Anne Lister's Travel Tips

Published on 13 April 2020Last updated on 21 April 2020

Anne Lister traveled as much as her means allowed and she hoped to travel further had her journey not been cut short in Kutaisi, Georgia in 1840.

Through her writing we know how meticulous she was about capturing the daily weather as well as logging her expenses and business dealings, but it is during her travels across England and abroad that we see the world from her perspective—that of someone with very high expectations of everything and who spares no words for a world deserving of critique.

Below is a collection of Anne Lister's many sharp and often humorous travel observations transcribed from her journal entries, travel journals and letters to friends and family. Every travel "review" is a verbatim quote excerpted with the specific location and date called out.

"I shall always be sure as I travel along that my observations, when made at the instant, are correct, at least as far as they can be so."

—Anne Lister, 2 September 1822


This project is made possible through ongoing contributions from the following people:

  • Adeline Lim

  • Amanda Pryce

  • David Hughes

  • Dorjana Å irola

  • Jessica Btik

  • Janneke Van Der Weijden

  • Jenna Beyer

  • Kathryn Williams

  • Lívia Labate

  • Marlene Oliveira

  • Mhairi Miller

  • Shantel Smith

  • Steph Gallaway

Explore the map to navigate the reviews geographically, or skip below to read them in full grouped by country.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 ENGLAND

a feeling of honest pride

Shibden Hall, Halifax, England

Thursday, 12 October 1820

as far as place is concerned, every ambition and every wish of my heart are in the welfare of Shibden, wherein so long a series of generations we have lived with that unblemished respectability which I cannot think of without a feeling of honest pride, nor ever remember without a sentiment of deep and heartfelt gratitutude to my uncle who has done so much towards its support.

long-winded rigmarole epitaphs

Howden Minster Ruins, Howden, East Yorkshire, England

Thursday, 16 January 1834

Stopt en passant at 2 27/60 20 minutes to see Howden Church of which the choir, chancel, and chapter house now form a fine ruin, the nave being fitted up as the present church - full of monuments with long-winded rigmarole epitaphs -

400 steps or more?

Beverley, East Yorkshire, England

Tuesday, 21 January 1834

we went to the minster - very neat and well kept and beautiful church - Miss Walker went with me to the top, near 400 steps or more?, without the least complaint of fatigue - fine view of Hull and the Humber seeming near - then to 2 book sellers’ shop - then a few minutes in St. Mary’s Church, large very handsome old church likewise well kept - this and the minster still under workmen - back at the hotel, Tiger Inn, at 12 1/2 and off from there at 12 50/60 - pretty through Westwood - Beverley a nice little town -

creditable to the artist

Holy Trinity Church, Hull, England

Friday, 17 January 1824

sauntered homewards looking in shop windows in Whitefriargate, Silver Street etc - Went into Trinity Church large handsome old gothic - handsome painted glass East window about 1/2 just done and put up, to cost £1000 - done by “Thomas Ward Esquire artist, 57 Frith Street, Soho Square, London” - this address got for me by the woman who shewed the church from the church warden who, she said, wished to know everything and begged to have my address in return which I wrote down “Miss Lister, Paris” - the gothic arch part of the window done in diverse small designs - below 3 rows of large figures 7 in each row - our saviour and 6 apostles in the 1st - virgin and child and other 6 apostles in the 2nd, and the 7 cardinal virtues Faith, hope, charity, justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude - creditable to the artist -

in very bad repair

Selby, North Yorkshire, England

Thursday, 16 January 1834

Very handsome old abbey church...Nave old saxon - handsome old saxon west end - choir gothic and more modern - roof of nave and transept in very bad repair - a tumble down tower bore along with it great part of the north transept many years ago, and that was left was plainly walled up at the end - no assessments for the church now - the dissenters having opposed them -

perfectly flat

East Yorkshire, England

Thursday, 16 January 1834

Perfectly flat but well-farmed country - several neat villages - Carleton, Snaith, Cawick, Rochiffe, and Armyn - Snaith very neat small town - several trees blown down here and there

still dead-flat

East Yorkshire, England

Thursday, 16 January 1834

Howden a neat enough small cobblestone paved town - still dead-flat - at North Cave - neat enough small village like market town? - pass Cave Castle - the last time I passed this, noticed the Lodge - on entering from the road, left, square tower - right, small thin, tall, round tower - battlemented pass? over the gateway between the towers - Ellerker pretty village, Welton very neat pretty village ditto - just light enough to see merkily through it -

nice proportions enough

Hull, England

Friday, 17 January 1834

returned by Albion Street - saw the new assembly rooms and museum there in 1 not quite finished brick building - the museum and gallery lighted by 14 windows in the top...nice proportions enough - the specimens furnished by donation - a good many, perhaps arranged nearby as well as the motley nature admits - opposite 1 end of this building (the ball-room a squary very lofty in proportion quite plain room with raised orchestra at the end) - is the new public dissecting room in the Egyptian style - I suppose the medical museum is kept there... - Meant to have gone to the theatre tonight, but too idle - ...Hull not so good a town as I had fancied, nor shops so good -

the castle, the cliffs, very fine

Dover Castle, Kent, England

Monday, 30 August 1824

Missed the proper turn to the Castle gate, and went to the top of the hill to the Deal Turnpike – 3/4 hour seeing the Castle, that is, walking round it within the walls with one of the wardens (there are 3) –

