Millennium Stadium Cardiff, Wales
TOP 12 GUIDE
Loch Ness Highlands, Scotland
TO PLACES IN BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
Stonehenge Wiltshire, England
The Peace Bridge Derry-Londonderry, Northen Ireland
Introduction 2012 is a big year and we are welcoming you to Britain with our Top 12 attractions and experiences in our regions and cities!
has it that the start of the marathon was moved to the Castle’s East Terrace because the then Princess of Wales wanted her children to see the race), and much, much more.
Not only is Britain hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games but we have many more exciting and excellent events to celebrate, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a series of colourful Jubilee activities progressing through the year . The bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens makes this year a mustvisit to Kent, home to many of his literary inspirations. In addition, 2012 marks the centenary of the Titanic in Belfast, where the iconic ship was built with the world’s largest & greatest Titanic visitor experience.
Hopefully you will get a chance to experience some of this yourself and discover your own Top 12!
The London 2012 Festival (21 June – 9 Sept) reaches across the entire country including free events (Britain has collections of the world’s finest art in iconic galleries – most of them free to visit); breath-taking views (pop in to the Lookout Café for the sweeping views to Portland, Dorset, while munching sandwiches made with locally-caught crab); literary highlights ( the World Shakespeare Festival in Warwickshire and around the world celebrates the bard’s influence); historical sites galore (visit the Little Chapel in Guernsey, possibly the world’s smallest consecrated church); family fun and attractions (Longleat Safari Park is in the heart of the English countryside, Wiltshire); palatial gardens (stroll through Bath’s Royal Victoria Park en route to taking tea in the Pump Room); sports to participate in (learn to play polo in Windsor), hidden gems (seek out Project Pigeon in Birmingham); bon vivants’ delights (West Sussex alone has 12 world-class vineyards); little known regional facts (visit Windsor to hear the amazing story of the 1908 Olympic marathon and why the official marathon route is 26 miles and 385 yards - legend
How to use We have created an easy-to-use guide that provides you with all the information needed to experience the Top 12 in each region; click on the Contents Page to take you to the sections - England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands Then, within each section, you will find categories for regions recommending their Top 12s, with contact details, opening times and websites providing more information. Hopefully this guide has given you some ideas and inspiration that will thrill your readers and viewers. Britain – You’re Invited.
Paul Gauger Global Leader, 2012 Games Media www.visitbritain.com/media
Media contacts in Americas New York Meredith Pearson PR Executive USA 845 Third Avenue, Floor 10, New York, NY 10022 T: 001 212 850 0377 C: 001 917 412 0124 E: email@example.com Kathleen Oâ€™Connell PR Executive USA 845 Third Avenue, Floor 10, New York, NY 10022 T: 001 212 850 0364 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Callum Roberts Business Development Assistant 845 Third Avenue, Floor 10, New York, NY 10022 T: 001 212 850 0336 E: email@example.com Lisa Kearns PR & Communications Executive 845 Third Avenue, Floor 10, New York, NY 10022 T: 001 212 850 0327 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles Katrina Early Film Tourism and PR Manager (West Coast) 11766 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90025 T: 00 1 310 268 2132 F: 00 1 310 481 2960 E: email@example.com Odalys Flores E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada Ted Flett PR & Communications Manager 160 Bloor Street East, Suite 905, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1B9 T: 001 416 646 6676 F: 001 416 642 2240 C: 001 647.202.4184 E: email@example.com
Brazil Mitsi Goulias Press & PR Manager Centro Brasileiro Britanico, Rua Ferreira de Araujo 741, 1 Andar, Pinheiros, Sao Paulo, Sp, 05428-002 Brazil T: 0055 11 3245 7653 F: 0055 11 3245 7651 E: firstname.lastname@example.org 4
Media contacts in APAC India and Middle East China - Beijing Tamily Liu Press & PR Executive Beijing Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy, 4/F Landmark Building,Tower 1, 8 North Dongsanhuan Road, Chaoyang District, 100004, Beijing, China T: 0086 10 65906903 F: 0086 10 6590 0977 E: email@example.com
China - Shanghai Bonnie Hua Press & PR Manager - China & Hong Kong VisitBritain/Cultural and Education Section British Consulate General Shanghai 1st Floor Pidemco Tower, 318 Fu Zhou Lu , Shanghai 200001, China T: 0086 21 5117 5838 E: Bonnie.Hua@visitbritain.org
Hong Kong Janice Cheung Representative HK & South China T: 00852 35157878 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
India Srishti Bhatia PR Executive - India 202-203 JMD Regent Square, Merhrauli-Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana, India T: 0091 124 262 4255 M: +0091 981 003 5669 F: 0091 124 262 4200 E: email@example.com
Japan Katsue Takeshima PR Manager VisitBritain, Kenkyusha Eigo Centre Bldg 3F, 1-2 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan 162-0825 T: 0081 03 5227 6233 F: 0081 03 5227 6240 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia Sarah Stevenson B2B and PR Executive Level 16, 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia T: 0061 2 8247 2248 E: email@example.com
UAE and Saudi Arabia Carol Maddison Manager, UAE PO Box 33342 2nd Floor, Sharaf Building, Khalid Bin Waleed Road, Dubai, U.A.E T: 009 71 4 3960809 E: firstname.lastname@example.org PR Agency: Sharon Salazar T: 00 971 4 390 1950 email@example.com PLEASE ONLY CONTACT PR AGENCY THROUGH CAROL MADDISON
Media contacts in Europe Belgium Myriam De Mulder Press Executive Avenue Dâ€™Auderghem-Oudergemselaan 10 1040 Brussels T: 00 322 287 6223 M: 00 322 472 487964 E: Myriam.DeMulder@visitbritain.org
Denmark Jette Ward Representative Denmark Kristianeiagade 8, 3rd floor, 2100, Copenhagen, Denmark T: 00 45 3375 5005 F: 00 45 3375 5080 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
France Florence Valette Communications Manager VisitBritain BP 70-154 75363 Paris Cedex 08 T: 0033 (0) 1 44 51 34 95 F: 0033 (0) 1 44 51 34 91 E: email@example.com
Germany Andrea Hetzel Media Relations Manager Dorotheenstr. 54 10117 Berlin T: 0049 30 3157 1941 F: 0049 30 31571940 E: Andrea.Hetzel@visitbritain.org Sabine Kalkmann PR Executive Dorotheenstr. 54 10117 Berlin T: 0049 30 3157 1942 F: 0049 30 3157 1940 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Silvia Bocciarelli Press and PR VisitBritain Italia c/o Consolato Britannico Via San Paolo 7 20121 Milano T: 00 39 02 72300228 F: 00 39 02 72020153 M: 00 39 340 3524660 E: email@example.com
Maria Eugenia Benito Press and PR VisitBritain British Embassy Torre Espacio Paseo de la Castellana 259D 28046 Madrid T: 0034 91 714 6498 M: 0034 647 57 36 54 E: firstname.lastname@example.org (not open to the public)
Jo Leslie Head of International Destination PR T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1037 E: email@example.com
Margot Eggink Media Relations Manager Prins Hendrikkade 186, 1011 TD Amsterdam (Postal address Postbus 20650, 1001 NR Amsterdam) T: 00 31 206077706 F: 00 31 206186868 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helene Hofverberg Press and PR Manager Box 3102, SE- 103 62 Stockholm T: 00 46 8 4401 706 M: 00 46 702 58 64 53 E: email@example.com
Kim Lovlie Marketing Executive VisitBritain Norway British Embassy 0244 Oslo T: 00 47 23 13 65 80 M: 00 47 971 04 944 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Hetzel Media Relations Manager Dorotheenstr. 54 10117 Berlin T: 0049 30 3157 1941 F: 0049 30 31571940 E: Andrea.Hetzel@visitbritain.org
Poland Joanna Sosnowska Marketing Representative VisitBritain British Council, Al. Jerozolimskie 59 00-697 Warszawa T: 0048 22 695 59 25 E: email@example.com
Russia Ekaterina Merenchuk PR & Marketing Executive 10 Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya, Moscow, 121009 T: 00 74 95 95 67 310 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabine Kalkmann PR Executive Dorotheenstr. 54 10117 Berlin T: 0049 30 3157 1942 F: 0049 30 3157 1940 E: email@example.com
Media contacts in London 2012 Games Media: Paul Gauger Global Leader 2012 Games Media T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1180 M: 0044 (0) 7884 233 647 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Val Austin International Press Visits Manager T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1039 E: email@example.com Rose Hughes International Press Visits Officer T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1038 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Emma Fitzgerald International Press Visits Officer T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1032 E: email@example.com Emma Wilkinson International Press Visits Officer T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1156 E: Emma.Wilkinson@visitbritain.org Rmishka Singh PR Editor T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1155 E: Rmishka.Singh@visitbritain.org Corporate PR: Mark Di-Toro Press Officer T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1098 M: 0044 (0) 7919 392 137 E: firstname.lastname@example.org David Leslie Coporate PR Manager T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1141 M: 0044 (0) 7919 392 137 E: email@example.com
Julian Jacome Broadcast Media Manager, 2012 Media T: 0044 (0) 20 7578 1188 E: Julian.Jacome@visitbritain.org
CONTENTS England Olympic Venues
Coventry, Warwickshire & Shakespeareâ€™s England
Brighton & Hove
Manchester NewcastleGateshead Weymouth, Portland & Dorset Essex Surrey Windsor & Eton Dorney
Olympic Venues Glasgow
Shakespeareâ€™s Birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon Index
LONDON Top 12 Free Things to Do in London 1). Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace – One of Britain’s greatest traditions and attractions is the heritage of the British Monarchy. From May - July the Changing of the Guard happens daily at 11a.m. (10a.m. on Sundays) and lasts approximately one hour. The process is the changing of the old guard from Buckingham Palace with a new guard from St. James’s Palace. The guards are from one of five regiments: the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Grenadier Guards and the Coldstream Guards. www.royal.gov.uk/RoyalEventsandCeremonies/ChangingtheGuard/Overview.aspx 2). Art Galleries, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, National Gallery – London has some great art galleries and what’s even better is they are free! Tate Britain, situated in Millbank, and Tate Modern, situated in Bankside, are home to artwork from 1500 to the present day. Along with these two museums, the famous National Gallery, situated to the north of Trafalgar Square, boasts an impressive collection of Western European artwork from the early 20th century to present day. www.tate.org.uk/britain / www.tate.org.uk/modern / www.nationalgallery.org.uk 3). Primrose Hill – Primrose Hill, situated on the north side of Regent’s Park, offers remarkable views over London’s skyline, especially at sunset. The park, which is 166ha, was designed in 1811 by John Nash, a renowned architect. The park has its own soccer, softball, rugby and cricket pitches in addition to a boating lake, bandstand, and a beautiful rose garden. The region is full of pubs, cafes, restaurants and celebrities. Primrose Hill is the ideal location for visitors to take a picnic and do some celebrity spotting. www.royalparks.gov.uk/The-Regents-Park.aspx 4). The British Museum – Not only are art galleries free, but most museums are also free in London. The British Museum, founded in 1753 by Act of Parliament, is home to nearly 2m objects making it a fascinating experience. Visitors can take a guided tour to discover Ancient Egypt or how the Romans lived. The British Museum offers a wealth of artifacts from around the world in one place. www.britishmuseum.org The National Gallery Trafalgar Square, London 8
LONDON 5). Covent Garden – Covent Garden is always full of hustle and bustle. Visitors can watch the street entertainers, dine in a fine restaurant or shop in the boutique stores. Covent Garden is a place that will charm travelers of all tastes. www.coventgardenlondonuk.com
11). National Theatre – Visitors who head down to the Southbank near Waterloo Bridge can catch one of the free jazz and folk concerts. These take place Monday – Saturday, 5:45p.m., and 1:45p.m. on Saturday afternoons. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk
6). The Royal Parks, Kensington Gardens – The Royal Parks are the perfect escape from the busy city with green open spaces and plenty of events the whole family can enjoy. Parents and children alike will enjoy the Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens that is inspired by Peter Pan. With the pirate ship surrounded by sand and nearby Notting Hill, the delightful area is perfect for a Sunday afternoon stroll. www.royalparks.gov.uk
12). Nottinghill Arts Club – Nottinghill Arts Club has been open for 11 years and showcases London’s up and coming acts. The small stage makes the atmosphere intimate while the large sofas make enjoying the new music comfortable. www.nottinghillartsclub.com
7). London at Night – Walk by the houses of Parliament after dark and walk south across Westminster Bridge. Here you will find a remarkable view of the London Eye. Once you reach St. Thomas’ Hospital, turn around to take in the view. The lights of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben glistening in the River Thames is an incredible view that no visitor should miss. www.parliament.uk/visiting 8). Chinatown on a Sunday – Chinatown on a Sunday is alive with entertainment, busy supermarkets and restaurants. Visitors will enjoy the array of entertainment and 78 restaurants that make up this vibrant neighborhood. www.chinatownlondon.org 9). Sunday UpMarket and Backyard Market, Brick Lane – The Sunday UpMarket and Backyard Market are for the fashion lovers who fancy getting off the beaten track and want to experience local markets. With both markets being in hidden hotspots, only locals shop at them. They are both very unique. Backyard Market has an array of garments from up and coming fashion designers with many arts and crafts deals to be had. Sunday UpMarket has many food delights such as cupcakes, Moroccan and Spanish paella - with free tastings. www.sundayupmarket.co.uk 10). City Farms – London has many city farms that are free to visit. Vauxhall City Farm offers pony care classes and donkey rides, while MudChute Park and Farm is the largest urban farm in London sitting on 13.5ha. Many of the farms also host children’s playgrounds and fresh farm shops. Visitors won’t want to miss the unique experience of visiting a city farm while in London. www.vauxhallcityfarm.org
Chinatown London 9
LONDON Top 12 London Views 1). London Eye – on a clear day they say you can see around 40km from the top - as far as Windsor Castle! The EDF Energy London Eye is 135m high - equivalent to 64 red telephone boxes piled on top of each other. 2). The Monument – was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London in 1666 and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City. It was erected close to the baker’s house in Pudding Lane where the fire began. You need to be fit to reach the top - there are 311 spiral steps to the Monument’s observation gallery; but for those unable to make it to the top there is a “live” image via a video screen display near the base of the Monument. 3). Tower Bridge – climb up to the High Level Walkways, 42 m above the River Thames, for great views east and west, from this famous London landmark, which was painted red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 – before that it was painted a chocolate brown colour. The walkways were originally opened to allow people to cross when the bridge was raised – this happens about 1000 times a year. In 1952, a London bus driven by Albert Gunton had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise with the number 78 bus still on it. 4). Richmond Hill – The celebrated view of the Vale of the Thames (looking upriver), from the summit of Richmond Hill, has long been the inspiration of writers and artists, including Turner. The view is actually protected by an Act of Parliament, of 1902. 5). Restaurants – Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows is located on the 28th floor of London Hilton on Park Lane in trendy Mayfair, and the restaurant and bar have breathtaking views over the capital, including iconic sites such as Buckingham Palace, The London Eye and Hyde Park. Other good places for food with a view include the Tate Modern restaurant on the 7th floor of the South Bank gallery, offering great views along the Thames and across to St Paul’s Cathedral; the Oxo Tower Restaurant:, Vertigo 42 in the BT Tower and Paramount in the Centre Point building View from the Shell Building towards the London Eye London 10
LONDON 6). St Paul’s Cathedral – climb 259 steps to The Whispering Gallery, which runs around the interior of the Dome. It gets its name from a quirk in its construction, which makes a whisper against its walls audible on the opposite side 7). Greenwich Park – climb up the hill in Greenwich Park to the Wolfe statue, for great views back over the park, Canary Wharf and towards North London 8). Primrose Hill – The top of Primrose Hill, in north London, is 63 m above sea level and the view over London is now protected in planning law. Visitors can look down on the zoo in Regent's Park and further afield to landmarks such as Canary Wharf, the North Greenwich Arena and the BT Tower. They may also spot a film crew because Primrose Hill has become a popular movie location with British directors. The view from the top was used in the 1987 spy thriller The Fourth Protocol and it starred in the opening credits of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). 9). See the city from the top deck of a bus – The Original London Sightseeing Tours founded over 60 years ago they are the largest open-top sightseeing red bus operator in the world. With a high proportion of the tour buses now wheelchair accessible the tours cover all of London’s highlights and include free river cruises and walking tours. Big Bus Tours - created around a carefully designed route that takes you to the key places of interest, and a hop-on hop-off facility that lets you discover them. All tours offer an informative and entertaining commentary and are delivered by a regular service of purpose built open-top buses. 10). From a boat – Many of the most iconic buildings in London can be viewed from the River Thames – with the choice of a cruise boat, a faster Thames Clipper a fleet of high speed catamarans leave the major piers every 20 minutes and will be running a special 2012 Games service. High speed RIB boat a formidable sight on The Thames are usually used by the special forces and other police agencies, they are the ultimate and fastest fleet on the river. 11). Get a bird's eye view of the city with a helicopter tour - when it comes to unforgettable experiences, a helicopter ride has to rate pretty high on the list. To combine a helicopter ride with a flight over London taking in the aerial views of our Capital just adds that extra WOW factor to your experience. 12). And coming soon? – There are plans to construct a walkway over the 02 Arena/North Greenwich Dome, hopefully in time for London2012.
Regent Street Location 11
COVENTRY, WARWICKSHIRE & SHAKESPEARE’S ENGLAND Coventry’s Top 12 Experiences 1). Coventry Cathedral – Set your senses soaring by climbing the 180 steps of the cathedral spire to take in the breath-taking panoramic views of Coventry. Then explore the world famous Cathedral of St Michael, the site of Coventry's ‘new' cathedral and see examples of world-class works of art, including: Graham Sutherland's tapestry, John Piper's baptistry window and Epstein's bronze statue of St Michael defeating the devil. In sharp contrast, the medieval ruins of its predecessor stand proudly alongside. 2). Coventry Transport Museum and Trust SSC - Come face to face with Royal cars, military vehicles and the current land speed record holding vehicle Thrust SSC. Be amazed by this spectacular piece of engineering, then experience for yourself what it's like to travel through the sound barrier at over 760mph in the Thrust SSC simulator. 3). The Doom Painting, Holy Trinity Church - Holy Trinity Church's story goes back nearly 1000 years! This extraordinary building has survived fire, reformation and the Blitz. Marvel at the many rare artefacts that the church houses, perhaps the most exceptional being the famous medieval wall painting of the Last Judgement. 4). Herbert Art Gallery & Museum – Coventry’s award winning museum, art gallery, records archive, learning centre and creative arts facility located in Jordan Well, Coventry city centre. It is named after Sir Alfred Herbert, a Coventry industrialist and philanthropist whose benefactions enabled the original building to be opened in 1960. Building began in 1939, with an interruption by the Second World War, and The Herbert opened in 1960. In 2008 it reopened after a £20m refurbishment.. 5). St Mary's Guild Hall - Discover more than 600 year's worth of history in one of Coventry's most remarkable survivors of the medieval age. Arguably the finest medieval guildhall in the country, with original artworks and décor; the Great Hall dates from the late 14th and early 15th century and houses a fine tapestry dating from 1500. The Mary Queen of Scots Room is so named because of the imprisonment of the Scottish Queen here in 1569. Coventry Cathedral Coventry 12
COVENTRY, WARWICKSHIRE & SHAKESPEARE’S ENGLAND 6). Priory Visitor Centre - Discover Coventry's first Cathedral - join us beneath the 21st Century city to discover the amazing ruins preserved beneath the rubble of this once magnificent religious centre. The Priory Undercroft offers a fascinating glimpse into the best preserved remains of Coventry's original Benedictine monastery. 7). Garden Organic Ryton - the home of Garden Organic, in a delightful setting in the Heart of England. Four hectares of beautifully landscaped grounds highlight the delights of organic gardening and with an award winning restaurant on site serving fresh, organic produce; it’s both a healthy and enjoyable day out for all.
12). Ricoh Arena (City of Coventry Stadium) - Set within a site covering more than 16ha, the Ricoh Arena is unlike any other development of its kind in the UK. With its state-of-the-art conference, banqueting, exhibition, hotel and sports facilities, the multi-purpose complex has already won countless awards for its design. With hundreds of events and exhibitions taking place all year round as well as hosting several key Olympic Football matches in 2012, this unique development truly is world class. During the 2012 London Olympics, the arena will be re-named the City of Coventry Stadium.
8). Off Road Fun at the Heart of England Centre - Enjoy an exhilarating "off road" experience in 65ha of fields and woodlands. Driving Quad Bikes, Rage Carts and Land Rovers you will face many challenges as you’re taken through rough terrain, up and down steep slopes and more! 9). Pleasure Flight Coventry Airport – Take in the glorious sights of Coventry's skyline and surrounding countryside as you experience a scenic tour of Coventry & Warwickshire by helicopter with Patriot Aerospace. Gain a fantastic birds-eye view of the local area, offering a superb way to view some traditional English heritage from a different vantage point! 10). Medieval Banquet at Coombe Abbey – Step back in time and join the Lords and Ladies of Coombe Abbey in a medieval celebration of food, wine and mead. The night is filled with bawdy fun, fine food and wines, colour and music. Miss it at your peril! 11). Midland Air Museum -Situated just outside the village of Baginton in Warwickshire, and adjacent to Coventry Airport, this exciting museum includes the Sir Frank Whittle Jet Heritage Centre (named after the local aviation pioneer and inventor of the jet engine), where many exhibits are on display in a large hangar. It also has a smaller hangar, and a fenced-off outdoor area where many military, commercial and trainer aircraft are on display.
Ricoh Arena Coventry Index
COVENTRY, WARWICKSHIRE & SHAKESPEARE’S ENGLAND Top 12 Literary highlights and attractions 1). William Shakespeare – born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1632, William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the world’s most famous poet and playwright. A favourite of the Elizabethan Court, Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and several other poems. His plays are as well loved today as they were 400 years ago, and almost 50 percent of the world’s school children study his work. 2). World Shakespeare Festival - a celebration of Shakespeare as the world’s playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, in an unprecedented collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations, and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare’s Globe. It runs from 23 April - November 2012 and forms part of London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad; bringing leading artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival in the summer of 2012. 3). Shakespeare’s Houses – the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust owns and manages five significant homes linked to William Shakespeare including Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (his wife’s family home), Mary Ardens’ Farm (his mother’s family homestead), Nash’s House and New Place, (his granddaughters home), and Hall Croft (his daughter’s home). All houses are open to the public and host excellent tours and events. 4). Warwick Words – a week-long festival held in Warwick celebrating ‘words’. Warwick has literary connections with figures such as Tolkien, who was married in the Catholic church in West Street; Philip Larkin, whose parents moved from Coventry to a house in Coten End during the Second World War, and Walter Savage Landor, poet and prose writer, who was born in a house in Smith Street, Warwick in 1775 and whose friends included Dickens, Carlyle, Browning and Emerson. The Festival offers story writing and telling sessions, author’s readings and performances, discussions, lectures and tours. The 2012 event will be held 1-9 October. 5). Jane Austen - See ‘Sotherton Court’ as it is described in Mansfield Park by looking up Stoneleigh Abbey, one-time country seat of Jane Austen’s relatives. The author visited in 1806 and wove details of rooms, furnishings and family intrigues into her novels: not least the romantic saga of Elizabeth Lord – her portrait hangs in the Blue Parlour – which is mirrored in the experiences of Anne Elliot in Persuasion. Jane Austen tours are led by a costumed guide at Stoneleigh Abbey. 14
Shakespeare’s Birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon Index
COVENTRY, WARWICKSHIRE & SHAKESPEARE’S ENGLAND 6). Astley Book Farm - Find tomes to treasure at prices to please at one of the country’s largest second-hand bookshops. The shop specialises in George Eliot books and has some first editions. Some 75,000 volumes are held, from fiction to antiquarian and out-of-print rarities. The imaginatively transformed farm buildings now boast a new coffee shop for lunch or afternoon tea. 7). Follow in the footsteps of George Eliot – Take a tour – walking, cycling or driving – in the steps of George Eliot to places the author knew from growing up in Warwickshire. Highlights include inspirations for her Scenes of Clerical Life: Arbury Hall, model for the ‘castellated house of grey-tinted stone’ Cheverel Manor, and Astley Church, still recognisable as Knebley Church ‘with coats of arms in clusters on the lofty roof’. 8). Polesworth Poetry Trail - Stir your imagination on a walk around Polesworth (north Warwickshire), following the trail of ten poems and sculptures that highlight landmarks and events in local history: the abbey and tales of the Devil, the River Anker and famous men – surprisingly, Polesworth was once an important gathering-place for poets such as John Donne, Ben Jonson, Michael Drayton, and even Shakespeare.
11). Shakespeare Country Driving itineraries - Ideal for visitors on a short break, these circular routes allow you to discover for yourself the hidden secrets of Shakespeare Country. Explore market towns with their individual character and charm, relax in welcoming pubs with traditional ales and home cooked food, and discover peaceful churches, historic attractions and a range of craft and antique centres. Don’t miss the The Bell Inn at Welford-on-Avon where Shakespeare drank with Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton and The Kings Head at Aston Cantlow where Shakespeare’s parents celebrated their wedding breakfast. You may also like to solve a Shakespearian mystery at Charlecote Park where Shakespeare was allegedly caught poaching deer – the reason he later poked fun at owner Sir Thomas Lucy, ‘Justice Shallow’ in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV – Part II. Or did Shakespeare hate Lucy for his persecution of Warwickshire Catholics and his role in the arrest of Edward Arden, head of the family of Shakespeare’s mother? 12). A Story Book in Stone - Discover Warwickshire’s oldest church, St Peter’s in Wootton Wawen, and literally read a storybook in stone that begins in the 900s or even earlier, when the church tower was built. This ‘one-stop encyclopaedia of English history’ features the Saxon Sanctuary Exhibition spanning local life from Iron Age times to the third millennium, with plenty of twists and turns of plot.
