Glyndebourne

One of the world’s great opera houses, not far from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast

Glyndebourne is a country house, just outside the town of Lewis, about an hour’s drive from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast.

The house is thought to be around six hundred years old and is the site of a very well known opera house which, with the exception of its closure during the Second World War and for a few years after the war, has been the venue of the annual Glyndebourne Festival since 1934.

Founded in 1934 by John Christie and his opera singing wife Audrey Mildmay, Glyndebourne is committed to presenting opera of the highest quality. Glyndebourne has remained financially independent since 1934 and is still owned by members of the Christie family.

The theatre has been enlarged and improved many times since its initial construction. As early as 1936 its capacity was increased to 433, then by 1952 it held nearly 600, and finally, in 1977, it held 850 people. In addition, a rehearsal hall was constructed.

From Richard Strauss to Benjamin Britten

The old theatre hosted its last festival in 1992 before construction of a brand-new theatre began, which was completed at a cost of over £34 million. The design of the new theatre, a large brick oval building, has resulted in a four-level, horseshoe-shaped auditorium with main level seating, two balconies and a gallery topped with a circular roof, seating over 1,200 people.

The Glyndebourne Festival presents 6 productions each year and Glyndebourne on Tour takes 3 productions around the UK each autumn. Together they present 120 performances to around 150,000 people.

In May we have a guest coming to stay with us at Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast who is going to hear Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Falstaff’. He tells us he has been to Glyndebourne before and says it is a marvellous venue for opera lovers.

 

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Crowborough’s illustrious resident

About 40 minutes drive from Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick is the quiet Sussex town of Crowborough. A recent guest, while visiting the area, noticed an imposing statue celebrating the unique story teller Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Like our guest, I was not aware that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived for 27 years just a relatively few miles from Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a Scottish Physician and Writer. Born in Edinburgh, he studied medicine at Edinburgh University and went on to practice medicine in different locations around the UK. In his later years, he moved to Little Windlesham House in Crowborough, where he lived until he succumbed to a heart attack in 1930 at the age of 71.

Although a trained Physician, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s worldwide reputation is as a result of his writing, particularly his creation of the fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. His first significant work, ‘A study in Scarlet’, introduced the character of Sherlock Holmes to what would become his adoring public. Although there were times when the writer tired of the subject and at one time went as far as to ‘kill him off’, such was the outcry that the character had to be ‘brought back to life’.

From Basil Rathbone to Robert Downey Jr

Sir Arthur would go on to write classics such as ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and ‘The Sign of Four’ amongst many others and Sherlock Holmes would become the most portrayed literary human character in Film & TV history being depicted on screen 254 times by over 75 actors.

Little Windlesham, an Edwardian country house, still stands and is now a residential care home but in its day, visitors such as H. G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling and Lord Kitchener flocked to Crowborough to visit the great man.

Should you find yourself staying at Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick and visiting the town of Crowborough, you may wish to visit the ‘Baskerville Cafe’ and soak up a little of the Sherlock Holmes atmosphere

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The Jack & Jill Windmills

Jack

20 miles or so from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast you will find the West Sussex village of Clayton. As you drive along the country lanes you will feel as if you have travelled back in time when you see a sight that appears to be straight from the 19th Century.  On top of a hill on the South Downs you will find 2 fully restored, working windmills.

Recent guests staying at Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast were having a picnic on the South Downs when they stumbled across the Windmills purely by chance. The couple were from New York and in relaying the events of their day trip on the downs, seemed particularly impressed.

Jack is a Tower Mill and was built in 1866 to replace the ruined Duncton Mill. The windmill is 5 storeys, standing over 44 feet high and “he” has 4 sails and a 5 blade fantail. Unusually, Jack has a male name, unlike almost all other mills in England which have female names.

Jill

Jill is a Post Mill with a 2 storey roundhouse and has 4 sails and a five blade fantail. The working life of the mill ended in 1906, but over the years she has been well maintained. In the great storm of 1987, the mills sails were set in motion with the brakes on, resulting in a fire. Luckily some members of ‘The Windmill Society’ were able to get to her and save her before she burnt down. Jill is now in full working order and produces wholemeal flour which is sold to visitors

In 1973 the windmills became movie stars when Universal Pictures made the film The Black Windmill, starring Michael Caine, Donald Pleasance, Janet Suzman and Joss Ackland.