The great square tower a magazine of military stones – Never shewn – Might be seen with a very particular order from Captain Smart, Commanding engineer (who lives at Ashley-fort near Dover – nor without a particular order from Captain S– [Smart] (which he seldom gives but to military men, but would not refuse to ladies) could one see the underground bomb-proof barracks, communicating by several subterraneous passages with the Castle, and having light from windows cut in the Cliff, about midway from the bottom (of the Cliff) –

Chimneys come out to the surface in the Castle yard thro’ little round brick-walled inclosures (like little pinfolds) that have a singular appearance – these subterraneous barracks have also a communication with the preventive station where they watch the smugglers – Very few smugglers here –The castle stood upon, or rather the castle wall enclosed 35 acres –

Saw the old church said to have been built by King Lucius (the 1st Xtian [Christian] King in Britain, now a coal-store – But no soldiers here now – Only a corporal and 6 artillery men sent every day from the heights, who stay 24 hours and are then relieved by another party – 2 regiments always in the castle during the war

Saw the old tower said to have been built by Claudius and castled with flint by Henry 5 – Fine views of sea, the cliffs, and country, but too hazy to see far across the channel – The French coast quite shut out from view – Lord Liverpool governor of the Castle lives at Walmer Castle 2 miles from Deal, 6 from here (Dover) – A modern place

very inferior to York

Lincoln Cathedral, England

Sunday, 21 August 1831

did not observe the cathedral till between 4 and 5 miles from Lincoln – looks more like York in the distance than any of them 2 west towers and Lantern tower like York but the west tower are not seen to rise from the ground but great heavy mass of front covers them – very inferior to York – the rest of the exterior very fine – longer? but less regular than York and not so well kept – cannot get all round – indifferent brick houses or not at all good enough houses too near all round the building – but stands finely on the hill – far superior to York in that respect – waited in the interior till service over at 12 – the chair very fine – rather florid gothic upper arches with corbeilles supporting the clustered pillars below and between these upper arches as at Ely – a sort of 2nd transept springing from the choir at the foot of the chancel – annunciation by a late prebewarry Mr Petres Mr Petres who got a living of £300 a year by it

Cloisters lead to the chapter house with handsome column in the middle supporting the groined roof – all the intervals between the pointed arches inside and out relieved by a trellis –which had a very good effect – 2 west towers – too low - sinking for water and found tessellated pavement 1700 years old – now covered in by brick building – go down 8 steps to it – 2 pieces the lesser under a brick arch – said by some to have been a bath – by others a ground room – cloisters round the whole square – the modern arcades of them under the deans library – communicate with the choir transept by old cloister pass – the lady’s chapel of 3 large arches like the choir arches very large behind the altar in fact a regular part of the choir with its aisles in the style of Ely – monument of bishop Fleming – attempted to fast 40 days and 40 nights – did it 3 weeks and then died – his monument is a sort of supine recumbent skeleton – only one transept aisle to each transept east side partitioned off into chapels and the entrances to the 2 choir aisles – Lancet arches in transept and rounder in the nave – small vestibule between west entrance doors and the nave – oh that the organ was there – 9 1/2 minutes going to the top 260 steps and 8 minutes coming down – 1/4 hour at the top – just an hour doing the whole

very pretty village

Bawtry, England

Tuesday, 16 August 1831

at Bawtry at 6 4/.. nice good wide – street village with good airy Inn where we shall rest very comfortably – tea and bacon and poached eggs at 6 ½ to 7 10/.. – went out at 7 1/2 very fine evening – very pretty village – walked to the 1st main street on the Tilnsney road to 13 miles from Rotheram and 19 from Sheffield – very pretty good country road –

very pretty cathedral – Ely a very poor place

Ely Cathedral, England

Saturday, 20 August 1831

Ely at 8 25/.. – then an hour in the cathedral from 9 1/2 the screen thrown back 2 arches – looks much better from the nave – not so well from the choir on account of the different style of roofing – the choir groined – the nave not under drawn at all – see all the wood work – best to put the screen just with in the great pillars, but here the present choir is more modern than the 3 arcades that form the vestibule between the octagonal centre of the transept and the choir – only transept aisles – 1 year library another the vestry and the singers vestry in one arcade taken off the other transept – Bishop Alcock’s chapel heavy – the other bishop wests larger and lighter and prettier – the ogee projecting arches of the Lady’s chapel now thinly church singular very pretty cathedral – the organ under repair the man full of Rickmans architecture Rickman scouts saxon altogether – all for Norman – heavy shower at 9 25/.. for 5 or 6 minutes Breakfast at 9 3/4 - off from the Lamb, Ely, at 10 40/.. Ely a very poor place – a mere village –