9). Elizabeth Gaskill - As a child Elizabeth Stevenson – better known as the Victorian novelist Mrs Gaskell of Cranford fame – was sent away to school in Warwickshire, including Barford. Although the neo-classical school building is now a private residence, you can still look around St Peter’s Church which the pupils attended. Mrs Gaskell, a pen pal of George Eliot, would draw on her memories of Barford and ‘the old low grey church’ for her novella Lois the Witch. 10). Rugby School – the birthplace of the sport Rugby - is a leading co-educational independent boarding school. Rugby School’s famous Headmaster, Dr Thomas Arnold, is immortalised in Thomas Hughes’ book ‘Tom Brown’s School Days’, which brought Baron Pierre de Coubertin to Rugby School. It was Arnold’s legacy that inspired him here and fuelled his vision of the modern day Olympic Games. Other literary heroes who were schooled at Rugby include Lewis Carroll, Salman Rushdie and Matthew Arnold. Rugby was also the birthplace of poet Rupert Brooke and Rosemary Macauley. Rugby School Warwickshire Index
MANCHESTER Top 12 Manchester Attractions 1. Spinningfields Europe’s new premium financial and professional services destination. Alongside the many office-led businesses that have moved into the area, visitors will discover an impressive group of commercial, leisure and retail units. Restaurants include Carluccios, Giraffe, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wagamama. 2. Cornerhouse - Manchester's international centre for contemporary visual arts and film. Located in the heart of the city and open seven days a week, it covers three floors of contemporary art galleries, three screens showing the best of independent cinema, a bar, a café and a bookshop. 3. The Avenue - Shop to your heart’s content on The Avenue, Spinningfields, where our retailers showcase the best international fashion collections in the North West. Take a peek at the collections from Flannels, DKNY, Armani, Mulberry LK Bennett, All Saints, Brooks Brothers and many more for all your fashion must-haves. 4. MOSI - (The Museum of Science and Industry). The Museum is based on the site of the oldest passenger railway station in the world. The huge, 3 hectare site has five historic buildings packed with fascinating exhibitions, hands-on galleries, historic working machinery and superb special exhibitions.
MOSI Manchester 16
MANCHESTER 5. People’s History Museum - The Museum tells the dramatic story of the British working classes’ struggle for democracy and social justice. The old and new buildings have been joined together by a spectacular glass walkway. The museum galleries, changing exhibitions, education service, Labour History Archive & Study Centre, Textile Conservation Studio, corporate facilities, café and shop are all housed in a new fantastic building. 6. John Rylands Library - For those who set eyes on John Rylands Library for the first time, ‘library’ might not be the first word that comes to mind. This masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture looks more like a castle or cathedral. 7. Manchester Art Gallery - One of the country's finest art collections in spectacular Victorian and contemporary surroundings. The gallery's recent £35m transformation has enabled the collection to be presented to visitors in imaginative new ways. 8. Manchester Craft and Design Centre - A unique organisation comprising 16 retail/studio spaces, an excellent cafe and a rolling programme of exhibitions from leading national and international makers. 9. The Royal Exchange Theatre - There is a varied programme of plays and other special events, the theatre also houses the Craft Shop and Craft Shop Gallery, recognised as a major focal point of contemporary craft work in the Northwest.
10. Manchester United Museum & Tour Centre - Re-live the clubs triumphs, tragedies and trophies at the Manchester United Museum. Follow the history of the club from 1878 to the present day, including the Hall of Fame and dazzling Trophy Room. Delve behind the scenes at the Theatre of Dreams by taking the Stadium Tour. Stand in Sir Alex Ferguson's spot in the dug out, sit in the home changing room at your favourite players peg and emerge from the player's tunnel to the roar of the crowd. Not what you would expect from a museum and tour. Everything you would expect from Manchester United. 11. Manchester City Football Club - Manchester City's new home, the City of Manchester Stadium, is one of the spectacular sporting arenas in the country. It also doubles as a venue for a variety of uses. Take the Manchester City Experience Tour - shortlisted for an Award for Excellence at the Museums & Heritage Show 2004. 12. Lowry - A spectacular home to the arts and entertainment with a wealth of activity under one roof! Inside this magnificent building you will find two stunning theatres, The Lyric (the largest stage in England outside London) and the more intimate Quays, offering a variety of performance from ballet, drama, opera, comedy music and family entertainment. The Lowry Galleries showcase changing exhibitions by one of Britain's best loved artists, LS Lowry, as well as paintings, sculpture and photography by artists of local, national and international renown. With cafe's, a restaurant and gift shops all set against spectacular waterside views, there is something for everyone at The Lowry.
MANCHESTER 12 things you should know about Manchester Manchester is the ‘original modern’ city and has earned a reputation as being revolutionary, innovative and entrepreneurial. The city was at the forefront of the industrial revolution, leading in the development of the modern world…“What Manchester does today, the world does tomorrow” Read on to find out more about this fascinating city: 1. Manchester Population Manchester’s population is approximately 490,000. Within the Greater Manchester region which includes the ten districts of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan there are 2.5m people. 2. First Computer In 1948 at Manchester University, the first computer to have a stored programme and memory was developed by Professors Tom Kilburn and Fred Williams. It was nicknamed ‘The Baby’ and has made the computer what it is today. A replica can be seen at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. 3. Votes for Women The Women’s Social and Political Union, later known as the Suffragettes, was founded by Mancunian Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903. Emmeline dedicated her life to the campaign for women’s votes. Visit the Pankhurst Centre, previously the home of Emmeline, this museum displays the work and struggle of women suffragettes, as well as reflecting everyday domestic life in the Pankhurst parlour. 4. Birthplace of Vegetarianism Inspired by the sermons of Rev. William Cowherd the vegetarian movement began in 1809 in Salford Bible Christian Church. The Altrincham-based Vegetarian Society holds events all year round, visit www.vegsoc.org for more information. Manchester is now a culinary city with a burgeoning restaurant scene offering a multitude of cuisines. Bridgewater Hall, Manchester’s International concert venue Manchester 18
MANCHESTER 5. First Commercial Canal Opened in 1761, The Bridgewater Canal was the first man-made waterway in Britain. This instant commercial success invoked ‘canal mania’. In Manchester today the existing network of canals are now home to uber chic apartments, restaurants and bars. Take a break from the bustle of the city to experience the beautiful, tranquil canal-side culture of Castlefield. 6. First Commercial Railway The Duke of Wellington opened the Liverpool to Manchester Railway in 1830; this moment in history began the railway revolution. The site of the first passenger railway station celebrated its 175-year anniversary in 2005 and is a feature at the fascinating Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.
11. TV The first Top of the Pops was broadcast from a disused church in Rusholme in 1964. The Rolling Stones and The Beatles headlined. 12. First UK domestic air service The first UK domestic air service was recorded as being from Alexandra Park Aerodrome in Manchester to Southport and Blackpool and commenced on 24th May 1919.
7. Professional Football League In 1888 the world’s first professional football league was set up at the Royal Hotel, Piccadilly. Today, Manchester is home to four premiership football teams, including Manchester United and Manchester City Football Clubs. For the football fanatic, enjoy the stadia and museum tours of the UK’s most successful football region or visit the National Football Museum in Preston. 8. Manchester Busy Bee Adopted by Manchester in the 19th Century to symbolise the industrious nature of the city and its people, the logo can be found dotted around on much of Manchester’s street furniture and can be seen as a part of the mosaic floor at the Town Hall. Pop into Manchester Tourist Information Centre for ‘Manchester Bee’ souvenirs. 9. Rolls-Royce Charles Rolls met Fredrick Royce for the first time at The Midland Hotel in 1904 and went on to set up the prestigious automobile company two years later. 10. Manchester Music The Manchester diverse music scene is legendary, Mancunian artists include The Hollies, 10cc, The Bee Gees, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Simply Red, The Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Oasis, Take That and more recently, Badly Drawn Boy, Jim Noir, Doves and Elbow. The longest established symphony orchestra in Britain is Manchester’s Hallé, founded in 1858.
Old Trafford Football Stadium Mancbester 19
NEWCASTLE-GATESHEAD Top 12 Newcastle-Gateshead Experiences 1). Touch the feet of an Angel - The Angel of the North is a multi award-winning sculpture created by artist Antony Gormley. The Newcastle-Gateshead icon stands at 20m high, it is seen by more than 33m people every year passing by road and rail. Striking from a distance, the Angel of the North is most breathtaking close up and is well worth the 15-minute drive from the city centre. Stroll around the grass mound on which the Angel stands and don’t leave without perching on its giant feet. The Angel of the North was named as the UK’s most recognisable landmark in a survey by Travelodge in May 2008. 2). Watch the bridge wink - Gateshead Millennium Bridge is the world's first tilting bridge. Situated on the banks of the River Tyne, linking Newcastle Quayside and Gateshead Quays, it has won a multitude of awards not least the country's top architecture prize (Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize), and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011. Check out the website before you visit to find out scheduled tilting times (there are also information boards at either side of the bridge displaying these times). A spectacular sight, the bridge turns on pivots on both sides of the river to form a magnificent gateway arch resembling the opening and closing of a giant eyelid – have your camera ready! 3). Find seventh heaven - Towards the mouth of the River Tyne is the Ouseburn Valley, an area which is being transformed into a thriving cultural quarter. Here you’ll find Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books. There was nowhere in Britain that treasured and shared the richness, diversity and innovation of modern Britain’s authors and illustrators for children. Founded in the 1990s, Seven Stories has become such a place. Both a gallery and archive, the centre is used to bring books and their creators to life, in playful exhibitions, events and inspirational learning programmes. It is also proving to be a fantastic resource for original research.
Angel of the North NewcastleGateshead 20
NEWCASTLE-GATESHEAD 4). Be a culture vulture - No visit to Newcastle–Gateshead would be complete without soaking up some world-class culture in two high profile venues, the iconic architecture of which now dominates the Gateshead Quays’ skyline. The Sage Gateshead, a spectacular glass and steel Sir Norman Foster building, is an international music centre with top notch acoustics. It features performances of all genres – from folk and classical to jazz and pop. BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, just two minutes walk along the quays, is based in a converted 1950's grain warehouse. Housing five galleries it offers a changing programme of contemporary art exhibitions and has a roof top restaurant with amazing, panoramic views of Tyneside. Both are free to enter and well worth exploring. More cultural delights can be experienced at the Theatre Royal, Northern Stage, the Live Theatre and newly opened Great North Museum which welcomed its one millionth visitor in August 2010 after opening in May 2009. 5). Buy your own masterpiece - The Biscuit Factory is the biggest commercial arts space in Europe, based in a beautifully restored Victorian building that was indeed once a biscuit factory. Prices for paintings, sculpture, ceramics and glass range from £20 to £20,000 – whatever the budget or taste you’re sure to find your very own unique piece of original art to take home, it’s one of a number of other art galleries in the Ouseburn Valley. 6). Admire the architecture - Grey Street, in the heart of Newcastle–Gateshead’s historic Grainger Town, was voted the Best Street in Britain by listeners of national station BBC Radio 4 and the area boasts more listed classical Georgian buildings than anywhere else in England, other than Bath and the capital. As you’re exploring Grainger Town make sure you look up to enjoy the dramatic architecture on offer. And whilst you’re in this area keep your wallet handy for some of the city’s designer boutiques and a cluster of fashionable shoe shops. 7). Gourmet Geordies – eat out in style - Newcastle–Gateshead has been recognised at a national level as a new hotspot of emerging culinary talent and gourmet excellence having scooped a raft of high profile Restaurant Remy Awards. The outstanding range and quality of the city’s restaurants never fails to surprise first time visitors. Highlights include Black Door, Six @ BALTIC or Jesmond Dene House. Why not grab a cocktail or two first in one of the many stylish bars littered across the cityscape?
8). Climb the real ‘New Castle’ - Newcastle Castle Keep (built by Henry II in 1168) is situated on the original site of the ‘New Castle’. Built in 1080, it gave the city its name and was founded by Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror. It overlies the Roman fortification Pons Aelius. Climb to the top and enjoy some of the best views over the city. 9). Shop till you drop - Metrocentre, Gateshead is once again the largest indoor shopping centre in Europe and offers a huge array of high street outlets, department stores and speciality shops, all under one roof. For those looking for a more boutique shopping experience, Jesmond, a surburb to the north of the city centre has been dubbed ‘the Notting Hill of the North’. 10). Sample the Nightlife - Named the third best party city in Europe in TripAdvisors 2010 poll, Newcastle–Gateshead hosts a wealth of bars, pubs, clubs and music venues within easy reach of one another. Just some examples are The Gate entertainment complex which has a wide range of bars and restaurants, The Cluny which offers a unique music venue, bar and gallery space and Newcastle’s super club Digital, which frequently plays host to world class DJs. There really is something for everybody! 11). Lets go to the movies - Take a break from the fast pace and visit the Tyneside Cinema, a grade two listed building with a choice of three intimate screens. As well as this there are heritage displays, live music and comedy evenings and an ever changing program of events. Built in 1937, the art deco cinema is a must-see after it was restored to its former glory in 2008. 12). Not too Far Away - Jump on a Metro train to the suburb of Jesmond and enjoy a leisurely coffee in one of the many pavement cafes on Osborne Road. It’s a bustling little place to relax and watch the world go by. Stroll across to Armstrong Bridge for the arts and crafts market, packed with stalls selling unusual and affordable locally made wares. Then wander through the wooded valley of Jesmond Dene which is threaded with walks and pretty bridges - complete with waterfall and a pets’ corner. Or alternatively, jump on the Metro, the area’s local train network, and head to Tynemouth, with its broad beaches, ruined Priory, and weekend markets at the Metro station, plus shops and cafes – it’s only thirty minutes away.
WEYMOUTH, PORTLAND & DORSET Top 12 things to do in Dorset 1). Explore the glorious Dorset countryside by following one of the many walking trails which criss-cross the county. The Wessex Ridgeway is one of the longest – along the way there are intriguing artistic sculptures with poetry by James Crowdon www.dorsetforyou.com/wessexridgeway 2). Go to a farmers’ market held in the key towns around the county to savour some of the area’s delicious local food; one of the best is Bridport’s every 2nd Saturday of the month; the town is in the heart of Dorset’s farmlands. Dorset Vinny Cheese with Knob Biscuits or Dorset Apple Cake are just two of the local specialities. If you visit during Dorset Food Week in October, you can join in activities at over 100 locations www.dorsetfoodweek.co.uk 3). Take to the water on some of the country’s finest sailing and watersports spots – the National Sailing Academy is at Weymouth & Portland in recognition of the quality of the waters www.wpnsa.org.uk Along the Dorset coast, there are plenty of locations to hire boats and kayaks or let someone else do the work and take a boat trip from one of the harbours such as Weymouth, Lyme Regis, Bridport, Swanage or Christchurch. 4). Visit one of the county’s many gardens which flourish in one of the country’s mildest climates. Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens has a extensive collection of plants from around the world www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk , Athelhampton House is famous for its topiary www.athelhamptonhouse.co.uk and Knoll Gardens is seen as one of the best gardens for grasses in the country www.knollgardens.co.uk 5). Dorset hosts England’s only natural World Heritage Site, known as The Jurassic Coast. The beaches of Lyme Regis and Charmouth abound with fossils – regular guided public fossil walks are held. www.charmouth.org www.lymeregismuseum.co.uk
Sailing in Weymouth Weymouth, Dorset 22
WEYMOUTH, PORTLAND & DORSET 6). Dorset’s coastal location ensures fresh fish is available at the local pubs and restaurants; watch the catch come into picturesque Weymouth or West Bay harbours for example and then eat at one of the many restaurants offering local seafood; among the best are the Crab House Café overlooking Chesil Beach www.crabhousecafe.co.uk, the Hive Beach Café in Burton Bradstock www.hivebeachcafe.co.uk, Hix’s Oyster and Seafood Restaurant in Lyme Regis www.hixoysterandfishhouse.co.uk and Shell Bay in Studland www.shellbay.net
12). Follow the Swanage Art Trail for a taste of county’s artistic richness; the trail takes you around a series of paintings by famous artists who visited the area such as Paul Nash and Walter Field http://www.swanageseen.co.uk/hello-world/. The biennial Dorset Arts Week is one of the largest in open studio events in the country www.dorsetartweeks.co.uk For further information: www.visit-dorset.com
7). Unwind by flying through the trees at Go Ape! in Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, one of the country’s best outdoor leisure parks (more sedately you can also hire bikes to cycle around!) www.moors-valley.co.uk 8). Climb up to the top of Christchurch Priory for panoramic views across the area. The Priory is the longest church in England and one of the few to survive Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries www.christchurchpriory.org 9). Clamber up to the top of the many prehistoric hillforts in Dorset such as Hambledon Hill near Blandford Forum or Eggardon Hill near Bridport for some of the best views of Dorset – steep climes are involved but there’s always a pub nearby in which to recover! 10). Explore Thomas Hardy country; key ‘musts’ are seeing Hardy’s rather stern statue in Dorchester, visiting the Dorset County Museum www.dorsetcountymuseum.org for the world’s largest collection of Hardy memorabilia and visiting the picturesque cottage where he was born www.nationaltrust.org.uk Around the Dorset countryside are countless places which appeared in his novels – much of the countryside still looks the same as described in his novels. 11). Admire the glorious fan-vaulted ceiling of the county’s ‘cathedral’ Sherborne Abbey www.sherborneabbey.com. Afterwards, explore the boutiques and antique shops of Sherborne, one of the county’s most historic and attractive towns which was once the capital of Wessex.
A view looking towards The Priory Christchurch, Dorset Index
WEYMOUTH, PORTLAND & DORSET Top 12 Dorset views to take your breath away Dorset has some of England’s most unspoiled, stunning scenery and the best place to view the expanses of open countryside are on higher ground. 1). St Catherine’s Hill, Christchurch – This hill has been used as a lookout beacon since prehistoric times. Now a nature reserve with a wide variety of wildlife species, the Hill offers tree-line walks with views across the Avon valley, surrounding heathlands and Christchurch Priory in the distance. 2). Hengistbury Head – This headland south-east of Christchurch (off the B3059) was an important trading port even from the Iron Age but is now a Nature Reserve; stand on top of the plateau and you will see views of Christchurch Harbour, Mudeford, Isle of Wight and Bournemouth beach. 3). Hambledon Hill – A prehistoric hillfort situated near Blandford Forum (off the A350); there is evidence of human habitation from 3000BC and standing on top of the Hill gives glorious views across the Blackmore Vale. Nearby Fontmell Down offers similarly spectacular views. 4). Badbury Rings – As you wander round the perimeter of this ancient hillfort (off the B3082 near Kingston Lacy, Wimborne), you will have momentous views over the Cranborne Chase and towards the coastal hills. 5). Chesil Beach view near Abbotsbury – The coastal road from Bridport to Abbotsbury (the B3157) offers wonderful views along the Jurassic Coast and just before you arrive in the picturesque village of Abbotsbury, Chesil Beach stretches before you with views to Portland.
Signpost to local attractions Dorset 24
WEYMOUTH, PORTLAND & DORSET 6). Golden Cap – This is the highest point along the south coast of England and on a clear day, you can see to Dartmoor in Devon (off the A35 between Bridport and Lyme Regis). 7). Hardy’s Monument, Portesham – Erected in 1844, a monument to Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy who captained Nelson’s ship HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar and was born in Dorset; views across both heathland and the coast (off B3157 north of Abbotsbury) 8). Swyre Head – The highest spot in the Purbeck hills near Swanage; the hill commands extensive views from the Isle of Wight to Portland (from B3069 near Kingston village and accessed by a narrow track) 9). Agglestone Rock – a curious sandstone block at which, legend has it, the devil threw with the intent of hitting Corfe Castle! Walking up to it through the heathland of Studland Nature Reserve gives the opportunity to enjoy some of England’s most biodiverse terrain and views of Brownsea Island and Poole Harbour (off B3351 from Studland; parking available in village or beach car parks). 10). Hardown Hill – in the lush countryside behind Chideock (off the A35 just before Morecombelake), Hardown Hill is higher than Golden Cap and you can look down on Thorncombe Beacon, Chardown Hill, Quarry Hill and Langdon Hill. 11). Views of Chesil Beach from Portland – as you arrive in Portland, there is a statue recognising the importance of the quarry industry to the local area; standing by the statue gives great views of Chesil Beach and Weymouth and Portland Harbour (park at the Harbour Heights hotel). 12). Views from Bowleaze, Weymouth – Follow the beach to the east of the town until you get to Bowleaze area; standing on the hill over the Cove gives wonderful views across town and to Portland; pop in to the Lookout Café for sandwiches made with locally-caught crab. For further information: www.visit-dorset.com
Bowleaze Weymouth, Dorset Index
ESSEX Top 12 things to do in Essex 1). Hadleigh Farm – As part of the London 2012 Games, on August 11th and 12th 2012, Essex will be hosting the Olympic Mountain Bike Events at Hadleigh Farm located in the south east of the county. While Essex may not be known for its rolling hills, the steep gradients of Hadleigh Farm will provide not only a great challenge to the world’s best mountain bikers, but also one of the most picturesque landscapes of the Games, set against the backdrop of ruined 13th century Hadleigh Castle, painted by Constable and owned by three of Henry VIII’s wives, with spectacular views across the Thames Estuary. The main driver behind the building of the course has been Essex County Council, who recognised that this once in a lifetime event offers the opportunity to use the games as a catalyst to inspire residents to get involved and feel part of the Games. Website: www.essexlegacy.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2). White Water Rafting at Lee Valley Park – Lee Valley White Water Centre has been the only brand new London 2012 venue that has been open for the public to try out ahead of the Games. Visitors have been able to experience adrenalin pumping white water rafting, canoeing or kayaking. Named as the best in the world, the white water centre has two courses - a 300m Olympic Standard Competition Course with a 5.5m descent and a 160m Legacy Loop with a 1.6m descent - with 1200 rapid blocs. The centre is situated in the award-winning Lee Valley Regional Park which stretches 26 miles along the banks of the River Lee, from Ware in Hertfordshire, through Essex, to the Thames at East India Dock Basin. If white water rafting isn’t for you, you can also try canoeing or just enjoy strolling or biking through the acres of parkland. Website: www.leevalleypark.org.uk Email: email@example.com Hadleigh Farm Essex 26
ESSEX 3). Audley End House and Gardens, Saffron Walden – Audley End is one of England’s most magnificent stately homes. The Jacobean Mansion has plenty of period rooms and furniture to explore including one of the most important surviving late eighteenth-century beds in the country. The Victorian service wing has been restored to its former heyday and during special events you can experience the team at work as they would have done all those years ago. Its stunning formal gardens include an Organic Kitchen Garden with a variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as various other herbs, flowers and grasses in keeping with those grown and used in the house around 1880. The doors of the restored historic stables recently opened and are complete with resident horses and a Victorian groom. This new experience, together with Audley End’s Service Wing including kitchen, scullery, pantry and laundries, gives you an insight into Victorian life below stairs and is very popular with old and young.
5). Sparks will Fly – Sparks will Fly will be a cultural celebration of the Olympics in 2012, a specially commissioned unique piece of outdoor theatre by internationally renowned arts organisation Walk the Plank that will encompass the whole county - the first of its kind in the region. The story highlights and showcases Essex’s heritage, telling the story of two giant visitors who arrived in Harwich and at Stansted airport in May 2012 and travel across the county, attending an event in every district. Each visitor will share and collect stories from across the region, whilst garnering supporters for a giant competition at the Sparks will Fly Finale at Hylands Parks on 6th July 2012 to coincide with the Torch Relay. Website: www.sparkswillfly.org.uk Email: Timothy.Shepherd@essex.gov.uk
Website: www.english-heritage.org.uk/audleyend Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.grayling.com 4). Follow in the footsteps of Constable – The Dedham Vale, often referred to as Constable Country, is rich in history and has been the inspiration to many writers and artists. It was immortalised by John Constable in his paintings over 200 years ago. John Constable himself said that "I associate my careless boyhood with all that lies on the banks of the Stour. Those scenes made me a painter". Follow in the artist’s footsteps by taking a relaxing walk. There are way-marked footpaths along the River Stour between Flatford, Dedham and East Bergholt, which form part of the long distance Stour Valley Path. You can even follow Constable's walk to school across the fields and feel his spirit in the rustle of the leaves and the tranquillity of the river. For a more active exploration, cycle the Painters' Trail, a 111km long cycle route through the picturesque and historic Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Website: www.dedhamvalestourvalley.org Email: email@example.com
Audley End Essex Index
ESSEX 6). Firstsite, Colchester – This breathtaking new art gallery is designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects and its stunning architecture and forthcoming collections are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. Firstsite's name reflects Colchester's status as the oldest recorded town in England, and the original Roman capital of Britannia. The centrepiece and only permanent display is the Berrylands mosaic, a masterpiece, which once decorated the floor of a Roman villa located where firstsite is now located. Andy Warhol's Oyster Stew can, part of his Campbell's soup series, was created only a couple of generations ago. What does this imported icon have to do with north-east Essex? The main ingredient - oysters. Ten miles away are the oyster beds of Mersea Island considered among the richest in Britain. Opened to the public in September 2011, it features inspiring exhibitions, innovative learning programmes, a resource centre, conference facilities, a café and restaurant. Website: www.firstsite.uk.net Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 7). RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Rettendon, Chelmsford – Keen gardeners will love visiting RHS Garden Hyde Hall. The 145.5 hectare garden is full of ideas, particularly for those wanting to learn about the kind of plants that thrive in challenging conditions. With sweeping panoramas, big open skies and far reaching views, this Essex garden is an inspiration to visitors of all ages. Highlights of the Garden are: the Dry Garden - showcasing a range of drought tolerant plants. The Australian and New Zealand Garden - a contemporary garden designed around existing Eucalyptus trees; the Hilltop Garden – includes a colour-themed herbaceous border, ponds, rose garden, gold garden, farmhouse garden, shrub rose border, woodland garden and island beds. The Queen Mother’s Garden – with meandering paths and a mix of grasses, perennials and roses. Regular events are also held including exhibitions, farmer’s markets, and Grow Your Own talks where visitors can learn more about growing and using herbs.
