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Heart of England


Abberley
Village with some interesting buildings including a pre-Reformation rectory and a Gothic clock tower with 20 bells. At Great Witley, nearby, is a magnificent 18th century church with rich plasterwork, paintings and carving and the gardens and ruins of Witley Court.

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Alderton
Hillside village with wide views of Evesham Vale. The restored church has a 15th century tower, a broken Saxon font and some medieval glass. Some stone from the previous Norman church has been incorporated into its structure.

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Alstonefield
Peaceful village, well situated for exploring the pleasant countryside of Dovedale, much of which is owned by the National Trust.

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Ashbourne
Market town on the edge of the Peak District National Park and an excellent centre for walking. Its impressive church, with 212-foot spire, stands in an unspoilt old street. Ashbourne is well known for gingerbread and its Shrovetide football match.

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Atherstone
Pleasant market town with some 18th century houses and interesting old inns. Every Shrove Tuesday a game of football is played in the streets, a tradition which dates from the 13th century. Twycross Zoo is nearby with an extensive collection of reptiles and butterflies.

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Bakewell
Pleasant market town, famous for its pudding. It is set in beautiful countryside on the River Wye and is an excellent centre for exploring the Derbyshire Dales, the Peak District National Park, Chatsworth and Haddon Hall.

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Bamford
Village in the Peak District near the Upper Derwent Reservoirs of Ladybower, Derwent and Howden. An excellent centre for walking.

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Barlow
Lying 4 miles north-west of Chesterfield, its recorded history dates back to William the Conqueror. The major event is annual well-dressing week.

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Bewdley
Attractive town on the River Severn, approached by a bridge designed by Telford. The town has many elegant buildings and an interesting craft and folk museum. On the Severn Valley Steam Railway.

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Bibury
Village on the River Coln with stone houses and the famous 17th century Arlington Row, former weavers' cottages. Arlington Mill is now a folk museum. Trout farm and Barnsley House Gardens, nearby, are open to the public.

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Bishop's Castle
A 12th century Planned Town with a castle site at the top of the hill and a church at the bottom of the main street. There are many interesting buildings with original timber frames hidden behind present-day houses. On the Welsh border close to the Clun Forest in quiet, unspoilt countryside.

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Blockley
This village's prosperity was founded in silk mills and other factories but now it is a quiet, unspoilt place. An excellent centre for exploring pretty Cotswold villages, especially Chipping Campden and Broadway.

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Bourton-On-The-Water
The River Windrush flows through this famous Cotswold village which has a green and cottages and houses of Cotswold stone. Its many attractions include a model village, Birdland, a Motor Museum and the Cotswold Perfumery.

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Bridgnorth
Red sandstone riverside town in 2 parts – High and Low – linked by a cliff railway. Much of interest including a ruined Norman keep, half-timbered 16th century houses, Midland Motor Museum and Severn Valley Railway.

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Broad Campden
Attractive village, with interesting church by Prichard of Llandaff, a mile outside the picturesque Cotswold town of Chipping Campden.

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Broadway
Beautiful Cotswold village, called the "Show village of England", with 16th century stone houses and cottages. Near the village is Broadway Tower with magnificent views over 12 counties and a country park with nature trails and adventure playground.

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Bromsgrove
This market town near the Lickey Hills has an interesting museum and craft centre and 14th century church with fine tombs and a Carillon tower. The Avoncroft Museum of Buildings is nearby where many old buildings have been re-assembled, having been saved from destruction.

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Burwarton
Stately village between Ludlow and Bridgnorth, with the magnificent park of Burwarton Hall, an attractive Georgian inn and the ruin of an old Norman church.

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Carsington
The visitor centre at Britain's newest reservoir, Carsington Water, allows visitors to learn about the surrounding countryside and wildlife. Around the reservoir many activities are available including cycling, sailing and horse riding.

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Cheltenham
Cheltenham was developed as a spa town in the 18th century and has some beautiful Regency architecture, in particular the Pittville Pump Room. It holds international music and literature festivals and is also famous for its race meetings and cricket.

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Chesterfield
Famous for the twisted spire of its parish church, Chesterfield has some fine modern buildings and excellent shopping facilities, including a large, traditional open-air market. Hardwick Hall and Bolsover Castle are nearby.

