How Britain’s ancient sites are in the spotlight in 2022

Four more ways to experience ancient Britain in 2022


1. Spend the night in a “lost” village in Norfolk
For centuries only sheep roamed the medieval village of Godwick, but it wasn’t always that way. First colonized by the Anglo-Saxons, the village was abandoned at the end of the 16th century, perhaps due to a succession of bad harvests. Today the crumbling foundations, crumbling church steeple and sunken streets make it one of Norfolk’s best-preserved ‘lost’ medieval villages (thanks in large part to the grazing sheep, which control the ‘grass). Now guests can stay overnight on the estate thanks to a restoration project involving Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Godwick Hall. Accommodation includes the former self-contained stables, which sleep up to six people and start at £450 per night, and the cozy shepherd’s huts, from £90 per night (both have a two-night minimum stay) .

2. Celebrate the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall
The Roman border between England and Scotland – an icon of ancient Britain – celebrates its 1,900th anniversary this year with the 11-month Festival 1900. A packed calendar of events across the region will explore the role the wall has played throughout history, while defending local communities. Events include archaeological digs at Vindolanda Fort; the Northumberland-inspired Northern Tales, as part of the Hexham Book Festival; exhibitions at Tullie House in Carlisle; and the lighting of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons on June 2 — a highlight in every sense of the word.

3. Follow a trail around historic Scotland
Linking 13 UNESCO protected sites, including World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves, this newly launched trail brings together the best of Scotland’s ancient treasures. Here’s a bucket list for those looking to delve into the country’s fascinating past: landmarks on the trail include the Roman-era Antonine Wall and Orkney’s remarkable Neolithic heritage, while less ancient sites are also included on the itinerary are artsy Dundee, a UNESCO City of Design, and the Forth Bridge, which was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2015.

4. Explore the Roman baths in more detail than ever before
Bath is one of the few cities in the world to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety, and visitors can learn about its unique history when the World Heritage Center opens this spring. Located at the Roman Baths, the center will offer visitors plenty of information about the city’s Roman origins – including the hot springs that put it on the map – as well as the Georgians who transformed the city into an elegant center of high society centuries later. There is also a free downloadable Bath World Heritage app from the Apple Store and Google Play.

Published in May 2022 problem of National Geographic Traveler (UK)

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