8). Layer Marney Tower – Layer Marney Tower was constructed in the first half of Henry VIII’s reign, around 1520, and is in many ways the apotheosis of the Tudor Gatehouse. It is in fact the tallest Tudor Gatehouse in Great Britain. The building is surrounded by formal gardens and parkland with magnificent views to the Blackwater Estuary. Visitors can climb the tower and enjoy light lunches, teas and cakes in The Tea Room in the old stable. For a unique experience, accommodation includes the Edwardian folly known as the Tea House or one of six luxurious encampments under canvas in the grounds for fans of ‘glamping’. Website: www.layermarneytower.co.uk Email: email@example.com 9). Dunmow Flitch Trials, 14 July 2012, Great Dunmow – Taking place every four years, the Dunmow Flitch Trials exist to award a flitch of bacon to married couples from anywhere in the world, who can prove marital harmony. The trial takes the form of a court presided over by a Judge, with Counsel representing the claimants and Opposing Counsel representing the donors of the Flitch of Bacon. There is also a Jury of six maidens and six bachelors, a Clerk of the Court to record the proceedings and an Usher to maintain order. Couples married for at least a year and a day come from far and wide to try and claim the Flitch, which is vigorously defended by Counsel employed on behalf of its donors. Successful couples are then carried shoulder-high by bearers in the ancient Flitch Chair to the Market Place, where they take the oath kneeling on pointed stones. Unsuccessful couples have to walk behind the empty chair to the Market Place, consoled with a prize of gammon. A common claim of the origin of the Dunmow Flitch dates back to 1104 with many mentions of it throughout history, however, is it not until 1445 that the winners of the Flitch were officially recorded. Since then, the trials have been held every four years since the end of WWII. Website: www.dunmowflitchtrials.co.uk Press contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Hyde-Hall Email: email@example.com
ESSEX 10). Rope Runners – Situated at The Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, Rope Runners offer an exciting menu of activities ranging from their challenging pole based High Ropes courses to Water Zorbing, Tunnel Adventures, Archery, Quad Biking and Air Rifle Target Shooting. Challenge yourself on the new high ropes adventure courses on three levels plus a big zip wire, climbing wall and 13 metre free fall fan. Open all year round, this woodland adventure will see you take to the trees as you make your way around the various courses. Low level and more advanced courses are available and you can tie in your trip with a visit to the Secret Nuclear Bunker. Phobia training is also available for those with a fear of heights, the dark or confined spaces. Website: www.roperunners.co.uk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
12). Relive the age of the Roman Empire at Colchester Castle – Once the capital of Roman Britain, Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town, which is why heritage fans should include a visit to the castle during their trip. Since the 16th century, the Castle has been a ruin, a library and a gaol for witches. Today it is an awardwinning museum featuring many hands-on displays showing Colchester's history from the Stone Age to the Civil War. The town wall, surrounding much of the centre for 2.4km is the oldest of its kind in Britain while the foundations of the enormous Temple of Claudius can still be seen beneath the castle. Today, if you lay your hand on the stonework of the temple it can be said that you are touching the very foundation of Roman Britain. Website: www.colchestermuseums.org.uk Email: email@example.com
11). Essex Discovery Coast – seal watching with Nature Break – With more than 563km the Essex coast is the longest of any English county. It is a most diverse coastline offering a variety of fun and enjoyment including miles and miles of remote and unspoiled coastline important for wildlife. Nature Break offers you the opportunity to explore the wealth of wildlife in and around Foulness Island and nearby Wallasea Island. The trips are escorted and are suitable for all ages. The boat trip takes you to parts not accessible by car or on foot where you can enjoy birds and seals in their own environment without disturbance. The main cruises are generally 4 hours but due to popular demand 2-hour cruises to view the Wallasea Wetlands and sail round into the River Roach have also been introduced when the tide is suitable. Website: www.wildlifetrips.org.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Colchester Castle Essex Index
ESSEX Top 12 Historical Sites 1). Audley End House and Gardens, Saffron Walden – Audley End is one of England’s most magnificent stately homes. The Jacobean Mansion has plenty of period rooms and furniture to explore including one of the most important surviving late eighteenth-century beds in the country. The Victorian service wing has been restored to its former heyday and during special events you can experience the team at work as they would have done all those years ago. Its stunning formal gardens include an Organic Kitchen Garden with a variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as various other herbs, flowers and grasses in keeping with those grown and used in the house around 1880. www.english-heritage.org.uk/audleyend 2). Layer Marney Tower, Layer Marney – This beautiful Tudor building built around 1520 is surrounded by formal gardens and parkland with magnificent views to the Blackwater estuary. Visitors can climb the tower and enjoy light lunches, teas and cakes in The Tea Room in the old stable. For a unique experience, accommodation includes the Edwardian folly known as the Tea House or one of six luxurious encampments under canvas in the grounds for fans of ‘glamping’. www.layermarneytower.co.uk 3). Colchester Castle, Colchester – Once the capital of Roman Britain, Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town, which is why heritage fans should include a visit to the castle during their trip. Since the 16th century, the Castle has been a ruin, a library and a gaol for witches. Today it is an award-winning museum featuring many hands-on displays showing Colchester's history from the Stone Age to the Civil War. www.colchestermuseums.org.uk 4). Hyland’s House, Chelmsford – Hylands House is a stunning Grade II listed property, spectacularly restored to its former glory situated in 924ha of historic landscaped parkland. Visitors can explore the park for free or visit the house for a small entry fee. Various events are regularly held including murder mystery evenings, workshops and farmers markets. www.chelmsford.gov.uk/hylands
Hedingham Castle Essex Index
ESSEX 5). Ingatestone Hall, Ingatestone – The Hall stands in open countryside, one mile from the village of Ingatestone and substantially retains its original Tudor form and appearance with its mullioned windows, high chimneys, crow-step gables and oak-panelled rooms and is surrounded by ten acres of enclosed gardens comprising extensive lawns, walled garden and stew pond. On specified days during the summer months, visitors are able to spend a couple of hours or more exploring the house and grounds. Guided tours for parties are available by prior arrangement at other times. www.ingatestonehall.com 6). Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham – A visit to the castle and its beautiful grounds is ideal for a family outing. There are four floors to explore, including a magnificent Banqueting Hall spanned by a 8.5m arch, one of the largest Norman arches in England. A good view of this splendid room can be obtained from the Minstrels' Gallery, built within the thickness of the 3.5m walls. During the summer there are a variety of special events including jousting tournaments, a pirate treasure hunt and a haunted walk. www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk 7). Naze Tower, Walton-on-the-Naze – The Naze Tower is an historic landmark dramatically situated on the cliffs at the Naze. The 26m tall octagonal tower has played an important part in maritime history and is grade II* listed, as the only building of its type and era in the country. Today it offers visitors a unique experience of heritage and culture that is fun for all ages. www.nazetower.co.uk 8). Paycocke’s, Coggeshall – Paycocke's is a National Trust Property built 1509/10. It is an attractive half-timbered merchant's house with uncommonly intricate carved woodwork and panelling. Built for Thomas Paycocke it shows off the wealth generated by the cloth trade in Coggeshall and in Essex. Saved from demolition by the local community in the 19th century the house was restored to its former glory by Lord Noel Buxton in the early 20th century. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
9). Royal Gunpowder Mills , Waltham Abbey – Set in 69ha of natural parkland and boasting 20 buildings of major historic importance, the site mixes secret history, exciting science and beautiful surroundings. Evidence shows that gunpowder was produced in the Waltham Abbey area from at least the 17th Century. Later the Royal Gunpowder Mills became the leading English producer. www.royalgunpowdermills.com 10). Tilbury Fort, Tilbury – Tilbury Fort on the Thames estuary has protected London’s seaward approach from the 16th century through to the Second World War. The present fort is much the best example of its type in England, with its circuit of moats and bastioned outworks. Henry VIII built the first fort here, and Queen Elizabeth I famously rallied her army nearby to face the threat of the Armada. Explore the magazine houses used to store vast quantities of gunpowder or enter the bastion magazine passages and feel what it was like for the soldiers who lived here. The exhibition traces the role of the fort in the defence of London. www.english-heritage.org.uk/tilburyfort 11). Cressing Temple Barns, Nr. Witham – An ancient medieval moated farmstead with a fascinating range of rural barns and two vast spectacular oak barns built during the 13th century for the Knights Templar. Also a newly created 16th century paradise garden, gift shop and cafe. www.cressingtemple.org.uk 12). Hadleigh Castle, Hadleigh – The romantic ruins of a royal castle overlooking the Essex marshes. Hadleigh Castle was built by Hubert de Burgh in the 1230s during the reign of King Henry III for the 1st Earl of Kent and Chief Justice of England. It was extensively refortified by Edward III during the Hundred Years War, becoming a favourite residence of the ageing king. The barbican and two striking drum towers – one later used by Georgian revenue men looking out for smugglers – are part of his substantial building works during the 1360s. The castle formed part of the dower of several English queens in the 15th and 16th centuries, including Elizabeth Woodville the wife of Edward IV and three of the wives of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Parr. www.english-heritage.org.uk/hadleigh
SURREY Top 12 – Experiences, Fun things to do and Family Fun 1). Chessington World of Adventures – one of two theme parks in Surrey and one of the most popular in England. Chessington has nine themed lands full of rides and experiences but also encompasses the original zoo, with tigers, penguins, reptiles and more. This is a fun day out for younger members of the family. 2). Thorpe Park – The second theme park in Surrey, which has become one of the nations most popular. Focusing on older children and young adults this thrill seeking park is only for the brave who enjoying being frightened whilst strapped to gravity defying rides. 3). Bocketts Farm and Godstone Farm – The Farm provides very small children the chance to see and have a hands on experience with farm animals and other small animals. 4). Mercedes Benz World at Brooklands – Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands is probably the only car show room in England with a difference. Showing the history of Mercedes-Benz as well as displaying the new models for sale visitors can have their own thrill with the driving experiences. The race-track gives visitors experience on the skid pan, off road or just extra driving experience with trained drivers. 5). Horse racing – Surrey is lucky enough to have several racecourses, Sandown, Lingfield Park, Kempton and Epsom with the Derby. With race days throughout the year this is fun day out for adults. 6). The Spectrum leisure centre – The Spectrum leisure centre in Guildford is a fun place for adults and children. With excellent sporting facilities plus leisure pool, ice rink and bowling alley.
The Vampire rollercoaster at Chessington Surrey 32
SURREY 7). Go Ape at Alice Holt – Described as a tree-top adventure this is outdoor adventure for everyone. Climb trees, go down zip wires and much more - this is getting out side at its very best. 8). For adults only – Visiting England’s largest wine estate, Denbies, is the chance to see how England’s most well known wine is produced. With tours around the vineyard, winery and cellar. 9). Guildford Boat house – Offers day river trips and hiring of rowing boats in the main summer season. So for a relaxing afternoon on the river this is the perfect place to be. 10). Guildford Lido – One of England’s few remaining 1930’s open air swimming pools, Guildford Lido is an Olympic sized swimming pool open in the summer months. With surrounding gardens this is a perfect day out in the summer for families or the serious swimmer. 11). Surrey Hills Llama trekking – is a superb day out for all the family. This unique activity has become very popular and combines the beautiful Surrey Hills and animals. 12). The Lightbox in Woking – Surrey’s main art gallery and exhibition space. With several exhibition spaces which alternate with incoming exhibitions, The Lightbox always has something special to see. With a keen interest in the arts and education there is plenty for younger visitors.
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Derby Day Epsom, Surrey Index
SURREY Top 12 – Gardens and Countryside 1). The largest and internationally world famous RHS Garden Wisley – As the premier garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley has been in existence for over 100 years and has been attracting people from the beginning. Described as being able to show more ranges of horticultural expertise than most gardens Wisley is a not only a must for all gardeners but is also a great place to meet friends and enjoy the stunning displays. Open year-round. 2). Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding National Beauty – Covering almost a quarter of Surrey, the area of countryside known as the Surrey Hills stretches from east to west across the county, taking in woodland, grass chalkland, heathland, rivers, streams and lakes. For stunning views, walks, trails, cycling and much more there is no where quite like this in England. 3). Loseley Park – Situated just south of Guildford, this is an Elizabethan historic house and superb example of a Walled garden. 4). National Trust, Claremont – A Capability Brown landscape garden. Created in 1726 with lake, grotto, vistas and follies this is a nationally important garden. 5). Boxhill and Leith Hill – both part of the Surrey Hills these two hills almost look at each other across the valley providing some of the most dramatic views in the South-east. Both managed by the National Trust these areas are stunning to walk and Leith Hill has its famous town on the top, perfect for families and walkers to aim for.
View from Boxhill Surrey 34
SURREY 6). Savil Gardens – An ornamental garden covering 14ha gives visitors a wonderful experience through its classic gardens all beautifully designed and planted. 7). Winkworth Arboretum – A year round arboretum with a huge range of trees and shrubs offering magnificent displays from spring through to autumn. 8). The River Wey and Wey Navigations – Runs from the south in Surrey north and joins the Thames in Weybridge, part river and part canal this route had its hey-day from the 17th century through to the late 19th century. Now a picturesque route through the county with both the Guildford Boat House and Farncombe Boat House offer day boat trips as well as narrow boat hire. This form of travel is a wonderful way to see the county. 9). Painshill Park – Created as a romantic ornamental landscape garden around the 18th century had a succession of owners and fell into disrepair after WWII. A trust was formed in 1981 to save the garden and over the last 30 years this beautiful garden with its formal lakes, follies, views and exquisite grotto has been restored. 10). Titsey Place and garden – A wonderful hidden gem in Surrey. A large historic estate with house, estate and stunning kitchen walled garden, rose and ornamental gardens plus woodland walks. 11). Devils Punch Bowl – A natural basin formed by springs eroding the soft rock, the areas is now covered with woodland and heathland. 12). Busbridge Lakes – A fascinating water garden covering 6.5ha with specimen trees plus an amazing collection of wild waterfowl birds.
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Painshill Park Surrey Index
WINDSOR AND ETON Top 12 things to do in Windsor 1). Visit The Queen’s official home – Windsor Castle, the world’s oldest and largest inhabited castle, is an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Highlights include the State Apartments, St George's Chapel, the burial place of 10 monarchs, and Queen Mary's Dolls House. The Changing of the Guard, usually accompanied by a band, takes place at 11a.m. daily from April until the end of July and on alternate days for the rest of the year (weather permitting and except Sundays). The best viewing point is the Corn Exchange at the famous Windsor Guildhall. Once inside the Castle, you can watch the actual changing ceremony outside the Guardroom in the Lower Ward at 11a.m. Email: email@example.com www.royalcollection.org.uk 2). Learn to play polo – the sport of Kings – The Royal Borough hosts polo at a number of venues featuring the world’s top professionals and plenty of opportunities to take part in half time ‘divot stamping’ – Pretty Woman style. National and International teams compete, with their entourage of ponies (never horses!) Lessons are also available where you can learn the rules and tactics and perfect your polo swing. No experience necessary. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.windsor.gov.uk 3) Dine out celebrity chef style – Looking for top notch dining? The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead offers Michelin stars, celebrity chefs and world-class cuisine. The latest addition is Antony Worrall Thompson’s Windsor Grill. A stone’s throw from The Long Walk, the Windsor Grill menu boasts an unrivalled range of prime Aberdeenshire steaks, handmade burgers, exquisite fish and seafood dishes and daily changing specials. In the nearby village of Bray you can choose from two, three-starred Michelin restaurants – The Waterside Inn run by Michel Roux and The Fat Duck run by Heston Blumenthal – voted best restaurant in the world in 2005. These are two of only four triple-starred Michelin restaurants in the UK. Email: email@example.com www.AWTRestaurants.com www.waterside-inn.co.uk www.thefatduck.co.uk
Windsor Castle Windsor, Berkshire Index
WINDSOR AND ETON 4). Celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – To mark 60 years of The Queen's reign the Diamond Jubilee will take place in 2012. Celebrations centred around an extended weekend in 2012 on 2-5 June. A portrait of The Queen’s reign will be captured in 60 photographs on display at Windsor Castle, highlighting fleeting moments from both official occasions and relaxed family gatherings (from 4 February 2012 – January 2013). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.windsor.gov.uk 5). Tour Eton College – World famous Eton College opens its doors to visitors from April to October. Founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, the School Dress still consists of a black tailcoat, waistcoat and pin-striped trousers introduced in the 1850s. Eton has educated 18 British Prime Ministers, Princes William and Harry and four-times Olympic Gold Medal rower Sir Matthew Pinsent. Short guided tours of approximately one hour in length are available. Pre-booking is essential. Email: email@example.com www.etoncollege.com 6). Discover Windsor’s Olympic heritage – Book a private walking tour for your group with an expert Blue Badge tourist guide and discover Windsor's Olympic heritage. Hear the amazing story of the 1908 Olympic marathon and why the official marathon route is 26 miles and 385 yards. Legend has it that the start of the marathon was moved to the Castle’s East Terrace because the then Princess of Wales wanted her children to see the race. See the only 1908 marathon route marker on Eton High Street and walk along part of the actual route. Also, visit The Long Walk to see where the 1948 Olympic road cycle race took place. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.windsortouristguides.co.uk
Eton College Windsor, Berkshire Index
WINDSOR AND ETON 7). The Savill Garden – The Savill Garden is part of The Royal Landscape, which also includes the Valley Gardens and Virginia Water. It is one of England’s finest woodland and ornamental gardens with 14ha of trees, shrubbery, ponds and streams, lawns, meadows and formal beds which are home to some of the world’s most decorative plants. The new rose garden was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in June 2010. This exciting and contemporary garden is best visited from mid- June to September. Email: Sarah.email@example.com www.thecrownestate.co.uk 8). Horse-drawn carriage ride through the Royal Landscape – Explore Windsor Great Park in style with a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride. Ascot Carriages offers scenic drives in a beautiful Victorian carriage previously used by the Queen’s Equerry and Horsemaster. Orchard Poyle runs tours from outside Windsor Castle and down The Long Walk to Home Park. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ascotcarriages.co.uk www.orchardpoyle.co.uk 9). Walk the Riverside – Escorted by the Royal Boatmen, the Royal Family once used the Thames to travel between royal palaces. It's less common these days to see royals on the river, but walks along the Thames Path are not to be missed. Start from Old Windsor, and once past the weir at Old Windsor Lock, cross Albert Bridge for a detour into the village of Datchet - you'll soon return over Victoria Bridge into Home Park, with picture postcard views of both Windsor Castle and Eton. Email: email@example.com www.windsor.gov.uk
Windsor & Eton Town Winsdor, Berkshire 38
WINDSOR AND ETON 10). Dress up for Royal Ascot – For almost 250 years, Royal Ascot has established itself as a national institution and the centrepiece of the British social calendar as well as being the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world. Tradition, pageantry, fashion and style all meet in a glorious setting where stewards wear bowler hats, ladies show off elaborate outfits and the after racing “singing round the bandstand” is a feast of fun and flag waving. Royal Ascot is the South of England’s most popular picnic spot and the most popular sporting occasion at which to picnic in the country and under-18’s go free when accompanied by an adult. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ascot.co.uk/?page=royal_ascot 11). Count swans with HM Swan Marker – Follow The Queen's Swan Marker, the Royal Swan Uppers and the Swan Uppers of the Vintners' and Dyers' livery companies. The party use six traditional Thames rowing skiffs and The Queen's Swan Uppers wear scarlet uniforms. When a brood of cygnets is sighted, a cry of "All up!" is given to signal that the boats should get into position. On passing Windsor Castle, the rowers stand to attention in their boats with oars raised and salute "Her Majesty The Queen, Seigneur of the Swans". After weighing, measuring and a quick health check the swans are released back to the river Thames. Email: email@example.com www.royalswan.co.uk/ 12). Attend evensong at St George’s Chapel – The Choir of St George's Chapel is one of the leading Church Choirs in the country. It comprises 24 boy choristers and twelve Lay Clerks singing alto, tenor and bass. They perform Evensong at 5.15 pm (sung every day except Wednesdays) in a service which lasts approx. 45 minutes. Founded in 1348, the choir sings regularly in the presence of the Queen and other members of the Royal family and has a large repertoire of music drawn from all ages and traditions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.stgeorges-windsor.org St. George’s Chapel Windsor, Berkshire Index
WINDSOR AND ETON Top 12 Windsor Olympic connections 1). The 2012 Games will be the third time that the Olympic Games have been hosted by Great Britain and the third time events have taken place in Windsor. In 1908 the marathon started at Windsor Castle; in 1948 the cycling took place in Windsor Great Park and in 2012 the rowing and kayak events take place at Eton Dorney. 2). Local man, William Henry Grenfell, Lord Desborough, organised the 1908 Games. He lived at Taplow Court, Nr. Maidenhead and his sporting accomplishments include rowing in the University boat race, rowing across the English Channel, climbing the Matterhorn by three different routes, winning the national putting championships, swimming across the bottom of Niagara Falls (twice) and winning a silver medal in fencing at the 1906 unofficial Olympics. He was elected an MP at 25, marred an heiress, was Mayor of Maidenhead, became a peer in 1905 and served as a Knight of the Garter. Taplow Court can be seen from the Eton Dorney venue. 3). In 1908 Windsor hosted the Marathon which started outside the castle. At the time the actual race distance wasn’t fixed. Moving the starting point from Queen Victoria’s statue to East Terrace so that spectators wouldn’t hinder the athletes added 700 hundred yards to the total distance. A few changes at the White City finishing point meant the eventual race distance was 26 miles 385 yards and this was officially adopted as the length of the Marathon in 1924. 4). On the day of the Marathon the Princess of Wales (later Queen Mary) and her children decided to come from Frogmore House to the Castle to see the start. The Crown Prince of Sweden was due to start the race but protocol dictated he should defer to her so an elaborate plan was devised to keep all happy. The Princess of Wales pressed a button on a table which connected by electric cable to Lord Desborough’s car. He fired a pistol and the Crown Prince of Sweden shouted “Go”. 5). Eton High Street has the only 1908 marathon route marker still in existence. It is high up on a house next to Barnes Bridge – just past the Post Office and before the Eton College shop – and reads “25 miles to go”. Rowers on the Thames Windsor, Berkshire 40
WINDSOR AND ETON 6). The 1948 Olympic torch came through Windsor down Sheet Street Road, Kings Road, High Street and over the bridge to Eton where the hand over was outside the ‘burning bush’ Eton College’s school hall. This famous meeting point is made of wrought iron and was designed by architect Woodyear in 1864. It was lit by gas and on a central island but was moved in 1963 on safety grounds and is no longer illuminated. 7). The 1948 road cycle race was moved to Windsor from the originally planned venue, Richmond Park, when it was discovered that any activity at more than 20 miles an hour was prohibited. The race was held on Friday 13th August and was started in a torrential downpour on Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The race distance was 120 miles, comprised of 17 laps which took approximately 18 minutes each to complete.
11). Rowing has been an event at every modern Olympic games; a women’s competition was added in 1976. With an oar stroke rate of up to 47 strokes per minute rowing is known for its display of stamina and strength. Physiologists say rowing 2000m is equivalent to playing back-to-back basketball games. 12). Windsor Castle featured on the cover of the 1908 Marathon official programme rather than the main stadium or an athletic representation. The Great Western Railway put on a special train from London’s Paddington Station to Windsor, and allowed the runners to change in the waiting room at Windsor Station. In 2008, the Queen held a reception at Windsor Castle to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1908 marathon. www.windsor.gov.uk/2012/press-and-media/history-olympics-and-windsor
8). Britain won silver in the 1948 cycling team race. Competitors suffered punctures due to the loose gravel on the roads: Of the 91 who started – 52 suffered punctures and only 28 finished. One of the team speaking to Prince Philip afterwards said “I got a medal despite your dirty old park”. “Jolly good show” replied the Duke. 9). Dorney Lake is a 2200m, eight-lane course with a separate return lane constructed to international standards by Eton College. Set in 182ha of parkland which includes an Arboretum and Nature Conservation area, up to 30000 spectators per day will be able to enjoy the Rowing, Kayak and Paralympic Rowing events, assisted by 3500 staff and volunteers. 10). London had been selected as the host city for the 1944 Games, however these were postponed due to WWII. Eventually taking place only three years after the end of the War, the 1948 Games became known as the Austerity Games, due to the ongoing rationing and post-war conditions. Most countries brought their own food and athletes were housed in army barracks and transported to venues in double decker buses.
Windsor Castle Windsor, Berkshire Index
BATH Top 12 ways to relax in Bath 1). Bathe at the Thermae Bath Spa – Using the warm, mineral-rich waters which the Celts and Romans enjoyed over 2000 years ago, Thermae Bath Spa is Britain's original and only natural thermal Spa. Thermae is a remarkable combination of 'old and new' where historic spa buildings blend with the contemporary design of the New Royal Bath. Relax in the roof-top pool while enjoying views of Bath’s surrounding cityscape. 2). Explore the Roman Baths – Around Britain's only hot spring, the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex that still flows with natural hot water. See the water's source, walk where Romans walked on the ancient stone pavements and discover the beginnings of this spa town. 3). Treat yourself at a hotel or day spa – Bath has a large number of hotel and day spas where you can pop in for a quick treatment or spoil yourself with a full day of indulgence. Luxurious treatments and top spa facilities are all available at 5-star hotels, Macdonald Bath Spa, Royal Crescent and nearby Lucknam Park. 4). Stroll through Bath’s unique architecture – One of Bath’s most striking features is its unique architecture that has earned it a worldwide reputation. Strolling around Bath’s picturesque streets and discovering architectural gems such as the Royal Crescent, Circus and Pulteney Bridge is an enjoyable way to discover the World Heritage Site of Bath. 5). Relax in one of Bath’s parks and gardens – Bath has many green spaces with lots of beautiful parks and gardens including Royal Victoria Park, with its 23ha of parkland, and Prior Park Landscape Gardens, on the outskirts of the city, offering fantastic views across Bath. 6). Enjoy a quintessential British afternoon tea – It’s easy to experience a quintessential British afternoon tea in Bath with a good choice of cafes and quaint tearooms. The Pump Room has been regarded as the social heart of Bath for more than two centuries and is where Bath’s hot Spa water is drawn for drinking. Sernaded by the Pump Room Trio, diners can enjoy a choice of afternoon tea in elegant 18th Century surroundings. Alternatively, Sally Lunn's – located in the oldest house in Bath (c.1482) - serves the most famous local delicacy; the Original Sally Lunn Bun. 42
The Great Bath Bath, Somerset Index
BATH 7). Dine in Bath – Discover a foodie heaven in Bath with restaurants offering flavours to suit all tastes. There is a fantastic mix of cafes, pubs and bars, a vibrant independent restaurant sector and a superb selection of award winning restaurants. On a sunny day, there are many relaxing spots to dine al fresco such as Milsom Place - a tucked away pedestriansed courtyard with a number of popular eateries. 8). Discover Bath and the surrounding area with a personal guide – There are so many hidden secrets to explore in Bath and the surrounding area, with beautiful countryside and intruiging towns and villages waiting to be discovered. Organise a personal walking tour of Bath or opt for a chauffeur-driven tour to explore the nearby region. 9). See Bath by boat – The picturesque River Avon runs through the centre of Bath and under the famous Pulteney Bridge. Join one of the city’s leisurely boat trips and explore Bath from a different perspective. 10). Relaxing retail therapy – Bath offers a unique shopping experience with a fabulous selection of small independent shops and stylish boutiques, alongside familiar big name stores and exclusive designer brands. The city centre is traffic free and compact making it easy to reach all the top spots on foot. 11). Walk along the Kennet & Avon Canal – The Kennet & Canal runs through the centre of Bath and onto nearby countryside. A level walk will take you into picturesque meadows and farmland and you’ll even be able to pop into one of the cosy country pubs along the way. 12). Visit one of Bath’s many museums & galleries – Bath has a huge number of museums for a city of its size – 17 in the city centre alone – providing visitors with an interesting way to discover more about the city. There are also many art galleries including the newly refurbished Holburne Museum which is set in an impressive Georgian building and complemented by its brand new and very modern extension.