university library more comfortable than handsome

King’s College, Cambridge, England

Friday, 5 August 1831

out in a fly (one horse) at 11 50/.. and kept it till 2 10/.. – saw King’s college Chapel – very fine roof and painted glass – the master’s house there good gothic model for Shibden – peeped into the Senate house window – should see the good statue there of Pitt etc. – then to the university library close by – more comfortable than handsome – the geological museum is below it – almost all the specimens packed up in boxes for want of room –

delighted with the Elgin marbles

British Museum, London, England

Monday, 7 June 1819

Went to the British Museum. Had nothing to pay but only entered our names and place of abode in a book and were then allowed to go upstairs. I did not see any body about to take care – no mischief was done at least there were several visitors there.

We all had our catalogues and hunted about as we chose, without any one to direct or seem to notice us. I did not think much of the collection of minerals but was delighted with the Elgin marbles. Several students were copying them. Spent 3 ½ hours at this noble museum, a time far too short for even a cursory view of half that deserves attention.

all foreigners astonished at the armoury

Tower of London, London, England

Wednesday, 9 June 1819

Direct to the Tower – 1 hour and 5 minutes there. All foreigners astonished at the armoury in particular and declare there is nothing like it abroad. It was shewn to them during the war without reserve. 23000 stand of arms piled up, or rather arranged in most beautiful order in the great room.

An immense quantity in boxes as they came from the maker. About (above) 500,000 stand of arms all together. 200 labourers employed during the war and now about 50. A yeoman of the guard went round with us – he said they were not 500,000 stand of arms at Weedon as the coachman had told us but he dared say there were 300,000. The white tower or what used to be the Keep tower where the Kings lived is full of arms and other stores. In the ancient armoury were 500 cuirasses taken from the French cuirassiers at Waterloo, each cuirass weighing about 14 lbs. Saw the regalia valued at £3,000 000.


most head-rending din I ever heard… no beauty

Théâtre de Liège, Belgium

Wednesday, 16 May 1838

We set off at 8 and went to the theatre. Back in ¾ hour – a German company much applauded – a singing piece, or rather dinning piece; for we had for the greater part of the 1/2 hour of performance (at the end of a piece and 1/4 hour between this and the next piece) – a company of ladies (grandes dames of the piece) who made the most head-rending din I ever heard from female voices in my life –

We had monté one stage too high – gallerie au 2nde [seconde] for about 2/50 a piece – what difference on approximation to the skies, I am not quite aware – looked down upon all below with more interest than on the stage –

Could not understand the German – the house rather dirty but very well – no beauty – the ladies en cheveux and several in low gowns but had hung up their bonnets – and many of the ladies where we intended to have been were in their bonnets tho some were en chemise –

neat pretty town… temple or whatever they call it

Colline de Lubin et Annette trail, Spa, Belgium

Sunday, 20 May 1838

Out Ann and I at 4 1/2 and walked about the town a little and then in the beautiful walks on the wooded rock above the town – sat twice in the temple or whatever they call it commanding a beautiful view of the neat pretty town the latter time I sat to rest a little


particularly unpicturesque

Bois de Boulogne, Paris, France

Tuesday, 3 April 1827

The brown Bois de Boulogne looked like a barren heath – The banks of the river (where no village) with not a twig to break their uniformly, and like the sides of a brim-full canal – A vine country is at this season particularly unpicturesque – No green to relieve the eye – I wondered where the fodder came from for the cat[tle] – So much light soil turned up looks at a distance arid and barren

very fine view

Mont Calvaire or Le Calvaire, Paris, France

Tuesday, 3 April 1827

Walked slowly up to Calvaire... Got to the top of the hill at 3 1/4 – Looked about us for an hour – Very fine view from this the highest eminence near Paris – At our feet a fine sweep of river studded with white villages – Beyond Paris and Montmartin – The steeple of St. Denis in the distance – Looking toward the South a deep winding of the river and the villages of Nanterre and Ruel quite near – Beautiful valley towards St. Germain – Went into the chapel – A poor-looking one as yet, its plain plastered walls covered with pictures and prints like a common room – They seem to be laying out a good deal of money about the place – Several workmen employed digging the foundation for and building a wall round the top of the hill so as to enlarge the present precincts – Calvaire is to be removed – Too much exposed – To be put lower down – The cave is rough stone-work – A rough grotto-work of stones thrown together – A bedizened virgin stands on the tomb of our savior – On the top outside, is our savior large as life, on the cross between the 2 thieves – The convent fronts the East towards St. Cloud – A doric entrance colonnade is evidently only just done – The columns to be fluted one of them being 1/2 fluted and the remainder of the column being marked out for fluting – Several workmen in the interior of the building – Sauntered some time in the cemetary small and which seems well filled already – A fashionable place of burial for the very pious and very Bourbon-proselytes of the day – A Mr. Henry Sheldon, of Warwickshire, interred there – At 4 1/4 descended the hill, and turned our steps towards St. Cloud

