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Archived Posts from “United Kingdom”

5 Unusual Places to Stay in the UK



If you are planning to visit the UK and you are someone who prefers to stay in places a bit out of the ordinary, there are many choices available to you. There is certainly nothing wrong with traditional hotels and inns but if you are looking for something truly unique, you are sure to find the perfect place to stay. If you are planning to give the gift of travel, you will find many unusual places to stay and gift ideas for couples.

You can begin by looking at The Lighthouse Llandudno in Wales. This old lighthouse has been turned into an elegant hotel that offers a Victorian dining room where you can gaze down nearly 400 feet to the shore while you are dining. Traditional Welsh cuisine is served and you can reserve the lamp room which gives you a 280 degree view of the sea at all times.

If you want to give the gift of nature or experience it yourself, you can consider camping. Mighty Oak Tree Camping located in Cornwall is an excellent place to experience nature at its finest. You can spend your days climbing an ancient oak tree and your nights sleeping soundly in a hammock that is suspended high above the forest floor.

There are a number of old manor houses that have been transformed into boutique hotels, offering a luxurious accommodation experience. In Lower Slaughter, a Gloucestershire Village, you will find Lower Slaughter Manor Hotel which allows you to travel back in time to a more peaceful period. Another manor house is Whatley Manor in Malmesbury. This small hotel offers just 23 rooms and features antique furnishings to really give you a taste of yesteryear. A European spa and restaurants are also offered onsite.

In Oxford, you will find the Old Parsonage. This luxurious hotel was once a safe haven for priests persecuted during the Reformation in the 16th century. It now provides old-world charm in beautifully decorated rooms, a secluded walled garden and many amenities in close proximity.

Finally, if sleeping in a fairy tale castle has always been your dream, you will find Wester Ross in Scotland to be a good choice. The Torridon Hotel offers 58 acres of beautiful wooded lands and overlooks a deep sea loch. The castle is turreted and offers a number of amenities, including a whisky bar with over 300 malt whiskies from which you can choose.

It is not difficult to find a unique place to stay in the UK. Whether you are booking a reservation for yourself or you want to buy a gift experience for someone else, there are many places from which you can choose. Choose an adventurous getaway or a romantic castle setting, whatever suits your tastes and preferences. You are certainly not going to be without choices and there are a number of tourist companies that can help you to make your choice as well as gift experience companies that can help you to choose the perfect gift for someone special.

Sightseeing In The UK



If you are thinking of locations to take your vacation in this year then you could do a lot worse than head for the United Kingdom. You will often hear people complain about the climate – even though it can get warm in summer it is hardly tropical – however the UK has so much more to offer than the weather and it really is a sightseer’s paradise.

For a start you have Windsor Castle that is currently and historically a royal residence and has been in existence since the 11th century; indeed, its grandeur and magnificence is rarely matched anywhere else in the world never mind Europe and is a must see when you are taking a trip to Britain. In addition to this you also have Stonehenge which is renowned as known throughout the world. While the actual origins have been disputed and theories abound as to why it was built, this only adds to the mystique and the aura that engulfs the attraction. From Druid festivals to Pagan celebrations, Stonehenge has been linked with it all and is a sight that really must be visited on any trip to the UK.

A worthwhile option is heading further north to the English-Scottish border and visiting Hadrian’s Wall. This has been popularized in the film The Eagle and has been described as one of the most northerly parts of the Roman Empire and, even though the wall is not in the same condition it was nearly 2000 years ago, it is still visible and a great attraction for anyone with an interest in the Roman Empire. These are just a few historically inclined sights to see in Britain and only touch the tip of the iceberg in terms of things to do in the country.

The author Karen Bailey, works as a freelance writer writing on travel as well as English exam and English tests.

South West England Offers a Beautiful and Relaxing Escape



Those who know they want a great holiday that they can afford and which will genuinely help them reduce stress are making a surprising choice in the United Kingdom today. Instead of the high action, high cost escapes that were part of years gone by, today’s UK holiday makers are looking for a more relaxed pace which can help them enjoy the full benefits of their holiday without all of the added costs for activities they may or may not feel like engaging in, say travel industry experts. What triggered this change? Many seasoned travel experts say that it has a great deal to do with the economy and its affect on the public’s mood. Instead of needing to be revived from sleepy work schedules and the drone of every day live where thrills were at a premium, today’s workers want to be able to get away from it all and surround themselves with nature and low level fun that works for their family and is gentle enough on their budget that they do not experience guilt over taking their holiday.

