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Neil Oliver's Love Letter to the British Isles

Updated 5 days ago

History
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Neil takes you with him on an unforgettable journey, from your lockdown couch to the history beneath our feet - walking in the footsteps of ancestors to discover what made them tick and what made the people of the British Isles who we are today.Check out the podcast Instagram account - Neil Oliver Love Letter See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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Neil takes you with him on an unforgettable journey, from your lockdown couch to the history beneath our feet - walking in the footsteps of ancestors to discover what made them tick and what made the people of the British Isles who we are today.Check out the podcast Instagram account - Neil Oliver Love Letter See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Neil Oliver's Love Letter to the British Isles

Neil Oliver's Love Letter to the British Isles

Latest release on Jan 19, 2021

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 5 days ago

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: 35. St Nectan’s Glen, Cornwall

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This week Neil takes us off the beaten track to St Nectan’s Glen in Cornwall. It’s one of a number of enchanted places that are dotted all over the British Isles, which have a real aura and presence around them. Shimmering with crystal clear waters and enclosed by cliffs coated with rich moss and ferns it’s a place that somehow manages to stop you in your tracks and invites you to think.

Named after St Nectan who lived a life of contemplation and devotion there in the 5th century the glen, with its healing waters, has long been a place of importance and pilgrimage for our ancient ancestors. Long before St Nectan and for as long as can be remembered it was known as a special place, a deep reservoir of human hopes, dreams and the future. 

Check out, NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series INSTAGRAM account

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 19 2021

30mins

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Rank #2: 34. The heart of the British Isles, Snaefell, Isle of Man

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This week Neil travels to an island at the heart of the British Isles.

Snaefell is the highest mountain on the Isle of Man. On a clear day, from it’s peak, they say you can spin 360 degrees and see seven Kingdoms. The Isle of Man is at the geographical centre of the British Isles archipelago, but it’s a place apart. A constitutional anomaly that’s under the UK’s protection, but has its own parliament, laws and language. It’s an island of great beauty, deep history and stubborn independence, a place with the power to reset your equilibrium.

Check out, NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series INSTAGRAM account


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 12 2021

27mins

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Rank #3: 33. Magna Carta

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This week, Neil travels to see an iconic document that shook the world.

In 1215 a battling king squared up to his rebellious barons in a power struggle produced Magna Carta and a new political order. A charter of rights that started to pin back the monarchy, Magna Carta declared not even a king is above the law. Never again would an English monarch have absolute power. Magna Carta and a follow-up document the Charter of the Forest helped lay the foundations for parliamentary democracy, shaping the world we live in today.

Check out, NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series INSTAGRAM account


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 05 2021

29mins

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Rank #4: 32. Durham Cathedral

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This week Neil travels back in time, almost 1000 years, to what became the city of Durham and the construction of a majestic building whose beauty and power have resonated down through the centuries ever since – Durham cathedral.

Our ancestors have always been driven by the need to build. In the years following the turn of the first millennium a great wave of energy ran across Europe and through the British Isles. In 1093 the Normans started building a cathedral whose towering pillars, cavernous interiors and powerful presence make it truly feel like a mountain raised by humans.

Check out, NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series INSTAGRAM account

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 29 2020

32mins

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Rank #5: 31. The Great War

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This week Neil’s journey takes us in search of the battle whose ferocity, violence and savagery shocked the whole of the British Isles and shaped its borders for ever – the battle of Brunanburh.

The repercussions from this momentous battle, fought in AD 937, have reverberated right up to the present day. Long remembered as the Great War this was the battle that sliced the long island in two!

Check out, NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series Instagram account

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 22 2020

34mins

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Rank #6: 30. A Great King, Hyde Abbey, Winchester

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This week Neil takes us in search of the remains of one the greatest Kings ever to reign in the British Isles.

Not far from Winchester’s city centre, in amongst modern residential streets, Neil is on the trail of the location where Alfred the Great’s bones were buried. Alfred the Great took on the Vikings and won. On the field of battle he was a brave and determined soldier. As a ruler his intellect and charisma helped put in place many of the practical and philosophical foundations that have shaped the British Isles. The hunt for his remains gives us a telling snapshot of the man and the history that followed his death

Check out, NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series INSTAGRAM account

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 15 2020

34mins

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Rank #7: 29. King Alfred the Great versus the Viking, The Alfred Jewel

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This week Neil takes us back in time to meet a king who stopped the Vikings in their tracks.

Sitting in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford is a precious golden artefact called the Alfred Jewel, which is over a thousand years old and inscribed with the words, ‘Alfred ordered me made’. This jeweller’s masterpiece tells us so much about the man who commissioned it – King Alfred the Great - a ruler whose actions had a profound effect on shaping the British Isles

Check out, NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series INSTAGRAM account


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 08 2020

26mins

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Rank #8: 28. The Vikings Great Heathen Army, Repton, Derbyshire

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This week Neil winters with the Great Heathen Army, the mighty Viking force that was poised, ready to sweep across the British Isles.

After the Vikings defeated the powerful Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia they chose to over-winter their army in its capital, Repton in Derbyshire.

It was here they rested and recuperated, plotting and planning their next military moves. It was also where they buried their dead. The grave of a formidable Viking, known as the Repton Warrior, who died of terrible injuries was found here, buried with his battle sword. The Vikings, who had died in battle were heading for Valhalla, but come the good weather their comrades were intent on pressing on and conquering the whole of the British Isles.

Also discovered at Repton was a mass Viking grave of great significance. At its centre was, what's thought to be, the grave of one of the Great Heathen Army's leaders - the legendary warrior, Ivar the Boneless.


Check out, NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series INSTAGRAM account


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 01 2020

38mins

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Rank #9: 27. The Vikings Are Here! Brough of Birsay, Orkney.

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This week Neil takes us with him to a place of stunning beauty with a dark and brutal past.

For years the Vikings well-deserved reputation for violence and brutality left a bloody stain right across the British Isles. They were masters of devastating ‘hit-and-run’ attacks, then at the end of the ninth century things took a turn…. for the worse! Vikings arrived on the Brough of Birsay in Orkney, driving off, or in an act of systematic genocide slaughtering the local Pictish men. But what was different this time was the Vikings hadn’t just come to pillage and plunder……they’d come to stay!

Piecing together the archaeology and history Neil tells a compelling story of an island trampled beneath Viking feet…… and he reveals what his DNA says about his own ancestors!

Check out NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER – the series Instagram account


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 24 2020

37mins

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Rank #10: 26. The Vikings, Lindisfarne, Northumberland.

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In this episode Neil takes us to an island stained with the first bloody fingerprints of an invader who would change the British Isles forever.

Heading to the Northumberland coast, at low tide, Neil walks to the tidal island of Lindisfarne. During the 7th century this small island became home to a thriving priory that grew to be rich and famous around the world. Its wealth drew the attention of the Vikings who in a smash-and-grab raid plundered its treasure, maiming and murdering anyone who stood in their way. Home to a picturesque castle that stands on a basalt crag facing the mighty North Sea, Lindisfarne is an island that has seen much!

Check out the INSTAGRAM account – NEIL OLIVER LOVE LETTER

email: history@neiloliverloveletter.com




See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 17 2020

35mins

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