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Welcome to our beautiful island and all its many treasures!
I sincerely hope that I, or one of my colleagues, will be able to enrich your stay here by sharing our love and knowledge of the UK's rich heritage.
I have been based in the south of England for most of my working life and it never ceases to amaze me how many and varied are the truly world-class sites right on our doorstep. Everything from our historic castles, palaces, cathedrals and cities to World Heritage sites like Stonehenge and Dorset's Jurassic Coast.
Before becoming a Blue Badge Guide, I was a travel writer, author and ghostwriter (TV Adventurer, Bear Grylls, not spooky stories!) and I still write regular features for the Daily Telegraph including a UK walking column - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/team/richard-madden/.
As a student I read English Literature at Oxford University and I have a particular interest in the many literary connections of the region. (I also know a thing or two about the university not to mention nearby Blenheim Palace). Finally, as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), I have long been fascinated with the geology and geography of the British Isles, as well as pre-history and all things megalithic.
Find out more about me in the current issue of The Guide:
Highlights of the South: Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Salisbury & Old Sarum, Oxford, Blenheim Palace, Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Jurassic Coast.
Visiting the places they knew and loved is the best way to discover what made famous authors tick. Jane Austen (2017 is the 200th anniversary of her death), Charles Dickens, John Keats, Edward Thomas and the Rev Gilbert White are among my favourites.
|Castles & Palaces||
Windsor Castle, Blenheim Palace, Highclere (Downton Abbey), Arundel and Corfe Castles.
|History & Prehistory||
An ancestor (Admiral Collingwood) was second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the home of HMS Victory & the Mary Rose while SeaCity Museum, Southampton tells the tragic story of the Titanic.
Stonehenge/Durrington Walls. Cities: Oxford, Salisbury, Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth.
|Geography & Geology||
Dorset's Jurassic Coast stretches 95 miles from Exmouth in Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset. Join me for a visit to the highlights incl Lyme Regis, Golden Cap and Charmouth.