Tom's Britain - Exploring places of interest and things to do in England, Wales & Scotland

20 July 2014

Climb the Naze Tower

The Naze Tower at Walton on the Naze is an 86 foot tower built in the 1720s by Trinity House to aid ships navigating along the Essex coast, and to line up with Walton Hall as a guide for ships passing through a gap in the offshore shoals known as Goldmer Gap.

Today, visitors can climb the tower for a very reasonable £2.50 and there is also a tea rooms on the ground floor, and 1st and 2nd floors, as well as plenty of art for sale and fantastic panoramic views into the Walton Backwaters, and area of creeks, islands and marshes made famous by author Arthur Ransome in his book ‘Secret Water’. When your author visited earlier in the week those working at the tea room also firmly recommended boat trips to see seals in the backwaters with Tony Haggis on the boat Karina, which they had recently taken.

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8 July 2014

Visit the George Inn, Norton St Philip

Yes it's another pub - this time in the wilds of North Somerset - but the George Inn in Norton St Philip is worthy of mention for so much more than being a simple pub. One of so many that claim to be England's oldest your author has stopped counting, it was probably built in the 14th century, originally as a wool store and inn for travellers in a village that held annual wool fairs, with a license to sell alcohol as early as 1397.

Quite apart from its history, the George is a beautiful building and arriving by bicycle downhill from Hinton Charterhouse it is a sight for sore eyes. It's staying power as a village pub in an age where people would seemingly often rather stare at a screen in the corner of a room while mindlessly necking cans of cheap larger than have an interesting conversation with friends in a fascinating place is evidenced by the presence of another across the road and as a result it seems like a particularly fine place to stay the night, as others have before, for this was once an important stagecoach route used by the likes of Samuel Pepys.

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