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The thing to do at Fort George is to walk along the great grassy ramparts that defend it. When the place was built, in the mid-18th century, these earthy banks were at the sharp end of military engineering. And they needed to be, because this part of Scotland was at the sharp end of military activity. The fort was built shortly after the 1746 battle of Culloden, King George II’s victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie and his rebellious army of Scottish Highlanders (and others), which was fought nearby. The fort is the state’s heavy-handed response to the rebellion. But the tactic worked: after Fort George was built, the Highlanders were subsumed into the British state and became stalwarts of the imperial army.

What you see today
 The ramparts of Fort George are a tremendous place on which to stroll, with lovely views over the Moray Firth (a good place for dolphin spotting), and the hills around Inverness. They also offer an excellent vantage point from which you can appreciate the massive scale of the fort.

8. Framlingham Castle, Suffolk
Where the stage was set for two queens

In 1553, Princess Mary came here, on the death of her brother Edward VI, to gather forces for her bid for the throne. Mary’s succession was far from a sure thing, but at Framlingham she showed her enemies that she meant business. She became Queen Mary I, and earned the moniker Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants (she was a Catholic in a post-Reformation England riven by religious discord). Mary also broke the mould of male monarchy, and made it possible for her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth to follow her as queen. Without Elizabeth’s long reign, the Protestant church wouldn’t have been so firmly established in England, so ironically that was Mary’s, and in a sense Framlingham Castle’s, great legacy.

What you see today
Framlingham has a perfectly preserved set of medieval ramparts and you can climb up and walk around the 12th-century curtain wall. The view from the ramparts, over the fields with the lake mirrored in the lake below, is singularly photogenic.

9. Badbea, Sutherland
Where the land remembers the Highland Clearances

A modern visitor might think that Badbea, on remote Scottish cliffs overlooking the North Sea, would be an ideal place to live. But it would hold no allure for the people who were forced to live here. The ruins that emerge from the bracken are the remains of one of the most emotive episodes in British history: the Highland Clearances. This was the process by which thousands of Scottish Highlanders were forced from their homes to settle in harsh places like this. The villagers began to arrive in the late 18th century but from the mid-19th century, they were leaving to find better lives. The steepness of the slope to the cliffs can’t have helped: the 12 families that survived here had to tether livestock and children to stop them toppling over the edge. Badbea is typical of the Clearance experience, with people being moved from Highlands to coasts, and then often moving on again, to foreign shores.

What you see today
 As well as the stone foundations of their houses, these displaced people are remembered by a stark monument. It’s a fine setting to mull on the human impact this uprooting would have had.

10. Rushton Triangular Lodge, Northamptonshire
Where a religious divide is obvious

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