Tag: heritage

How to visit the most historic harvest festival in North Wales

North Wales today hosts the annual Conwy Honey Fair, a historic harvest festival dating back to the reign of King Edward I.

I was in Conwy last week to preview the event and find out more about the walled city with its Unesco-listed castle.

I also visited the National Beekeeping Centre of Wales [pictured above].

Here’s a sample of my story:

The Fair dates back more than 700 years to the reign of Edward I when local beekeepers were given the right to sell honey, without charge, within the walls of the town for one day only.

Harvest festivals were always part of the church calendar but the right to hold the Honey Fair was formally decreed by the King in the town’s 13th-century Royal Charter.

“It’s an event frozen in time,” says event organiser Peter McFadden, “and still generates a huge sense of community.”

The town also hosts the Gwledd Conwy Feast, a weekend food festival with street food, show-cooking displays and live music from October 25-27.

Read the full article in Telegraph Travel, Is this Britain’s sweetest town?

How To Make The Most Of A Weekend In Troyes

A return trip to France before Easter, then, with an assignment in the Champagne-Ardenees region.

I was in Troyes [pictured above] for France Magazine, exploring the medieval city on foot to uncover the hidden courtyards, historic buildings and lesser-known church cloisters.

That and sampling some of the local bubbles, of course.

Here’s a flavour of the article:

Troyes gets a lower billing in the Champagne region these days with Reims and Epernay better know as homes to the global-brand champagne houses. But it was Troyes that dominated the region during the Middle Ages with wealthy local landowners, the Counts of Champagne, putting the city on the map as a centre of commerce. The medieval fairs from the 11-13th century brought Troyes wealth and status as a crossroads for trade.

Read the full story in the July issue of France Magazine.

An exclusive preview of Chester’s new heritage attraction

Today was the opening day at Chester: A Life Story [pictured above], the new heritage attraction in Chester.

I was there early this morning for an exclusive preview of the exhibition, researching an article for The Guardian in the family travel section.

Here’s the recent news item I wrote for the Cheshire Ultimate Guide by way of a preview of the story to come.

A new family visitor attraction has opened in Chester to celebrate the city’s rich social history in time for this year’s Chester Heritage Festival.

Chester: A Life Story puts the emphasis on the often-overlooked stories of ordinary people, using multi-sensory interpretation to highlight the folk who have shaped Cheshire over the past 2,000 years.

Including sections on crime and punishment, and health and medicine, it traces human stories from Roman Chester to the present day via the Middle Ages, aiming to put the story of Chester into a global context.

The heritage attraction is based at St Michael’s Church on Bridge Street, Chester, and managed by Big Heritage, the company that also runs Western Approaches, the wartime secret bunker in Liverpool.

The Chester Heritage Festival runs June 21-29 this year with events around the city.

Chester: A Life Story

Read the full Guardian Travel story here.

Meeting the Terracotta Warriors on an escorted tour of Liverpool

Just out: my story from Liverpool, where I joined a group tour last summer for Boundless magazine.

It offered a chance to get up close to some 2000-year-old warriors [pictured above] and a cruise through Merseyside’s industrial heritage.

Here’s a flavour of the feature:

Bill is facing down a ninja. The latter may have spent some 2,000 years underground, and it’s built of stone, but it still looks pretty handy with its fists.

Each one of these statues has its own character, whether it’s a facial expression, or the stance,” says Bill, one of the organisers of the Liverpool trip. “They feel alive to me.”

The city has a rich heritage and cultural scene but the highlight for many is, of course, a chance to get up close and personal with the visiting Terracotta Warriors exhibition at the World Museum.

The underground army of life-sized warriors was first discovered in 1974 and this blockbuster exhibition has drawing the crowds all summer, featuring many objects never seen before in the UK.

Read more in the March-April issue.