kept very neat

Château de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France

Monday, 6 September 1824

Stopt to see Malmaison – The prince (Eugene Beauharnais) died a year ago, and the place is kept very neat by the gardners of his son, quite a boy – Shewn over the house – upstairs too – The bedroom (we saw 3) low – The state room and bed hung with crimson damask and gold fringe – Another room with saturn, while I should think originally, or very light blue or pink – Another with white calico, or was also the battle room where Napoleon used to sit for him and drink his coffee – Strolled about the gardens and hot-houses lastly lost 1/2 our party for 1/4 hour, and not off from Mamaison till 3 1/4

what an enormous mass!

bridge of Neuilly, Paris, France

Tuesday, 3 April 1827

Loitered there some time sitting on the parapet enjoying the fine air and view – Measured the immense stone about the middle of the left hand parapet going from Paris – Marked 34 feet long – or about 12 yards English – About 3/4 the length of my umbrella (nearly 28 inches English) thick) and as much broad – What an enormous mass!

rather a fairy scene

Champs-Élysées, Paris, France

Friday, 3 September 1824

In the evening went with Miss and Madame de B– [Boyve] and a Mr. Franks, an Irishman (who is in the house) to the Champs Elysees – 1/2 Paris seemed sitting in groups under the trees – Listening some to music, some to singing really very good –

We formed a little party joined by a French captain of the garde du corps a Monsiuer de Saint Aubun, who returned home with us about 10 1/4, after we had been at least a couple of hours walking about and sitting under the shade –

I enjoyed the music and singing – It was altogether rather a fairy scene – A beautiful everything – Tho’ I had not 1/2 the clothing on I should have had at home, the air was so delightful it seemed but like the gentle freshness of a lady’s fan –

a novel scene

Tuileries Garden, Paris, France

Saturday, 4 September 1824

About 2 we all set off to the Tuileries gardens to sit in the shade, some reading, some working, some talking, till dinner time. A great many in the gardens, sitting and walking – A novel scene to an English person – It was pleasant, but from not being able to speak the language, I was glad of our English part of the party –

not so good as Moët’s of Épernay

House of Mumm Champagne, Reims, France

Friday, 25 May 1838

Mr. Mumm or somebody, a very civil young man, protestant it seemed, and speaking English very fairly – a German – shewed us over the cellars and afterwards shewed us into a large good salon, and gave us Champagne and biscuits – the wine mousseux and very fair but not so good as Moët’s of Épernay in 1833.

handsome cathedral

Cathedrale St Etienne, Meaux, France

Friday, 15 June 1827

Got out at Meaux at 11 25/60 – handsome cathedral – fine painted glass in the 2 transept windows and in the one over the great altar – Bossuet’s monument put up – within the cathedral a few minutes before Mrs and Miss Barlow – Knelt down on a chair among the people, and said my prayers before they came – the people would fancy me a good catholic

no so fine as York Minster

Reims Cathedral, Reims, France

Friday, 25 May 1838

1st sight of Rheims cathedral (an enormous squary lumping looking pile enough to swallow up all the town – two towers and sharp-pointed spire seen better in the cathedral 25 minutes – interior magnificent double isles – windows of nef and choir all of finely and very anciently painted glass – the window of the apsis behind the high altar modern painted glass with much pink and orange colour throwing a peculiarly rich warm tint against the altar – never more pleased with a church – worth coming to Reims to see this cathedral – entirely one of the most beautiful interiors I ever saw –not so fine as York minster – but the painted glass – the blue ceiling with white fleurs de lis, the yellow painted capitals of all the pillars clustered columns and cornices (looking like gilding) have altogether a charming effect – the marigold window over the great west door, is magnificent – no organ in sight to break the unity of the whole put out of sight in the north transept – the transepts very small


dried bodies

Dom St Petri Bleikeller, Bremen, Germany

Sunday, 8 September 1833

8 dried bodies, dried up like leather… a large, old Swedish general, and his young aide de camp, a man who fell from his work on the top of the cathedral and broke open his neck, and a man who died from a large cut in the arm, both these wounds very evident… all lying in large, clumsy black coffins, the lids of which are all lifted up to show the cadavers within.

a very handsome but stupid town

Hercules Monument, Kassel, Germany

August 1833

A very handsome but stupid town – seemed the essence of dullness.