Thermae Bath Spa Bath Index
BIRMINGHAM Birmingham’s Top 12 buildings 1). Selfridges at the Bullring – Birmingham’s Selfridges store, designed by architects Future Systems and covered with 15000 spun aluminium discs was named one of the world’s ‘ultimate sights’ by Lonely Planet in September 2011. 2). The Cube – Inspired by a visually enchanting jewellery box, The Cube – vision of award winning architect, Ken Shuttleworth, draws on Birmingham’s heritage as a leading centre for jewellery design and manufacture, transforming the city’s skyline. 3). Birmingham Cathedral – St Philip’s Church was one of the first new parish churches to be built after the Reformation. Its architect, Thomas Archer, had a relatively brief architectural career and left few completed buildings but is well known both for his flamboyant interpretation of the Baroque style and for the quality of his designs. Construction of St Philip’s Church commenced in 1709. The church was consecrated in 1715, although lack of funding meant that the imposing Tower remained incomplete until 1725. The church was originally constructed on a simple rectangular plan with a shallow Apse at the east end. Internally, the liturgical arrangements and furnishings were typical of the period with a central “three-decker” pulpit, box pews and galleries on three sides. The Baroque stone font was placed under the West Gallery in a railed enclosure and the organ was situated at the centre of the Gallery immediately above. Plain oak wainscoting clad the lower parts of the walls and columns. The church was built of a local brick and faced in a pale grey calcareous limestone, which came from the Rowington Quarries on the Archer Estates at Umberslade. It is thought that much of the timber used in the building also came from the Archer Estates. The structure is built on “substantial brick footings, approximately 3.5m below ground level on a stratum of dense sand”. A Crypt, of no great size by contemporary standards, was constructed below the Nave. Curiously this is understood to be structurally independent of the remainder of the building and considerably smaller than the overall plan (both of Archer’s other churches have vaulted crypts which occupy the full plan area and are integrated structurally with the remainder of the building). The Crypt apparently featured a coffin lift and an access stair below the Tower. Selfridges Birmingham 44
BIRMINGHAM 4). Birmingham Town Hall – Town Hall re-opened on Thursday 4 October 2007, with a two-week festival of events on the theme Celebrating the Past, Pioneering the Future. Town Hall has undergone a £35m renovation, funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m) and European Regional Development Fund (£3m). Acclaimed at its opening in 1834 as the finest music hall in the country, this Grade 1 listed landmark has been lovingly and painstakingly renovated by a dedicated team of conservation and construction professionals. Since that time, its imposing neo-classical design has dominated the City centre’s Victoria and Chamberlain Squares. 5). Library of Birmingham – The Library of Birmingham will be a major new cultural destination, rewriting the book for 21st century public libraries. It opens in 2013. The Library of Birmingham will provide a showcase for the city’s internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books. New facilities including state-of-the-art gallery space will open up public access to the collections for the first time. It will also be home to a BFI Mediatheque, providing free access to the National Film Archive. Other facilities will include a new flexible studio theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre and other informal performance spaces, a recording studio, and dedicated spaces for children and teenagers. By harnessing new technology, everyone from Birmingham to Beijing, Bangalore and beyond will be able to access the Library of Birmingham’s world-class resources. More than three million visitors are expected each year, and millions more online. Described by its architect Francine Houben as a ‘people’s palace’, the Library of Birmingham will be highly accessible and family-friendly. It will deliver excellent services through collaboration between the library, The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, partners and communities. It will provide a dynamic mix of events, activities and performance together with outstanding resources, exhibitions and access to expert help for learning, information and culture. As a centre of excellence for literacy, research, study, skills development, entrepreneurship, creative expression, health information and much more, the Library of Birmingham will change people’s lives. 6). The Rotunda – Situated at the heart of the city for more than 40 years, Rotunda is Birmingham’s most iconic building. Following redevelopment by Urban Splash, Rotunda is home to 232 citypads, and one and two bedroom apartments. Rotunda sits above the Bullring shopping centre and Birmingham New Street Station and has 360 degree views across the city.
The Rotunda Birmingham 45
BIRMINGHAM 7). Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square – Built between 1874 and 1879 on what was once Ann Street, and designed by Yeoville Thomason, the Council House is now a Grade II listed building, used for all Council and most Committee meetings. The front, facing Victoria Square, has a pediment showing Britannia receiving the manufacturers of Birmingham. Before it was built the town council met at such places as the Public Offices in Moor Street, and even at a public house. The town argued long and hard whether the finished building should be called The Municipal Hall, Council House, or Guildhall. The total cost was £63,805. Behind it stands the Museum and Art Gallery, built by the same architect in 1881-5. 8). Winterbourne House – Restored to its Edwardian Arts and Craft splendour, Winterbourne House is a unique heritage attraction – set within three hectares of beautiful botanic gardens. Only minutes from Birmingham city centre, Winterbourne is a hidden gem – home to beautiful antiques and over 6000 plant species from around the world. Wander along the woodland walk, stroll through the hazelnut tunnel, cross the 1930’s Japanese Bridge or simply soak up the tranquillity of this perfectly English Edwardian home. 9). Fort Dunlop – Fort Dunlop is a Birmingham landmark and architectural icon. Original trye factory and main office of Dunlop Rubber, developer Urban Splash has kept all of the best old bits of the building and poured new ideas into the shell. The redevelopment includes a stunning atrium, new green roof and a new hotel has been bolted onto the end. Headquarters to the Birmingham Post and Mail newspapers and a vast array of other businesses from accountants and insurance companies to PR and design consultants – Fort Dunlop’s tenants benefit from a host of onsite retailers, eateries and great access to the M6 motorway.
Birmingham Council House Victoria Square, Birmingham 46
BIRMINGHAM 10). Custard Factory – Six hundred paces from the Bull Ring is The Custard Factory, Built 100 years ago it is now home to a hive of young creative companies, galleries, fine artists, independent shops and terrific restaurants. One of Birmingham’s biggest nightclubs and a number of renowned live music venues are located here. All are part of a vigorous working community that knows how to party too! 11). Mailbox – The Mailbox opened in 1998 and was the redevelopment of the former Royal Mail sorting office in Birmingham City Centre. Now it is the UK’s largest mixed-use building incorporating retail, leisure, offices and residential in a well managed, security patrolled complex of the highest quality. The tenants included Malmaison and Ramada hotels, the BBC Midlands headquarters, luxury retailers such as Harvey Nichols, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss and sixteen restaurants and cafe bars. The Mailbox is one of Birmingham’s premier shopping and lifestyle destination with exclusive stores, restaurants, cafe bars, hotels and 24 hr parking. It is the ultimate location for designer shopping in the Midlands with international brands as well as chic salons & spas in one central Birmingham location. 12). St Martins – St Martin in the Bull Ring is one of the most ancient and contemporary buildings in Birmingham. Most of the Grade II listed church is from the nineteenth century. It was built in 1873 and is an example of gothic Victorian architecture, designed by Alfred Chatwin, from Birmingham, who also worked on the houses of parliament. But St Martin's is much older than that. There has been a church on this site since 1290 and may well have been a simple place of worship here in Saxon times. St Martin's is also a place of worship for a thriving community who refurbished the building in 2000 making it more light and open.
St Martin in the Bull Ring Birmingham Index
BIRMINGHAM Top 12 Hidden Gems in Birmingham 1). Electric Cinema – Established in 1909 The Electric Cinema is the oldest working cinema in the UK. It has been through many name changes and was mostly rebuilt in the 1930s. Click here to find out more information and to watch short documentaries on the cinema’s amazing life story. 2). VIVID Gallery – Established in 1992, VIVID has a longstanding commitment to the development of contemporary media arts through research, production, and commissioning programmes. Based in Birmingham's Eastside district, the VIVID project space, The Garage, is used to introduce audiences to both emerging talent and work of international significance, with a strong focus on the moving image and innovation. VIVID takes an inter-disciplinary approach to moving image to also embrace music, new media, live and visual arts and in so doing, supports audiences to navigate their own way through complex and important histories and territories. 3). ZELLIG – ZELLIG is a creative art studios in the Custard Factory Quarter – provides an inspiring, entertaining and commercially fertile environment for one hundred and one independent creative enterprises. 4).Project Pigeon – Project Pigeon is an organisation that brings people from diverse communities together and works with pigeons, gardens and boats as a vehicle to do so. Project Pigeon keeps 70 pigeons in a loft in Birmingham and with the pigeons run workshops, make performances, make publications, curate exhibitions, race in a local pigeon club and design and build pigeon lofts. The project started in January 2009 and is open ended and expansive. Project Pigeon’s Loft, is located on Milk Street, Digbeth, Birmingham (in Boxxed’s backyard) 5). Ikon Slow Boat – Slow Boat is Ikon’s innovative three year project (2011-2013) aimed at engaging young people with contemporary artists and the local heritage and history of the Inland Waterways.
Ikon Gallery Birmingham 48
BIRMINGHAM 6). Edgbaston Priory Club – Edgbaston Priory Club is firmly established as one of the country’s most prestigious racquet and leisure clubs. It is a private members club with over 3000 members who regularly enjoy playing racquet sport, keeping fit and socialising. The origins of Edgbaston Priory Club date back around 130 years. The Club as we know it today was formed in December 1964 as a result of a merger between two very long established clubs; Edgbaston Lawn Tennis Club, founded in 1878 and Priory Lawn Tennis Club, founded in 1875. This merger came about when, in May 1963, a disastrous fire completely destroyed Priory's Clubhouse - hence the Club's logo which is a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Edgbaston Priory Club is a very different place today than it was in the 1880’s when it moved to its current location. Set in 5ha of beautiful grounds the private members club now boasts 29 tennis courts, 10 squash courts, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, outside spa, Technogym equipped fitness facilities and a licensed bar and restaurant. 7). Barber Institute of Fine Arts “one of the finest small art galleries in Europe” - The Observer Monet, Manet, and Magritte; Renoir, Rubens, Rossetti and Rodin; Degas, Delacroix and van Dyck — not to mention Botticelli, Poussin, Turner, Gainsborough, Gauguin, van Gogh, Picasso, Hodgkin…You can see major works by all these great artists in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, at the University of Birmingham. There’s also a stunning coin gallery and an exciting programme of exhibitions, concerts, lectures, gallery talks, workshops and family activities. The Barber is also home to the University of Birmingham's departments of History of Art and Music, as well as the Barber Fine Art and Music libraries. 8). Number 11 bus route – The number 11 bus route is a circular route from Perry Barr to Handsworth. At 43.5km long, it is the Longest urban bus ride in Europe. It takes 2.5 hours to complete and takes in local sights including: •
Sarehole Mill – one of two surviving water mills in B’ham and inspiration for JRR Tolkien
Blakesley Hall in Yardley
9). St Paul’s Gallery – St Pauls Gallery is the World's leading retailer in signed limited edition album cover fine art. Opened in 2002 St Paul’s has steadily grown to what is now the largest collection of licensed album cover art in the World. With well over 100 signed prints on permanent show and sale, the gallery is a place not to be missed if music is your passion. Also on show are exclusive collections of signed limited edition musician portrait photographs and fine art prints. St Pauls also actively invests and trades in rare fine art prints and originals by world renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Picasso, Bridget Riley and Salvador Dali. 10). The Pen Room Museum – During the 19th Century, 75 percent of everything written in the world was with a ‘Birmingham’ pen. Birmingham was at the forefront of this trade until it declined in the 1950’s with the invention of the biro and fountain pen. At one time there were about 100 factories in the Jewellery Quarter area. The development of the steel pen reduced the cost of writing and enabled the spread of literacy throughout the world. Set in the atmosphere of a former Victorian pen factory, the Pen Room Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of this trade. There is ongoing research into the social, historical and technical aspects of the trade and also the Jewellery Quarter itself. The museum has assisted people tracing their genealogy and is keen to hear from anybody who has had connections with the trade. 11). Hare and Hounds Kings Heath – Hare & Hounds is a fully equipped live entertainment venue. We cater for all tastes by hosting fantastic artists across all musical genres. We also have a mixture of alternative events such as comedy, vintage fairs, spoken word, quizzes … and now serves food! 12). The Old Joint Stock Theatre – "If you don't already know it, the Old Joint Stock is an absolute jewel box of a theatre. Perched on the top floor of a grand nineteenth century building that was once a private bank, right opposite the front door of Birmingham's St Philip's Cathedral, it's the jewel in the crown of a brilliant and vibrant pub conversion. For those of us who like their theatre experiences up close and personal it is one of the midlands' most perfect venues..." from a review by the Lichfield Blog
BLACKPOOL Top 12 Things to do in Blackpool 1). Blackpool Tower – There’s also great plans for the world famous Tower. Look out later this year for the newly refurbished observation deck - the Blackpool Tower Eye – for a brand new 4D cinema experience and the undisputed best view in town. Then, when you've been to the top of the Tower, take the Elevator to Hell and descend into the grisly world of the new Tower Dungeon where you'll come faceto-face with 100 years of the dark history of the North West. Meet the Skippool Smugglers, try to escape the Labyrinth of the Lost and explore the isolated communities of eerie Pendle Woods - where anyone can be accused of witchcraft – even you...If you're found guilty you'll be sentenced to experience the drop-ride of doom – taste the fear as you drop, screaming into the darkness below! 2). Showzam! – 15th-24th February 2013 - Showzam! is Blackpool's festival of Circus, Magic and New Variety taking place during February Half-Term. The Showzam! festival will see the town come alive with a myriad of world class performances and highly acclaimed entertainers appearing at venues throughout the town. During Showzam!, Blackpool will be awash with colour and excitement throughout the resort. 3). Winter Gardens Floral Hall – For something a little less high-octane, experience the golden age of Hollywood glamour as you step into the splendour of the newly restored Grade II listed Winter Gardens and enjoy a stroll along the stunning Floral Hall. Enjoy a coffee break in the Mazzei coffee shop whilst you marvel at newly rediscovered plasterwork by renowned film set designer Andrew Mazzei; or stay for a meal and revel in the art deco designs and glasswork from your seat the glamorous Empress Grill. First-class North West restaurateurs Heathcoats are in charge of both new eateries in the Winter Gardens – guaranteeing you a fabulous dining experience. Gorgeous! 4). Pleasure Beach, Blackpool – There’s something for everyone at Pleasure Beach Resort with over 125 rides and attractions plus spectacular shows. In May 2011 Nickelodon Land, a new 2.5ha area of Pleasure Beach, opened, brimming with 12 rides and attractions, a Nickelodeon shop, fun game stalls, a huge new restaurant and home to a whole host of famous Nickelodeon characters. Blackpool 50
BLACKPOOL 5). Madame Tussauds – Madame Tussauds is the 12th place in the world to carry the iconic brand name following on from others in London, New York, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Amsterdam. Brand new £150,000 wax models take centre stage, offering visitors the chance to mingle with sporting heroes, favourite characters, big name movie stars and world leaders. 6). Sandcastle Waterpark – Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool is the UK’s largest indoor waterpark and with 18 slides and attractions it is easy to see why Sandcastle Waterpark continues to make a splash. 7). Blackpool Trams – An essential part of any visit to Blackpool, a tram journey is the perfect way to travel. This Easter 16 brand new state-of-the-art vehicles will join the heritage cars as part of a £100m upgrade to the system to ensure its survival into the 21st Century and beyond. Whether you choose to travel in accessible luxury on board the new cars, or choose a more traditional vehicle this is a great way to see Blackpool's beach and experience the promenade. 8). Blackpool Zoo – Voted “Visitor Attraction of the Year” for Blackpool and Lancashire, the zoo has all your favourite animals from aardvarks to zebras residing in spacious, natural enclosures with lakes and mature parkland. You can see over a thousand exotic and endangered animals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates from all around the world.
11). Stanley Park – The 158ha Stanley Park is a landmark in its own right, with a magical blend of architecture, horticulture and recreation. Stanley Park abounds in wildlife and its features appeal to the naturalist, the plant lover or one who would do nothing more than relax in elegant surroundings. Delightful horticultural displays can be found throughout the park. Don’t miss the Italian gardens, water fountains, statues, rose gardens and Remembrance Garden. Admire the impressive Cocker Tower - a memorial to Blackpool’s first Mayor Dr William Cocker, the bandstand and ornamental bridges over the lake. 12). Tower Festival Headland – In 2012 we welcome the brand new Tower Festival Headland to the town as the central section of the seawall renewal reaches its final stages. The £15.5m headland will jut into the sea beneath the Tower and feature a comedy carpet with dozens of quotes and catchphrases from well known classic and contemporary comics. In addition, there’ll be a 20000 capacity open air arena designed to host world class events.
Blackpool Tower by night Blackpool
9). Blackpool Illuminations – 31st August – 4th November 2012 - Have you seen them? The sort of spectacle that everyone should see at least once, Blackpool Illuminations enthral millions of visitors every year. The greatest free light show on earth has been a major part of Blackpool’s attraction since 1879 when they were described as ‘Artificial Sunshine’. 10). Sea Life Centre – Are you a shark lover, seahorse fanatic or a clownfish groupie? Perhaps it’s the graceful jellyfish or the clever octopus that you love the most. Maybe you simply can’t decide! Here at SEA LIFE Blackpool you can make up your mind and see them all - from the curious and the rescued to the rare and the enigmatic. And you’ll be able to get closer to them than ever before.
BRIGHTON & HOVE Top 12 Brighton & Hove Royal connections 1). One of the country's most iconic attractions is in the heart of Brighton, The Royal Pavilion, was the seaside home of the Prince Regent who later became George IV. 2). Brighton Dome is part of the Royal Pavilion estate and visitors who join the 'Behind the Scenes' tour can see the tunnel which links the Brighton Dome and the Royal Pavilion. 3). Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is also part of the Royal Pavilion estate and originally housed the Prince Regent's horses. 4). The Theatre Royal Brighton is situated in the cultural quarter of the city and the Prince Regent gave his Royal Ascent for the theatre to be built. 5). Brighton & Hove has several parks and green spaces to relax in and one of the largest is Queen's Park which was originally a Victorian pleasure garden known as Brighton Park but it was later renamed in honour of Queen Adelaide and formally opened to the public on 10 August 1892. 6). The city is known for the stunning regency architecture and one of the finest examples is Adelaide Crescent, which was named after Queen Adelaide who regularly visited Brighton with her husband King William IV. Similarly Brunswick Square is named after Caroline of Brunswick who was the Prince Regent's wife.
Royal Pavillion Brighton 52
BRIGHTON & HOVE 7). The Old Steine was the fashionable centre of town and today there are two buildings here with blue plaques on them to commemorate royal links. The Royal York hotel is where King William IV and Queen Adelaide stayed during a visit to the city. At number 55 (Steine House) there is a blue plaque dedicated to Maria Fitzherbert who was the Prince Regent's mistress and said to be his one true love. 8). Along the seafront promenade there is a large statue of an angel which marks the border between Brighton & Hove. The Peace Statue was erected as a memorial to King Edward IV who was known as the 'Peacemaker' and was very fond of Hove and once said: "I like Hove. I like its surroundings and I like its climate". 9). The Duke of York's Picturehouse is the oldest continually operating cinema in the UK and was actually named after the London theatre although it's opening in 1910 coincided with the accession to the throne of George V, Duke of York. 10). Each May the city hosts the biggest offshore yacht race in Sussex. The Royal Escape is an annual recreation of Charles II's flight from his puritan pursuers during the Civil War. 11). Captain Nicholas Tettersell is buried at St Nicholas's Church; he was the owner of the Old Ship Hotel which he bought with money from a grateful King Charles II. The captain had helped the King to escape to France in 1651 after the Battle of Worcester. 12). The main road along the seafront is called King's Road as King George IV had contributed ÂŁ200 to the project and opened the road on 29 January 1822. The lower promenade on beachfront level includes the King's Road Arches home to the Artist's Quarter as well as a variety of shops, bars and restaurants.
Theatre Royal Brighton Index
BRIGHTON & HOVE Top 12 Brighton Beach facts 1). The city's iconic beachfront attraction, Brighton Pier, cost £137,000 to build, is 525m long and welcomes over 4m visitors each year.
2). Brighton beach is 13.35km long and scientists have calculated that it is made up of 648 billion pebbles.
3). The world’s oldest operating electric railway, Volks Railway, runs along Brighton beach from Brighton Pier to Brighton Marina in the summer months.
4). The world's oldest aquarium is the Sea Life Brighton which opened in 1872.
5). Brighton beach was the scene of the famous Mods & Rockers riots in the mid 60’s, which was a pivotal point in modern British history and became immortalised on screen in the film ‘Qaudrophenia’.
6). On average 47500 sheets of toilet paper are used in the seafront toilets every day.
Brighton Pier East Sussex 54
BRIGHTON & HOVE 7). Brighton Marina is the biggest marina development in Europe.
8). The newest attraction on Brighton beach is the Brighton Wheel which takes visitors 50m above sea level in one of 36 enclosed glass gondolas, offering incredible views out to sea and across the city.
9). Brighton Bandstand on the beachfront was originally completed in 1884, and was completely restored in 2009 and is now a popular wedding and civil partnership venue.
10). The city of Brighton & Hove is still the largest fishing centre in Sussex and the Brighton Fishing Museum on the beachfront traces the original history of the industry since the days of Brighthelmstone.
11). The Brighton Swimming Club swims in the sea every day, including Christmas Day!
12). On 1 April 1980, the UKâ€™s first naturist beach in a prime British resort was opened at the Cliff Bathing Beach below Dukes Mound to the west end of Brighton beach.
Brighton Marina Brighton Index
BRISTOL Top 12 ways to enjoy the best of Bristol 1). Street art scene – Bristol is home to the most ambitious permanent street art project ever to take place in the UK. The world’s leading street artists from numerous countries have painted the facades of 10 multi-storey Bristol buildings along Nelson Street in the city centre as part of ‘See No Evil’, making the street one of the world’s largest outdoor art exhibitions. Synonymous with the city’s street art scene is Banksy, the elusive graffiti artist extraordinare, whose collection of artistic works is featured on streets, walls and bridges all over the world, and it all started in Bristol. Born out of the city’s vibrant underground scene, Banksy became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980’s which was heavily influenced by artists and musicians in New York City. During a visit to the city, don’t miss these top three city locations to admire Banksy’s art: 1) Stoke’s Croft - Banksy’s Mild, Mild West can be found right next to The Canteen 2) Frogmore Street - Banksy’s artwork is on the side of a sexual health clinic, with the best views being had from the small bridge on Park Street that crosses Frogmore Street 3) Thekla - An infamous piece of work viewed on the side of the Thekla Social boat moored in Bristol harbour 2). M Shed – Travel back in time and visit Bristol’s new £2m history museum, M Shed, which opened its doors in June 2011. The new museum in the historic Harbourside area uncovers the story of the city including its trading past and wartime experiences. Designed to appeal to all family generations, the museum features a children’s area to creatively engage with history, whilst older generations will appreciate the fascinating insight into Bristol’s wartime history. 3). St Nicholas Market – Take a stroll through the heart of Bristol’s Old City and discover St Nicholas Market, named by The Guardian newspaper as one of the best 10 markets in the UK and it’s not hard to see why. This is where Bristol’s largest collection of independent retailers gather under one roof, bringing together an inviting mix of smells and flavours from its food and drink section. It provides the perfect atmosphere for tasting the city’s locally produced goods, particularly when the Slow Food Market opens up on the first Sunday of every month. 56
‘Banksy’ Street Art Bristol Index
BRISTOL 4). Pieminister – A steaming hot pie filled to its pastry-brim with heart-warming ingredients is a comfort food loved by all. Bristol is home to the successful Pieminister, an innovative pie-making company set up in the city during 2004. The brains behind the pies, brothers-in-law Jon Simon and Tristan Hogg, explain that Bristol was their choice city for setting up the business due to its greenminded ethos and passion for locally-reared produce. All Pieminister pies are handmade by chefs who use free-range meat and fresh vegetables, and this attention to using good quality ingredients is at the heart of the company’s success in Bristol and now throughout the country. Enjoy a taste of Bristol’s finest exports in the heart of the St Nicholas Market. 5). Bristol Pirate Walks – Bristol’s pirating past is one of the most fascinating aspects of the city. Bristol Pirate Walks, run by Pirate Pete, are one-hour guided walking tours of Bristol's historic Harbourside. The walks cover Bristol's often grizzly 16th, 17th and 18th century maritime history, including discovery, trade, slavery and piracy. The walk discovers Long John Silver’s treasure chest in the smugglers cave, visit Treasure Island’s Spy Glass Inn where the press gangs roamed and find Blackbeard’s Lair in the medieval port. 6). Bristol Blue Glass – unique to the city, Bristol Blue Glass has been free blown in Bristol since the 18th Century. From jewellery and small animal figurines to goblets and plates, Bristol Blue Glass is perfect as a souvenir to gift friends and relatives from beyond the city. Today, the skilled glass makers at Bristol Blue Glass Factory & Shop are continuing a time-honoured tradition at the thriving, working factory. Visitors can observe these skilled craftsmen at their workshop in Brislington, South Bristol, watch glass being blown, spend time in the museum of glass, listen to fascinating commentaries and join in with exciting, hands-on activities. 7). Llandoger Trow – Originally built in 1664, this is one of the last timber-built buildings in all of Bristol. The building retains many of its original features and has been meticulously restored. There are many myths and legends surrounding the pub, of pirates and secret tunnels. The name derives from the Welsh village of Llandogo on the River Wye. The Llandoger Trow serves a range of traditional pub grub at reasonable prices and has plenty of outside seating on the cobbles of King Street for those summer days and evenings.
8). Dine on water – The Spyglass Restaurant in the heart of Bristol's docks offers a fine waterside dining experience. The venue is split between a converted barge and the adjacent quayside, occupying one of Bristol's most stunning waterside settings. Further along the docks is The Glassboat Restaurant which has been a Bristol institute for nearly 25 years in the historic Harbourside area of the city. The restaurant consists of two decks on a lovingly-converted barge. 9). Up, up and away – Bristol has many high profile events throughout the year. The skies are ablaze with colour when over 120 hot air balloons ascend over Bristol for the annual International Balloon Fiesta in August. Other events include the International Festival of Kites & Air Creations. Throughout the year, visitors to Bristol can take to the skies to enjoy breath-taking views of the city and its stunning countryside with Bailey Balloons or Bristol Balloons. 10). Weigh a brain and look at your veins – At-Bristol is the place to go for an interactive science adventure. Enjoy over 30 new exhibits at this leading UK hands-on science centre including All About Us, an interactive exhibition all about the human brain and body which opened in 2011. Visitors can also sit back and enjoy a presenter-led show below the stars in the Planetarium. 11). Become a Victorian passenger – Step back in time, on board the world's first great ocean liner, Brunel's ss Great Britain, in Bristol's historic Harbourside. Explore the sumptuous surrounds of the First Class Dining Saloon, once admired by Queen Victoria, then scramble into the cramped bunks in steerage. Take a whiff of the smells, from gorgeous freshly baked bread to passenger vomit, and search out the talking toilet. Discover the true story of Victorian passengers and crew on a super-speedy two-month voyage to Australia. 12). Cheddar Cave and Gorge – Cheddar Gorge, with its 137m high cliffs, is the most dramatic geological formation in Somerset. Created by ice age melt-waters over millions of years, it carves a deep 4.82km long ravine in the south side of the Mendip Hills. Visitors can enjoy the stunning views from the top of the Lookout Tower or follow the Cliff Top Walk through the 146ha Nature Reserve.
