Friday, 21 March 2008

Return from the south

Had a long week-end visiting family down south. I had a bit of time to do what I wanted so I managed to fit in some interesting visits.

Firstly to Southampton, a trip around the walls, but not as good as the one here in Chester. However the main gate (The bars) was quite impressive. The highlight was the Solent Sky museum which covers the history of aircraft manufacturing around the solent and has an excellent range of exhibits, and quite a lot on the Schneider trophy - well worth a visit.

Next was Calshot castle, one of Henry VIIIs artillery forts, this one was built on a shingle spit at the end of Southampton water. Typically it was closed so all I did was a quick walk around the moat.

Just next to it are the hangars from the old Royal Navy Seaplane base and the UK location of the Scheider trophy races. Quite a nice follow on to the Solent Sky Museum.

Finally there was Hurst castle, like Calshot this was based at the end of a shigle spit, this time over 3km long and almost closing the gap to the Isle of Wight. The original castle was again one of Henry VIIIs artillery forts, but this time rebuilt in the late C19 into a major fortification. It was a long walk and the weather was very cold and windy, but luckily the castle was open because officially it didn't open till Good Friday. It's a fascinating location with a lot of history, but down through the years it's guns have never fired a shot in anger.

Now back to the real world of painting and DIY.


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