This is why the Devon area has become such a huge hit with today’s travelers. The pace of life is perfect for many who would prefer a cottage setting where they can breathe in the crisp fresh air from the Atlantic and get a sense that they are free of their duties for the time that they have. They can self cater and this helps them be able to reduce expense which does a great deal to help reduce stress, too. The beach side holiday cottages in North Devon have become exceptionally popular amongst today’s travel savvy UK citizens because the scenery really is impossible to recreate anywhere else in all of England today. That fresh air alone is well known across the UK as a source of vitality that bigger, faster paced cities could never offer no matter how exotic their thrills might be.

For an ideal escape, North Devon offers a type of beauty that only nature could make and a cost that is simply impossible to beat for great cottages that feel like an ideal home away from home to be shared with the good company of friends and family.

The London Underground



For travelers who have never been to, or aren’t familiar with London, the underground rapid transit system, much like the subway system in New York, can be a great help for getting around, quickly from place to London Undergroundplace. With hundreds of stops, detailed schedules, service near airports, hotels, popular attractions, and virtually everywhere, The London Underground is one of the most popular ways to traverse the city, for both locals and those there on vacation. Urban areas can be frustrating, and hard to reach if you’re not sure where you’re going, or don’t do so well with directions. However, reading over the schedules, many tourists will find that the rail runs pretty much everywhere, and at various times, which can help a frustrated situation as well.

The London Underground, despite being a very old rapid transit system, will never remain a stagnant railway. Throughout the years, quite a few different changes have been taking place in the Underground’s railways. The city of London has expanded over the years, which means that the city’s transit must as well, and several new projects for expansion are in the works for the Underground. Some examples of new projects are the new station for the Heathrow Airport, on the Picadilly line, another new station on Wood Lane for patrons at the Westfield London shopping center, as well as others. Some projects are more time consuming, like the re-extension of the Bakerloo line to Watford Junction; it used to end at Harrow and Wealdstone.

One of the newest ways for travelers to take advantage of the London Underground, is called The Oyster Card, which is basically a prepaid card for all public London transportation, whether it’s the tram, the Underground, or the bus system. This is probably the most convenient of travel fund methods for travelers; having to keep track of multiple tickets and payment methods and prices can be a hassle. The Oyster Card is also cheaper to pay for than so many separate tickets; there’s a lot of encouragement to use the Oyster Card so there are significant prices differences in the usual rates for the transportation were it to be all paid for with separate tickets instead. More and more frequently increasing as well, are the number of routes on which passengers can pay as they go.

Information for travelers is available in the many different Underground stations found throughout the city, as well as online. Some helpful trips for traveling are to keep your travel information and tickets readily available, in your wallet or purse, so that you can check on important information at the last minute. Also be sure to bring a map of the route, know where your stops are, and at least have a cursory knowledge of the area. If you’re traveling with a family, be sure to bring snacks if it’s going to be a longer trip, but keeping an eye on your small children is very important, public transportation is dangerous in many ways to small children, with strangers, and a fast-paced atmosphere. Keep a close eye on any baggage or belongings as well.

A Brief History Of The Tower Of London



The Tower of London has a fascinating history spanning nearly 1,000 years. It has served various purposes over the centuries – fortress, prison, royal palace, jewel house, mint, arsenal and place of execution.When work was begun by William the Conqueror in 1078, Londoners had never seen anything of the like before. He had stone specially imported from France to build the White Tower and its unique Norman style was quite outlandish to the locals.

William saw the need to build a fortress in this powerful and prosperous city not to defend it from foreign invasion, but to protect the conquering Normans from the city’s own inhabitants. For centuries afterwards, the Tower served the same purpose, providing safety and security for various monarchs from their own subjects in turbulent times.

As time passed and needs changed, the Tower was adapted and extended until it became an extensive complex of fortifications. The 13th century saw the establishment of a Royal Mint on the premises, as well as a menagerie. This private collection of exotic beasts is thought to have begun when Henry III received three big cats (leopards or possibly lions) as a wedding present in 1235. The Lion Tower was built to house the collection, which had become a public attraction by the late 18th century. However, with the opening of London Zoo in the early 19th century, the animals were transferred and the menagerie closed down. The Lion Gate is all that remains of the area where it was housed.