So next time you stay at Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast, why not visit the windmills then end your day at the Jack & Jill Inn, a pub specialising in guest ales and home cooked food

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Wings Museum

A World War 2 remembrance Museum, not far from Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick

Wings Museum is about a 10 minute drive from Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick and is housed in a large hanger in Bucklands Farm, Brantridge Lane, between the Sussex villages of Balcombe and Handcross.

Wings Aviation Museum is a registered charity and dedicated to the heroic airmen who fought for freedom during World War 2.

At Wings Museaum you will experience a fascinating insight into life during World War 2. History comes alive in this unique experience where you will see original items from The Battle of Britain, The Blitz and The Home Front, each one set amongst the sounds and music of the times.

Old planes brought back to life

Over many years, Wings Museum Archaeologists have gathered information from archives and eye witnesses and as a result, many excavations of aircraft wreckage have been carried out. The artifacts are then brought back to the museum where the team begin the task of identification, preservation and cleaning, before going on display.

Visitors can see aircraft’s recovered from the Russian front, shot down over 60 years ago. There are also relics and items from RAF Fighter Command and the Luftwaffe in the “Fighter Offensive” section, aswel as being able to walk inside the famous Band of Brothers C-47 Dakota and experience what it was like to be a paratrooper on D-Day.

The museum is open at weekends from 10am – 5pm so why not take the family for a most enjoyable and informative day out next time you stay at Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick. Admission £8, children under 10 years old go free.

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Madame Tussauds

One of London’s major attractions, not far from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast

Not far from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast, located in Central London, is Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum founded by sculptor Marie Tussaud.

Being one of London’s major tourist attractions, Madame Tussauds has fascinated visitors from all over the world who come to see the museums display of waxworks of famous people, from royal figures, film stars and sports stars to infamous murderers.

Marie Tussaud first opened her museum in 1835 with one of the main attractions of her museum being ‘The Chamber of Horrors’, which included victims of the French revolution along with some newly created figures of murderers and other criminals.

From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Nelson Mandela

The gallery originally contained around 400 wax figures, with some done by Marie Tussaud herself still existing today, but fire damage and German bombings in 1941 damaged or destroyed a lot of the older models.

The oldest wax figure on display is of Madame du Barry, but other wax works from Marie Tussaud’s time still exist including George III, Benjamin Franklin and a self portrait of Marie Tussaud herself.

Marie Tussaud died in April 1850 but by 1883, the restricted space and rising costs of the museums location on Baker Street prompted he grandson to commission the building at its current location on Marylebone Road.

Nowadays, Madam Tussauds houses such notable figures as Adolf Hitler, Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Pope John Paul II, Charlie Chaplin, The Beatles and many more, so next time you stay at Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast why not visit one of London’s top attractions.

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Battle, East Sussex

A famous site in English history, not far from Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick

Battle is a small town and civil parish, about an hour’s drive from Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick, situated in the heart of the Sussex Weald in the designated High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The attractive town got its name from the Battle of Hastings, which was fought here in 1066 between King Harold II and William, Duke of Normandy, the victor. The battle is considered to be so significant that it changed the course of English history.

An arrow through the eye

Having won, William, known as William the Conqueror, commemorated the battle by building the Abbey of St Martin between the years 1070 and 1094, with the Abbeys high altar being positioned on the very spot that Harold was thought to have fell.

Gradually the town of Battle was built around The Abbey of St Martin, or Battle Abbey as it came to be known and later became a refuge during World War I with tunnels leading from a number of different fields and cellars up to the Abbey, although these tunnels are not open to the public as they are deemed to be unsafe.

Today the Abbeys ruins and the battlefield are looked after by English heritage and are well worth a visit for people staying at Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick.

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Arundel Castle

One of England’s great treasure houses, not far from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast

Arundel Castle, about an hour’s drive from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast, is a restored medieval castle founded by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, on Christmas day 1067. The castle, a grade 1 listed building, has been in the family of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years serving as a hereditary stately home since the 11th century.

