Britain´s Secret Beauties

Britain´s Secret BeautiesOf course, not many places can be really secret now, when we have GPS and Google maps. Still, there are places which are less famous (and crowded) than, let’s say, Buckingham Palace.

Wistman’s Wood
Wistman’s Wood is a very old forest. It has grown wild without people and large animals for hundreds of years. It’s a magic place full of old trees, large boulders2 and moss. It’s a place where you’ll believe druids and fairies still exist. The trees are not tall and their branches are tangled so it’s difficult for people and horses to move around. That’s why the wood is so wild. Many people believe it is haunted3 and there are many legends of ghosts
and big black dogs with red eyes. Stephen It’s a magical place. The forest is so old and so green. It was a breath-taking4 trip. A definite must!

Anna I didn’t like it very much. It was raining cats and dogs5 and it was spooky. Everything was wet. It might be pretty in good weather, though.

Castle Combe
Called ‘Britain’s prettiest village’, Castle Combe is a perfect example of an old English village. The newest houses there were built some 400 years ago. There are no street lights or billboards, no electric wires. Castle Combe is a fairy-tale place where the stone cottages, river, castle and bridge look what England looked 400 years ago. Castle Combe is popular with tourists and film makers. Robin Hood films as well as Steven Spielberg’s War Horse were filmed here.

Stephanie It was a fairy-tale. I felt like going back in time. Great place for history lovers. I also loved the plain food in the Castle Inn – salads, pies and sandwiches. The parking lot is outside the town so there are really no cars in the village. Excellent!

Peter It’s overrated! The parking lot is too far for families with kids and
handicapped people. The houses are OK, but there wasn’t a place with good food. Who cares for sandwiches and pies today?

Shell Grotto
Shell Grotto8 in Margate is one of the biggest mysteries in Britain. It is a cave full of mosaics made of 4.6 million shells. Most shells are local, but some come from the Caribbean. The cave is full of symbols – the sun, moon, love, life, and death. Nobody knows who made it and why this piece of art was created. It was discovered in 1835. We don’t know how old it is. Some people think it’s over 2,000 years old, while others believe it’s a hoax.

Gertie I loved it! The shell art was beautiful and it’s such a mystery. Who built it and why? It isn’t long and you’ll see it all in 30 minutes but I’m happy we went there. It’s child-friendly, too.
Alec It was quite cool, but too small. You can be in and out in 20 minutes. There’s a lovely shop. It’s a nice place to stop by.

Which place does each statement refer to?
a) The ornaments and the mystery are fascinating. ..............................................................................................................
b) It’s a tangle of branches, moss, and boulders. .....................................................................................................................
c) It’s like stepping back in time. .....................................................................................................................................................

Discuss
Which of the three places would you like to visit? Why?

  • Wistman’s Woods
  • Castle Combe
  • Shell Grotto

Britain's Secret.mp3