Exeter, High Street – Thursday 28th December 2017

This branch of Waterstones has two entrances – one on the High Street and the other opposite the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter which, amongst other things, boasts the world’s longest vaulted ceiling and is well worth a visit.  The Waterstones building (from the High Street side) is lovely – it was formerly a cafe, part of  chain called Deller’s and appears to have operated as such until the 1970s.



The basement, ground and mezzanine floors are really cozy – by contrast, the first floor seems rather stark…


Exeter High Street

Exeter Cathedral


Exeter also has a quayside which is worth a visit.  It is not used for shipping any longer, but instead is now used for leisure and there are quite a few places to eat and drink.  There is also a visitor centre – The Custom House (shown here on the left).


Goodbye Exeter – as ever, we had a great time.  See you again!


Exeter, Roman Gate – Thursday 28th December 2017

Exeter, county town of Devon, is one of our favourite English cities and only about an hour and 40 minutes away from home.  We had a few days here between Christmas and New Year.  There are two branches of Waterstones in Exeter – this one is in a modern building and is set over three floors.  As Exeter is a university town, it was nice to see a notice in the shop saying there is a new study area on the top floor!

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At the opposite end of town from this branch is the West Quarter of Exeter, which has some particularly beautiful buildings, including the church of St Mary’s Steps, complete with a beautiful timepiece known as the ‘Matthew the Miller Clock’. 

Opposite the church sits ‘The House that Moved‘ – which was saved from a slum clearance and moved – in once piece – round the corner from where it originally sat!  You can see a video of the move here.

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Newton Abbot – Wednesday 27th December 2017

Newton Abbot is a small market town south Devon with population of around 25,000 people.  It has a four different markets – indoor, outdoor, produce and livestock.  The population increased considerably in the Victorian era with the arrival of the railway.

The Waterstones is located in a pretty building in Courtenay Street in the centre of the town.

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Not far from Waterstones is St Leonard’s tower, all that remains of a 13th century chapel which had to be demolished 1836 as it had become dangerous. 

In front of it is a commemorative plaque which marks the site where the first pronouncement of William III, William of Orange, was read. It reads:

The first declaration of William III, Prince of Orange, the glorious defender of the Protestant religion and the liberties of England, was read on this pedestal by the Rev. John Reynell, rector of this parish, 5th November, 1688.”

Hatchards, Piccadilly – Saturday 16th December 2017

Hatchards was founded by John Hatchard in 1797 and is the oldest bookshop in the UK.  It changed hands in 1956 when it was bought by Collins and then again in 1990 to a company that was later acquired by Waterstones.  The store still trades under the name of Hatchards. It has three royal warrants – by appointment to The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.  The Royal Horticultural Society was formed here in 1804.

It is a fantastic store, spread over five floors!  We spent ages in here and, had I been on my own, I would probably have stayed longer!   As a result, there are lots of photos, for which I apologise!

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Ground Floor

First Floor

Second Floor

Third Floor

Royal Warrants

Plaque commemorating the Foundation of the Royal Horticultural Society

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I was listening to The Chessmen by Peter May on Audio Book.  The third part of the Lewis Trilogy.



Loughborough – Saturday 9th December 2017

Loughborough is possibly best known for its university, but it is also the location of the first ever package holiday by Thomas Cook who arranged a trip for his Temperance Group to the town in 1841!   The town had a lively market when we visited (lots of wonderful fruit and veg stalls!) and it was therefore quite hard to photograph the Waterstones from the front as there were market stalls right in front of it!

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Loughborough is also home to the world’s largest Bell Foundry, John Taylor & Co, who have made some very famous bells, included bells located in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and York Minster – and the bell that features in AC/DC’s track Hells Bells from their number 1 album, Back in Black!  They also made the bells in the Loughborough Carillon Tower – a war memorial located in Queen’s Park.


My friend Debi (who features in the entry for Islington) has suggested that I record my progress too – which is a good idea!   This branch was number 54/281 – so 19.22% completed – so some way to go yet!  

Doncaster – Friday 8th December 2017

We stopped for a late lunch in Doncaster on our way to our  next hotel – it’s not a town I had been to before.  The Waterstones is in a large shopping centre on two levels (I forgot to take a photo of the outside upstairs!).  Doncaster is famous for hosting the St Leger horse race and being the location of the invention of butterscotch!

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I’m pretty certain the Doncaster artwork behind the tills in this shop is done by the same artist who did the one in the Newport branch. 

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After lunch I stopped to take a photograph of the Mansion House, a Doncaster Council building, which sadly was not open to the public on the day we visited  – we would have liked to have looked round inside.


Wakefield – Friday 8th December 2017

Wakefield is the fourth largest town (it’s a city, actually) in West Yorkshire with a population of around 100,000 – the 14th Century Cathedral has the tallest spire in Yorkshire, standing at 75m (247 feet) tall.  It’s a really attractive building – light and airy inside, with a modern extension used as a shop and ‘not for profit’ coffee shop.

The Waterstones is near to the cathedral, and like the cathedral has a bright and spacious feel.  

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I would like to return to visit the Hepworth Gallery some time.