The Tower of London is probably most well known today for its notorious history of gunpowder, treason, imprisonment and murder. From the early days it was used as a prison and place of execution, often for very high profile or illustrious captives. Henry VIII had two of his wives beheaded on Tower Green – Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. The Reformation was a particularly gruesome time, when hoards of political and religious prisoners were incarcerated and executed. Probably the most famous is Lady Jane Grey, whom Edward VI declared his successor just before his death in 1553, fearing that his own daughter Mary would restore Catholicism. She was only a few days into her reign when Mary took the throne from her cousin and had her imprisoned and eventually executed on Tower Green in 1554. Mary also famously had her half-sister Elizabeth (later to become Queen Elizabeth I) imprisoned there for three months under suspicion of plots against her. Elizabeth herself had various notables incarcerated in the Tower upon her succession to the throne after Mary’s death – from aristocrats and dukes to clergymen and bishops.

Another event for which the Tower is infamously known is the mystery of the two boy princes in the 1480s. The two sons of Edward IV, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, were housed in the Tower by their Uncle (Richard, Duke of Gloucester) for ‘protection’ after the death of their father in 1483. Edward V was to be crowned King. However, the Duke took the throne himself and after remaining in the Tower for a short while afterwards, the boys vanished. Their fate is still a mystery today, although it is commonly believed that their uncle had them murdered.

In the 17th century, the Crown Jewels were first put on public display, and they can still be seen there today. It was also during this period that the Tower started to be used as an arsenal and armoury. During the 19th century, however, the Tower gradually lost many of its functions. As explained above, the menagerie was moved to London Zoo. The Royal Mint was moved to new buildings elsewhere in the city (although it’s now based in Cardiff) and the War Office moved the weaponry elsewhere. This wasn’t the beginning of the end for the Tower, though. In fact, it heralded a new and exciting period for the fortress. Medieval romanticism had started to become fashionable in Victorian times and architectural and historical interest in the Tower started to increase. The Victorians undertook an enormous programme of restoration and reconstruction, paving the way for it to become one of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions. Indeed, by the mid 19th century visitors were coming in droves and a ticket office had to built at the main entrance to cope with the crowds.

The Tower was very much still in use as an official public building though. Even in the 20th century, it was used as a prison during World War Two. The last execution took place here in 1941 – a German army sergeant was shot in the grounds by firing squad for spying.

To this day, it still retains its function as a royal residence and home of the Crown Jewels. As a result, it’s still guarded by its own ancient regiment of Yeomen Warders (more commonly known as Beefeaters) whose role is to guide and entertain tourists as much as it is to defend the Tower.

Although no royals have lived at the Tower for a long time, it still has one very important set of residents – the famous ravens. These black, long-beaked birds have been here for centuries. An old legend states that Britain will never be invaded as longs as ravens remain there, so they can still be seen wandering around the grounds today and even have their own guards to look after them. No-one’s taking any risks though – their wings are clipped to ensure they’ll never leave!

About The Author

Pauline Wapping
Pauline Wapping is a Londoner, having lived in the city all her life. She is a travel writer.

Edinburgh Quick Guide



It seems the same seagulls have been following your train all the way from London, across the open green spaces of celtic countryside and past countless fairy tale towns nestled precariously over craggy sea cliffs. The gulls’ screeching mixes with the train whistles while echoing against the walls as you pull into Edinburgh’s busy Waverly Station on a perfect July afternoon. The scent of simmering roast beef hits you as you head into the windy streets of one of Europe’s most sophisticated captials where the population is well mannered in spite of a fast paced vibrant 21st Century momentum.There’s a lot to see and you might as well start with the famous Royal Mile. Be prepared for a steep climb because the narrow streets leading straight up the ancient volcano are more like staircases. But the shopping here in Old Town is worth the trip to this rival to Princes Street. Plus there’s the added bonus of a tour of Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle will take several hours because you don’t want to miss the Stone of Destiny or the room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI. The food is very good and reasonably priced in the castle restaurant and you can eat outdoors; weather permitting. Make sure you stay around for the 1 o’clock gun salute which is fired from the ramparts every day except Sunday.

Around the Royal Mile you can buy everyrthing from kilts to knitwear, puppets, and St. Andrews golf balls. Shops include the Royal Mile Woolen Milles, Designs on Cashmere, James Pringles, Celtic Knitwear and the Shetland Connection make over- packing your suitcases a pleasure. For a more moderate budget there’s Ness, where you can get Scottish authenticity without maxing out your credit card.