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE Top 12 Milton Keynes Highlights 1). Bletchley Park – Home to the famous Enigma codebreakers during World War II and where the first ever semi-programmable computer was invented, Bletchley Park is a truly fascinating and humbling experience. You can take a guided tour of the museum and grounds, and take part in activities in and around the splendid Victorian mansion that was the headquarters to wartime intelligence staff. Bletchley Park also holds many events across the year with re-enactors bringing the park to life with costumes and military vehicles. 2). Xscape – Xscape offers some of the best and most diverse entertainment and leisure activities in the UK and all under one roof. Try your hand at indoor skiing and snowboarding, indoor sky-diving or rock climbing and then afterwards go to the multiplex cinema, the many retail outlets or the numerous bars and restaurants. 3). Woburn Abbey/Safari Park – The Abbey is home to the Duke of Bedford and is set in a 1214ha deer park. It houses one of the most impressive collections of art, furniture and porcelain on public view in the UK. The safari park is the UK’s largest, where visitors can see animals such as lions, tigers, wolves and elephants up close and personal. 4). Spectator sports – Home to three professional sports teams, Milton Keynes offers something for everyone. Live League One football with the Milton Keynes Dons at their 21000 seater stadiumMK, pro-league basketball with the MK Lions and all-action pro ice hockey with MK Lightning. 5). MK Theatre – Milton Keynes Theatre opened in 1999 and since then has become one of the most successful theatres outside the West End. It stages a vast range of productions from large scale musicals to smaller, intimate dramas and one-off comedy gigs. The auditorium ceiling has been carefully designed to accommodate these differing shows and can be lowered or raised depending on the scale of the production. 6). Stables – The Stables is Milton Keynes’ premier live music venue. Home to the late Sir John Dankworth and his wife Dame Cleo Laine, it offers a wide choice of musical genres including jazz, blues, rock, folk, classical, pop and world music.
Woburn Abbey Bedfordshire Index
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 7). Shopping – Milton Keynes is known for its shopping experience with over 30m people coming to shop here each year. The undercover shopping areas of thecentre:mk and Midsummer Place house some of the country’s best loved high street names but also many specialist stores. 8). Stowe Landscape Gardens – Just outside Milton Keynes, Stowe is one of the most remarkable creations of Georgian England. It was created by a family once so powerful they were richer than the king. As a National Trust property, Stowe has see an ambitious programme of restoration to ensure that over 40 temples and monuments remain, gracing an inspiring backdrop of lakes and valleys with an endless variety of walks and trails. 9). Willen Lake – As one of the most visited free places in South East England, Willen Lake is a mix of nature and activities sports. You can walk or cycle around the two beautiful lakes taking in a spot of bird-watching on the way. Or for the thrill seekers why not try out cable waterskiiing or wakeboarding, or maybe hang around on the aerial high ropes course. 10). “City in the Country” – Enjoy exploring over 1821ha of parkland, woodland, lakes and rivers that play such an important part in the city’s environment. 11). Market Towns – Milton Keynes is surrounded by historic market towns such as Stony Stratford, Newport Pagnell and Olney. Stony Stratford was an important strategic travelling location; kings, queens, highwaymen and the military have all visited the town over the centuries. The origins of the Cock & Bull Story started in the town with outlandish stories being told by travellers and highwaymen at the old coaching inns, The Cock and The Bull. 12). Cycling – Milton Keynes is a cyclist’s paradise waiting to be discovered. With rides to suit both leisure and more serious cyclists, you can mountain bike on challenging trails or take the family to explore the beautiful lakes and parkland. Two National Cycle Network routes pass through the city connecting you to other parts of the region. There are 273km of Redways, a network of maintained paths that criss-cross the city and allow you to ride safely to the city centre or the outlying villages and towns. Stowe Landscape Gardens Buckinghamshire Index
CHESHIRE Top 12 Cheshire Views 1). Beeston Castle – Set 107m above the Cheshire Plain on the sheer rocky crags and with origins stretching back over 4000 years, Beeston Castle is a magical site. On a clear day visitors can see across eight counties, reputedly the best views from any castle in England. 2). White Nancy – Standing at the top of Kerridge Hill overlooking Bollington White Nancy is an iconic Cheshire landmark. Originally built as a summer house in about 1815 by the Gaskell family the views from White Nancy are stunning with nearby hills to the east, the Cheshire Plain to the west and Bollington below. 3). Chester’s Eastgate Clock & City Walls – The Eastgate Clock is Chester’s most famous landmark, built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the clock sits above the Eastgate of the ancient city walls. From the clock you get views of Chester’s main shopping area, The Chester Grosvenor hotel, one of a handful of five red-star hotels outside of London and the famous Rows, two-tiered medieval shopping galleries. The clock is set on the city walls, originally built in Roman times and the most complete of any city in Britain Walls. The 3.5km circular route provides some of the best views around the city with views of Chester’s Roman Amphitheatre; the river Dee, Chester Cathedral and Chester Racecourse the oldest in Britain with racing dating back to 1539.
Eastgate Clock Chester 60
CHESHIRE 4). The Edge at Alderley Edge – ‘The Edge’ offers visitors stunning views across the Cheshire plain. The inspiration behind the Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner ‘The Edge’ is steeped in fascinating legend waiting to be discovered by visitors. Legend has it that a long time ago a farmer from Mobberley was crossing the Edge to sell his beautiful milk-white mare at market. Upon reaching the Thieves’ Hole an old man appeared and offered to buy the horse. The farmer refused and the old man told his that no one would buy his horse and he would return later and the old man await his return and buy the horse. The old man’s prediction came true and when the farmer returned to Thieves’’ Hole the old man, who was now a tall, proud wizard was waiting. He led the farmer and horse to a large rock in the hillside, which when he touched it with his staff opened to reveal a pair of Iron Gates. The wizard led them to a large cavern full of sleeping knights. Beside all of but one knight was a milk-white mare. The wizard led the farmer into another cavern full of jewels and told him to take what he wanted as payment for the horse as it was needed for the last knight. The farmer took payment and left. The farmer returned many times to search for the Iron Gates but never found them. From that day to this people have scoured the Edge trying to find the Gates. Will you be the one to find them!?
9). Discover Chester’s exciting past and hidden secrets with a Guided Tour or Roman Tour. 10). Accommodation – Cheshire is full of accommodation with stunning views, set in picturesque countryside are Harrop Fold Farm, Best View in Britain Barn, Common Barn Farm and Peckforton Castle. Accommodation with more urban but still impressive views there’s Abode Chester and BEST WESTERN Forest Hills Hotel 11). Take a walk along The Gritstone Trail for some truly breath-taking views. Split into three sections the trail covers 35 miles/56 kilometres and is both a challenge and delight. 12). See into outer space at Jodrell Bank, home of the famous Lovell Telescope the centre is constantly receiving live data from outer space, see the giant telescope in action, listen to the sound of the Big Bang and explore the invisible Universe.
5). Restaurants – Set in a peaceful corner of rural Cheshire on a hill The Pheasant Inn in Burwardsley enjoys some of the most magnificent panoramic views in Cheshire. The Cat and Fiddle in Macclesfield is the second highest pub in England, from here you get fantastic views of rural Cheshire. The Michael Caines Fine Dining Restaurant & Champagne Bar on the 5th floor of the hotel provide diners with panoramic views over Chester and the Welsh Hills. 6). Mow Cop Castle – Set high on a Cheshire hillside close to Congleton, Mow Cop was built in 1754 as a summerhouse for the then owners or nearby Rode Hall. The picturesque castle is now owned by the National Trust and is a peaceful and scenic part of the Cheshire countryside. 7). ChesterBoat River Cruise – Climb aboard one of ChesterBoat’s Showboats for a cruise down the River Dee. Take the half hour city cruise under the suspension bridge, past Grosvenor Park and the meadows or the two hour Iron Bridge Cruise which takes you through the ‘Eaton Estate’ home of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster. 8). See Chester from the top deck of a bus with Chester City Sightseeing Tour or Chester Heritage Tours. Index
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CHESHIRE Top 12 Things to do in Cheshire 1). Visit Chester – Visit the ancient city of Chester for a truly breath-taking experience. Walk around the city’s walls, the most complete in Britain; stand inside the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain; shop on The Rows, Chester’s Medieval two-tiered galleries or stroll along the banks of the River Dee. www.visitchester.com 2). Visit a Garden of Distinction – From stately homes and secret gardens, the quintessentially English to exotic oriental planting, Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction have it all. The ever-changing landscape in Cheshire means that there is always something different every day. www.visitcheshire.com/gardens 3). Go to the Races – Chester is home to the oldest racecourse in Britain with racing dating back to 1539. Originally a Roman harbour and then the site of football matches, racing began when the football matches were banned for being too violent. Today the Roodee is a venue like no other where spectators can get really close to the racing action, and enjoy cuisine created b award winning chefs. www.chester-races.co.uk 4). Discover a Taste of Cheshire – Cheshire has an abundance of local treasures from Cheshire potatoes to delicious cheese, tasty asparagus to juicy apples and not forgetting some fabulous vineyards. You’ll also find plenty of delicious tearooms and restaurants serving the finest dishes from Michelin starred chefs to quaint English tearooms whether you want a fine dining experience or afternoon tea Cheshire has it all. www.tastecheshire.com 5). Explore Delamere Forest – Delamere Forest is Cheshire’s largest woodland area and the perfect place for exciting adventures and picnics. Swing through the tree tops at Go Ape! Follow one of the woodland walks, mountain bike through the woodland terrain or find your own way through the forest. www.forestry.gov.uk/delamere
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CHESHIRE 6). Visit Chester Zoo – Discover over 8,000 wonderful animals and 400 different species including some of the most endangered in the world! From the magnificent elephants and rhinos to the delicate butterflies, there is a different animal to see around every corner of this amazing 110 acres of award-winning gardens. Between April and November 2012 Chester Zoo is also home to 19 lifesized animatronic dinosaurs in the exciting ‘Dinosaurs Bite Back’ exhibition. www.chesterzoo.org 7). Explore a Market Town – From ancient wizards and shining locomotives, to Saxon crosses and Roman ruins, Cheshire’s market towns offer a day out with a difference. Unique, stylish and lively, each town has its own individual charm. Soak up the atmosphere in the medieval market town of Nantwich, or stroll out into the Peak District from the pretty village of Disley. Discover Crewe's ghoulish past, take afternoon tea in Macclesfield, then head to Alderley Edge for a sophisticated night out. Whatever you want to do, you'll find it in Cheshire. Use this website to plan your perfect day out and enjoy the best that Cheshire has to offer. www.cheshiremarkettowns.co.uk
11). Take a Guided Tour – From Ghost tours to Roman tours, history tours to brewery tours Cheshire has an exciting range of tours to suit all tastes. March around the historic streets of Chester with your very own Roman Soldier on the awardwinning Roman Tour or be led around by one of our Blue or Green Badge guides and discover the fascinating history of the city. Visit Bollington for a tour of Bollington Brewery, taste their delicious brews and enjoy delicious sausage and mash or if you’re feeling brave book yourself onto a ghost tour in Chester or Nantwich and hear about the many ghosts and ghouls that have been spotted in some of the most haunted places in Britain! www.visitcheshire.com 12). Watch a game of rugby league – Visit Warrington where you’ll find the Halliwell Jones Stadium, home to Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club. Games run from January to September so book your tickets and soak up the buzz of the match day atmosphere. An exciting event for all ages. www.warringtonwolves.org
8). Walk the Sandstone Trail – Cheshire’s Sandstone trail is one of the finest and most popular long distance walks in the North West. Stretching for 34 miles across the Cheshire countryside from the market town of Frodsham in the north to the Georgian Whitchurch in the south the trail is a great way to explore rural Cheshire. www.discovercheshire.co.uk 9). Discover Cheshire’s waterways – In the age of the Industrial Revolution, a significant canal network was built in Cheshire to transport materials. Today, the waterways provide the perfect way to discover the county. Hire a narrowboat and navigate your way through Cheshire stopping at fabulous pubs and villages; explore the towpaths which provide some of the most scenic walking and cycling routes throughout Cheshire; or set up your fishing rod and sit and relax in the tranquil scenery as you wait to see what fish you can catch. www.visitcheshire.com 10). Explore Cheshire’s Peak District – Brimming with breath-taking scenery, dramatic landscapes and world class events Cheshire’s Peak District delights just about everybody. Covering nearly 100 square miles of Peak District National Park from Lyme Park and the hills above Buxton in the north to Biddulph’s moorlands in the south there’s plenty to entertain the whole family. www.cheshirepeakdistrict.com
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CUMBRIA Top 12 extreme activites In the lakes 1). You can with Kankku – Nobody sees the Lake District quite like Kankku who take you out on off-road driving adventures on wild trail routes throughout the National Park. Whether you want to take the wheel of a 4x4 for the first time, upgrade your existing skills, take along your own motor, or just sit back and enjoy the ride, Kankku does it all. There are opportunities for individuals, groups and Kankku also has a Rally team which you can join for the day on a Live Championship Rally. www.kankku.co.uk 2). Go Ape in Grizedale Forest – Enjoy a forest like never before by taking part in this high adventure assault course up to 18.2m off the ground as you negotiate the tree tops of Grizedale Forest. You will tackle a series of breath-taking zipwires, hair-raising Tarzan swings and wobbly rope bridges in two-hours of adrenalinesoaked fun. Definitely not one for the faint-hearted. www.goape.co.uk 3). Canoe Ullswater – Ullswater is one of the most dramatic Lakes in the whole of the Lake District, surrounded on all side by amazing mountains, not least Helvellyn, the third largest in England. For another way to see the Lake pick up a copy of the Ullswater Canoe Trail. The leaflet explains where to hire canoes, park vehicles, launch boats and profiles a number of short canoeing trips including one and twodayers. There’s also information about accommodation and facilities in the area. Call in at the Tourist Information Centre at Glenridding or go to www.golakes.co.uk/adventure-capital/default.aspx 4). Honister Slate Mine Via Ferrata – In May 2007, Honister Slate Mine opened England’s first ever mountain Via Ferrata. Combining the skills of climbing, scrambling and walking you don’t need to be proficient in any of them. Don a hard hat and negotiate the craggy sheer cliff-face of Fleetwith Pike hundreds of feet up. Walkers are secured to a fixed cable and then use steel ladders, solid bridges and a challenging slate pathway to reach the 648m summit. The reward is uninterrupted views down the magnificent Borrowdale Valley www.honister.com
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CUMBRIA 5). Build A Raft – How do you build a raft from garden cane, tape and tarpaulin? More importantly, would it float? Keswick Climbing Wall and Activity Centre has the answers in a fun supervised day which involves testing your creations on Derwentwater. Your whole crew has to fit onboard so will you be the one to sink it? If Robinson Crusoe days aren’t your thing, have a go at the Bungy Trampoline which allows you to pull off gymnastic-like somersaults, and back flips at heights of up to eight metres. 6). Learn To Paraglide – Seeing the Lake District from the heavens is to see it in all its glory and one way to achieve this is through Air Ventures Paragliding School. As well as a range of paragliding courses, tandem flights, and gift vouchers, for £110 you can have a taster day to introduce yourself to the sport. The emphasis of the day is on fun and enjoyment, with theory being kept to a minimum. Once you have mastered taking off and landing, flights are gradually increased until you try one off a 60 - 91m hill…under the guidance of instructors. www.airventures.co.uk 7). Mountainbiking – Another good thing about all the hills in the Lake District is that you can cycle down many of them! Cumbria is home to thousands, yes thousands of different cycle routes depending on your type of bike, and many of them are of the off-road variety in forests, woods, and open countryside. You can hire bikes, find out about providers, routes, maps, guided rides, rental centres and much more by going to: www.golakes.co.uk/adventure-capital/cycling-lake-district.aspx 8). Caving – Glaramara offers caving, amongst a variety of other adventure packages. Take a trip underground and discover the caves that lie beneath the Yorkshire Dales. An instructor will be with you throughout, teaching you the all-important difference between stalactites and stalagmites. You may even get to meet some of the underground inhabitants! There are a number of different routes, with caves of different sizes, depending on how much you want to have to squeeze your way through those passageways. There are even routes with slides and swims for the very adventurous. www.glaramara.co.uk/activities/caving/ 9). Gorge Scrambling – It doesn’t sound all that logical but walking up a mountain river sure is a lot of fun! An opportunity to climb up waterfalls and dive into rock pools. What’s more, trips are organized for most abilities and it’s up to you just how wet and daring you get. Rain or shine, guaranteed thrill factor. www.lakesactivities.co.uk/activitiesgroup/adventure.htm
10). Abseiling at Dave’s Adventure Company – Learn to abseil with Dave, working your way up from smaller to bigger challenges in the birthplace of British climbing, The Lake District. All very secure, with an additional safety rope, although with some abseils at 40m up, it’s sure to get the adrenaline pumping! If that doesn’t sound scary enough, then why not be really daring and try Dave’s night abseil? www.adventuremakers.co.uk/ 11). Skydive at the Northwest Parachute Centre – The North West Parachute Centre is one of the longest established skydiving and parachuting centres in Europe. Skydive North West has introduced thousands of people from all over the world to the magical sport of skydiving and is considered to be the friendliest skydiving centre in the country. Set in the beautiful Lake District amongst some of the finest scenery in England we boast excellent facilities for new and experienced skydivers. If you want to experience a tandem skydive, learn to skydive, skydive for fun or skydive for charity you should choose Skydive North West. www.skydivenorthwest.co.uk/ 12). Sea Cliff Climbing & Rock Climbing with Go Higher Mountaineering – Rock climbing, scrambling and mountaineering holidays in the Lake District, wherever adventure is to be found. The Morgan family has been providing mountain adventure holidays and courses based in the Lake District since 1976 and enjoy sharing our love of the hills with kindred spirits, whatever their levels of experience. Why not join them and roam throughout the Lake District to make the most of the varied landscape and to take advantage of the best conditions. The family farm house at High Dyonside is particularly well placed for access to the wilder western valleys of Ennerdale, Buttermere, Wasdale, Eskdale as well as Borrowdale and Thirlmere www.gogetadventure.com/350/go_higher_mountaineering
For further information about visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, visit www.golakes.co.uk or email email@example.com
DEVON Top 12 Things To Do on Devon’s English Riviera The English Riviera, known fondly as South Devon’s Beautiful Bay is one of the leading resorts in the South West and is located around a picturesque horseshoe- bay; it is also a UNESCO-recognised Global Geopark. 1). Agatha Christie’s Riviera - Agatha Christie was born in the English Riviera town of Torquay, and spent many of the most important chapters of her life here, as well as using real places in the area as settings for her murder mysteries. From the Agatha Christie Mile to the legendary Agatha Christie Festival held in September each year plus visits to her beloved and spectacular estate at Greenway, the English Riviera is the place to discover the real Christie. www.englishriviera.co.uk/agathachristie 2). Beaches - With the highest concentration of Blue Flag beaches in England and winners of the Cleanest Beaches Award 2011, the English Riviera, South Devon’s beautiful bay, has some of the best beaches in the country. With over 22 to choose from, whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to sunbathe, a sandy stretch to build sandcastles or a safe place for the little ones to paddle, there’s something for everyone. www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/english-riviera-attractions/beaches 3). Kent’s Cavern and Geopark Discovery - Kents Cavern is one of Europe’s top prehistoric Stone Age caves with an extensive labyrinth of spectacular and easily accessible caverns open daily all year. A piece of jawbone found in Kents Cavern, always one of the UK’s classic prehistoric caves, was recently found to be the oldest modern human fossil to be found in Britain and even northwestern Europe. The whole resort is a UNESCO recognised English Riviera Global Geopark. There is an annual English Riviera Geopark Festival plus amazing new Geopark Discovery Packages such as Canoe the Coves and Mussels by Moonlight. The English Riviera has also just opened a new FREE Geoplay Park suitable for toddlers, juniors & teens. www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/english-riviera-attractions/global-geopark 4. South West Coast Path – Walking - Walking is one of the most popular holiday pastimes on Devon’s English Riviera. With a unique coastline, peaceful paths and the opportunity to stumble upon hidden coves or villages, it’s easy to see why. The English Riviera has a total of 22 miles of coastline – all of which can be discovered on the South West Coast Path, which runs along South Devon’s beautiful bay between Maidencombe in the north to Sharkham Point beyond Brixham in the south. www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/sports-and-leisure/walking 66
Saunton Sands Devon Index
DEVON 5). Steam Railway - Everyone loves steam trains! The scenery is breathtaking, along the spectacular English Riviera Geopark coast line, to the picturesque station at Churston, then on through the wooded slopes of Long Wood bordering the Dart Estuary to Kingswear. This is one of the finest heritage steam railway journeys anywhere in Europe. www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/dartmouth-steam-railway-and-river-boat-company-salcombe-p1322863
6). Cockington Country Park and Craft Centre - Many villages lay claim to being ‘picturesque’, but the village of Cockington is the real deal. Take a walk back in time along Cockington’s narrow lanes, lined with thatched houses and you’ll experience a quiet charm that is quintessentially English. Everything about Cockington oozes with history – there’s a water mill, a forge and even the cricket pitch was once a medieval deer park. Cockington Court, the historic manor house, is a hub for art and crafts and in the brand new contemporary craft centre you’ll find a canoe maker and a chocolate maker and you can watch glassblowers and blacksmiths in action. And don’t miss out on a Cream Tea at the tea rooms here and across the English Riviera – Devon is famous for them! 7). Sailing for Spectators and a Chance to Give it a Go! - Regatta Season on the English Riviera is wonderful for spectators as the home of the 1948 Sailing Olympics welcomes visiting sailors from around the world. There are great racing conditions in this beautiful, horseshoe shaped bay with plenty of vantage points for spectators, giving everyone the chance to see seamanship at its best. And for those who want to give it a try, there is a superb selection of RYA-recognised sailing schools located in Brixham and Torquay that offer first class instruction and affordable sailing experiences. Trained by skilled and fully qualified teachers, students receive first-hand sailing practice, tuition in navigational techniques and the opportunity to discover Devon's most beautiful spots. As well as sailing trips there are also many other waterside activities available including deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, jet-skiing and wind-surfing. http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/maritime/sailing 8). Brixham’s Picturesque Harbour - Fish Market Tours - Does your fish eating experience extend to just cod, haddock, salmon and mackerel? Then the Brixham Fish Market tour is for you, where you'll see over 40 different types of fish at the auctions. More than £25 million of fish is landed, bought and sold in Brixham and then delivered to many of the top restaurants across the nation and indeed abroad to our European neighbours. Come along and see the auctions in action, as featured in the recent Sky Atlantic series 'Fish Town'. You will be guided around by Rick Smith, head of Brixham Trawler Agents, who has decades of experience in Index
the fish trade. After the tour we then head to the nearby Fishermen's Mission for a delicious full English. You can enjoy a wealth of freshly cooked fish in restaurants across the English Riviera. www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/brixham-fish-market-tours-p1291373 9). Model Village - At Babbacombe’s fascinating model village, thousands of miniature buildings, people and vehicles, along with animated scenes and touches of English humour, capture the essence of England's past, present and future. It’s all set in 4 acres of beautiful award-winning gardens. Don't miss one Devon's most popular days out! OPEN ALL YEAR - Except Christmas Day! www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/babbacombe-model-village-p142123 10). Boat Trips - There are a wide range of boat trips running across beautiful Tor Bay, from ferries between Torquay and Brixham to wildlife cruises and special events boats. Just off the coast, an array of wildlife awaits discovery including dolphins, seals and other marine animals. There are also many fishing trips which depart regularly from the English Riviera. Mackerel and bass fishing are particularly popular, many organised by Greenway Ferry and Pleasure Cruises and Paignton Pleasure Cruises. www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/maritime/boat-trips 11). Ghost Walks - On the surface Brixham is a charming fishing village. Look deeper and you’ll be spellbound with it’s rich powerful history where man has lived since the Ice Age. Naturally Brixham is crammed with ghostly tales, spooky stories and paranormal activity. Join Deadly David, Matilda Balm, Madame Noir and Treacherous Tracy whatever the weather for a journey into Brixham’s darker side. www.englishriviera.co.uk/things-to-do/the-original-brixham-ghost-walk-p1292363 12). English Riviera for Foodies - Some of the very best West Country produce awaits you here on the English Riviera, South Devon's Beautiful Bay, so we’ve created a fabulous Food and Drink Trail with some of our favourite English Riviera Foodie Experiences. With its wonderfully mild climate, fishing and farming traditions as well as home-made ciders, beers, wines and cheeses, the English Riviera is a food-lovers delight. Couples, friends and families as well as children, will enjoy some of the best food and drink they have ever tasted right here in a variety of spectacular settings. www.englishriviera.co.uk/eating-out/food-and-drink-trail
DEVON Top 12 off-beat Devon 1). Catch the South Sands Ferry – In the summer months this foot ferry service operates between Whitestrand in the centre of Salcombe and the picturesque South Sands beach and can only be reached by sea tractor! www.southsandsferry.co.uk 2). The Warren House Inn near Postbridge on Dartmoor is said to be the 3rd highest pub in England. Originally built to serve the busy local tin mining community, locals and visitors keep warm by the fire, which is said to have been burning continuously since 1845. www.warrenhouseinn.co.uk 3). For a tour with a difference - the Exeter’s Red Coat Guides offer an evening Ghosts & Legends tour, which explores the city that is said to be the most haunted in the country! The free tour takes in some of Exeter’s historic buildings and most chilling tales. www.exeter.gov.uk/guidedtours 4). Totnes Orange Rolling – It wouldn't be summer without a strange tradition or two - in this case it’s the odd spectacle of watching people chase oranges down a steep high street in Totnes, South Devon. The tradition reputedly dates back to the day Sir Francis Drake bumped into a delivery boy, causing him to spill his fast-moving fruit down the hill. Nowadays it’s an excuse for a bit of fun as the racing participants fly past 16th and 17th century merchants' houses in the ancient borough town. 5). Pixie Day – A day on which the pixies can take their revenge on the town! Pixie Day is an old tradition that takes place annually on a Saturday in June. The day commemorates the age old legend of Ottery St. Mary's infamous 'Pixies' being banished from the town (where they caused havoc) to the local caves know as 'Pixie's Parlour'. Hundreds of 'Pixies' (made up of local Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Girl Guides dressed in pixie attire) capture the St. Mary's church bell ringers and drag them from the church to the square, where a re-enactment of the pixies’ banishment takes place. Ottery St Mary, June www.pixieday.org
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DEVON 6). Ottery St Mary Flaming Tar Barrels – Every year on bonfire night, the locals of Ottery St Mary swap pixies for tar barrels as they run through the streets of the town carrying flaming tar barrels! The custom is said to date back to the 17th century and the event starts with women’s and boy’s barrels and as the evening progresses the barrels get larger and heavier with some men’s barrels weighing over 30k. The streets of the town are packed with people eager to feel the lick of flames as the barrels speed past. Ottery St Mary, 5th November www.otterytarbarrels.co.uk
11). Walk with a llama – The not-so-native-to-Devon llama is right at home on the Jurassic Coast and Peak Hill Llamas offers the chance to walk them along this beautiful stretch of coastline. An ‘Afternoon Cream Tea Walk’ includes a one or two hour walk followed by a traditional cream tea back at base. www.walkingwithllamas.co.uk 12). The annual Devon Open Studios event in September gives you the chance to see why Devon inspires so many artists and craftsmen as they open their studios to visitors. http://www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk/AboutDOS
7). On safari – You won’t see any elephants or tigers, but taking a safari on Exmoor does offer the chance to see spectacular moorland and coastal scenery as well as possible sightings of red deer and Exmoor ponies. 8). Blackawton Worm Charming – Adults and children compete to extract the greatest number of worms from their dedicated one metre square patch of grassland but they have to do it without digging up any of the turf! The annual festival was started in 1984 when two locals decided to try it as a means of banishing the winter blues. Favourite tools to bring the beasts to the surface include questionable liquid combinations of water, beer, gravy and sugar - which contestants are required to sample themselves beforehand, just to prove that it won't do the worms any harm! Blackawton, May 9). Tavistock Goosey Fair – The unusually named Tavistock Goose Fair dates back to the 12th Century, when farmers brought their geese for sale, and drove them through the streets to the market. The fair continues to attract market traders and showmen from all over the country with their stalls and side-shows. Tavistock, October 10). Widecombe Fair - Nestled in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor hosts the world-famous fair which gave rise to the wellknown folksong 'Widecombe Fair' and the characters of Uncle Tom Cobley and All. The traditional fair has everything from horsemanship to hounds, show jumping to sheep, vintage tractors to pasties and, not to be missed, the Tom Cobley Novelty Race. Widecombe-in-the-Moor, September www.widecombefair.com
Dartmoor National Park Devon Index
DURHAM Top 12 must see in Durham From ancient castles to England's largest waterfall, find out what's not to be missed on a trip to Durham. 1). Durham Castle and Cathedral – The iconic Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site in Durham City was one of the first ever to be designated and the Cathedral is one of the finest surviving examples of Romanesque architecture on the planet. 2). Beamish Museum – The award winning Beamish Museum in the Vale of Durham vividly recreates life in the North of England in the early 1800s and early 1900s. 3). The Bowes Museum – Teesdale in the Durham Dales is home to one of the country's most fascinating museum experiences - The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago and contains the greatest collection of European fine and decorative arts in the North. 4). Durham University Botanic Garden – 7.2ha garden in mature woodland on the outskirts of Durham City. Exotic trees from America and the Himalayas, plus the Prince Bishops Garden, tropical house, cactus house, butterflies, insects and plant sales. 5). Raby Castle – Teesdale in the Durham Dales is home to one of England's most impressive medieval castles, built by the Nevills and home to Lord Barnard's family since 1626. It features fine furniture, impressive artworks and elaborate architecture. Also has extensive grounds. 6). Crook Hall and Gardens – Stunning medieval manor house surrounded by glorious gardens in the heart of Durham City. Includes secret walled garden, Shakespeare garden, Cathedral garden, silver and white garden, moat pool and meadow with maze.
