very reasonable fee visitors get clean, adequate accommodation including breakfast and the opportunity to walk around and explore the extensive gardens and grounds of the monastery.

For photos of the Monastery click here


Halifax is situated near Bradford, Huddersfield and Rochdale in the South Pennines. Early records show that the town was called Halyfax which means "coarse grass in the nook of the land". There is no record of Halifax in the Domesday Book so it is difficult to determine how long this area has been inhabited. 

Halifax expanded as a centre for woolen manufacture form the 15th centry. The Piece Hall in the town is where this trade originated. Halifax is famous for the Building Society or Bank which takes its name and for Mackintosh chocolate and toffee which is now under the Nestle Brand. Halifax was home to one of the world's largest textile factories and although now converted for use as offices and retail outlets this 1/2 mile long building is still in use.

Textiles, cotton, wool and carpet industries and weaving mills generated wealth for the town during the 19th century. After the closure of the mills and the loss of its important industries Halifax went through a period of decline. In more recent times the town has benefitted from European funding and is once again begining to show promise as an affluent town in the region.

Halifax is home to Eureka - The National Children's Museum. With its independent and branded shops and restaurants and cafes there is plenty to see and do around Halifax. A visit to the magnificent Harveys of Halifax department store is recommended.

For photos of Halifax click here