Princes Street is considered to be one of nthe most beautiful shopping districts in the world. With its nstunning panoramic view and Princes Street Gardens it has such highlights nas the Old Waverly Hotel, the Sir Walter Scott Monument, and the famous stores Jenners, Waterstone’s, and Hector Russell.

But plenty of mystery still envelopes Edinburgh’s streets of quaint Georgian and Victorian houses which strongly resemble well designed stage sets. This is after all, where former resident J.K. Rowling got the inspiration for her Harry Potter masterpieces. Better squeeze in that ghost tour quickly since dusk falls around 10 P.M. during the summer months. And nighttime will only last for a few.

If you’re a dog lover you will want to see Greyfriars Churchyard. Even the smallest Scottish child can recite the story of little Bobby, the Skye Terrier, who devotedly kept vigil there beside his master’s grave for fourteen years. While Lassie cornered the market for in brains and resourcefulness, the beloved Bobby wins for faithfulness. Expect a tearful trek to the monument for him near the churchyard.

Rounding out your trip you’ll want to visit the National Portrait Gallery, the Ocean Terminal where the Royal Yacht Britannia is docked, the Writers’ Museum, and the Edinburgh Photo Library. If you still possibly have any time left, stop by one of Scotland’s most popular attractions, the Edinburgh Zoo.

Copyright 2006 Karen Brown

About the Author

Karen Brown is a travel agent and web publisher.

What do you need to know about Ireland travel



Ireland is an exotic tourist spot. It is popularly known for the myths, magical incidents and legendary stories associated with it. Numerous tourists from all round the world are magnetized to view this bewitching place. The wonderful Ireland cities with a horde of interesting activities for young as well as the old and the scenic splendor with which the country is blessed have always been inviting people from all round the world. Ireland is thus deemed to be an ideal place for vacationing.

Ireland like many other places on earth has something for everyone. You can tour the place individually or with your family, there will be no deficiency of fun and amusement. For instance there are water and other sports for kids and adults, rock climbing for the teenagers and other enthusiasts, beaches, botanical gardens, museums, castles and all other attractions that are more than enough to keep you glued to the place.

Ireland is a country that has a rich culture and heritage. The reflection of the tradition of the place can be perceived in the lifestyle of Irish people residing in different Ireland cities.

1. Dublin is an eminent Irish city. It is regarded as the heart of Ireland for more than a few reasons. Dublin is a mirror to the Irish history. It has the many historical monuments that have preserved the priceless Georgian art and architecture. The Custom House, the Gate Theater and the Garden of Remembrance parade much of Georgian architecture. There are also many worth visiting modern art galleries and museums that add to the creative ambience of the place. Apart from this the nightlife of Dublin has always entertained its tourists to best and fullest.

2. The Irish Midlands are known by way of bifurcation into various provinces or counties. These counties are individually famous for some or the other attraction. For instance County Cavan has got recognition due to the River Shanon that flows towards its south, the Killygeen forests and the fascinating activities like fishing, horseback riding and hiking etc. in there. While the County Offaly is popular for its superb science center and ravishing plant and animal life.

3. Moving on to the Northern Ireland region, what is most welcoming here is the capital city of Belfast. Belfast is seen terms of its directions i.e. north, east, west and south Belfast. All the areas have respective allures. If south Belfast has beautiful Belfast gardens and the famous Ulster Museum, the north Belfast has amazing Neolithic caves in the Cave Hill Country Park and the Belfast zoo. Besides Belfast, there are several other counties of Northern Ireland region that have always gained tourist attention.

4. South Ireland area is again a combination of different counties. County Mayo here is a land of lakes and cliffs. This county has some remarkable historical sites that are often a source of information. The County Clarke of this region has multiple lures. There is fishing, boating, mind-boggling stalamites and stalactites in the caves of cliff of Moher, dance, music and theater. The Bunratty Folk Park adds to the amusement sources of this place.

5. Similarly there are other provinces like Northwestern County, which again is subdivided in a number of other counties, Southeastern and Southwestern Counties that too are sectioned in numerous counties.

Finally, Ireland is not just a destination for the rich. Accommodation and other facilities are available for all classes of people. A holiday to Ireland with planned budget can be a dream come true for many people.

About the Author

Mansi gupta writes about Ireland travel

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