There are many different types of traveller. You’ve got your sun-seekers, your culture vultures, your adrenaline junkies, and many more besides. Often forgotten, way down the list, are the history buffs who love nothing more than wandering the lands and trying to get in touch with the past. Luckily there’s a world out there absolutely teeming with heritage to be explored and understood. In this article we’re going to look at some of the best destinations around for those with a real yearning to study the past.
Visit Petra, Jordan
In Jordan lies Petra. The true awesomeness of Petra cannot be known just by looking at pictures, and once you see it first hand, you’ll instantly understand why. Described by a Swiss explorer as ‘a rose-red city half as old as time’ and by UNESCO as ‘one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage’, the city remained undiscovered by the Western World until the early 19th century. What is truly awe-inspiring about Petra, apart from the jaw dropping buildings carved into the rock, is that the settlements can be dated back to times as ancient as 1550 BC (before it known as a city). As a visitor to the city, you’ll witness the streets of Facades, visit the Obelisk Tomb and see the famous Al Khazneh (the Treasury) amongst other things. A visit to Petra will make any traveller feel humbled by the sense of age and heritage it conveys.
Stay on a Victorian Farm
Have you ever found yourself stressed by the amount of technology around you and just craved a simpler time without phones, computers and manner of other electronic distractions? Well, since we’re still waiting for our time machines, why not experience a few nights living on a Victorian Farm! Henley Cottage is a 19th century dwelling for farm labourers, which has been restored to its original condition – and has in fact remained now unchanged for a couple of centuries. No running water except for a flush toilet and shower in an outhouse, situated in a beautiful estate and with a plethora of Victorian activities going on – this place is a must for those who want to experience the Victorian age just as it was.
Witness a Viking Invasion
From the 3-5th of June at Whitby Abby in North Yorkshire, England, you can observe a re-enactment of the Viking invasion of English shores, whose hordes came to Whitby after pillaging the abbey at Lindisfarne. As an audience you interact with the warriors of Regia Anglorum in their encampment, preparing for the battle ahead with the Vikings – protecting the royal marriage in the headland ruins!
Head to Castle Frankenstein
Castle Frankenstein is one of the oldest castles in Europe and is thought to be the building that inspired Mary Shelly’s opus magnum of the same name. Built by Lord Konrad II in the 13th century, he changed his name to Frankenstein after erecting it. There is much speculation whether Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’ came about after visiting the castle – and the fact that a former occupant, Dippel, was a practicing alchemist raises further eyebrows. Halloween at Frankenstein Castle is one of the most popular Halloween parties in Europe, and over ten thousand people flock to attend it each year.
Pay Your Respects at Auschwitz
This one might not be the most upbeat or ‘fun’ destination in the world, but it’s an absolute must for anyone with an academic respect for the past, and everyone ought to be conscious of the horrors that occurred at the Auschwitz network of extermination camps in Southern Poland. The site of approximately 1.1 million deaths, the camps at Auschwitz still bear the chilling reminders of the atrocities committed by the Nazi war-machine, and the site now stands as an on-going reminder, testament and memorial to events we pray will never happen again.
Thinking of joining the Viking invasion? Get there in style with great deals on car rental in London and around the UK from Vroomvroomvroom.