To coincide with the 450th anniversary of St Basil’s Cathedral, and the fact that there is a legendary tale attached to the building’s construction, we thought it would be great fun to take a look at some other coach holidays
to a range of famous sites across the globe that have an interesting tale to tell. We have a feeling that there may be many that we’ve missed so if you know of one, let us know…
1. St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow
Not only has this mighty monument just celebrated its 450th anniversary but there is also a legendary tale connected to its construction. The cathedral was built by order of Ivan the Terrible and was completed in 1561 after 6 years work. Legend has it that the church’s architect was blinded on its completion to ensure that he could not recreate the spectacular design anywhere else.
2. St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall
Why not visit a land where giant’s once roamed? Legend says that a mythical giant named Cormoran once lived on
the Mount, and he used to wade ashore and steal cattle from the villagers to curb his appetite. One night a local boy called Jack, rowed out to the island and dug a deep pit whilst Cormoran was sleeping. At sunrise, the boy blew a horn to wake the angry giant who staggered from the summit and, blinded by the sunlight, fell into the pit and died. When visiting the Mount, why not search for the Giant’s heart amongst the cobblestones? If you find it and stand on it, legend has it you will supposedly feel Cormoran’s heartbeat!
3. Pluckley, Kent
This quaint village in Kent has two claims to fame, one being that the TV series The Darling Buds Of May was filmed here and that it is known as the most haunted village in the UK. It is reputed that the village has up to 14 ghosts residing there and these include a phantom coach and horses, the ghost of a gypsy woman who burned to death in her sleep, the hanging body of a schoolmaster in Dicky Buss’s Lane and of course the legend of the Red and White Ladies of Dering. Why not head over to Pluckley this Haloween and see how many ghouls you can spot – that’s if you’re feeling brave!
4. Loch Ness, Scotland
When compiling a list of sites with tales to tell, we couldn’t forget Loch Ness could
we? Most people believe that the Loch Ness Monster first appeared in the 1930s but sightings actually date back much further than this. The first recorded sighting was in 565 by Saint Columba but the most recent was in 1933 when Mr & Mrs Mackay were driving along the Loch to their home in Drumnadrochit. Mrs Mackay saw a disturbance in the water and first thought that it was ducks. On closer inspection, she noticed a large beast in the middle of the Loch rolling and plunging in the water. The sighting was reported to Alex Campbell, a local gamekeeper and writer for the Inverness Courier who also claims to have seen the monster on 18 separate occasions. The Mackay’s story appeared in the paper on 2nd May 1933 and the Loch Ness Monster, as we know it today, was born! Why not head over to Scotland
and visit Loch Ness and see if the tale of Nessie is true?
5. Legend of Land’s End
Not many people know this but legend has it that there was once land between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly to
link the two together. It was known as the lost land of Lyonesse and was once engulfed by the sea over 900 years ago. According to tradition, all that remained to view were the mountain peaks to the west, known to us now as the Isles of Scilly. Only one man survived, called Trevilian and he rode a white horse up to high ground at Perranuthnoe before the waves could overwhelm him. As late as the 1930’s, a journalist called Stanley Baron, was awoken in the night by the muffled ringing of bells and told by his hosts that he had heard the bells of Lyonnesse. Another has twice seen towers, domes and spires beneath the waves whilst standing on the cliffs of Land’s End so could the legend possibly be true? A visit to Cornwall maybe on the cards don’t you think?
6. Stonehenge, Wiltshire
These stones have inspired many legends over the centuries as people try to explain the origin of the circle as the
work of giants, gods or wizards. It is thought that in the Middle Ages, the stones were brought from Africa to Ireland by a race of giants. They were then transported across the sea by the magic of Merlin during the beginning of the Dark Ages. The Heel Stone is said to have been thrown by the Devil at a monk who was spying on him between the stones. The stone pinned the unfortunate clergyman to the ground by his heel – hence the name given to the stone. What’s your opinion of Stonehenge and how do you think it came about?
7. Glastonbury, Somerset
It’s not just the music that makes Glastonbury famous, it is also well known for its many legends. Apparently, Glastonbury has been identified with the mysterious Isle of Avalon from the 12th Century, famous for its links to King Arthur and early Christian traditions. You won’t be short of legendary sites to see such as Glastonbury Tor (once the realm of fairies), The Chalice Well (said to be the resting place for the Holy Grail) and the Abbey (where the grave of Arthur and Guinevere is said to lie).
These are just a few of the sites that are linked to legends and folklore. Maybe we have forgotten one? Or perhaps you have a theory about one of the above? If you do, get in touch as we’d love to hear from you.