Blog – The most viewed posts of 2014

In a week’s time we will be a third of the way through 2014. Time, as a modern version of the old saying might go, travels faster than Usain Bolt.
So it seems like a good time to have a look at our most popular posts so far this year.
If you didn’t catch them first time round, I hope you enjoy them now.

1. Naseby – Battling with England’s rolling countryside

One of our pledges at Naked Eye Travel is to bring you details of our travels wherever we may go – even just a few miles up the road.
So it is good to see that our trip to nearby Naseby has proved popular in 2014.
That’s not to say that its locality takes away from the site’s historic importance.
On the morning of June 14, 1645 the forces of King Charles I of England and Parliament’s New Model Army fought one of the most important battles to ever take place on British soil.
And earlier this year, Michelle and I fought our own battle with the rolling countryside of Naseby – competing in the 10km long Battlefield Run.

Naseby

2. Scotland – Highland beauty round every corner

Sometimes the best things about road trips are the unexpected sights lurking around the next corner.
Like when you’re zipping along the A9 between Stirling and Inverness.
And you find yourself parked up by the side of the road staring at the incredible countryside of the Scottish Highlands and the breathtaking industry of the Highland Main Line viaduct.

Highland main line viaduct, near Inverness

3. Scotland – Forget Braveheart, visit the William Wallace monument

Braveheart. The Scots love it.
Even though historically it’s nonsense, containing more inaccuracies than a Tabloid newspaper on heat.
It’s Hollywood hyperbole. Gibson grandstanding. Entertaining enough, but basically raucous rubbish.
All of which is a bit of a shame, because there is a really rather good true story to be told about William Wallace.
But until Hollywood does the unthinkable and produces an historically accurate movie, the best place to find this story is at the William Wallace Monument in Stirling.

At The National Wallace Monument, Stirling

The Wallace Sword, The National Wallace Monument, Stirling

4. Blog – Embracing my inner pensioner in Northants

Northamptonshire is home to some wonderful old mansions and manor houses – from the ancestral home of George Washington to the final resting place of Princess Diana.
Sulgrave Manor, Mapledurham House, Althorp House, Castle Ashby and Delapre Abbey are just five that are well worth a visit.

Sulgrave ManorCastle Ashby Gardens

5. Venice – The meaning of masks

From the bleak and macabre Medico Della Peste to the revered Gatto, every mask seen in Venice has a deeper meaning.
Typically worn during the Carnival of Venice, but a common sight throughout the year, Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition.
Often used to disguise the wearer’s identity and social status, masks would allow people to act more freely – often in a promiscuous or decadent manner.
Many a sin would have been hidden behind these paper-mache facades, wildly decorated with everything from fur to gems, fabric to feathers.
But initially Venice’s culture of masks had a more noble calling.


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