Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from Japan

This page has information about the stories and places in the I Talk You Talk Press graded reader Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from Japan.


Old Jack once met a man who told him about the wonderful ghost stories of Japan. Long ago, a famous writer called Lafcadio Hearn heard these stories and wrote about some of them. Old Jack was very interested, and travelled to Japan to learn about Lafcadio Hearn and Japanese ghosts.


(Photo: Frederick Gutekunst [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Lafcadio Hearn was born in Greece in 1850. His mother was Greek and his father was Irish. He spent his childhood in Ireland, England and France. Then he went to the USA and became a newspaper reporter and writer.He travelled to Japan, and found a job teaching English in the charming city of Matsue.

Hearn married the daughter of a samurai, and they had four children. He also lived in Kumamoto, Kobe and Tokyo. He became Japanese, and spent the rest of his life in Japan. He died in 1904.

Lafcadio Hearn is very famous, because when he wrote his books about Japan, people in English speaking countries did not know very much about this interesting country. By reading Hearn’s books they came to understand a little about Japanese life and culture.

As you read this book, you will travel around the modern but mysterious country of Japan with Old Jack, and share his adventures.

Old Jack’s adventure started in Matsue. This city is in Shimane Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast. It is a beautiful, traditional city. It has a castle, and a large lake called Shinji-ko. Lafcadio Hearn lived in Matsue for 15 months. Now, his house is a sightseeing spot. There is a Lafcadio Hearn museum near to his house too. The museum contains many of Hearn’s items.


(Photo: By 663highland (663highland) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

Old Jack’s first story “A Mother’s Love” is Lafcadio Hearn’s “The Woman Who Bought Syrup”. This story is from Hearn’s book, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan. The setting for the story is Daio-ji Temple in Matsue. This temple is in a quiet area of the city, not far from the Lake Shinji hot spring area, and it attracts many tourists interested in Hearn’s story.

Old Jack’s second story, “The Laughing Samurai” is also from Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan. The setting for this story is around another temple in Matsue. Fumon-in Temple is near Matsue Castle. The temple was built over 400 years ago. It has a traditional teahouse and Japanese garden. The bridge in the ghost story has gone, so the ghost does not appear any more, but even today, some people say they can sense a ghost when they pass near the temple.

Then we travel with Old Jack to Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It is a port city at the southern part of the main island, Honshu. A bridge and a tunnel connect the city to the island of Kyushu. Shimonoseki is famous for the battle of Dan-no-ura, between the Heike and the Genji families.


(Photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AShimonoseki-city.jpg)

While he is in Shimonoseki, Old Jack hears another story, “The Blind Man Who Could See”. This is Hearn’s The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi from Kwaidan, Stories and Studies of Strange Things, one of Hearn’s most famous books. The temple in the story, Amida-ji, is now a shrine called Akama-jingu. It is dedicated to the child emperor Antoku, who died in the Battle of Dan-no-ura, when he was just eight years old. There is a statue of Hoichi the Earless in the shrine grounds.


(Photo: By nnh (photo by nnh) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

The story “The Woman of the Snow” is Hearn’s story Yuki-Onna. This story is also from Kwaidan, Stories and Studies of Strange Things. The events take place in Musashi Province. This old province was the largest in the Kanto area. The province does not exist anymore. Today, the area is Tokyo and Saitama. The capital of the province is the present-day Fuchu City.


(Picture: By Sawaki Suushi (佐脇嵩之) (scanned from ISBN 4-3360-4187-3.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons) 

Yuki-Onna is a popular Japanese ghost. She often appears in Japanese manga and animation. There are many stories about her in Japan, but Lafcadio Hearn’s story is the most famous. Hearn said that he heard the story directly from a farmer in Musashi Province.

“Secrets of the Heart” is Hearn’s A Dead Secret. This story is also from Kwaidan, Stories and Studies of Strange Things. The story is set in Tamba Province. This old province is now the Kyoto area. The old capital of the province is the present-day city of Kameoka.

Today, Kyoto is a very popular tourist spot. It is a fascinating city, with many temples and historical sites.


