COURTESY OF BRAEMARGATHERING.ORG
ALWAYS THE FIRST SATURDAY in September, the Braemar Gathering unofficially ushers autumn into the Cairngorm Mountains. While there have been gatherings of various sorts for 900 years at Braemar, the event has been held annually in its present form since 1832.
A highland village on the River Dee, Braemar might be described as remote. Get there on the A93 some 50 miles north of Perth or 60 miles south of Aberdeen. Braemar’s highland neighbor, however, is the Queen, and the family estate of Balmoral. Her Majesty and Prince Philip delight in attending the Gathering every year, where the monarch is Chieftain of the Braemar Gathering. The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles doff their kilts for the occasion.
The order of the day, of course, is the competition and display of Scottish dancing and bagpipes, massed bands and traditional Scottish track-and-field events. braemargathering.org
Wild About Harry?
IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE that 20 years have passed since the popular young wizard made his first appearance with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
. To celebrate the anniversary, the British Library at St. Pancras is hosting a unique exhibition on the magician, running October 19 to February 28, 2018. This will be the first time the library has devoted an exhibition to a single series by a living author. In addition to unseen materials from author J.K. Rowling and the publisher, Bloomsbury, the British Library promises to pull some wizardry from its own magical archives. bl.uk
Glastonbury Festival by the Numbers
Some 200,000 revelers at the five-day Glastonbury Festival left behind them 800 workers clearing 900 acres of 500,000 sacks of
trash, 57 tons of reusable items and 1,022 tons of recycling, for a clean-up tab of 758,000 pounds.
Ahoy, Mayflower 400!
COMMEMORATIONS for the 400th anniversary of the historic Mayflower voyage and the Pilgrim settlement of Plimouth Plantation are well under sail on both sides of the Atlantic. Regular readers know that we have been covering the
story with several features for more than a year. Now, plans are underway for a 2018 BHT tour itinerary to the sites of our Pilgrim and Puritan heritage led by Editor Dr. Dana Huntley. Stay tuned for complete details coming in the November/December issue.
THE LAKE DISTRICT has officially been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, making it the 31st such designated site in the UK. At 566,124 acres, it becomes the largest World Heritage Site in the country, and the only complete UK National Park to be so honored. Celebrated for its complex geology layered with England’s deepest lakes, highest peaks and ancient woodlands, Cumbria’s landscape has irresistibly drawn naturalists, artists and writers, hikers and ramblers since the 18th century. lakedistrict.gov.uk
Dateline by the numbers
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42 Active theaters in London’s West End[/caption]
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100 Seaside piers belonging to the National Piers Society[/caption]
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129 Pounds the average Briton spends on the internet each month[/caption]
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6,000 Approximate number of islands in the British Isles[/caption]
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338,226 British Expeditionary Force soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk, May 1940[/caption]
Discover “Hidden England” at a Discount
SET IN ENGLAND’S HISTORIC HEART, Hidden England is a consortium of heritage sites all within an hour’s drive of one another with picturesque towns, villages and rolling countryside stretching across Rutland, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire. Now visitors can save money with new discount ticket packages, including a Hidden England “All Houses” pass to each of the eight properties, offering savings of up to 50 percent on the full admission prices.
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All the treasure houses of Hidden England are still lived in by the families that built them—including Rockingham Castle and (inset) Doddington Hall.
COURTESY OF HIDDEN ENGLAND
Close to the A1, and within easy reach of London, at the heart of Hidden England are five historic houses (Belvoir Castle, Burghley House, Doddington Hall, Grimsthorpe Castle and Rockingham Castle) along with two of the country’s finest Cathedrals, Lincoln and Peterborough, plus a fascinating garden with its own hidden history, Easton Walled Gardens. The discount tickets are only available online at hiddenengland.org.
Stamford Celebrates Its Golden Georgian Heritage
COURTESY OF STAMFORD GEORGIAN FESTIVAL
REGARDED BY MANY as England’s most perfectly preserved Georgian stone town, Stamford, Lincolnshire, is the scene of the colorful and creative Stamford Georgian Festival on September 21-24. Staged only every two years, the festival celebrates the town’s golden age and features street theater, military encampments, period stallholders, tumbling horseback acrobats—and even a “Bull Run” to commemorate one of the town’s bloodiest traditions. Other highlights include a Georgian Costume Ball, horse and carriage rides through Stamford and the parkland of Burghley House, period dancing and militia drills. The Sunday night finale is a performance of “An Evening With Austen,”
described as “a magical evening in the company of Jane Austen’s most memorable characters” with Regency-era musical entertainment. For the full festival program, visit stamfordgeorgianfestival.co.uk