I can’t help it, I am simply a history junkie. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been entranced by wandering around old ruins, reading dusty history books and watching anything vaguely historical on TV.
We’re not short on heritage in Britain, you can hardly step outside without tripping over some relic of a bygone era, so I get a fix pretty often (in fact I turn mildly nasty unless I do get a regular dose of history) – and I’m not exactly discriminating either – I can get as excited looking at a Roman wall as I can exploring a Victorian cotton mill.
But if I did have to choose, I’d probably say that castles are my absolute favourite places.
Visiting castles has to rate number one in my list of pleasures (I know, it’s a bit odd – what can I say), but my opportunities to explore have to be fitted around the rest of family life, so sometimes instead of getting out, I read or watch TV to get my fix.
I started Mists of Time as this history junkie’s response to the trips she goes on. I tend not to give many facts and figures about the places I go to, there are always better writers than me to give that sort of information. I’m more concerned with the way a place makes me feel, the atmosphere, the sense of connection to the past. And I try to include pictures of the nooks and crannies as well as the grand postcard shots – for me, the character is in the details.
My greatest wish is for people to delve into the less well-known sites and the less frequently dramatised periods of history. Stonehenge, the Tower of London and the Tudors, fascinating though they undoubtedly are, are not the last word in British history. So if anything I cover here instills even the tiniest desire to explore further, I’ll be happy.