(Photo: By Moja (Photo by Moja) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.1 jp (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.1/jp/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

The last story, “The Little Brothers” is Hearn’s story The Futon. It is from Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan. It is one of Hearn’s sadder stories. It is set in Tottori City. This city is about two hour’s drive from Matsue. It is on the Sea of Japan coast. Tottori’s most famous spot is its sand dunes. The sand dunes are part of the Sanin Kaigan Geopark. Hearn’s story takes place in winter, when the city is covered with snow.


(Photo: By Hashi photo (Hashi photo) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

For more information about Lafcadio Hearn, see here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafcadio_Hearn
For more information about Japan, see here. http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/


Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from Wales

This page has information about the places in Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from Wales.



1. Carew Castle

Carew Castle is in Pembrokeshire, in south-west Wales. It was built in 1270. Visitors can walk around the castle and its grounds. It has many events in summer.


(By JKMMX (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

Pembrokeshire is famous for its beautiful coastline and beaches. There is a walking path called the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. This path is 299km long. It runs along the cliffs and seashores from one end of Pembrokeshire to the other.


(By Trevor Rickard [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)


More Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carew_Castle


2.  The Rhymney House Hotel

The Rhymney House Hotel was built in 1801. It is in the small town of Rhymney, which is very close the Brecon Beacons National Park.


(By Robin Drayton [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

The national park is very famous for its scenery. It is 1344 km², and has mountains, hills, forests, and lakes. Many people go to the park to enjoy hiking, mountain climbing, sailing, surfing, cycling, fishing and other activities.


(“Brecon Beacons view” by User:Wiki2014NewUser – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brecon_Beacons_view.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Brecon_Beacons_view.jpg)


More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhymney

3. The Skirrid Mountain Inn

The Skirrid Mountain Inn is in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is 900 years old. Many people say it is the oldest pub in Wales.


(Stuart Wilding [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

It is named after a mountain called Ysgyryd Fawr (Skirrid in English). The pub is in the town of Abergavenny. This market town is close to the Wales/England border. It is called “the gateway to Wales”. There are five castles around the town, including Abergavenny Castle, which was built in 1087.


(Jeremy Bolwell [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)


More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Skirrid_Mountain_Inn

4.  Gwydir Castle

Gwydir Castle is in the Vale of Conwy, in the Snowdonia National Park. It was built around 1500. It looks more like a house than a castle. It has beautiful old gardens. Some of the gardens are from the 16th century.



(By Hogyn Lleol (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)


Snowdonia National Park is very famous for its beautiful scenery. Mt Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales and England, is here. Mt Snowdon is 1,085 metres high. You can walk up the mountain, or you can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top. The train runs from the town of Llanberis.


(By “Author is myself, with my own camera.”Rollie at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)


(OLU [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)


More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwydir_Castle 


5. Plas Mawr

Plas Mawr is a town house in Conwy. It was built in the 16th century as a family home. It is a popular tourist attraction, and people say it is the best 16th century house in Britain. Inside the house we can see beautiful original plasterwork.


(“03 Plas Mawr” by Waterborough – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:03_Plas_Mawr.JPG#mediaviewer/File:03_Plas_Mawr.JPG)


(“05 Plas Mawr” by Waterborough – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:05_Plas_Mawr.JPG#mediaviewer/File:05_Plas_Mawr.JPG)

Conwy is a very famous for its castle and town walls. The castle and walls were built in the 13th century by King Edward I of England. The town is a World Heritage Site.


(“Castle and suspension bridge, Conway (i.e. Conwy), Wales-LCCN2001703465” by Photochrom Print Collection – Library of CongressCatalog: http://lccn.loc.gov/2001703465. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Castle_and_suspension_bridge,_Conway_(i.e._Conwy),_Wales-LCCN2001703465.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Castle_and_suspension_bridge,_Conway_(i.e._Conwy),_Wales-LCCN2001703465.jpg)


More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plas_Mawr



6. Prestatyn

Prestatyn is a seaside resort town. It has beautiful beaches and is a popular holiday destination for families. It is also a very popular walking area. It is the starting/ending point of the famous Offas Dyke National Trail. This hiking trail is 285km long. It runs along the Wales/England border, from Sedbury, in South England, to Prestatyn in North Wales.


