Plan a Visit

99% of the attractions featured in my blog have a website, and 99% of those have a page of visit-planning info, which it does no harm to read…
For travelling to an unfamiliar site by car, Sat-Nav is your friend. Despite the Luddite stories, it’s far better, and quicker, than relying on a map opened on the passenger seat, or on a cross and map-phobic partner. But do not rely on Sat-Nav for the last mile, as more often than not punching in the post-code will lead you to somewhere you didn’t want to be, well away from the visitor entrance. Instead, give priority to the visitor info or the brown signs.
Some noted Satnav failures:
Berry Pomeroy castle: a road a mile away and going in the wrong direction.
RAF Museum Hendon: “You have reached your destination” when still on M1.
Hatfield House: The tradesmen’s entrance.
Penrhyn Castle: Might have been the back entrance to the estate – whatever, it was 2 miles by road from the visitor entrance.

National Trust and English Heritage both have sat-nav apps on their websites. I’ve found that the English Heritage satnav app has an annoying tendency to dump one in the wrong road, out of sight of the monument, or of any signage.
Getting out of your car and having a good look round may help. Conwy Castle is huge, but close up I couldn’t see it at all till I got out of my car and looked … up.
Moral: to avoid being caught out, it helps to plan your route properly, using a map and some handwritten notes.

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