The Heritage Traveller - IntroductionPosted: 2009-05-10
Welcome to The Heritage Traveller, a new feature on BritainExpress.com. Its my hope that this blog format will enable me to share with you my enthusiasm for travelling about the UK, with a particular focus on the wonderful history, cultural heritage, and just plain excitement that I get from exploring Britain!
Maybe the best place to start is with a simple introduction, and tell you a bit about how I came to have the best job in the whole world! Normally this sort of mini-biography is something which would only interest my mother, but bear with me; it really does have a bearing on how this strange beast of a website came to be, and perhaps, what it can become. I was born in Chicago, but moved to Canada on my twelfth birthday. Even by then, I think the seeds of a lifelong passion for the UK had taken root. I delighted in reading British novels, and grew up devouring such delights as Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes. At that stage of my life I thought Britain, and England in particular, seemed like the most romantic, fascinating place in the whole world. In truth, nothing much has changed.
Way back before the Internet came to be (remember then?) I was living in Canada, in a little log cabin in the woods, developing a few of my other passions; writing and photography. I heard about this odd Internet thing, and thought I'd take a look. I've always been the sort of person who likes to take things apart to see how they work (things like car engines). So I dissected a web page and tried to figure out what made it tick. Somewhere along the way the penny dropped and it occurred to me that it might be really cool to share my passion for the UK with other people, using a web site. So I taught myself the rudiments of html design (anyone looking at the source code of some of the BritainExpress.com site will readily appreciate what I mean by rudiments) and created an all-singing, all-dancing website listing some of the neat historic places I'd personally like to visit in Britain, and a bunch of English history and culture information to give travellers some background information. I had no thought of running a commercial website, and certainly no concept of how it was all going to work out (or how I was going to pay the bills spending 16 hours a day at the computer).
Fast forward a decade and here I am, living in England, spending a good deal of my time travelling around the country, taking zillions of photographs and visiting some of the most interesting and scenic corners of the country. Over the past several years I have had the good fortune to explore Britain from Orkney to Lands end, and the Isle of Lewis to the Norfolk Broads. Along the way I have watched the sun set from inside the stone circle at Stonehenge, and watched it rise in a surreal, awe-inspiring blaze of red and orange over the standing stones of Callanish. I feel truly blessed to have been able to visit so many historic and scenic places around the UK, and I hope to spend a lot of years continuing to do so.
The format of BritainExpress.com is easy to explain; I write about stuff I like and take the best photos I can to share with others. Simple. It is my hope that by sharing my enthusiasm for all that the UK has to offer, you will be inspired to explore it, too. Whether you are a tourist planning a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to the UK, or a Brit keen to enjoy the rich past that lies on your doorstep, or just over the next hill, I hope you will take the opportunity to dig deep in and savour the wonderful, rich heritage that Britain has to offer. Come on, let's go exploring!
- Favourite British Heritage Books >>