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DURHAM 7). High Force – The largest waterfall in England. A woodland walk leads you to the spectacular site. Relax, unwind and marvel at this magnificent natural attraction in Upper Teesdale in the Durham Dales. 8). DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery – The museum at this family friendly attraction in Durham City features The Durham Light Infantry (with emphasis on WWI & WW2) and looks at Durham Home Front life during WW2. Durham art gallery presents an exciting programme. 9). Killhope, The North of England Lead Mining Museum – Killhope in Upper Weardale in the Durham Dales explores the life of North Pennine lead mining families. Park Level Mine underground experience, Northern England's largest working water wheel and 'hands on' activities, as well as woodland walks. 10). Locomotion - The National Railway Museum – The Vale of Durham is home to Locomotion which houses over 70 railway vehicles from the national collection, plus lively interactive displays relating to the development of the railways in Shildon. 11). Durham Heritage Coast – The magnesian limestone of the Durham Heritage Coast has created spectacular cliff scenery. The grassland of the cliff tops is home to several rare plant species, as well as being a haven for wildlife. 12). North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – Designated in 2003 as Britain's first European Geopark, the North Pennines AONB is internationally important because of its world-class geology, as well as being home to many species of flora and fauna.
The Town of Beamish Durham Index
DURHAM Top 12 Outdoor Activities in Durham Whether you're in search of some tranquil time out or a chance to get active Durham's your destination. 1). Walking – The real beauty of Durham’s countryside is in the mix of walks available and the variety of landscapes to enjoy. From gentle strolls along footpaths in our city and towns, to more challenging routes in the Durham Dales and North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - our routes were made for walking! 2). Cycling – Durham has cycling to suit all ages and abilities. Head for Hamsterley Forest where colour coded routes help you decide which is best for you, whilst our quiet country roads offer easy cycling on gentle gradients, plus more challenging climbs and routes including the Walney to Wear (W2W) and Coast to Coast (C2C). 3). Water Sports – Durham boasts rivers, reservoirs and coast - so whether you enjoy fishing, sailing or canoeing, you're sure to find something to whet your appetite. Try the superb sailing on Derwent and Grassholme Reservoirs, join the waterskiers on Balderhead, or take a rowing boat out on the River Wear. 4). Adventure Sports – For something a little out of the ordinary why not try Beamish Wild where the high ropes course will test your nerve. And if you are after an adrenalin fix, Supreme Adventure Sports, Fury and Weardale Off Road are just some of the places which offer a host of action-packed activities including quad biking, archery and clay pigeon shooting. 5). Golf – Looking to reduce your golf handicap? Some of our hotels, such as Headlam Hall and Ramside Hall, offer golf packages and tuition. And there are beautiful courses in lovely settings including one which has panoramic sea views of the Durham Heritage Coast.
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DURHAM 6). Nature and Wildlife – A haven for nature lovers - head to Hamsterley Forest to spot many species of birds. Teesdale and Weardale in the Durham Dales and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offer a rich mix of habitats attracting many species of flora and fauna - as does Durham's Heritage Coast. 7). Countryside Events and Guided Walks – If you would prefer someone guiding you on the trail then join one of the Countryside Ranger led walks organised by Durham County Council. An annual programme of events will help you to enjoy Durham's great outdoors. 8). Cricket – 'Outdoor Activities' doesn’t mean you have to be the active one! Sit back and relax on a warm summer day and enjoy watching world famous cricketers play at Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground in Chester-le-Street. 9). A Day at the Races – Sedgefield Racecourse is an attractive and friendly course which provides a good day’s racing with plenty of excitement as you cheer your horse and rider on. And with meetings spread over ten months of the year you can always come back again. 10). Fishing – One day the biggest fish in the lake is going to swim by - and you will be there to catch it! Try your hand at wild brown trout on Selset, Baldershead and Cow Green reservoirs in Teesdale in the Durham Dales. Remember to book ahead 11). Riverbank Walks – How many cities can boast a green heart where a river seems to bring the countryside right into the middle of the city? Stroll along the city’s riverbanks and your eye may be drawn by the splash of a leaping salmon as it makes its way to spawning grounds up river. Or the vivid electric blue flash which signals the kingfisher’s progress upstream. Flora and fauna surveys have shown that Durham’s riverbanks are a haven for Mother Nature. 12). Boating on the River Wear – Hire a rowing boat or take the easy option and join a cruise on the Prince Bishop River Cruiser to enjoy the River Wear from a completely different perspective. Take binoculars and spy for ducks and cormorants.
River Wear Durham Index
EAST SUSSEX Top 12 best kept secrets in Hastings & 1066 Country 1). The beautiful town of Rye, East Sussex is not only the most perfectly preserved medieval town in England, but it is also one of the most haunted too. The Mermaid Inn is a rich source of many ghostly apparitions, including a lady in white, chairs rocking for no reason, rooms which suddenly turn chilly. A secret entrance to the Priest’s Hole, hidden passages and walls with panels which move all add to the mystery of the inn. 2). Battle, East Sussex – the Guy Fawkes connection! – The Battle of Hastings 1066, didn’t take place in Hastings but near a tiny hamlet, later to be named as ‘Battle’ after the famous event that changed the course of English history with the victory of William of Normandy (Norman the Conqueror) over the Saxon king Harold. However, this is not the only claim to fame of this pretty market town. Guy Fawkes is said to have sourced his gunpowder from the mills in Powdermill Lane, Battle, for his failed plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. The Museum of Local History in Battle has the oldest Guy Fawkes effigy in the world, which makes its annual appearance for the Battle Bonfire and Torchlight Procession, held each year on the closest Saturday to 5th November. www.youtube.com/user/hastingscouncil#p/u/0/QIlI20c_Mhw The Battle Bonfire Society is the longest continuously running society in the world (formed in 1605). 3). Bexhill is the birthplace of British Motor Racing – The 8th Earl De La Warr secured Bexhill’s place in history by hosting Britain’s first automobile races on the 19th May 1902. The event was organised by the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland and attracted international attention. The races were part of a campaign to promote Bexhill-on-Sea as a fashionable new resort and used the Bicycle Boulevard, which the 8th Earl had built along De La Warr Parade in 1896. The event was run along a one kilometre track with a flying start from the top of Galley Hill. Bexhill Museum, the Motor Heritage Centre and the Bexhill 100 (classic car club) bear testimony today to Bexhill’s motor racing past Mermaid Street Rye, East Sussex 74
EAST SUSSEX 4). The East Hill Cliff Railway, Hastings, is the steepest working furnicular railway in the UK, with a 78% gradient. The replica Edwardian carriages rise 267 feet (81metres) up to magnificent views of the coastline, the fishing fleet and the picturesque Old Town of Hastings. It is complemented by the West Hill Cliff Railway, giving visitors access to Hastings Castle and the Smugglers Adventure in St Clements Caves. It is also used as a method of everyday transport by people living on the West Hill. 5). Shirley Leaf & Petal Company – also known as the Flowermakers Museum, is a working museum situated in Hastings Old Town, which celebrated its centenary in October 2010. This tiny museum holds the national collection of artificial flowermaking artefacts, and the company produces petals, leaves and flowers for prestigious clients such as West End Theatre companies, Hollywood and Disney (Gladiator and Reign of Fire included), top fashion designers and national opera companies. 6). Sleep like a king at Herstmonceux Castle, where Queens University, Canada has a study centre. When the students go home on vacation, the rooms become free and the castle has just been awarded two – 4* university accommodation standard. 7). The Adventure and Crazy Golf complex on Hastings seafront is the largest in the UK and each October hosts the annual World Crazy Golf Championships. 8). Top B&Bs, Rye has the highest number of 5-star Gold Award B&Bs in the country and three of the ‘Top 15 Cool B&Bs’ listed by ‘Coast Magazine’ in July 2011 are be found in Hastings. Of particular note is the gay friendly nature of Hastings Old Town and Rye. The three aforementioned cool B&Bs are all gay-owned and run. 9). The beautiful ‘Antient’ Cinque Port town of Winchelsea, perched high on a hill just outside Rye, has a large underground network of medieval wine cellars – the largest in the country with the (possible) exception of those of Southampton and Norwich. In the Middle Ages, Winchelsea was one of the principal English ports importing wine from Gascony in southwest France. For example, during 1306/07, ships owned by Winchelsea merchants carried the equivalent of almost threequarters of a million gallons of wine from Bordeaux alone! Members of the public can tour the cellars during the summer months. Spike Milligan, lately of Udimore, just outside Rye, is buried in St Thomas's churchyard, Winchelsea . His gravestone says in Gaelic ' I told you I was ill' and has this year been named the nation's favourite epitaph. Index
10). There is an area of Hastings town centre called The America Ground. The roots of the America Ground lay in the weather. Back in 1287 a series of terrible storms wreaked havoc on Kent and Sussex with Hastings badly affected. Once the south’s best natural port, the storms blocked the town’s harbour with silt and pebbles, forming a huge shingle bank. This new piece of land fell just outside the boundaries of Hastings Borough - effectively making it a no-man’s land. The locals soon realised that they could live on this land free from taxes and rents. Consequently, many moved in, building a thriving but ramshackle community of shops, houses and workplaces. By 1822, an estimated 1000 people lived on the bank, forcing Hastings Borough into action. Taking inspiration from the recent American Revolution, the residents reacted defiantly, declaring themselves independent from Hastings as the ‘twenty-fourth’ US state and hoisting the Stars and Stripes flag. The famous America Ground was born. Each year this area of town holds its own Independence Day celebrations with a weekend of music and outdoor events. 11). Shipwreck! – Well and truly hidden under the sands between Hastings and Bexhill is the wreck of The Amsterdam. However, during extremely low tides the outline of the wreck can still be seen and guided tours take place. A replica version of the ship can be seen at the Scheepvaart Museum in The Netherlands. The Shipwreck Museum in Hastings is the place to go to see artefacts rescued from the wreck and to find out more about the geology and history of this fascinating section of coastline. 12). Famous contemporary people associated with 1066 Country: Bexhill boy, comedian Eddie Izzard maintains strong connections with the town. He is patron of the Bexhill Museum and is known to give impromptu performances at the De La Warr Pavilion and local comedy clubs. Sir Paul McCartney has a house in a village just outside Rye and continues to be a frequent visitor to the town. He and his late wife, Linda, brought up their children in the area, who attended the local state comprehensive school in the 1980s. His windmill recording studio can be seen at Icklesham. Former manager of the Pet Shop Boys, Tom Watkins has recently opened up a new bar/restaurant/delicatessen in Winchelsea Beach, called The Ship. Keane – the three original members come from Battle and their new album Strangeland has a track (Sovereign Light Café) that name checks various locations in Battle and Bexhill. Their two nights at De La Warr Pavilion in March 2012 sold out in 6 minutes. 75
KENT Top 12 Castles and Historic Houses in Kent In Kent, England’s oldest county, you can discover more castles and historic houses than in any other region in the UK, so deciding on a Top 12 is no easy decision! Take inspiration from this list and get close to thousands of years of heritage. 1). Leeds Castle – One of the most romantic and historic buildings in England has been home to royalty, lords and ladies for almost 900 years. Visitors to the castle today can wander through the castle rooms, have fun in Go Ape, the exciting tree top adventure park, and enjoy the tranquility of the beautiful gardens. Hot air balloon flights and a pay and play golf course are just some of the many other activities to get involved in during your visit; and if that’s not enough, why not attend one of the hugely popular summer concerts or one of the many other events happening throughout the year. 2). Dover Castle – Set in a spectacular location high above the famous White Cliffs, Dover Castle commands the shortest sea crossing between England and the continent and boasts an eventful history. Visitors to the Castle today can step inside the newly-renovated Great Tower to meet themed characters or re-live the turbulent war years and drama of the Dunkirk evacuation of May 1940 in the recently opened Operation Dynamo. With exciting exhibitions, winding tunnels to explore, ghosts to hunt out and of course restaurants, shops and ample space for youngsters to run around, Dover Castle offers a fantastic day out for everyone. 3). Hever Castle – A romantic double-moated 13th Century castle which houses historic 16th Century portraits, paintings, furniture, tapestries and treasures. Once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, artifacts here include two Books of Hours (prayer books), both signed and inscribed by Anne herself, and many other mementoes. Visitors can explore the magnificent gardens all year around, with Italian, Rose and Tudor gardens, the Topiary garden, Yew Maze and a splashing water maze. Take a stroll around the informal areas of Sunday Walk and ‘Anne Boleyn’s Walk’ or attend one of the exclusive events hosted throughout the year, including talks with the head gardener and jousting tournaments every summer.
The maze at Hever Castle Kent 76
KENT 4). Walmer Castle – An enchanting castle built in 1540 during the reign of King Henry VIII, originally designed as part of a chain of coastal artillery defences. Centuries of domestic refinements have transformed the Castle from a fortress into an elegant stately home with beautiful gardens, and it is now home of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The Duke of Wellington held the post for 23 years and enjoyed his time spent at the castle and in recent years Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother made regular visits. 5). Penshurst Place and Gardens – Set in the rural Weald of Kent surrounded by picturesque countryside and ancient parkland, Penshurst Place and Gardens possess centuries of captivating history. The medieval masterpiece has been the seat of the Sidney family since 1552 and it retains the warmth and character of a much-loved family home. The garden at Penshurst is considered to be one of the most beautiful in England and also one of the oldest, with records dating back to 1346. As well as the house and gardens, Penshurst is one of the largest privately owned estates in the South East, with 1012ha of parkland, farmland and woodland for visitors to explore. 6). Knole – Knole is situated in the heart of a 405ha acre deer park, the only remaining medieval deer park in Kent, where Sika & Fallow deer roam freely amongst ancient oak, beech and chestnut trees. Knole's fascinating links with kings, queens and the nobility, as well as its literary connections with Vita Sackville-West and her close friend, Virginia Woolf, make this one of the most intriguing houses in England. Thirteen superb state rooms are laid out much as they were in the 18th Century to impress visitors by the wealth and standing of the Sackville family who continue to live at Knole today. The house includes Royal Stuart furniture, paintings by Gainsborough, Van Dyck and Reynolds as well as many 17th Century tapestries. A guided tour exploring Vita Sackville-West’s private garden and Knole’s Christmas concerts are just some of the special events on offer throughout the year.
Walmer Castle Kent Index
KENT 7). Scotney Castle – Based in Lamberhurst in Kent, Scotney Castle is a wonderful country house. At the top of the hill is the New House, designed by Anthony Salvin in Elizabethan style and built in 1837 for Edward Hussey III, who took the picturesque style as his inspiration. At the bottom of the valley are the romantic ruins of a medieval castle and moat. This is the focal point of the celebrated gardens and features beautiful examples of Rhododendrons, Azaleas and kalmia in May/June, voted among the top ten best English gardens to visit. Apart from the obvious architectural and historical interest, Scotney Castle represents a romantic and picturesque representation of a bygone era. 8). Ightham Mote – Nestling in a sunken valley, Ightham Mote, dating from 1320 with important later additions and alterations, is a rare example of a moated medieval manor house. Built nearly 700 years ago, this house has seen many changes and had previous owners including medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and highsociety Victorians. Ightham Mote has many special features, including a Great Hall, Crypt, Tudor Chapel with a hand-painted ceiling and the apartments of the American donor Charles Henry Robinson. Ightham Mote also offers lovely gardens and water features, with lakeside and woodland walks, plus the only Grade I listed dog kennel in England! 9). Chartwell – Bought by Sir Winston Churchill for its magnificent views over the Weald of Kent, Chartwell was his home and the place from which he drew inspiration from 1924 until his death. The rooms remain much as they were when he lived here, with pictures, books and personal mementoes evoking the career and wide-ranging interests of this great statesman. The hillside gardens reflect Churchill’s love of the Kentish landscape and nature. Visitors can explore his gardens and the lakes he created, as well as catching a glance of his famous portraits in his garden.
Scotney Castle Kent 78
KENT 10). Down House, The Home of Charles Darwin – Nominated as a World Heritage Site, Down House, the home of Charles Darwin, has a unique place in the history of science. Visitors to Darwin’s home can see the study where he wrote 'On the Origin of Species' still as it was when he worked here, and stroll through the extensive gardens that inspired the great scientist. Equally as fascinating are the glimpses visitors get into the life of the Darwin family and the fascinating interactive multimedia tour, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, to tell you more about how Darwin developed his ideas of evolution. 11). Quex Park – Set in 101ha on the Isle of Thanet, Quex Park hosts a number of surprising finds. Within the park is Quex House which was built in 1805, and a bell tower built in 1819 with an extremely rare secular peal of 12 bells. The park also has a Gun Tower which was built as a sea lookout post, and a Clock Tower built around 1820 with a pre-reformation bell. The park’s main interest however is the Powell-Cotton Museum which hosts a wide collection of African wildlife exhibitions, alongside other items of weaponry, porcelain and fine furniture. Its natural collections of animals preserved through taxidermy are of world-class importance as a scientific resource. 12). Smallhythe Place – The half-timbered house, built in the early 16th Century when Smallhythe was a thriving shipbuilding yard, was the home of the Victorian actress Ellen Terry from 1899 - 1928, and contains her fascinating theatre collection. The cottage grounds include her rose garden, orchard, nuttery and the still used Barn Theatre. Smallhythe Place also offers unique open-air theatre performances, indoor plays and music in the Barn Theatre. Experience family fun days at Smallhythe including children's theatre, and both music concerts and beer festivals in September.
Downe House Kent Index
KENT Top 12 Dickens Destinations in Kent In 2012, Kent will be celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens. The year will bring many activities and events to commemorate the 200th anniversary of one of Britain's best loved authors. 1). Dickens World – Walk into the atmospheric Victorian world of Charles Dickens recreated just for you! Jump aboard the Great Expectations Boat Ride for a splash with Pip, experience a real Victorian school or take a look in The Haunted House of 1859 if you dare! Afterwards, experience 4D cinema in Peggoty’s Boathouse or the Animatronic show in the Britannia Theatre! Seize the chance to come face to face with Dickens' best loved characters in this magnificent rendition of a Victorian town courtyard; there's something for all the family to enjoy! 2). The Historic Dockyard Chatham – Charles Dickens' father, John, worked here and often brought a young Charles with him to work. This made a great impression on Dickens and he used the dockyard as a gloomy backdrop in many of his novels. The BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit was partly filmed here, as was the 2007 adaptation of Oliver Twist. Jump aboard a WWII destroyer, explore the cramped living quarters of a submarine and walk in the footsteps of the likes of Horatio Nelson as he boarded his new ship, the HMS Victory, built at Chatham. The history, the memories and the atmosphere itself inspires, just as it did for Dickens’ himself.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham Chatham, Kent 80
KENT 3). Gad’s Hill Place – Gad's Hill Place was the country home of Charles Dickens, where he lived until his death in 1870. Dickens first saw the estate when he was nine years old and his father told him if he worked hard enough, he might one day own such a place. After he rocketed to success, Dickens heard it was up for sale and turned Gad's Hill into his country home, entertaining many of his literary friends there such as Hans Christian Anderson and Wilkie Collins. Now Gad's Hill is a school, but it can still be viewed clearly from the road and tours can be arranged. 4). The Guildhall – Once the town hall the Guildhall appears in Great Expectations as the establishment where Pip is bound as an apprentice, with the town of Rochester itself the basis for many of Dickens’ stories. The building is now a museum and houses a must-see exhibition for all Dickens pilgrims. There are a number of rooms dedicated to him for visitors to sample, including a small recreation of his study containing items that once belonged to him. Immerse yourself in the Rochester of Dickens, watching a short film showcasing nearby literary sites and studying personal items from his past. A beautiful building with a beautiful past, this is an exciting, visual attraction that all ages will enjoy. 5). Dickens House Museum – Currently undergoing expansion work, this house was once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong, on whom Dickens based much of the character of Miss Betsey Trotwood in his novel David Copperfield. The refurbishment is set to re-display rooms at 48 Doughty Street as they once were. Containing original manuscripts, memorabilia prints, costumes and Victoriana, the museum often hosts exhibitions with changing displays and interests. Tours are available and many local areas of interest that will have undoubtedly inspired Dickens are close at hand. 6). Restoration House – This was Dickens' inspiration for the famous house of Miss Haversham in Great Expectations, where she sat dressed in her faded wedding gown before a cobwebbed feast of mouldy food. Approach it through Vines Park, just like Pip, and marvel at its superb structure and exquisite gardens. An amalgamation of two medieval buildings, it is situated in the heart of historic Rochester, a town entirely built into the heart of Dickens entirely. The house and gardens are open on certain days of the year.
7). Dickens Countryside – Surrounding the River Medway in the area of Rochester is the marshlands that inspired those of Great Expectations. If you walk the Saxon Shore Way between Hoo and Upnor, you will get a great view of the creepy marshes and experience the same unease as Pip does on that fateful night. Head out on the new Turner and Dickens Walk; running between Broadstairs seafront and near-neighbour Margate’s Harbour, it links attractions such as the Dickens House Museum and St Peter’s village with the brand new Turner Contemporary, exploring their links with Dickens. You can bet that Dickens, a passionate walker, would certainly have stepped out along this route, alongside the many other beautiful countryside landscapes that fill Kent. 8). St James’ Church, Cooling – A great, inexpensive way to get a slice of Dickens culture, Cooling Church is the location of the famous opening scene from Great Expectations where Pip meets the convict Magwitch. The little lozenge-shaped graves which Pip stood beside can still be seen now. Visit this inspiring place with the marshland all around you and experience the desolateness of Pip's life. Inside, the church is light and spacious. There is a 500-year-old timber door that still swings on its ancient hinges - even though it now leads to a blocked north doorway! Another quirky feature is the 19th Century vestry - its walls are lined from top to bottom with thousands of cockle shells, the emblem of St James. 9). Eastgate House – Now a Grade I-listed building, in Dickens’ time, Eastgate House was a girl's boarding school. An excellent example of an Elizabethan town house, Dickens lovers will recognise it as both Miss Twinkerton's school for young ladies in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the Westgate House Seminary for young ladies in The Pickwick Papers. The house is set in its own gardens and the site also encompasses an annexe building and cottage designed by Sir Guy Dawber in the 1920s. In addition, it is home to the Swiss chalet where Dickens used to write. This was moved to Eastgate in the 1960s and was previously sited at nearby Gad’s Hill, where Dickens lived from 1856 until his death in 1870. Eastgate House was once the home of the Dickens Centre and is now a venue for weddings.
KENT 10). Dickens Festivals: Broadstairs Dickens Festival – (16-22 June) Charles Dickens visited Broadstairs in Kent regularly from 1837 until 1859 and immortalised the town as "Our English Watering Place". In 1937, to commemorate the centenary of the author's first visit, Gladys Waterer, the then owner of Dickens House, conceived the idea of putting on a production of 'David Copperfield' and having people about the town in Victorian dress to publicise it. Thus the festival was born and, with the exception of the years of WWII, has been held annually in the third week of June ever since. Medway Dickens Festival – (8-10 June) A spectacular event of colour, costume and entertainment! Spending five of his childhood years here, and returning regularly until his death, Medway offers a fantastic festival that celebrates the author’s life. Thousands of visitors soak up the Victorian atmosphere, while parades make their way through central historic Rochester each day, featuring costumed characters, readings, parades and much more! Dickens Christmas Market, Rochester Castle – (30 November- 18 December, except Mon and Tues) set in the beautiful grounds of Kent's Rochester Castle, overlooking the River Medway and just a few steps from Rochester's picturepostcard Victorian High Street, you can enjoy a truly festive atmosphere with traditional Christmas trees filled with twinkling fairy lights, the smell of roasted chestnuts and glühwein. Discover an array of wonderful German 'style' Christmas market huts selling a range of Christmas gifts, hand-crafted goods and festive fair. In addition to all of this, street entertainers and Dickensian characters mingle amongst the revelers, whilst bands and carol singers entertain visitors to the market.
