A trip to the UK isn’t all tea parties and royal watching. Throw those stereotypes of the uptight English out of the window and visit some strange and unusual locations on your next holiday in the UK.
St. Leonard’s Church
Set atop a hill overlooking the village of Hythe in Kent you will find the 11th century parish church of St. Leonard. It may look like any other church from the outside, but down below in the crypt you will find something not generally found off the continent, an ossuary. You will find more than 2000 human skulls in the bonehouse of St. Leonard’s and other remains of about 4000 people, and there is still no consensus as to why they are there. It may be a bit morbid for some but if you’re looking for a glimpse into the strange history of Britain then this is the place to go.
When you enter an unassuming bungalow in the Essex countryside you could be forgiven for not expecting to go back in time to Cold War Britain. The bungalow simply serves as the entrance to a secret nuclear bunker that has been set underground here since 1952. Since the bunker was decommissioned in 1992 the Kelvedon Hatch has served as a museum documenting the fascinating history of this one time top secret military installation, and today can be rented out for parties and conferences. Cold War wedding anyone? Rent a romantic holiday cottage nearby and you’re all set for an unusual weekend away with the one you love.
Hunterian Museum and Archives
In 1799 the government purchased the collection of John Hunter, a Scottish surgeon, and donated his unusual collection of specimens to the Royal College of Surgeons in London. Additions have been made to the collection since and today the museum displays one of the world’s largest collections of anatomical specimens, many of which are human. From the skeleton of the famous “Irish giant” Charles Byrne, to the famed Evelyn Tables, 17th century anatomical preparations which consist of dissected human arteries, nerves and veins glued to pine boards, you won’t be short of things to see in this museum of the grotesque.
In the market town of Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire sits what many believe to be the most haunted buildings in the country. The Ram Inn, a Grade II listed building from 1145, has been host to many a strange and mysterious traveller over its long history. The current owner of the pub, John Humphries believes that he shares his home with a variety of supernatural beings: Two demons, a witch and her cat, and glowing lights to name but a few. You are welcome to spend the night in this unusual inn, just be warned that people have needed to be exorcised after spending the night here!
There is no end to the strange and unusual places that you can visit on a trip around the UK, from haunted castles in Scotland, to the Pixie Day festival in Ottery St. Mary, Devon. Far from the prim and proper stereotype we know the world over, the real Britain is a place full of strange and unusual things just waiting to be discovered.
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