(“PrestatynLB01” by Lesbardd – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PrestatynLB01.JPG#mediaviewer/File:PrestatynLB01.JPG)


(Dot Potter [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)


More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prestatyn


Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from Ireland

This page has information about the places in the I Talk You Talk Press graded reader Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from Ireland.


1. Malahide Castle, County Dublin

Malahide Castle is around 20 minutes by car from Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. It is very close to the village of Malahide. The village is next to the sea, and has a beautiful harbour.


(Photo: By Miguel Mendez from Malahide, Ireland (Malahide Estuary – Sunset  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)


Malahide Castle was built in the 12th Century. The castle offers guided tours for visitors. It also has walled botanical gardens and is surrounded by a large park. 800px-Malahide_Castle_(6202777187)

(Photo: By Miguel Mendez from Malahide, Ireland (Malahide Castle  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malahide_Castle Map: 


2. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, County Monaghan

Glaslough is a small village in County Monaghan 3km from the border with Northern Ireland.



(By Lukiebaggs at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Its most famous building is Castle Leslie. The castle was built in the 19th Century. The castle is a large country house, and is surrounded by 4km of parks, with lakes and forests. It is now a luxury hotel, and visitors can stay in the castle rooms, or in cottages in the grounds. It is a popular wedding venue.

For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Leslie Map:


3. Ballygally Castle, Ballygally, County Antrim

Ballygally Castle is in the village of Ballygally, on the Northern Irish coast. The village has a beach and a beautiful coastline. It is very popular with tourists.


 (Photo: Anne Burgess [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

Ballygally Castle was built in the 17th Century. It is now a hotel. It is on the coast road and has nice views of the sea. On clear days, it even has views of Scotland across the sea. It is very famous for its ghosts.


(Photo: Kenneth Allen [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

More Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballycastle,_County_Antrim



4. Springhill House, Moneymore, County Londonderry

Moneymore is a small village near Lough Neagh. Lough Neagh is the largest lake in Ireland and the biggest in the British Isles. It is a very popular tourist spot, and visitors enjoy walking,  cycling, water sports, and birdwatching.


(Photo: Kenneth Allen [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

Springhill House is around a 10 minute drive from the lake. Springhill House was built in the 17th Century. It was owned by a family for 300 years, but is now owned by the National Trust. Visitors can go on guided tours of the house, and walk around the large parks and woodland. The house also has beautiful gardens.


(Photo: Kenneth Allen [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

For more information: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/springhill/



5. Leap Castle, County Offaly

Leap Castle is in County Offaly. It is not far from the town of Roscrea. Roscrea is on the border between County Offaly and County Tipperary. It is one of the oldest towns in Ireland.


(Photo: By D. Brands (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0), GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

Leap Castle was built in the 13th Century. It is very famous for its ghost stories. Some people say it is the most haunted castle in the world. It is now privately owned.

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_Castle



6. Loftus Hall, Hook Penisnula, County Wexford

Loftus Hall is on the Hook Peninsula. The area has beautiful beaches and fishing villages. The area is famous for Hook Lighthouse, which is the oldest working lighthouse in the world. It is around 800 years old!


(Photo: By Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium (Hook Lighthouse  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

Loftus Hall was built in the 14th Century. It was later re-built in 1870/1871. It is a large mansion house with views of the sea. For a long time, it was empty, but now it has new owners. Visitors can take guded tours of the house during the day, or at night. (Reservation required.)


(Photo: By irpix.de (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loftus_Hall



For more information on visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland,see http://www.discoverireland.ie/ and http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/

Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from Scotland

This page has information about the places in Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from Scotland.


1. Edinburgh Vaults 

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. It is a very popular tourist destination. In the 18th Century, the city grew, and the South Bridge and the North Bridge were built. The Edinburgh Vaults are rooms and tunnels under the South Bridge. There are many shops on the South Bridge.

In the past, shop owners and workmen used the rooms (vaults) under the bridge, but they were very dark and dangerous. So, the shops and businesses moved out of the vaults. Then,  the poor people of Edinburgh moved into them. 

