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In the past the Isle of Wight has attracted many famous residents and visitors. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert built their family home, near Cowes. Lord Alfred Tennyson, poet laureate and the most famous Victorian was also a resident on the island. Today, its delightful old-fashioned ambience and easy accessibility from England’s mainland ensure that the island is still a popular destination …

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Victoria was Queen of England and Albert was her Prince Consort when they decided they needed a home for their large family away from public eye. Their search took them to the Isle of Wight, a place that that Victoria already knew and liked. Improved railway communications meant it was possible to travel between London and the island in four hours. It was here they found the Osborne estate perched on a hill on the outskirts of Cowes …

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Lymington in the New Forest of England has an unusually wide High Street. It was built like this to accommodate the large Charter Market that has been held here since 1250. Early every Saturday morning around one hundred market stalls are set up and line the High Street on both sides. Generally referred to as a Georgian street this road actually features an eclectic mix of Georgian, Victorian, Art Deco and traces of Medieval architecture. I joined the crowds of visitors thronging the High Street to browse the various stalls that ranged from pet products to home-made bread …

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Despite the persistent drizzle I could feel the magic of the forest outside pulling me outside and away from my cosy hotel room. I was staying at the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, a village in the famous New Forest. Ancient grazing rights are still upheld here and ponies, donkeys, sheep cattle and deer graze freely throughout the forest. At the front of my hotel is a cricket ground and sheltering under the trees surrounding it I could see two small ponies …

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My visit to Tongdosa Temple coincided with the preparations for the birthday of Buddha. Celebrations for this event not only encompass Buddhist temples but the whole country and it is a holiday for everyone, whatever their religion. I approached the first gate at the entrance to the temple under a canopy of brightly coloured decorations inflated fish. Stepping through this gate I entered the dragons’ den …

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The small town of Jeonju in South Korea is inextricably linked with the history of Korea. One of its most important historical monuments is the Omokdae Terrace. This terrace, on top of the hill overlooking the town is famous as the place where Yi Seong Gye, later known as King Taejo, hosted an outdoor banquet for his family …

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