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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

War of the Roses

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood whatever the weather. This post is from Nicola

There’s not much brickwork left at Sandal Castle http://www.wakefieldmuseums.org/ – a pleasing bus ride on the 110 from Wakefield – but that didn’t stop the kids marching around the ragwort fringed paths up to the motte and bailey singing the appropriate nursery rhyme:
“Oh the grand old Duke of York,
He had 10,000 men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.

And when they were up
They were up
And when they were down
They were down
And when they were only half way up
They were neither up nor down.”

We’d already met an eccentric local historian, John, who’d explained that the grand old Duke of York was Richard of York (Richard III) who’d gone out one dark Christmas evening (30th Dec 1460) looking for food. As Macdonalds (!) was closed he headed for Burger King (!!) but unfortunately ran into some nasty Lancastrians and lost his head. To add insult his head was then placed on a spike at Micklegate in York. Lola adored this story but Nell remains a little puzzled about why Burger King…

The following year Richard’s son got revenge at what is known still as England’s bloodiest homeground battle at Towston near Tadcaster and becomes Edward IV. The Lancastrians (red rose wearers) might well have won this if their arrows hadn’t fallen short in the windy conditions allowing the Yorkists to pick them up and fire them back. This was only really the start of the Wars of the Roses, an ignominious phase in British history that lasts from 1455-1485.

It gives me a certain pleasure to know that Pete (who went to Lancaster uni) and I (ex York) are in someways still gluing together that entente.

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