Many bad things happened in the vaults, and there are lots of ghosts! Today, people can go into the vaults on a ghost tour. On the tour, you can learn about the history of the city. If you are lucky (or unlucky?) 😉 you might see or hear a ghost!


(By Kjetil Bjørnsrud (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_Vaults


2. Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriars Kirkyard is next to the Greyfriars Tolbooth & Highland Kirk  (Kirk=Church) in the Old Town of Edinburgh. The church and the churchyard are very important places in Scotland and they have a long and interesting history. The ghost story in Old Jack’s book is one of Britain’s most famous ghost stories.


(By Kim Traynor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyfriars_Kirkyard


3. Borthwick Castle

Borthwick Castle is 12 miles (19km) south of Edinburgh. It is one of Scotland’s biggest and most famous castles. Mary Queen of Scots visited the castle in the 16th Century. Some people have seen her ghost in the castle. Now, the castle is a hotel, and is used for weddings and events. (It is closed for repair work now. It will open again in 2014.)


(stephen samson [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)


4. Leith Hall

Leith Hall is in Aberdeenshire in north Scotland. It is in the middle of the countryside and it has beautiful gardens. The hall has lots of old furniture, art and antiques. The gardens are open throughout the year, but the hall is only open from spring to early autumn.


(Alan Findlay [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

For more information, see the website: the National Trust for Scotland


5. Tulloch Castle

Tulloch Castle is in the Scottish Highlands. It was built in the 12th Century as a family home, but now it is a luxury hotel. The countryside around the castle is wonderful.


(David Maclennan [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulloch_castle


6. Blythswood Square

Blythswood Square is in the centre of Glasgow. It is near the West End which is popular with tourists. The townhouses around the square were built in 18th and 19th centuries for rich merchants. Today, most of the houses are offices, but there is also a luxury spa hotel.


(Thomas Nugent [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blythswood_Square


For more information about visiting Scotland see here. → http://www.visitscotland.com/

Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from England (2)

This page has information about the places in Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from England (2).



1. Chester City Walls

Chester is a very old, historic city in North West England. It was built by the Romans around 2000 years ago. The Romans built walls around the city to protect it. The walls are still there today. They are around 2 miles (3.2km) long. The walls are a tourist attraction, and many people enjoy walking along the walls. If the weather is nice, walking along the walls is a great way to see Chester!



Photo: By orangeacid (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Other interesting places in Chester:

Chester Amphitheatre. It is said that the Romans used this amphitheatre for sports such as boxing and wrestling, and gladiator fighting!


Photo: By Rept0n1x (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons



2. The Feathers Hotel, Ludlow, Shropshire

The Feathers Hotel was built in the 17th Century. It is very famous for its beautiful architecture and design. It is in the centre of Ludlow, a very old market town in Shropshire. Ludlow has many historic buildings and is in the middle of beautiful countryside. It is not far from the border between England and Wales.


Photo: By Green Lane (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons



Other interesting places in Ludlow:

Ludlow Castle: Ludlow Castle was built in the 11th Century. You can walk around the castle and learn about its history.


Photo: Ian Capper [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


3. Ye Olde Starre Inne, York

Ye Olde Starre Inne  is York’s oldest pub. It has been a pub since 1644. It is very near to York Minster. It is in a street called Stonegate. This street is very famous because Guy Fawkes, one of England’s most famous people, was born here in 1570.




4. Hampton Court Palace, London

Hampton Court Palace is one of London’s most famous palaces. It used to be owned by Henry VIII. It was built around 1514. Now, it is a very popular tourist attraction. The palace has many antiques and works of art. It also has gardens and a maze, called Hampton Court Maze.

It is open every day from 10:00am – 6:00pm.


Photo: By James Park-Watt (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Hampton Court Maze


Photo: By Man vyi (Own work (own photo)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons




5. Tower of London, London

The Tower of London is another very famous tourist attraction in London. It was built in the 11th Century by William the Conqueror. It is famous for being a prison, where many people, including kings, queens and princes, were kept and killed.