The Castle was built as a fortification for the mouth of the River Arun to protect against invasion from France during the reign of William the Conqueror and since 1138, Arundel Castle and the earldom  have passed through generations with only the occasional reversion to the crown and other nobles for a brief time

The English Civil War

During the civil war of 1642-1646, Arundel Castle was twice besieged, first by Royalists, then by Cromwell’s parliamentarian force led by William Waller. During this time the Castle was badly damaged and nothing was done to rectify this until about 1718 when Thomas, the 8th Duke of Norfolk carried out some repairs and then Charles Howard, the 11th Duke, later carried out further restoration

Set in 40 acres of picturesque grounds and gardens, Arundel Castle has been open to visitors for nearly 200 years displaying priceless works of art including paintings, furniture, tapestries, china, clocks, sculptures and armour and is well worth a visit for anyone visiting Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast.

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The South Downs

A great day out

Take a short drive south from Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick and you will quickly find yourself cutting through the beautiful South Downs, a range of hills that stretch from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west, to Beachy Head near the coastal resort of Eastbourne in the east.

At one point the South Downs do link to the North Downs, which effectively puts Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick equal distance between the two.

A rich heritage of historical features

The name ‘South Downs’ originates from the old English word ‘dun’, meaning hill and the chalk hills that it refers to covers an extensive area of 260 square miles and is recognised as one of the most important chalk landscapes in England. The Downs have been inhabited for thousands of years and there is evidence dating back to Neolithic times with architecture remains including burial grounds and defensive sites.

The features of the Downs have changes substantially over the years and in more relatively recent times, encroachment of the chalk down land due to development pressures identified the need for some body or institution whose function was to protect the area. Although the establishment of the South Downs National Park was first muted in the 1940′s, it took until April 2011 to become fully operational.

The area offers extensive recreational activities for walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers and the South Down Way, a ridge that runs along the downs from Winchester to Eastbourne, is a must for the more energetic.

Although only the youngest member of the Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick staff has walked the full distance, the older members still ‘talk’ about doing this one day.

 

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Hampton Court Palace

A Royal Palace, a leisurely drive from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast

About 40 minutes drive from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast you will find Hampton Court Palace. The Palace was originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a great favourite of Henry VIII. Later, Wolsey fell out of favour with King Henry and the Palace passed back to the crown.

Over the years the Palace was massively extended but the plan to build a Palace to rival Versailles was never fully completed and today the buildings are distinctly in two different styles, Tudor and Baroque.

A Royal Palace beside the Thames

Today it is managed by an independent charity, ‘Historical Royal Palaces’ and the buildings and grounds are open to the public. Through the year there are many interesting events, not least the Palace Festival and the Hampton Court Flower Show.

In 2012 it was the stage for the Olympic road cycling time trials and in the past it has been the location for various films including Man for all Seasons (1966), a film about the lives of Henry VIII and Thomas Wolsey.

Hampton Court remains a great attraction for families, with particular favourites being the Great Maze, Henry VIII’s Great Hall, England’s last and greatest medieval hall and the ‘Great Outdoors’, 750 acres of Royal park land and 200,000 flowering bulbs.

The drive from Tanglewood gatwick bed and breakfast to Hampton Court can be done by motorway, or for a more leisurely drive by cross country, either way you will not regret a visit.

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Fishbourne & Bignor Roman Villas

Romans in West Sussex near Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick

About an hours drive from Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick you will find Fishbourne and Bignor, both renowned as fine examples of Roman Villa remains. The Romans invaded West Sussex around AD43 and they remained in occupation in the area for the next 367 years.

The initial invasion forces were under the command of Titus Flavius Vespasianus, who later would become Emperor Vespasian. It is likely that the initial invasion was at the point which is now Chichester Harbour and from there their interest spread and covered a wide area.

Chichester was the site of their main settlement and the Romans named the town Noviomagus Reginorum. Not far from Chichester you will find the remains of a Roman Palace at Fishbourne which is thought to be the best example in Britain. Although a large part of the original Palace lies under the existing village of Fishbourne, it is obvious that it was a substantial estate exhibiting all the grandeur that you would expect to find in the house of a major Roman figure.

Roman Architecture and Flair

It is quite likely that this Palace would have been home to Tognidubnus who was the first ‘puppet king’ placed by the Romans in order to placate the locals. Tognidubnus had lived in the area for many years and as such was seen as the perfect choice to appeal to the native inhabitants.

Not far from Fishbourne you will find the beautiful village of Bignor with further Roman remains and a fine museum. These interesting sites, combined with the south down way and Stane Street, the great old Roman road that runs in a line from Chichester to London, makes this area an interesting place for anyone to visit who has an interest in history and we at Tanglewood bed and breakfast gatwick recommend it to our guests.

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