Dickens Festival Rochester, Kent 82
KENT 11). Rochester Castle – Spending most of his childhood in Rochester, Dickens would have known the familiar sight of the Castle very well. Set as the backdrop to many of the scenes in his stories, this amazing medieval castle has experienced untold horrors and also features in the new film Ironclad (2011). Climb this Norman keep for bird’s eye views of Cloisterham (Edwin Drood) and Pip’s hometown spread out below. It is said that Dickens’ ghost haunts the grassy castle moat – a church graveyard in his time – because he wanted to be buried here but was honoured at Westminster Abbey instead. 12). The Leather Bottle Inn – The small village pub is situated in the quaint little village of Cobham, Kent. It was here, in this half-timbered watering-hole, that Dickens would test his storytelling skills by giving readings from his latest work. The Pickwickians also came here looking for love-struck Mr Tupman in The Pickwick Papers. It is no wonder that the menu lists such dishes as Mr Pickwick Sirloin Steak, and Mr Micawber’s Mixed Grill. The Inn still holds a unique collection of Dickensiana, mirroring the author’s connection to it, alongside the three tastefully decorated bedrooms (two with four-poster beds) that are all en suite and named after Dickensian characters.
Rochester Castle Rochester, Kent Index
LANCASHIRE Top 12 Lancashire Royal Connections 1). Duchy of Lancaster & Lancaster Castle - Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire and the seat of the Duchy of Lancaster (a city since 1937), with most of the land owned by Her Majesty The Queen, who also holds the hereditary title of Duke of Lancaster. Lancaster has a long and fascinating history stretching back to pre-Roman times and evidence of an active Roman settlement can be found throughout the city, much to the delight of visitors drawn to the city’s castle, galleries, museums and attractive Georgian architecture. A Roman Fort once stood on Castle Hill where the current castle, which dates back to 12th Century, now stands. As well as being a fortification the castle is also one of Europe’s longest serving operational prisons. Notorious as the place where the Pendle Witches were tried, convicted and sentenced to death, and from where many convicts were transported to Australia. A fascinating mix of the ghoulish and historic awaits those who take the castle tour, with some of the country’s most entertaining and knowledgeable guides – watch out, you may even find yourself locked in one of the dungeons! Today, Lancaster is a modern vibrant city, chic and bohemian with an array of bars, restaurants, boutiques, specialist shops, street markets, theatres, smart hotels and B&Bs. Close by in Morecambe you’ll find Art Deco chic in The Midland Hotel, where you can also see the famous Eris Morecambe statue; head to Carnforth Station and take tea in the station tea room, made famous by David Lean’s iconic film, Brief Encounter; take a guided walk along the sands of the bay, in the expert hands of the Queen’s Guide, Cedric Robinson MBE. www.lancastercastle.com www.citycoastcountryside.co.uk 2). Sir Loin at Hoghton Tower - The next time you order a sirloin steak you might want to spare a thought for Sir Richard de Hoghton of Hoghton Tower near Preston. The lavish and unstinting hospitality of this 17th Century baron to his King did result in the knighting of ‘Sir Loin’ but it was also his ruin. In 1617 the Lancashire baronet invited King James I to stay at his hilltop manor, welcoming the monarch with a huge red velvet carpet that stretched the full length of the 1 /2 mile driveway. During the three day visit the King enjoyed stag hunting and dined lavishly in the company of Dukes, Earls and knights - at the expense of Sir Richard. It is said that the King was so enamoured by a loin of beef he ate during a banquet at Hoghton Tower that he knighted it ‘Sir Loin’- which is how it got its name.
During this same visit James I was also reported to have ridden his horse up the stairs of the house to his bedchamber – to avoid any attempts being made on his life. The unflagging hospitality (not to mention the property damage) bankrupted Sir Richard and he spent some years in Fleet Debtors Prison. Today you can take a tour of the same banqueting hall and staterooms visited by James I - where you’ll also see the menu from the famous ‘Sir Loin’ banquet. The spooky underground passages and eerie dungeons will send shivers down your spine especially when you find out that Hoghton Tower is reputedly the third most haunted house in Britain. A less scary option is to follow the discovery trail through the extensive gardens and along the ramparts - where the views are magnificent. Hoghton Tower hosts a range of events throughout the year including concerts, exhibitions and the regular Merchants of Hoghton, the largest farmer’s market in the county. www.hoghtontower.co.uk 3). The Exact Centre of the Kingdom - According to Ordnance Survey, Dunsop Bridge is the exact centre of the kingdom. The village nestles in the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty flanking the Duchy of Lancaster Estate, where Her Majesty The Queen in her official biography, Elizabeth by Sarah Bradford, said that she would like to retire. This largely unspoilt countryside is one of Lancashire’s most cherished gems and a destination for walkers, cyclists and lovers of wildlife. www.forestofbowland.com 4). Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club - 1926 was a significant year for the club, not only did it host its first Open, but King George V gave his approval to adding the word 'Royal' to the club's title just in time for the championship to start. In July 2012 (15th – 22nd) the club will host the Open Golf Championship 2012 where the world’s greatest golfers will gather to do battle for the famous Golf Champion Trophy, now commonly referred to as the Claret Jug, and where Darren Clarke will defend the trophy he famously won a Royal St George’s in 2011. www.royallytham.org
LANCASHIRE 5). The Queen’s Guide to the Sands - People have walked across the sands of Morecambe Bay for hundreds of years. Before the arrival of the railway it was the main route to and from Furness. Now people cross for fun, and to raise money for charity: guided by the 25th appointed Queen's Guide to the Sands Cedric Robinson who has been leading the walks since 1963 and is the longest serving guide. Cedric, a lifelong local fisherman, knows the ever-changing sands like the back of his hand. The first appointment was in 1536, an appointment still made by the Duchy of Lancaster. Morecambe Bay's cross-bay walk is internationally renowned and has been described as "one of the world's most wonderful journeys”. www.morecambebay.com/bay-walks 6). King George V’s Coach - The coach used by the Queen’s grandfather George V will be on display at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland during 2012 and will run in some special events around the time of the Diamond Jubilee. The British Commercial Vehicle Museum has dedicated the last 20 years to preserving the history of road transport in the UK. Over one million people in the UK are employed in some way with the road transport industry and its infrastructure. The museum featured in the TV series Behind the Scenes at the Museum on BBC Four. www.bcvmt.co.uk 7). The King’s Speech - Queens Street Mill in Burnley, Lancashire was the location for scenes in this multi-Oscar winning film, which told the story of King George VI's determination to overcome his problems with speech. Starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush the scenes were shot at the mill in 2009 and the film was released in 2010. www.visitburnley.com 8). HRH The Prince of Wales - Northcote’s Chef Patron, Nigel Haworth and Head Chef Lisa Allen, have both won the TV chef challenge Great British Chef and helped deliver a charity banquet hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Northcote is a Michelin starred restaurant and stylish hotel located in the Ribble Valley. Nigel and Lisa are both champions of Lancashire produce and each year help present Northcote’s Obsession food festival, where acclaimed chefs from all over the world descend on the county to deliver an amazing array of dishes to the delight of Northcote diners. www.northcote.com
9). Leyland’s Royal Guests - Farington Lodge is a superb AA four star Grade II listed Georgian house set in three acres of mature lawns and gardens. It blends lavish period splendour and a fascinating history with the very best contemporary luxury. Farington Lodge, Leyland has many royal connections. HRH Princess Diana visited in 1992 and, since March 2001, they have had the privilege of welcoming HRH Princess Anne to several dinners in aid of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers. Farington Lodge was formerly the Leyland Motors Guest House, a venue for visiting dignitaries, which included Prince Edward and Mrs Simpson, HRH The Queen Mother and HRH Prince Philip. www.classiclodges.co.uk/Farington_Lodge_Hotel_Preston 10). Royal Lancashire Water - King Henry’s legendary divining skills are said to be responsible for his discovering a spring and founding a well at Bolton Hall, where he stayed with Sir Ralph Pudsey in 1464 after the Wars of the Roses. The well survives intact as a Listed Ancient Monument and has recently been sensitively restored. King Henry VI English Spring Water® is now bottled on the Lancashire estate and supplied to quality establishments across the country. www.kinghenryviwater.com 11). Inn at Whitewell - The Inn at Whitewell in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, is renowned for its links with the Royal family. From Her Majesty The Queen to Princess Diana, this rural idyll is on land owned by the Duchy of Lancaster (The Queen). The Inn sits proudly above the River Hodder, with breathtakingly beautiful views over some of Lancashire’s finest countryside making it a much sought after venue for weddings (with the delightful St Michael’s Church just a couple of minutes walk away, for those seeking a church wedding). The Inn at Whitewell also featured on the recent hit TV programme The Trip – with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. www.innatwhitewell.com 12). HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton - Lancashire was the destination for HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton’s final official engagement before their wedding in April 2011. They visited a new school in Darwen and Witton Country Park, Blackburn. Let’s hope it’s the first of many more visits.
NATIONAL FOREST Top 12 things to do We all have things that we have always wanted to do ….but have somehow never got around to doing. Well, it is now time to do all those things that you have always dreamt of. 1). Compete in the Olympics! – Ever dreamt of taking part in the Olympics? Well – if you didn’t make the British team for 2012 you could always look at entering the Agrilympics at the National Forest Adventure Farm. This annual event, taking place on 4th August, includes the corn javelin, tossing the hale bale, welly sprint and many more heats! 2). Walk through a carpet of beautiful bluebells – Some of the best places to walk through bluebell-carpeted woods are in The National Forest. Serpentine Wood within the Calke Abbey Estate, Outwoods in Charnwood near Loughborough, Jackson’s Bank in Staffordshire or Staunton Ridgeway through Spring Wood Nature Reserve, near Staunton Harold. Set in beautiful rolling parkland at Newchurch, Yoxall Lodge was once a forest lodge situated in the heart of the ancient Needwood Forest. Woodland walks give access to a magical carpet of native bluebells which blankets the floor of these old, natural woodlands. 3). Horse ride across open countryside – Ride through beautiful Bradgate Park, past the babbling brook and the ruins of Lady Jane Grey’s (the nine-day queen) former home. Park View Riding Stables offers off-road hacking to Bradgate Park and Swithland Woods in the ancient Charnwood Forest. 4). Take part of a Murder Mystery night on an old steam train – Step into the world of Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ on a Murder Mystery evening at Great Central Railway or have a go at driving a steam dream on their locomotive driving experiences. 5). Go Ghost hunting – Take part in a ghost hunt at Tutbury Castle, a ghost walk at Grace Dieu Priory or paranormal evening at Moira Furnace. 6). Bottle feed a new-born lamb – Bottle feed new-born lambs at the National Forest Adventure Farm. This year-round attraction hosts the popular annual Agrilympics and holds pig and sheep racing (complete with teddy bear jockeys) every day. 86
Calke Abbey Derbyshire Index
NATIONAL FOREST 7). Be a zookeeper for a day – Ever fancied being a zookeeper for the day? Twycross Zoo offers a zookeeper experience which involves helping in all aspects of animal care including cleaning, food preparation and feeding in one its primate houses (langurs, lemurs, marmosets and woolly monkeys) or the giraffe section (vicunas, guanacos, camels and tapir). 8). Watch the countryside drift past on a lazy narrow boat holiday – There are 30 miles of canal stretching through the National Forest. A canal cruise is a great tonic to slow down and relax. Embark on a relaxing canal boat holiday or short break with Aqua Narrowboat Hire at Willington-based Mercia Marina. 9). Feel the warmth of a hot stones massage – Treat yourself to a bit of ‘me-time’ at the luxurious health spas Champneys Springs or Eden Day Spa at Hoar Cross Hall. Be pampered and feel stress ebb away at the excellent Reeds Health Club and Spa within Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel. 10). Learn how to be a chocolatier for a day – Bitter Sweet Chocolates’ courses reveal the secrets of a chocolatier. A must for chocoholics everywhere! Or for budding Masterchefs, join the passionate chefs at Seasoned Courses whose cookery courses will teach and enthuse you about food. 11). Organise a ‘party’ in a brewery – Formerly the Bass Museum, the National Brewery Centre is a world-class museum and visitor centre that celebrates Burton upon Trent’s proud brewing heritage. Brilliant holograms and costumed characters from the brewery’s past stroll around the centre and truly bring the history of brewing, beer and Burton to life. The brewing experience includes beer tasting, magnificent shire horses, and a brand new micro brewery. Marston’s Brewery also offers tours for groups. Both venues have rooms that groups can hire to organise their own ‘party’ in a brewery. 12). Go ‘glamping’ or stay in a log cabin – Nestling in their own woodland glade Rosliston Forestry Centre’s Forest Lodges are a dream come true for those who have always wanted to stay in a log cabin. Or how about a spot of ‘glamping’ in one of the new luxury canvas cottages with Dandelion Hideaway – complete with gorgeous roll-top bath. These are set in stunning countryside on a working farm. Perfect for a relaxing getaway! National Forest Photo credit: Christopher Beech Index
NEW FOREST Top 12 New Forest Views ). Forest canopy – For a stunning vantage point across the top of the trees of the New Forest canopy without a building in sight, film from the rooftop garden of the luxurious Herb House Spa at five red star country house hotel Lime Wood near Lyndhurst. 2). Coast – 43 miles of wonderful coastline is a short drive from the woodland heart of the New Forest is its. For the ultimate view, the Art Deco roof terrace restaurant at The Marine at Milford on Sea has a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the Solent coast and the famous Isle of Wight Needles. 3). Knightwood Oak – For the largest oak in the New Forest (7.4m girth) park at the Knightwood Oak car park (take the A35 from Lyndhurst to Christchurch and after two miles turn right into Bolderwood Ornamental Drive and the car park is on the left). Stand under its shady branches and imagine life 600 years ago, when it first began to grow. 4). Castle Hill – Stunning viewpoint overlooking the beautiful Avon valley and Breamore House on the western edge of the New Forest. 5). Rufus Stone - The historic site of a former great oak where King William II (known as William Rufus because of his ruddy complexion) is said to have been left by Sir Walter Tyrell, who fired the shot that killed him. Conspiracy theories of the day claimed it was no hunting accident. 6). Forest Tour – Jump aboard the open-top hourly New Forest Tour throughout the summer for the best views of the of the forest from the highest possible vantage point. As well as the original route from the centre to the coast, a new route takes you from the heart of the New Forest to the beautiful Avon Valley and back.
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NEW FOREST 7). Buckler’s Hard – The unspoilt 18th Century village of Buckler’s Hard is where some of Nelson’s Trafalgar fleet was built. A gently sloping street of original shipbuilders’ cottages leads down to the stunning waterfront of the Beaulieu River. 8). Exbury – Exbury Gardens, with its world-famous Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs, is a riot of colour with picturesque reflections of lakeside tints . . . and the perfect backdrop for filming. 9). Sunset over the Solent – Film at Keyhaven marshes on the Solent Way for the most dramatic sunset shots. The fiery, orange ball sinking behind the clouds to the still backdrop of tranquil surroundings and moored boats can be perfect. 10). Lepe – Lepe Country Park has panoramic views across the Solent from its mile of beach, pine fringed cliffs and wild flower meadows. It is a popular destination for family days out walking, swimming, fishing, windsurfing and watching the cruise ships sailing to and from Southampton. 11). Blackwater – The best place for giant redwoods and majestic Douglas firs along the Tall Trees Trail at Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. This arboretum has some of the tallest and oldest trees in Britain. 12). Myths and legends – Burley is the best place to head for thatched cottages, witches, gnomes and pixies. It is steeped in legends and mystique – and you can even explore the area in a horse-drawn wagon.
To arrange interviews or filming at any of these locations contact Polymedia on 01329 822866 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Anthony Climpson, Employment and Tourism Manager, on 02380 285102.
Buckler’s Hard Hampshire Index
NEW FOREST Top 12 New Forest Wildlife 1). Bolderwood deer – Stunning views, Great British scenery and the best place to see deer. There is a special viewing platform as well as a trail to get great pictures/films of a herd of fallow deer which are easily spotted at this New Forest beauty spot. 2). New Forest Ponies – The New Forest is famous for its iconic ponies. About 3,500 New Forest ponies roam its common land under an ancient management system created by William the Conqueror, when he recognised its rare qualities nearly 1,000 years ago. 3). Pannage Pigs – As many as 600 Commoners’ pigs are turned out in the New Forest in the autumn to pannage for acorns which are poisonous to the ponies, cattle and deer which roam free. The pigs are let loose to roam for 60 days. The tradition was recently celebrated by a Beaulieu chocolatier who made handcrafted chocolate pigs with praline acorns. 4). Cattle - Roam the common land of the New Forest which making it the perfect English idyll. The land management system which protects and preserves the special woodlands and wilderness heath is still enacted today by Verderers, Agisters and Commoners (literally the judges, Police and land users of this historic landscape). 5). Pony Drift – In a Drift round-up, Commoners and Agisters enact a centuries-old tradition every autumn in the New Forest. During the Drift in early autumn, skilled riders herd the 3,000 or so ponies. Veterinary health checks are carried out and foals are weaned from their mothers, often to be sold at regular pony sales. 6). Bluebells – For the perfect backdrop in spring, a beautiful wash of colour covers the forest floor at the Pondhead Inclosure near Lyndhurst, as a sea of bluebells breaks through.
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NEW FOREST 7). Donkeys – Can often be seen meandering along the main street of Burley, which is famous for tales of legends, witches and smuggling and can be explored by horse-drawn wagon. 8). Falconry – Amews Falconry in Beaulieu lets you hold and fly some of Britain’s most beautiful birds of prey. 9). Bottle-feed kid goats and calves - See the animals in their seasonal homes at Longdown Activity Farm at Ashurst. 10). Dragonflies – Hatchet Pond, the largest body of water in the New Forest, has a vast array of spectacular dragonflies and damselflies that live in its natural habitat. 11). Birds – The New Forest is a twitcher’s paradise. Among its treasures, rare nightjars gather at the New Forest’s Matley Ridge, a small, secluded woodland site. And at Blackwater arboretum, migrating Hawfinches can be spotted in the trees. 12). Bats - Swooping low at dusk to catch insects, bats are an unforgettable sight. Blackwater arboretum is the best place to film their nocturnal activity.
New Forest Ponies Hampshire Index
NORFOLK Norwich Top 12 Norwich 12 is the UK's finest collection of individually outstanding heritage buildings from the Norman, medieval, Georgian, Victorian and modern eras located in Norwich, Norfolk. Explore these 12 iconic landmarks through guided walks and tours, visitor attractions, exhibitions, music, performances, cafes, restaurants and gifts shops – many are free to enter. Here are the Norwich 12 buildings from oldest to newest – spanning 1000 years of history in Norwich. 1). Norwich Castle – Norwich Castle (built 1067 – 1075) is one of the finest surviving secular Norman buildings in Europe. The Castle mound is the largest in the country. From the 14th to the 19th century the keep was used as a county gaol. The Castle was converted to a museum in 1894 and today is the county’s principle museum and art gallery. 2). Norwich Cathedral – Built 1096-1145. Most of Norwich Cathedral's Norman architecture is still intact and it forms one of the finest examples of the Romanesque style in Europe. Norwich Cathedral has the highest Norman tower (40m) and largest monastic cloisters in England, the second highest spire as well as a unique and world-renowned collection of medieval roof carvings. 3). The Assembly House – Built 1754-1755. The Assembly House is a Georgian building designed by the architect Thomas Ivory. It incorporates the original layout of a previous building, the medieval college of St Mary in the Fields. Today the rooms appear almost exactly as they did at the height of the Regency period, and are used for exhibitions, concerts, conferences and weddings - the Assembly House offers a superb year-round programme of arts and culture to enjoy. Recent developments include a state-of-the-art kitchen and a Cake Counter where you can indulge in delectable delicate hand-made biscuits, cakes and chocolates! This is the place to be if you want to take a traditional Afternoon Tea in sumptuous surroundings. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is also available with a huge choice of dishes using local produce wherever possible. 4). St James Mill – Built 1836 – 1839. St James Mill is the archetypal English Industrial Revolution mill in perhaps an unexpected part of the UK. It was built on a site occupied by the White Friars (Carmelites) in the 13th century, and an orginal arch and undercroft survive. Jarrolds have twice been owners of the mill the last purchase being in 1933, today it is a private office complex. 92
Norwich Cathedral Norfolk Index
NORFOLK 5). The Great Hospital – Built 1249, Norwich's Great Hospital has been in continuous use as a caring institution since it was founded for the care of poor chaplains in the 13th century. The 2.5ha complex of buildings and extensive archives provide a unique living history of the last 750 years. The site includes the ancient parish church of St Helen and Eagle Ward with its lavishly decorated 'eagle ceiling', originally the chancel of the church. Today the hospital provides sheltered housing and a residential care home. 6). The Halls - St Andrew’s and Blackfriars – Built 1307 – 1470. St Andrew's Hall is the centrepiece of several magnificent flint buildings, known as The Halls, which form the most complete friary complex surviving in England. During the reformation, the site was saved by the City Corporation which bought it from the king for use as a 'common hall'. Since then the complex has been used for worship, as a mint and as a workhouse. Today the two halls, crypt, chapel and cloisters host conferences, fairs, weddings and concerts. 7). St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral – Built 1884 – 1910, St John's Roman Catholic Cathedral is a particularly fine example of 19th-century Gothic revival architecture. Designed in the Early English style by George Gilbert Scott Junior, St John's contains some of the finest 19th-century stained glass in Europe. It also has a wealth of Frosterley marble and exquisite stone caving. 8). Surrey House - Marble Hall – Built 1900 – 1912, Surrey House, the historic home of Aviva (formally Norwich Union), is a spectacular piece of Edwardian architecture by George Skipper. He was commissioned by The Norwich Union Life Insurance Society's directors to produce a 'splendid yet functional office space', incorporating Greek influences and the themes of insurance, protection and wellbeing. The building has a commanding Palladian exterior and an interior adorned with 15 varieties of marble, classically inspired frescos and a stunning glass atrium. This is not to be missed! 9). The Guildhall – Built 1407 – 1424, the elaborate design and size of the Guildhall reflect Norwich's status as one of the wealthiest provincial cities in England in medieval times. The building represents the growing economic and political power of the new ruling elite that was emerging - wealthy freemen who were merchants and traders. Norwich was given more self-governing powers in 1404 and the Guildhall was built to house the various civic assemblies, councils and courts that regulated its citizens' lives.
10). Dragon Hall – Built 1427 – 1430, Dragon Hall is a medieval trading hall, built by Robert Toppes, a wealthy local merchant, for his business. The first floor of the 27m timber-framed hall has an outstanding crown post roof with a beautifully carved dragon, which gives the building its name. After Toppes' death, the building was converted for domestic use and then, in the 19th century, subdivided into shops, a pub and tenements. Today Dragon Hall is a heritage attraction open to visitors and is a unique venue for weddings, private and corporate functions, and performances. 11). City Hall – Built 1936 – 1938, Norwich City Hall was build when the Guildhall and existing municipal offices could no longer accommodate the growth in local government duties in the early 20th century. City Hall has an exceptional art deco interior and many fine architectural features, including a top-floor cupola, rich in mahogany panelling and one of the longest balconies in England. 12). The Forum – Built 1999 – 2001, the Forum is the landmark millennium project for the East of England and a striking example of post-war architecture. Funded by a Millennium Commission grant and matching support from Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council and the business community, it houses the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium and the 2nd Air Division Memorial Libraries BBC East's regional headquarter, Norwich Tourist Information Centre, a shop, a cafe, restaurant, Fusion - a giant digital gallery (the largest in Europe), BBC open studio and The Curve auditorium.
