My partner is researching chantry chapels at the moment so we've been out looking at church's again, it's something that interests us both - from my point of view ecclesiastical architecture is the easiest kind to read, and full of exciting twiddly bits and grotesques, he might be taking a slightly more professional viewpoint on it but still finds it exciting. After the rather austere churches I grew up with in Shetland (a Methodist chapel and I think a Church of Scotland kirk) which clearly didn't believe in putting decorative distractions in front of good Christian souls the churches of the south (starting with Orkney's Italian chapel) were a revelation. For me the fancier the better, gothic or gothic revival for preference, baroque and rococo are more than acceptable, something in the classical mould is fine as long as it has some suitably exuberant bits inside, and any combination of pre Raphealite, arts and crafts, and art nouveau works too.
Our latest trip took us to Newark and Southwell. Newark has the very fine Church if St Mary Magdalene, it boasts the highest spire in Nottinghamshire which makes it very easy to find, has bits dating back to the 11th or 12th century and amongst many other points of historical and artistic interest 2 surviving chantry chapels either side of the high alter both dating from the very early 16th century. One of them has a rare dance if death painting on it which I particularly liked. Newark itself has the full compliment of ruined castles, civil war history, medieval looking street plans, and Georgian buildings (the market square looked to be almost completely Georgian) to the point that I felt like I might have been wandering around somewhere written by Trollope, Oliphant, or Dickens. That it also had a couple of decent second hand bookshops, a very good beer shop, and a place that sold amazing coffee and walnut cake makes me determined to go back.
Southwell is close by and is apparently both a minster and a cathedral which confuses me a bit, is a mix of Norman and Gothic (you can see the join in a way that makes it a perfect illustration for the architectural historian) has a stunning chapter house, and a very good tea room. The town is small, charming, and also has a good second hand bookshop. I got an old penguin Chaucer and a Virago edition of an Edith Wharton I hadn't seen before. I'm going back there too. The minster people want £5 off you to take photographs but I'd already spent money on books and tea so no pictures of the chapter house but it really is impressive. They also have a stunning west window put in in 1996 which manages to look both traditional and new and invites happy contemplation.