Large, rough building surmounted by a gigantic bronze statue that one sees from all directions approaching Kassel. The famous waterworks commence from the foot of the building but all has been long out of order and the great building itself is propped from behind. The present Elector will do nothing, nor will the town of Kassel and the people are dissatisfied to pay 300,000 thalers of revenue to Prince, who leave his wife… and spent his money anywhere but at home.

nothing very particular

Göttingen University museum, Göttingen, Germany

Sunday, 1 September 1833

Nothing very particular, several foetus in spirits, snakes, etc, etc, some skulls and a few stuffed birds and animals, sea clothes, spears, etc, and a dried man (with his feet gone)


no kind of stench at all from the canals

Utrecht, Netherlands

Monday, 15 August 1831

50 minutes buying earrings – then to the botanical garden – very small – nothing new but neat – then to the mall – 9 avenues – the new walks hereabouts (the old ramparts taken down) quite beautiful and unique – the streets opening up the broad canal and the smooth grass prettily planted and winding gravel walks – {margin: these walks began 2 years ago 200 men employed – given up now for the war -} the people here live on potatoes and black bread – black bread a sol a Utrecht – the vieux chateau the most renowned Inn – the Pays Bas not so celebrated among the English – the old chateau a large house and even cheaper than the other – Table d’hote at 10 stivers – and 16 stivers par lit – off from the shop at 3 35/.. from Utrecht saw Louis Buonaparte’s palace – the great salle 17 windows in it one story high is now the university library – and the other part the governor’s house and offices – the Dutch liked Louis – he made commerce aller bien – before the present war had not much but he had 2 English families to guide every day now not one there – if the war continues a few months it will ruin Utrecht – passed the Pays Bas a handsome large house and the ancien chateau a poorish small fronted house in comparison though said to have great deal of room back – no comparison – go to the Pays Bas – in one grande place near to the comedie is the Hotel de Belle vue for diligences people officers at the table d’hote there – good for coaching and probably comfortable enough – sortie by the gate we entered but turned left instead of right – gentlemans houses and grounds on the right and wide canal – every now and then a neat little village – the air really did feel good or at least not the least bad at Utrecht no kind of stench at all from the canals – Utrecht for me if one must live in Holland – good shops too –

Amsterdam not so imposing as Rotterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Friday, 12 August 1831

Amsterdam not so imposing as Rotterdam – newly slaughtered meat (pigs and calves) hanging up and bleeding in the streets – country not near so picturesque as about Haarlem – arrived at the Doelen hotel at 7 20/.. – sauntered out – came in at 8 1/2 – tea – singing and hand organ under our window – at 9 1/2 went to the musico not far off – the best 13 ladies and their mistress – price per lady 18 guilders 10 minutes there –

good old town

Delft, Netherlands

Tuesday, 9 August 1831

Delft at 7 10/.. good old town – the chief particularity of Dutch towns is that the gable ends are all to the street – fine grande place with large handsome towered hotel de ville and fine high spired church new church – the monument of William I railed round the burgomaster has the key and one cannot get in – so too far off to judge of the beauty of the monument – handsome plain white washed church – an apsis and the monument next to that at the head of the chancel – roof painted a dark stone colour – organ over the west entrance – the recumbent figure with dog under a heavy canopy supported by marble columns and surmounted by four pyramids – nave and side aisles – 1/4 hour in the church – soon pass the old large fine looking old building – canals through all the principal streets – the more modern the street. the fewer the gable ends? The town entered by gates – and fortified but gardens on or near the ramparts – moat or stagnant canal all round – broad elm avenued road along the canal to the Hague – very pretty road

no particular cleanliness

Scheveningen, Netherlands

Wednesday, 10 August 1831

at Scheveningen at 11 – remarked no particular cleanliness for Holland – good village or little town with large brick church – the town seems in a sandhill formed basin along which drive 10 minutes and then at 11 10/.. alight at the Bath hotel – very large handsome looking house – portico of 6 Ionic column] – go into the large handsome corinthian white washed coffee room and ordered raspberry vinegar – had none so took orgeat – the sea and reviewed bathing houses in it just in front of the windows – 2 or 3 parties at breakfast – newspaper walked on the sands coach like bathing machines – coach or omnibus full of people drove off to the Hague – saw the princess of orange’s Prussian niece alight from her ride with 1 gentleman and saw the princess of Orange – drive off at 12 10/.. – she gave us a gracious bow – a nice civilised little person – only one lady with her- the princess of Orange had 4 horses – coachman and a postboy for the leaders – the man wore a sort of kilt and looked more like a Chinese? then anything else – the oddest figure imaginable

immense brick pile

Sint Jacob’s Kerk The Hague, Netherlands

Wednesday, 10 August 1831

St James’s church – immense brick pile quite choked up with 2 storied houses built up against its walls – large white washed handsome church with in – nave and 2 side aisles – tops finished in separate coves or arches – no transcripts – but an apsis as is common with Dutch churches – a painted window behind the altar, in the circular space behind it – curved roof – oak – bowed rafters, close-bound together by cross beams forming large squares – church full of high straw bottomed chairs to all of which boxes with fire in winter and without in summer, for the feet to rest on – just going to be a wedding – but only 4 men to 3 or 4 times as many women – stayed a while and off at 2 50/.. –

