The UK’s Top Heroes and Villains – Walking in Their Footsteps
British history is awash with heroes and villains that have dominated page after page of history books or, as is most likely in 2019, been the subject of many a documentary. From Britain’s world war-winning prime minister, Winston Churchill, to arguably history’s most revered serial killer, Jack the Ripper, this island has seen it all.
If you or your family consider yourselves to be history buffs then why not base your travel around uncovering history? Of course, some pages of history are more gruesome than others so, if your party is to include young children, you may want to pick carefully what passage of history you bring to their attention.
Churchill War Rooms
Hidden beneath the busy streets of Westminster you will find Winston Churchill’s underground bunker, from where the prime minister masterminded the defeat of the Nazi’s in the Second World War. Here, you will be told the stories of what happened in the war rooms between 1939 and 1945 as Churchill and Britain stood firm against Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
You will quickly learn that these rooms housed far more than political and tactical discussion, with the bunker fitted out with bedrooms where members of the cabinet would spend the night. This is a must for any family, especially with young children, to ensure that arguably the most important chapter in British history is never forgotten.
Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
If it’s a villain you want then lurking around London’s East End in 1888 was one of history’s most gruesome in the form of Jack the Ripper. Five murders are attributed to the killer believed to have been a medical profession, although some experts believe that the murderer could have been responsible for more.
In Whitechapel, you can find a number of walking tours that you can book yourself on where you will be taken around the crime scenes by a tour guide. This isn’t for the faint of heart, so you will probably be best leaving the little ones at home. Why? You can see here for more information on just how gory the details are.
The Pankhurst Centre
Back to focusing on British heroes and when it comes to campaigning for equality, there is no greater hero than Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the Suffragette movement. Born in Moss Side, Manchester, Pankhurst’s northern grit did not allow her to wave the white flag in her assault on the status quo and the search for equal women’s rights.
At the Pankhurst Centre, housed at what used to be her residence where she lived with her two daughters between 1898 and 1907, the parlour that hosted the first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) has been maintained. Manchester City Council plans to renovate the Pankhurst Centre so as future generations can take in the message of the great Emmeline Pankhurst over the decades and, hopefully, centuries to come.
Hampton Court Palace
Anyone that beheads not one, but two, of their wives certainly falls into the villain category. Henry VIII was the ruling monarch of England between 1509 and 1547 and was famously desperate for a son to take on the role of heir to the throne.
Henry would get his son, three in fact, in Edward VI (his successor to the throne), Henry, Duke of Cornwall (died aged 52 days) and Henry Fitzroy (an illegitimate son with his mistress Elizabeth Blount). One of the most famous monarchs in British history was certainly no stranger to throwing his weight around and, should you ever visit Hampton Court Palace, the former residency of Henry VIII, you can get can insight into the former King of England.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
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