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Church Stretton
Church Stretton lies under the eastern slope of the Longmynd surrounded by hills. It is ideal for walkers, with marvellous views, golf and gliding. Wenlock Edge is not far away.

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Cirencester
"Capital of the Cotswolds", Cirencester was Britain's second most important Roman town with many finds housed in the Corinium Museum. It has a very fine Perpendicular church and old houses around the market place.

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Clun
Small, ancient town on the Welsh border with flint and stone tools in its museum and Iron Age forts nearby. The impressive ruins of a Norman castle lie beside the River Clun, and there are some interesting 17th century houses.

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Coleford
Small town in the Forest of Dean with the ancient iron mines at Clearwell Caves nearby, where mining equipment and geological samples are displayed. There are several forest trails in the area.

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Compton Abdale
High on the hills, this Cotswold village is quietly located 4 miles outside Northleach, off the main A40 towards Cheltenham, and is ideally located to tour the area and visit the main attractions.

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Cressbrook
Delightful dale with stone hall and pleasant houses, steep wooded slopes and superb views.

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Daglingworth
Delightful village in the valley of the River Dunt near Cirencester, with a church which has remnants of Saxon work as well as 3 well-preserved sculptures. There is a medieval dovecote at the manor house.

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Dursley
Market town with some Georgian houses and an 18th century arched market hall with a statue of Queen Anne. Nearby is the weaving village of Uley with 17th century houses.

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Evesham
Market town in the centre of a fruit-growing area. There are pleasant walks along the River Avon and many old houses and inns. A fine 16th century tower stands between 2 churches near the medieval Almonry Museum.

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Gloucester
A Roman city and inland port, its cathedral is one of the most beautiful in Britain. Gloucester's many attractions include museums and the restored warehouses in the Victorian docks containing the National Waterways Museum, Robert Opie Packaging Collection and other attractions.

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Gotherington
A small village 5 miles north of Cheltenham, at the edge of the Cotswolds, looking towards Langley Hill and Prescott Hill. Famous for the special classic car climbs. Close to Tewkesbury and Sudeley Castle.

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Great Hucklow
Small village in the Peak District. Headquarters of the Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club.

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Hartington
Village with a large market-place set in fine surroundings near the River Dove, well known for its fishing and Izaak Walton, author of "The Compleat Angler".

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Hathersage
Hillside village in the Peak District, dominated by the church with many good brasses and monuments to the Eyre family which provide a link with Charlotte Bronte. Little John, friend of Robin Hood, is said to be buried here.

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Hayfield
Village set in spectacular scenery at the highest point of the Peak District with the best approach to the Kinder Scout plateau via the Kinder Downfall. An excellent centre for walking. Three reservoirs close by.

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Hereford
Agricultural county town, its cathedral containing much Norman work, a large chained library and the world famous Mappa Mundi exhibition. Among the city's varied attractions are several museums, including the Cider Museum and the Old House.

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Ironbridge
Small town on the Severn where the Industrial Revolution began. It has the world's first iron bridge, built in 1779. The Ironbridge Gorge Museum, of exceptional interest, comprises a rebuilt, turn-of-the-century town and sites spread over 6 square miles.

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Kenilworth
The main feature of the town is the ruined 12th century castle. It has many royal associations but was damaged by Cromwell. A good base for visiting Coventry, Leamington Spa and Warwick.

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Leamington Spa
18th century spa town with many fine Georgian and Regency houses and the refurbished 19th century Pump Rooms with Heritage Centre. The attractive Jephson Gardens are laid out alongside the river.

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Ledbury
Town with cobbled streets and many black and white timbered houses, including the 17th century market house and old inns. In attractive countryside nearby is Eastnor Castle, a venue for many events, with an interesting collection of tapestries and armour.

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Leintwardine
Attractive border village where the rivers Teme and Clun meet. It has some black and white cottages, old inns and an impressive church. It is near Hopton Castle and the beautiful scenery around Clun.

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Leominster
The town owed its prosperity to wool, and has many interesting buildings, notably the timber-framed Grange Court, a former town hall. The impressive Norman priory church has 3 naves and a ducking stool. Berrington Hall (National Trust) is nearby.