It is open every day, from 9:00am-5:30pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 10:00am to 5:30pm on Sunday/Monday.


Photo: By Crux [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons




6. Dover Castle

Dover Castle is England’s largest castle. It was built in the 12th Century. It is a popular tourist attraction and has a great tower, secret tunnels and views of the sea.


Photo: Ron Strutt [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Website: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/dover-castle/


Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from England (1)

This page has information about the places in Old Jack’s Ghost Stories from England (1).


1. Treasurer’s House

Treasurer’s House is in the centre of York, behind the large cathedral, York Minster.

Treasurer’s House is owned by the National Trust. The previous owner was Frank Green, a rich businessman. He enjoyed collecting antiques, and you can see his antiques in the house today. The house has gardens which are beautiful in all seasons. It also has a tearoom and a shop.

More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasurer%27s_House,_York


Main Website:

Other interesting places near Treasurer’s House:

York Minster – One of Europe’s largest and most famous cathedrals. (Cathedral = large church).


The Shambles – A very old, narrow street near York Minster. The buildings in the street date back to the 14th and 15th Century. Today, there are shops and cafes in the old buildings. It is a very popular with tourists.

2. Duddon, Cheshire

Duddon is a small village 5 miles (8km) from Chester. The number 84 bus runs from Chester to Duddon.


(The copyright on this image is owned by John S Turner and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Attribution: John S Turner)

If you are visiting Chester and have some free time, Duddon is a nice place to enjoy the English countryside.

The pub, The Headless Woman, has closed and there are plans to build houses on the site.


Interesting places near Duddon:

The City of Chester


This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. By and copyright Tagishsimon 9th October 2005

Chester is an old Roman city, and has a history of 2000 years. It has many old buildings, a cathedral (large church) and old Roman walls around the city. Cheshire – Chester and Duddon are in the county of Cheshire. Cheshire has some beautiful countryside and small towns and villages. It is also very close to Wales and Liverpool. Old Jack recommends hiring a car. You can drive through the countryside and also easily visit Wales and Liverpool.

3. The Prince Rupert Hotel

The Prince Rupert Hotel is in the middle of the historic town of Shrewsbury, and has a very long history. It also has royal connections. Around 400 years ago, Prince Rupert, the grandson of King James I, stayed here. There are 12th century rooms and 15th century rooms. It has a restaurant and a spa.


Interesting sights:

Shrewsbury has many interesting sights, for example, Shrewsbury Castle and Shrewsbury Abbey, a church founded in 1083. The town has old traditional streets and a river. Charles Darwin was born here.


(This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Samluke777 at the English Wikipedia project.)

4. Ettington Park Hotel

Ettington Park Hotel is 6 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. It is a large gothic mansion, and sits in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside.


(This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: Richard Croft)

Website: Ettington Park Hotel


Stratford-upon-Avon is famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

Interesting sights in Stratford-upon-Avon:

William Shakespeare’s Birthplace – Shakespeare was born in this house. It is now a museum and a popular tourist destination.

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, lived here when she was a child.


(This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: Kenneth Allen)

Royal Shakespeare Theatre – You can enjoy one of Shakespeare’s plays in this theatre next to the River Avon.

5. Liverpool Street Station

Liverpool Street Station is one of the Underground’s busiest stations. It is on four main lines – Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan. The platforms on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines were opened in 1875, and the Central line platforms opened in 1912.


(This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: Stacey Harris.)

Website: TFL


From Liverpool Street Station, you can find a train to take you to many of London’s famous sights.

6. Macdonald Berystede Hotel

This hotel is an old stately home with gardens. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and is only 15 miles from Heathrow Airport.



Other interesting  places near the hotel

Ascot is a rural village famous for the Ascot Racecourse. The racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. There are many horseraces at the racecourse. The most famous is the Gold Cup. This is held during the Royal Ascot horserace. The race is held every June.


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The hotel is only 10 miles from Windsor Castle, which is the world’s oldest and largest inhabited (inhabited = people live there) castle in the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Windsor Castle.


(This photograph is in the public domain.)