My husband always likes to say, “Lisa would drive 100 miles to see the World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn.” He’s probably right on that. Not that I have a strong affinity for yarn but because I actually find these “off the beaten path” attractions rather interesting. Don’t judge. Don’t get me wrong, I stared in awe at the Eiffel Tower, Colosseum and Big Ben as much as the next gal but some of the lesser known sites around the world have actually proven to be quite memorable. Here are some of my favorite “not-ready-for-prime-time” attractions.
The Dog Collar Museum Leeds, England
This is a real thing. This museum is located on the grounds of Leeds Castle. It’s actually quite an interesting little museum showcasing dog collar relics (hopefully I haven’t lost you yet). Some of these collars are from as far back as the 15th century. Many of the collars were made of thick iron covered with long spikes and were worn by hunting dogs for protection. Other collars were ornate and less functional. Some bear the arms of their royal owners and were made of velvet or leather and adorned with jewels. Interesting, right?
Bath Postal Museum Bath, England
Bath’s Post Office was once located where this museum now stands and is where the first recorded posting of a Penny Black took place. The Penny Black is the world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. The museum contains many artifacts including quills; ink well, letters, postcards and post boxes. A few years after visiting the museum my kids received a trivia book for Christmas and one of the questions was “Where was the first postage stamp used?” My kids proudly shouted out the answer. Now if this question turns up on my son’s SAT exam then it was well worth the 10 pound admission.
I’ll admit this one was a bit of a circus attraction but we just happened to be walking by during our visit to Wales so we stopped in. This house is as small as promised with the dimensions being a mere 10’ x 6’ x10’. If it makes you claustrophobic just thinking about it then imagine how its last tenant, a 6’ 3” fisherman, felt. Thousands of visitors each year from around the world actually come to see this tiny little house and some even purchase a cheesy replica as a souvenir (I keep it on my bookshelf).
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Thank you travel writer Lisa Medeiros. Follow her on twitter @lisamedeiros_