more good plain brick houses

The Hague, Netherlands

Wednesday, 10 August 1831

drove past the houses of the English Russian and Russian ambassadors (the latter the best) all in a line with the rest fronted the canal – more good plain brick houses – Sir Charles Bagot 3 window sashes on each side the door and home at 3 – large square basket-like thing brought into the salon and set over a pan of coals to dry out things from the wash that came back quite wet – put them on the basket – off at 4 55/.. from the Bellevue hotel at the Hague very good dinner – good sago soup - sturgeon and sole – potatoes kidney beans excellent cheese which we brought away – no meat – bread and butter – bottle of Rüdesheimer – drank it all- salon and 2 bed rooms and cabinet daisance en suite – are 1er [premier?] lofty very handsome apartment common price 16 fl a day capital hotel – road like a bowling green – narrow like the drives in a gentleman’s park

a handsome oval room

Tylers Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands

Friday, 12 August 1831

off to the museum at 11 50/.. i.e. Tyrell’s Museum – a handsome oval room galleried round – books in cases like windows above and minerals along the middle of the room and philosophical instruments in the glazed armoires round the sides – fine galvanic battery of 25 very large jars

the trumpet stop wonderfully fine

St Bavo Church Haarlem, Netherlands

Friday, 12 August 1831

out at 9 3/4 to the church to hear the organ – price 12 guilders – at the church of St Bavon – white washed nave and side aisles – service in the nave – very large handsome church – handsomest we have seen yet – the organ (Mariana played 55 minutes - from the creation the storm very fine – god save the King etc) the trumpet stop wonderfully fine – worth coming here to hear the organ

disappointed – could not go to the top

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Monday, 8 August 1831

then Rotterdam in sight (left) through avenue of pollard poplars – windmills all along left – these windmills began as soon as we left the poplar avenue and came along the canal, extending all along the left bank of the canal – they are chiefly saw mills a line of them a mile long on the side of Rotterdam extend it five minutes under the 2 hours at 3 50/.. and alighted at the Hotel du Pays Bas at 4 1/4 at dinner at the table d’Hote at 4 20/.. 1 1/4 hour – very good dinner – 18 people (excellent plum pudding) including ours – out at 5 50/.. Bought book and map – white herrings that have laing only a few days in pickle – the Dutch call them green herrings 2 a piece – then to the market place statue of Erasmus – then cathedral organ to rival Haarlem – 6560 pipes 92 stops – organ 100 feet high 47 wide – white metal (zinc and lead) with the mouths gilt – on eight Ionic columns – man not at home so disappointed – could not go to the top – large pipes 17 inches in diameter – then got lemonade – no ice to be had – out from 5 50/.. to 7 50/.. – agreed to give Mr Brice 10 franks a day –

the organ sounds very pretty but this church low and too much blocked up

the Old Church, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Friday, 12 August 1831

the great church – very picturesque organ playing (very good) against the west door as usual – service in the nave – nave and 2 side aisles on each side – the outermost remaining in separate arcades having been chapels in Roman Catholic times – white washed church roof and beams across painted darkish bottle green – the prettiest (larger at Haarlem?) church we have yet seen in Holland – 4 very good painted glass windows Philip 4th presenting the sealed treaty of Munster by which The Netherlands were made free – 2nd the annunciation and birth of our saviour etc 3rd angels and shepherds rejoicing at the birth of our saviour and 4th the death bed of the virgin Mary – the organ sounds very pretty – 20 minutes in the church listening – but this church low and too much blocked up – the choir part little more than a large apsis – no transepts –

the throne room handsome enough

The Royal Palace, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Friday, 12 August 1831

at the palace at 2 30/.. – up the little entrance hall and 2 dining rooms – tout en marbre – then large dining room for 150 couverts – the throne room handsome enough – one end low – the other high and covered – the ball room en marbre – 2 stories of corinthian columns – covered painted plafond pictures filling up the archway part of each end or arcade of the cove 120 feet long 100 feet high and 60 feet broad – below the painting at one end atlas with a sky blue gold starry globe on his shoulders and opposite him commerce holding in left hand caduceus of mercury – standing on the top of the 1st Corinthian cornice – 8 beautiful light chandeliers – room holds 1600 persons – Louis Buonaparte furnished it 23 years ago and lived here 6 years – a sort of zigzag thing round the top of the 1st cornice each crescent supporting 2 candles = 190 candles when the room lighted – a door at each corner (4 doors square) and 2 rounded ones (one at each end) the only fault – these should have been square under their handsome corinthian cornice – 6 long square windows below and 6 ditto less and arched above (every curtain cost £80) between the pilasters looking glasses in the 4 interstices at each end and blue silk curtained niches above them – curtains crimson and crimson benches – an hour in the palace – then 1/4 hour at the top – see Haarlem church steeple – Utrecht ditto Saardam etc 164 rooms – 200 steps to the top –