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Lincoln
Ancient city dominated by the magnificent 11th century cathedral with its triple towers. A Roman gateway is still used and there are medieval houses lining narrow, cobbled streets. Other attractions include the Norman castle, several museums and the Usher Gallery.

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Louth
Attractive old market town set on the eastern edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. St James's Church has an impressive tower and spire and there are the remains of a Cistercian abbey. The museum contains an interesting collection of local material.

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Ludlow
Outstandingly interesting border town with a magnificent castle high above the River Teme, 2 half-timbered old inns and an impressive 15th century church. The Reader's House, with its 3-storey Jacobean porch, should also be seen.

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Lullington
In the extreme south of Derbyshire, near the Staffordshire border. Beautiful flowers and plants fill the village green, churchyard and gardens of the Great House.

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Lydney
Small town in the Forest of Dean close to the River Severn, where Roman remains have been found. It has a steam centre with engines, coaches and wagons.

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Malvern
A spa town in Victorian times, its water is today bottled and sold worldwide. Six resorts, set on the slopes of the Hills, form part of Malvern. Great Malvern Priory has splendid 15th century windows. It is an excellent walking centre.

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Market Rasen
Market town on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The racecourse and picnic site and forest walks at Willingham Woods are to the east of the town.

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Matlock
The town lies beside the narrow valley of the River Derwent surrounded by steep, wooded hills. Good centre for exploring Derbyshire's best scenery.

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Middleton-By-Youlgreave
Small hamlet nestling on the River Bradford, a mile from Youlgreave.

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Milwich
Village midway between Stone and Uttoxeter. The oldest-dated bell in Staffordshire, purported to have rung for Agincourt, is here.

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Minsterley
Village with a curious little church of 1692 and a fine old black and white hall. The lofty ridge, known as the Stiperstones, is 4 miles to the south.

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Miserden
Village in wooded valley country with a church of late Saxon origin. The Camp is a hamlet with an interesting group of old houses, and Miserden Park Gardens can be visited between April and September.

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Moreton-in-Marsh
Attractive town in Cotswold stone with 17th century houses, an ideal base for touring the Cotswolds. Some of the local attractions include Batsford Park Arboretum, the Jacobean Chastleton House and Sezincote Garden.

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Newent
Small town with the largest collection of birds of prey in Europe at the Falconry Centre. Flying demonstrations daily. Glass workshop where visitors can watch glass being blown. There is a "seconds" shop. North of the village are the Three Choirs Vineyards.

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Northampton
A bustling town and a shoe-manufacturing centre, with excellent shopping facilities, several museums and parks, a theatre and a concert hall. Several old churches include 1 of only 4 round churches in Britain.

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Nottingham
Attractive modern city with a rich history. Outside its castle, now a museum, is Robin Hood's statue. Attractions include "The Tales of Robin Hood"; the Lace Hall; Wollaton Hall; museums and excellent facilities for shopping, sports and entertainment.

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Oswestry
Town close to the Welsh border, the scene of many battles. To the north are the remains of a large Iron Age hill fort. An excellent centre for exploring Shropshire and Offa's Dyke.

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Oundle
Historic town situated on the River Nene with narrow alleys and courtyards and many stone buildings, including a fine church and historic inns.

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Owlpen
Near the Severn Estuary, the 15th century Owlpen Manor (open to visitors April-September), together with its outbuildings and church, forms a delightful group of Cotswold-stone buildings. The weaving village of Uley, with its 17th century houses, is close by.

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Pembridge
Delightful village close to the Welsh border with many black and white half-timbered cottages, some dating from the 14th century. There is a market hall supported by 8 wooden pillars in the market place, also old inns and 14th century church with interesting separate bell tower.

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Ross-on-Wye
Attractive market town with a 17th century market hall, set above the River Wye. There are lovely views over the surrounding countryside from the Prospect, and the town is close to Goodrich Castle and the Welsh border.

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Rugby
Town famous for its public school which gave its name to Rugby Union football and which featured in "Tom Brown's Schooldays".

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Shrewsbury
Beautiful historic town on the River Severn featuring many fine old timbered-framed houses. Its attractions include Rowley's Museum with Roman finds, remains of a castle, Clive House Museum, St Chad's 18th century round church, rowing on the river and the Shrewsbury Flower Show in August.