singularly picturesque pretty village

Broek in Waterland, Netherlands

Sunday, 14 August 1831

at Broek (pronounced Brook) at 11 1/4 - singularly picturesque pretty village scattered round a sort of lake with canals in 3 directions – well called Broeck in Waterland – alighted at the Inn at 11 20/.. off in the village at 11 1/2 – about 1/2 hour at the farm house – 23 cows – make 10 cheeses a day of 2 1/2 lb pounds weight – bought 2 of 2 months old for 16 stivers each – cows tails tied up to prevent them making dirt – rent of farm £100 a year – all the taxes are about 10 guilders paid by the landlord -then went into the church – saw all the people assembled in their costume – off at 1 5/.. – very handsome poor house only 16 poor in it – all along the canal on the dike to Broek and from Broek retraced our steps to the Texel canal and then along the dike alongside it – then at a little distance from the IJ along or marsh full of tall reeds used to make the dikes and to thatch with

very picturesque gardens

Tsar Peter’s House, Zaandam, Netherlands

Monday, 14 August 1831

Saardam at 2 40/.. Amsterdam extending 2 hours along the IJ and in the distance see Haarlem cathedral – the germans come over here to work in the summer for 10 stivers a day - Peter’s cottage – outside measure 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 yards and 3 1/4 high to the roof – (2 rooms – the little cabinet for the bed taken off the one – his table and 3 chairs – ‘Petro Magno Alexander’ on the other stone ‘Alexander I Benedictus Imperator hunc lapidene posuit DIII Kal Luintilits 1814 Luod Iato ac grato animo testator v. tets v, Goudriaan Holl. Sept Gub’ – 20 minutes there till 3 1/4 – house enclosed in brick work (5 arcades by 3) – neat little garden in front and smooth grass at each end – dinner on 2 sorts of fish at Saardam – (boiled perch fried buts and potatoes and bread and butter) in an hour with waiting and off at 5 50/.. singular town – canals and bridges over there at almost every house – very few brick buildings and some of the only ended with brick up to the roof – chiefly of boards overlapt – green the prevailing colour – very picturesque gardens

worth going to the very top

Dom Tower, Utrecht, Netherlands

Monday, 15 August 1831

out at 10 55/.. to the cathedral – up to the top and down in 55 minutes to the porter’s house 117 steps high at 12 10/.. – Mariana did not go quite to the top – rather hazy – could see the steeple of Loenen but not of Amsterdam nor Rotterdam – saw that of Amersfort and the montagne de Marmont a tumulus erected by him and the French troops in honour of Napoleon at Seiste – capital look down up the town – worth going to the very top – only seem to be 2 canal streets in the town – the mall is the boulevard that runs round the whole town with a canal with in shaded by fine trees – boats on the canals here – perpetual bridges and 20 feet below the level of of the streets taking the filth away – (450 steps to the top) –

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 SCOTLAND

simply a good comfortable gentleman’s house

Bothwell Castle, Glasgow, Scotland

Tuesday, 10 June 1828

Left the palace at 1¼. Returned to the inn and off from there on a post chaise at 1½. Got out to look at the famous Bothwell bridge (4 arches; famous battle between the troops of Charles 2, under the duke of Monmouth, against the covenanters in June 1679) at 1¾. At 2 10/60 alighted at the door of Bothwell castle.

Simply a good comfortable gentleman’s house but the ruins of the castle very fine. So beautifully covered with fine chiefly beech wood. And the scenery, the river. Its sloping wooded banks, the ruin of the ancient priory of Blantyre (182/415) peeping out of the thick foliage on the opposite side the water. All all make this a charming spot. The possessor of it needs not envy Hamilton. It is indeed a most picturesque & lovely view of red sandstone & its situation charming. The house too is of red sandstone. Would have looked better white.

Alighted in Buchanan Street at our old quarters (Glasgow) at 4. From 5 to 6 20/60 at my accounts & itinerary.

280 steps up to the barracks

Bumbarton Castle, Glasgow, Scotland

Thursday, 5 June 1828

A soldier shewed us round, mounting up the steps along the natural cleft in the rock. Very fine. 280 steps up to the barracks (which will hold about 106 or 130? men. Only 17 there now of the 1st foot (royals)) & 100 steps more up to the flag-staff, or the highest point of rock, over the Clyde & near to what they call Wallace’s Tower, of which nothing remains but some rough foundation wall seeming to embrace a single point of rock.

Just went into the small armoury of modern arms merely to see Wallace’s 2-handed sword. Steel, 5 feet 4 inches long, tho’ unfortunately shortened by 9½ inches about 17 years ago by a Miss Fisher of Glasgow who, being considered a very strong lady, was trying to balance the sword on its point on her hand (the arm stretched out) & did so, but let it fall & thus broke off the length above named.

Then mounted the point over Dumbarton. Very fine view. Then a little higher to the powder magazine. Then on the highest & flag-staff point (flags always hoisted in Scotland on a Sunday). Very fine view. Benlomond. 2 steps on one side to his rounded summit & one on the other. A white line around him, his foot the water of the lake. The Leven & its junction with the fine broad Clyde. The Ayr steam boat that ran down the Comet, at that moment passing. 2 or 3 more following. Dumbarton prettily sheltered along the Leven just before its broad junction with the Clyde.

On a fine day can see the smoke of Glasgow eastward, & westward very clearly port Glasgow & Greenock. The hills of Argyle south & the Grampians north finely shut in the view. How much finer to us the view from Dumbarton Castle than from Stirling Castle! How much more interesting or better worth seeing the castle & its finely cleft rock. The look up along the flights of steps most striking. Glad to have come here. Fair as we alighted & cleared up for us while (¾ hour) we were at the castle.

Fine wood & rock. Pretty but not tremendous

Loch Katrine & Ellen’s Isle, Stirling, Scotland

Monday, 2 June 1828

At 3, after a pretty row, but somehow rather disappointed with the lake, landed on Ellen’s island. Very pretty wooded rocky spot. The views from it towards & upon the Trosachs beautiful. 20 minutes on the island then rowed on a little farther for more extended view of the lake, but raining pretty smartly from the moment of leaving the island, & the wind high & water roughish so turned back.

Fine wood & rock. Pretty but not tremendous.


worst bowel complaint

Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, Basel, Switzerland

June 1827

Never was more comfortable at any Inn in my life. My room is on two sides surrounded by the Rhine.

Proximity to the Rhine which disagreed with us all, made us all ill at first, seems now to have done me good. In fact, whether we had been inclined or not, we should have been driven out of Basle. You can have no idea of the strong smell there is from the water, almost as if of sea-weed. This produced, for the first time, the most violent bowel complaint I ever remember to have had.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 WALES

Telford’s bridge magnificent - most wonderful

Telford’s Bridge, Wales

Thursday, 13 July 1826

the sail down the strait beautiful – very beautiful – the dark clouds around now and then raining a little made the scene more impressive – Telford’s bridge magnificent – wonderful – all delighted with it – thought it worth going 500 miles to see – landed just on the side of it (…) -M-Mariana and I got out and walked over the bridge – she and Mr Duffin had been to see while I was away – most wonderful – the extreme length of the chain, from the fastenage in the rocks is about 1714 feet – the height of the roadway from high water line 100 feet – each of the 7 small piers from high water line to the road on the bridge consists of 2 carriage ways of 12 feet each with a foot path of 4 feet in the centre – the length of the suspended part of the road from pier to pier is 553 feet – the carriage roads pass thro’ 2 arches in the suspending piers, 9 feet wide by 15 high to the spring of the arches -

no goats

Gwydir Castle, Wales

Tuesday, 16 July 1822

We have seen not one goat yet - they are all destroyed on lord Gwydir estate - on account of their hurting his plantations, he about 7 years ago sent an order that every tenant should get rid of all he had by Llanwrst fair (in September) - this was giving them too little time, and caused them great loss which would have been remedied by giving them till Christmas instead of September - for goat's flesh is not good without salting and should be killed at Christmas -

Anne Lister's travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Many of the excerpts shown above were originally shared between 13-14 April, 2020 as individual travel reviews on under @FineMorning, a profile dedicated to celebrating Anne Lister. Fifty three reviews were posted and the profile lasted two days before TripAdvisor removed them without comment. Below is the original content of this page, for posterity:


If Anne Lister were a modern traveler, it would be reasonable to expect she would act no different, but perhaps employ different tools. In that spirit, we have collected some of her many observations as TripAdvisor Reviews in her own dedicated profile, to celebrate her sharp and often humorous travel commentary.

This is not a parody—every "review" is a verbatim quote transcribed from her own writing followed by the original date included in brackets (as TripAdvisor does not allow a visit date older than a year). These are real reviews in every sense, including their humor and harshness.

See all Anne Lister TripAdvisor reviews at

You can follow Anne's profile to receive alerts when new reviews are added. Note that most reviews are of locations and landmarks. We avoided including reviews of businesses that are still in operation so as not to disrupt their livelihood or confuse their patrons given Anne's frequently harsh words about an earlier time.

Review for Gwydir Castle "We have seen not one goat yet - they are all destroyed on lord Gwedyr’s estate - on account of their hurting his plantations, he about 7 years ago sent an order that every tenant should get rid of all he had by Llanrwst fair (in September) - this was giving them too little time, and caused them great loss which would have been remedied by giving them till Christmas instead of September - for goat’s flesh is not good without salting and should be killed at Christmas -  (Tuesday 16 July 1822)"

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