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Skegness
Famous seaside resort with 6 miles of sandy beaches and bracing air. Attractions include swimming pools, bowling greens, gardens, Natureland Marine Zoo, golf courses and a wide range of entertainment at the Embassy Centre. Nearby is Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve.

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South Cerney
The 15,000 acres of lakes and ponds and several Country Parks are being developed at South Cerney as the Cotswold Water Park, for sailing, fishing, bird-watching and other recreational activities.

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Southwell
Town dominated by the Norman minster which has some beautiful 13th century stone carvings in the Chapter House. Charles I spent his last night of freedom in one of the inns. The original Bramley apple tree can still be seen.

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Spilsby
Market town in attractive countryside on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds and the Fens. Birthplace of explorer Sir John Franklin, and it has associations with the poet Tennyson, born in nearby Somersby. There is a medieval market cross.

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Stafford
The town has a long history, and some half-timbered buildings still remain, notably the 16th century High House. There are several museums in the town, and Shugborough Hall and the famous angler Izaak Walton's cottage, now a museum, are nearby.

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Stanton
Unspoilt Cotswold village with picturesque stone houses built around 1600. The church dates from Norman times but has 20th century furnishings and glass. Nearby is Stanway House, a Jacobean manor, open to summer visitors, and ruins of Hailes Abbey (English Heritage).

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Stanton-on-the-Wolds
Quiet village with golf course, just off the main route between Nottingham and Melton Mowbray, giving easy access to nearby attractions.

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Stoke-on-Trent
Famous for its pottery. Factories of several famous makers, including Josiah Wedgwood, can be visited. The City Museum has one of the finest pottery and porcelain collections in the world.

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Stow-on-the-Wold
Attractive Cotswold wool town with a large market-place and some fine houses, especially the old grammar school. There is an interesting church dating from Norman times. Stow-on-the-Wold is surrounded by lovely countryside and Cotswold villages.

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Stratfort-upon-Avon
Famous as Shakespeare's home town, Stratford's many attractions include his birthplace, New Place where he died, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Gallery and Hall's Croft (his daughter's house).

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Stroud
This old town, surrounded by attractive hilly country, has been producing broadcloth for centuries; the local museum has an interesting display on the subject. Many of the mills have been converted into centres for craft and other uses.

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Uppingham
Quiet market town dominated by its famous public school which was founded in 1584. It has many stone houses and is surrounded by attractive countryside.

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Upton St. Leonards
Village in a lovely setting below hills, with many old houses and a part-Norman church.

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Upton-upon-Severn
Attractive country town on the banks of the Severn and a good river-cruising centre. It has many pleasant old houses and inns, and the pepperpot landmark is now the Heritage Centre.

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Warwick
Castle rising above the River Avon, 15th century Beauchamp Chapel attached to St Mary's Church, medieval Lord Leycester's Hospital almshouses and several museums. Nearby is Ashorne Hall and the National Heritage Museum at Gaydon.

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Wellington
On the west side of Telford district, under the Wrekin and with easy access to Shrewsbury and Ironbridge.

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Whitbourne
Large parish on both sides of the Worcester to Bromyard road, the location of a medieval moated building, once the palace of the Bishops of Hereford. In the delightful peaceful village are some houses of cruck construction and some unusual 16th century brick chimneys.

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Winchcombe
Ancient town with a folk museum and railway museum. To the south lies Sudeley Castle with its fine collection of paintings and toys and an Elizabethan garden.

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Woodhall Spa
Attractive town which was formerly a spa. It has excellent sporting facilities, with a championship golf course, and is surrounded by pine woods.

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Worcester
Lovely riverside city dominated by its Norman and early English cathedral , King John's burial place. There are many old buildings, including the 15th century Commandery and the 18th century Guildhall. There are several museums and the Royal Worcester porcelain factory.

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Wythall
On the southern outskirts of Birmingham heading towards Evesham.

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Yardley Gobion
Picturesque village in the southern tip of the county near the Grand Union Canal. Some expansion since the 1950s.

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Youlgreave
Small town in the Peak District with an impressive church, much of which dates from Norman times. There are some interesting monuments in the church and stained glass by William Morris. The stone circle of Arbor Low is nearby.

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