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NORFOLK Top 12 Norfolk Historic Houses and Gardens 1). Sandringham House – (Her Majesty The Queen), all the ground floor rooms used by The Royal Family, full of their treasured ornaments, portraits and furniture, are open to the public. The Ballroom displays a different exhibition each year and in 2012 will be celebrating 60 years of Her Majesty the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and 150 years of the Royal Family at Sandringham. More family possessions are displayed in the museum housed in the old stables and coach houses including vehicles ranging in date from the first car owned by a British monarch, a 1900 Daimler, to a half-scale Aston Martin used by the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, www.sandringhamestate.co.uk 2). Holkham Hall – (Viscount Coke) is one of Britain's most majestic stately homes. With stunning architecture in the Marble Hall, classical Roman statuary in the Statue Gallery and original paintings and furniture in the opulent Saloon, plus much more. Each room has a wealth of treasures to be discovered. Nearby Holkham Beach has been voted Best British Beach by the readers of Coast magazine for the last three years, www.holkham.co.uk 3). Oxburgh Hall – (National Trust), step back in time through the magnificent Tudor gatehouse into the dangerous world of Tudor politics. Home to the Bedingfield family since 1482 this stunning redbrick house charts their precarious history from medieval austerity to neo-Gothic Victorian comfort. Oxburgh houses beautiful embroidery by both Mary Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick. Panoramic views from the roof look out over the Victorian French parterre, walled orchard, kitchen garden and a Catholic chapel, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/oxburghhall 4). Houghton Hall – (Marquis of Cholmondeley) was built in the 1720s by Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's First Prime Minister. It is one of the grandest Palladian Houses in England, designed by James Gibbs and Colen Campbell with the interiors by William Kent and opulently furnished to reflect Walpole's status. Houghton retains most its original furnishings, www.houghtonhall.com 5). Blickling Hall – (National Trust). This exquisite red brick early 17th century house with spectacular long gallery, and plasterwork ceilings, has fine collections of furniture, pictures and books. The house is surrounded by extensive gardens and park with ornamental lake, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling
Sandringham House Norfolk Index
NORFOLK 6). Felbrigg Hall – (National Trust). This fine country house is a composite of architectural styles from the early 17th to early 19th century. There is a Grand Tour collection of paintings, period furniture and fine library. Walled garden, working dovecote, exotic planting, extensive parkland and ancient woodland, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-felbrigg-hall
12). Invitation to View – Invitation to View co-ordinates openings of historic country houses that are not regularly open to the public in East Anglia. Currently 54 properties are involved in the scheme, www.invitationtoview.co.uk More information www.visitnorfolk.co.uk
7). Mannington Hall Gardens – (Lord Walpole), the gardens around this medieval moated manor house feature a wide variety of plants, trees and shrubs in many different settings. Throughout the gardens are thousands of roses especially classic varieties. The Heritage Rose and 20th century rose gardens have designs reflecting their date of origin from the 15th century to the present day. Wolterton Hall (Lord Walpole), www.manningtongardens.co.uk 8). Wolterton Hall – (Lord Walpole), was built by Thomas Ripley in the 1720s for Horatio Walpole: politician, diplomat and younger brother to Britain's first Prime Minister - Sir Robert Walpole. The current Lord Walpole inherited the property in 1989. Since then, there has been a programme of reorganisation, conservation and research into the history of the family, hall and park using previously neglected archives. There is an extensive family portrait collection, www.manningtongardens.co.uk 9). Euston Hall – (Duke of Grafton), home of the Dukes of Grafton for more than 300 years. The hall contains, among is treasures, a unique collection of paintings of the court of Charles II and includes works by Van Dyck, Lely and Kneller. There are also tranquil gardens a river walk and restored watermill, www.eustonhall.co.uk 10). Raveningham Gardens – (Sir Nicholas Bacon), a place away from the hurly burly of modern life, where visitors can reflect on how a modern garden can evolve and explore a traditional walled garden which still produces fruit and vegetables for the family as it did for the current owners Victorian ancestors, www.raveningham.com 11). Somerleyton Hall – (Lord Somerleyton) on the Norfolk/Suffolk border is an early Victorian stately mansion built in Anglo-Italian style with lavish architectural features, magnificent carved stonework and fine state rooms. Paintings by Landseer, Wright of Derby and Stanfield. Wood carvings by Wilcox of Warwick and Grinling Gibbons. The justly renowned 5ha gardens feature an 1846 yew hedge maze, glasshouses by Paxton, fine statuary, pergola and walled garden, www.somerleyton.co.uk Index
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NORTHUMBERLAND Top 12 Northumberland Attractions 1). Alnwick Castle – Associated with Harry Hotspur and still owned by the Percies – current Dukes of Northumberland, magnificent Alnwick Castle is stuffed full of priceless works of art and impressive collections of armour and weapons. More recently Alnwick Castle was one of the settings for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. 2). Bamburgh Castle – In a stunning location overlooking the wild North Sea, Bamburgh has been a seat of kings for over a thousand years. Restored by Lord Armstrong, the current castle is a treasure trove of armour, artwork, porcelain and furniture. 3). Hadrian’s Wall – Built in just six years from AD122 as the frontier of Hadrian’s Roman Empire, Hadrian’s Wall snakes across some of England’s most spectacular countryside for 117km. Along the way are impressively preserved forts, garrisons and temples. 4). Holy Island – Cut off by the tide each day, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is still a place of pilgrimage. It was on Holy Island that St Cuthbert spread his early Christian message and that the unique illustrated manuscript, the Lindisfarne Gospels – a true national treasure – was produced. 5). The Alnwick Garden – One of the most exciting contemporary gardens on earth. A garden for gardeners with a design that looks to the future. It's a stunning attraction, a floral wonderland. a place for families with lots of chances to get wet and play. 6). Cragside House, Gardens & Estate – The creation of Lord Armstrong, Victorian inventor and landscape genius, Cragside was the first house in Britain to be lit by hydro electricity. Enjoy the estate drive, pinetum and formal gardens. 7). Warkworth Castle – An impressive 12th Century fortress with magnificent cross shaped keep, Warkworth was owned by the Percy family, whose lion badge can be seen carved into the stronghold. Near the castle and accessible only by boat is a late medieval Hermitage and chapel. Alnwick Castle Northumberland 96
NORTHUMBERLAND 8). Howick Hall Gardens & Arboretum – The home of Charles, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister during the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832 and better known for the famous tea which was blended especially for the water at Howick and named after him. The gardens are a plantsman’s delight with extensive grounds offering a stunning variety of unusual plants throughout the seasons. Enjoy a cup of Earl Grey in the garden’s tea room. 9). Berwick Barracks and Ramparts – Purpose-built barracks housing several attractions. The ramparts are the fortifications of gateways, curtain walls and projecting bastions built in 1558-70. 10). The Farne Islands – Off the coast of Northumberland, the Farne Islands are one of the greatest wildlife experiences in England. In the summer they are home to more than 100,000 pairs of breeding seabirds including puffins and rare Roseate Turns. 11). Chillingham Castle and the Chillingham Cattle – Rumoured to be the most haunted castle in England, Chillingham occupied a strategic position during Northumberland's bloody border feuds, as often under attack as basking in the patronage of Royal visitors. Nearby a walled enclosure is home to the Chillingham Wild Cattle, a unique pure-bred herd of white cattle descended from the wild cattle that once roamed the forests of Britain. 12). Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens – Belsay’s grand medieval castle was later extended to include a magnificent Jacobean mansion. The nearby Belsay Hall was inspired by the temples of ancient Greece and has a fabulous pillar hall. The huge grounds include a unique Quarry Garden, a fantasy of ravines, pinnacles and exotic plants.
The Alnwick Garden Northumberland Index
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Top 12 Nottinghamshire Free Things to Do 1). Creswell Crags – Creswell Crags is an historic limestone gorge, honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures. Stone tools and remains of animals found in the caves provide evidence for a fascinating story of life during the last Ice Age between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago. Further evidence came to light in 2003 with the discovery of Britain's only known Ice Age rock art. 2). Wollaton Hall and Deer Park – Wollaton Hall is a spectacular Elizabethan mansion in the heart of Nottingham. It is a prominent Grade I Listed building, situated in a 202ha historic deer park, and herds of red and fallow deer roam freely throughout the site. The Hall was built by Sir Francis Willoughby between 1580 and 1588, and now houses Nottingham’s Natural History Museum along with reconstructed room settings. 3). Major Oak – legendary as a hide-out of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year as they trace the footsteps of the legend. The reserve covers 182ha and incorporates some truly ancient areas of native woodland, including over 1,000 veteran oaks, most of which are over 500 years old. 4). Nottingham Contemporary – Nottingham Contemporary, designed by the award winning architects Caruso St John, is one of the largest contemporary art centres in the UK. It has four galleries lit by 132 skylights, a performance and film Space, a Learning room, The Study, The Shop and Cafe.Bar.Contemporary. The gallery runs a range of special events and children’s workshops, and entry is free. 5). Attenborough Nature Reserve – This beautiful complex of flooded former gravel pits and islands provides 146ha of exceptional habitat for a wide range of plants, birds and other wildlife. The Nature Reserve is nationally designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), featuring many walking trails and opportunities for spotting rare and beautiful wildlife. The Nature Centre was opened by Sir David Attenborough in 2005 and has been named as one of the top ten eco destinations in the world by BBC Wildlife magazine. Creswell Crags Nottinghamshire 98
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE 6). Mansfield Museum – Named as the Family Friendly Museum of the Year in 2011 by The Guardian Newspaper, Mansfield Museum offers a range of wonderful permanent and temporary exhibitions, exploring the social history of the area, including interactive exhibitions aimed at entertaining children. 7). Southwell Minster – the stunning twin spires of Southwell Minster are one of the highlights of the beautiful market town of Southwell. The Minster, the Cathedral of Nottinghamshire, is rich in historical and architectural interest, featuring some of the finest examples of naturalistic carvings in the country. 8). Sherwood Pines Forest Park – The largest woodland open to the public in the East Midlands, the forest offers fantastic outdoor experiences all year round. From cycling to mushroom foraging to picnics – the park has plenty of activities on all year round. 9). Newstead and Annersley Country Park – a beautiful 89ha eco-friendly park, Newstead and Annersley Country Park has been developed by the local people to benefit the community. Hosting numerous events and attractions throughout the year, the Park is only three minutes from Newstead Railway Station and eight minutes by car from Junction 27 of the M1. 10). Thoresby Gallery – Thoresby Gallery in Thoresby Courtyard is an imaginative conversion of a Grade I listed building, recently transformed into a thriving retail area including an art gallery, busy cafe and a home for working crafts people. The courtyard sits beside Thoresby Hall, built by the third Earl Manvers in 1860. The Courtyard is set within several thousand acres of forest, farmland and parkland that you can explore via a series of way marked walks. 11). Rufford Country Park – 60.7ha of historic parkland, woodland and gardens in the North of Nottinghamshire’s ‘Dukeries’ region, Rufford Country Park includes the ruins of a medieval monastery, gardens, woodland walks, a sculpture trail and a lake. All the ingredients for a relaxing day outside. 12). Walking and Cycling – Beautiful Nottinghamshire offers a wide range trails and routes for walking and cycling, for visitors wanting to explore the countryside at their own pace. Welbeck Estate offers a beautiful 2 ½ mile loop including the Harley Gallery and Creswell Crags, and the Ancient Sherwood Route and Adventure Pines Route for cyclists are 32km journeys designed to be enjoyed in a day, stopping off at key attractions along the way. Index
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NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Top 12 Nottinghamshire Historic Sites 1). Creswell Crags – Creswell Crags is an historic limestone gorge, honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures. Stone tools and remains of animals found in the caves provide evidence for a fascinating story of life during the last Ice Age between 50000 and 10000 years ago. Further evidence came to light in 2003 with the discovery of Britain's only known Ice Age rock art. 2). Welbeck Estates – Stretching more than 6070ha acres to straddle the borders of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, the Welbeck Estates are home to historic Welbeck Abbey and Welbeck Village. Find out about the 4km walking trail which covers some of the most scenic parts of the estate, and be sure to stop for refreshments at Welbeck Farm Shop and the Lime House Cafe. 3). Papplewick Pumping Station – the finest working Victorian water pumping station in Britain, the site has recently undergone extensive restoration and once again stands proud as a spectacular example of Victorian craftsmanship. It boasts a range of original features including an ornate Engine House, ornamental cooling pond and a Boiler House complete with six Lancashire Boilers, all set amidst formal landscaped grounds. Designed as a statement of Victorian flare and pride, it is hard to believe today that the site was never intended to be seen by the general public. 4). Ruddington Framework Knitters Museum – a small independent working museum, established by the efforts of the local community, which saved it from the bulldozer and put it under the control of a charitable Trust. Framework knitting was the basis for the growth of the village of Ruddington, and also, looking further afield, for the development of machine lace and the East Midlands textile industry. 5). Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem – England’s Oldest Inn, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is built into caves beneath Nottingham Castle, with an inn and brewery in operation on the site for over 800 years. On stepping inside, visitors to England’s oldest Inn will immediately sense that they truly are taking a step back in time. Major Oak Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire 100
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE 6). Clumber Park – This grand National Trust Property features over 1538ha of parkland, farmland and woods, and is home to the longest avenue of Lime Trees in Europe at over two miles long. Stroll around the gardens, stop for a bite at Barkers restaurant overlooking the walled kitchen garden. At the heart of the estate is the magnificent serpentine lake, complete with balustraded bridge and delightful Doric Temple. A stroll along the lakeshore gives spectacular views and offers good fishing and bird watching. 7). Wollaton Hall and Deer Park – Wollaton Hall is a spectacular Elizabethan mansion in the heart of Nottingham. It is a prominent Grade One Listed building, situated in a 202ha historic deer park, and herds of red and fallow deer roam freely throughout the site. The Hall was built by Sir Francis Willoughby between 1580 and 1588, and now houses Nottingham’s Natural History Museum along with reconstructed room settings.
11). Newstead Abbey – This beautiful historic house is the ancestral home of the great romantic poet Lord Byron. From April to September, visitors may explore the historic house with its medieval cloisters, splendid Victorian room settings and even the private apartments of Byron - complete with his personal belongings and the table at which he wrote his poetry. 12). Major Oak –legendary as a hide-out of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year as they trace the footsteps of the legend. The reserve covers 182ha and incorporates some truly ancient areas of native woodland, including over 1000 veteran oaks, most of which are over 500 years old.
8). Great Central Railway – The Great Central Railway Nottingham offers over 10 miles of heritage railway running through the beautiful scenery of South Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Journeys run between Ruddington, just south of the city to Loughborough. Services are pulled by heritage steam and diesel locomotives, re-creating the experience of train travel from a bygone age. 9). Newark Castle – has stood proudly on the banks of the River Trent for nearly 900 years – with now only one and a half sides of the castle remaining which includes the oldest part of the castle, a large gatehouse. The castle was built in 1133 by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, and it remained a seat of the Bishops of Lincoln until 1547 when King Henry VIII took it for the Crown. 10). Thoresby Courtyard & Hall – Thoresby Courtyard is an imaginative conversion of a Grade I listed building, recently transformed into a thriving retail area including an art gallery, busy cafe and a home for working crafts people. The Courtyard sits beside Thoresby Hall, built by the third Earl Manvers in 1860. A Victorian mansion, it has been recently renovated and is now a luxury hotel and spa open to visitors. The Courtyard and Hotel are set within several thousand acres of forest, farmland and parkland that you can explore via a series of way marked walks. The Park has been owned by the Pierrepont family since the 1600s and remains a picture of a traditional country estate. Woolaton Hall Nottinghamshire Index
OXFORDSHIRE Top 12 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Harry Potter' Locations in Oxford 2012 marks 150 years since the story of Alice's adventures was told to the young Alice Liddell and her sisters as Charles Dodgson rowed them along the River Isis (Thames) to Godstow.(1862) 1). Christ Church (the college) – Its Great Tudor Hall inspired Hogwarts Hall, the staircase featured as Hogwarts' entrance and the cloisters were Hogwarts' Trophy Room. 2). Christ Church Great Tudor Hall – Look out for the window depicting characters from the 'Alice' books, the long-necked firedogs, the portrait of Henry VIII ('off with their heads') and of Charles Dodgson and Alice's father, Dean Liddell. Look for the door to the Rabbit Hole (behind High Table). The Hall was not used for filming Harry Potter: Hogwarts required four tables for the four Houses; Christ Church has but three. 3). Look for the window of Charles Dodgson's study in Tom Quad. He taught mathematics here. 4). Look for the door to the Deanery where Alice lived. 5). Look at your watch. Christ Church runs on its own time - 5 minutes after Greenwich- that's why the White Rabbit was always late. 6). Christ Church Cathedral – The real Alice in Wonderland - Alice Liddell's father was Dean. She would have come here often. Her sister, Edith's face appears in the St Catherine window by Burne Jones as that of Catherine of Alexandria; she died shortly before her marriage. The name of Alice's son, Stephen Hargreaves, appears on the WWI memorial as you enter the Cathedral. You are welcome to stay for services and listen to the beautiful singing. 7). The 'treacle well' or 'healing well is at Binsey – It features in the story of St Frideswide, Oxford's patron saint. Her story is depicted in the stained glass windows by Burne Jones in the Cathedral. Alice and her sisters were rowed up to Binsey by Charles Dodgson. You can take an Oxford River Cruise to get there.
Christ Church college Oxford 8). 'Alice's Shop' – which appears in mirror image as the Old Sheep Shop in 'Through the Looking Glass' - was where Alice would buy her sweets, across the road from Christ Church. 9). In New College Cloisters Malfoy was turned into a ferret. 10). Visit the Bodleian Library's Divinity School (Hogwarts' dance practice room and Infirmary). 11). Don't miss Duke Humfrey's Library - Hogwarts Library. It is part of the Bodleian Library. 12). The Pitt Rivers Museum's shrunken head appears on the Night Bus. The museum itself may have inspired Diagon Alley. Index
OXFORDSHIRE Top 12 Views of Oxford 1). From the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street - wonderful views over All Souls and Brasenose colleges, the Radcliffe Camera and the High Street. A steep spiral staircase but the climb is well worth the effort! 2). Climb the 99 steps of Carfax Tower for views down the High Street - said to be 'the most noble street in Europe'. You decide. Look down on Magdalen Tower and across to the Radcliffe Camera.
11).Rooftop restaurants: the Living Room at Oxford Castle complex and the Ashmolean Museum. 12). Stroll round Radcliffe Square with the iconic circular Radcliffe Camera at its heart. Admire its setting against the backdrop of St Mary the Virgin church's soaring spire, Brasenose College (look for the door knocker), All Souls' gold-encrusted gates and sundial (in the wrong place) or the Bodleian Library's warm honey-stone walls. Mind the cobbles!
3). The Sheldonian Theatre's views are across central Oxford. Excellent in inclement weather as you are under cover. 4).St Michael at the North Gate is one of Oxford's oldest buildings. Look down on the lay-out of Medieval Oxford - its narrow streets and close-packed houses unchanged for a thousand years. See the door which imprisoned the three Protestant martyrs, Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley, burned alive in the town ditch, and the pagan fertility sculpture which used to be set into the wall. 5). St George's Tower â€“ part of Oxford Castle Unlocked, may once have formed part of the Saxon city wall. Views to the west, across to Wytham, Cumnor and Boars Hill. Shows Oxford ' a jewel in a sea of green'. 6). From South Park you probably have the best distant views of the 'dreaming spires'. In sunshine or snow, as you picnic or ride your toboggan, Oxford's towers are the back cloth. 7). From the church tower of St Mary and St John, Cowley Road, Oxford, you see the distant spires and the Victorian terraces of Oxford's working people. 8). From Exeter College's Fellows' Garden some say you have the finest views of the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian and Radcliffe Square. 9). From Hinksey Heights Golf course you see the distant spires from the west. 10). A walk round Christ Church Meadow gives views of Christ Church, Merton, Magdalen Colleges and the rivers Cherwell and Isis - with a foreground of rare breed cattle. and maybe a few punts gliding by.
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OXFORDSHIRE Top 12 South Oxfordshire film spotter locations 1). The Social Network - The Golden Globe winning story of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg features scenes filmed at Henley Royal Regatta and used 16 rowers from the town’s Leander Club. For the film they staged a re-enactment of the 2004 Grand Challenge Cup – the main events for the men’s eights competition. Losing side Harvard University included identical twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and the race is depicted as the catalyst that led the brothers to sue Zuckerman in a multi-million dollar court battle. Filming took place during the lunch interval and after the last race on the Sunday of the regatta in July 2010 2). Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Russell’s Water, a beautiful location nestled in the lovely Chiltern Hills, was deemed the ideal place to film the scene where on several occasions Truly Scrumptious drives her car CUB1 into a pond. You can still see the Duck Pond; it’s not far from the village hall. The Cobstone Windmill at nearby Turville also featured in the film. 3). Howards End - Rotherfield Peppard near Henley on Thames is the location of Howards End starring Sit Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. The wisteria clad country retreat is a private house situated on Peppard Common a few doors down from the pub. General village scenes were shot in Dorchester-on-Thames. 4). Saving Private Ryan - The grounds of Thame Park became the ‘French’ countryside and hinterland of the Normandy beaches in Steven Spielberg’s multiOscar wining epic. The Chapel interior was used for the scene where the American soldiers rested overnight inside a French church, a fitting echo of Thame Park’s role during World War Two in the training of the Special Overseas Executive. 5). Sherlock Holmes 2 - Didcot Railway Centre often hosts large green screens to film action scene of the sheds and surroundings. Guy Ritchie’s latest outing starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law is released winter 2011 with Didcot set to assume a look depicting Victorian London.
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OXFORDSHIRE 6). Midsomer Murders - Perhaps the most recognisable location, Wallingford is 'Causton' in the popular TV series shown in over 220 countries. This market town fringes the banks of the Thames and the show's lead character, DCI Barnaby, is often seen wandering here. South Oxfordshire’s market towns and villages like Dorchester on Thames, Warborough, Thame and Ewelme often feature due to their picturesque appeal, village greens and country pubs. 7). The Eagle Has Landed - In this 1976 classic war tale, Mapledurham estate featured heavily. Mapledurham watermill was chosen by film producers to stage the dramatic rescue of a local girl by a German paratrooper that results in the unmasking and ultimate failure of the raid. The Church of St Margaret is where the villagers are held hostage and The Manor House, where Churchill is taken, was 16th century Mapledurham house itself.
11). Agatha Christie’s Poirot - The 2008 episode ‘Cat amongst the Pigeons’ used Joyce Grove in Nettlebed for the exterior shots of Meadowbank, a girls' school run by the progressive Miss Bulstrode. The building was purchased by Robert Fleming in 1903. His grandsons were Ian Fleming, author of James Bond (and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), and Col Peter Fleming the renowned travel writer who was married to actress Celia Johnson of Brief Encounter fame. Joyce Grove is now a Sue Ryder hospice. 12) Anna Karenina - Didcot Railway Centre once again takes centre stage in the forthcoming British film adaptation loosely based on Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel. Set builders recreated a 19th century snowy Russian railway scene to feature emotional arrivals and departures. Keira Knightly and Jude Law lead the cast as Anna and her jilted husband Aleksei. Shooting on location between October and December 2011, the film is due for general release during 2012.
8). The Living Daylights - Stoner Park, about five miles north of Henley-on-Thames, was used as the ‘Bladen’ safe house, from which Koskov is abducted by Necros in this 1987 James Bond film starring Timothy Dalton. Stonor was also used as Robbie Coltrane's stately mansion in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's classic 'Danny the Champion of the World', starring Jeremy Irons. 9). The Madness of King George - Thame Park doubles as Kew Palace where the King is sent to be cured by his physician. Thame Park is a private residence situated southeast of Thame. 10). St Trinians - Park Place, the 600 acre estate at Remenham, near Henley featured as the notorious girl’s school in the 2007 remake starring Colin Firth and Rupert Everett. The Grade-II listed house used to be a boarding school and Academy award winner Firth reportedly said “There's a rather ghostly suggestion of its distant past, which makes you think of something like The Shining”. It was previously used for hospital scenes in Atonement. After filming it was sold for £42million - the record for a UK house outside London.
Didcot Railway Centre Oxfordshire Index
PEAK DISTRICT Peak District’s Top 12 film and TV locations 1). Chatsworth – Classic home of the Dukes of Devonshire, and backcloth for films such as Pride & Prejudice (Film 2005, BBC TV series 1995), The Duchess (2008) and The Wolfman (2009). www.chatsworth.org 2). Haddon Hall – Fairytale setting for several film and TV versions of Jane Eyre – including Cory Fukunaga’s acclaimed 2011 movie, cult film The Princess Bride (1987, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012), Elizabeth (1998) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). www.haddonhall.co.uk 3). Dovedale – Lindale and Ilam Hall. Featured in the 2010 version of Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe, also in Jane Eyre (BBC TV series 2006) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-dovedale 4). Stanage Edge – Found fame as the scenic spot where Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Bennet) daydreamed of dashing Mr Darcy (played by Matthew Macfadyen) in the 2005 blockbuster Pride & Prejudice. www.peakdistrict.gov.uk 5). Hardwick Hall – Bess of Hardwick’s impressive Elizabethan masterpiece – ‘more glass than wall’ - and inspiration for Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (2010). www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardwick 6). Kedleston Hall – Imposing, neo-classical house, once the home of the influential Curzon family, and setting for The Duchess (2008) and Jane Eyre (BBC TV series 2006) www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kedleston
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PEAK DISTRICT 7). Lyme Park – Dating from Tudor Times, Lyme was later transformed into an Italianate palace, though some Elizabethan interiors survive. Visitors still flock to its lake to see where actor Colin Firth emerged, dripping wet in white shirt and breeches, as Mr Darcy in the BBC TV version of Pride & Prejudice (1995). www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-lymepark 8). Derwent Valley – Scenic training ground for pilots who later deployed Barnes Wallis’s famous ‘bouncing bomb’ designed to breach German dams in the Second World War, featured in the post war film The Dam Busters, starring the late Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd (1955). www.stwater.co.uk/upload/pdf/Discover_and_Enjoy_Derwent.pdf 9). Longnor – This sleepy Staffordshire Moorlands village starred in ITV’s peak-time medical drama Peak Practice in the 1990s, and more recently in psychological thriller The Holding (2011), starring Vincent Regan and David Bradley (caretaker of Hogwarts, Argus Filch, in the Harry Potter series of films). www.theholding-movie.co.uk 10). Matlock Bath – Location for Derbyshire director Nick Whitfield’s award-winning debut film, Skeletons (2010), a quirky cult movie that was acclaimed as Best New British Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival. www.skeletonsthemovie.com 11). Tatton Park – One of the UK’s most complete historic estates, with a Tudor Old Hall, neo-classical mansion, 20ha of gardens and 405ha acres of parkland, Tatton played host to the popular ITV drama Brideshead Revisited (1981), starring Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Claire Bloom and Sir John Gielgud. www.tattonpark.org.uk 12). Hadfield – Unassuming village near Glossop in the High Peak, which doubled as Royston Vasey in darkly satiric comedy The League of Gentlemen BBC TV series (1999 – 2002) and film (2005). www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/leagueofgentlemen For more information, contact Janette Sykes, email@example.com
Chatsworth Peak District Index
PEAK DISTRICT Peak District’s top 12 unique customs and unusual traditions 1). Ashbourne Shrovetide Football – Age-old game dating back to the 12th century and played each year on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday (February). The footie free-for-all is started by someone ‘turning up’ a specially-made ball – famous ‘turner ups’ include Prince Charles in 1973 and the late football manager Brian Clough in 1975. www.visitpeakdistrict.com 2). Well Dressing – An ancient art unique to the area, dating back to Roman or Celtic times and revived to give thanks for fresh water supplies during the Great Plague. More than 80 towns and villages across the Peak District and Derbyshire decorate their wells with huge natural art installations made from flower petals and other natural materials between May and September. www.visitpeakdistrict.com 3). Castleton Garland Day – Each year on May 29 – the anniversary of the Battle of Worcester, when King Charles II hid in an oak tree – a huge garland of wildflowers is made and the ‘Garland King and Queen’ parade around the village on horseback in 17th century dress. www.visitcastleton.co.uk 4). Flash Teapot Parade – A huge papier-mâché black and white teapot heads this annual ceremony in June, when residents in the highest village in England (1518 feet above sea level) re-enact the traditional parade of the Flash Loyal Union Society. Coincides with the annual Flower Festival and Well Dressing. No website – contact Mrs. Andy Collins on (00 44) 1298 24854 5). World Toe Wrestling Championships – Nail-biting foot-to-foot combat held each June at The Bentley Brook Inn near Ashbourne – launched in the 1970s to give England the chance to be world-beaters in at least one sporting sphere! www.bentleybrookinn.co.uk 6). World Hen Racing Championships – Feathers fly each August during the Peak District’s own ‘chicken run’ at the Barley Mow public house in Bonsall, which attracts clucking contestants from all over the world each August! www.world-championship-hen-racing.com Well dressing Derbyshire 108
PEAK DISTRICT 7). Great Kinder Beer Barrel Challenge – Barrel-toting mayhem each September as intrepid contestants bid to carry a nine-gallon barrel from the Snake Pass Inn to the Old Nags Head Inn at Edale in the fastest possible time. Almost 275m of ascent and descent – so not for the faint-hearted! www.kinderbeerbarrel.org 8). The International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival – Join performers and visitors from all over the world for a visual and vocal feast of the famous partnership’s quintessentially British works in Buxton each August. www.gsfestivals.org 9). Rushbearing – Ancient ceremony each August at Forest Chapel, Macclesfield Forest, when the building is decorated with plaited rushes, interwoven with flowers, and rushes are strewn on the floor. Once designed to keep the chapel warm and dry, now symbolic of spiritual renewal. www.wildboarclough.co.uk/rushbearing.service.htm 10). Padfield Plum Fair – Fruity fun harking back to the days when Padfield was wellknown for its plum orchards, which disappeared when Longedendale’s reservoirs were built in the 19th century. A plum pie making competition, races for all ages, dog show, art and floral competition add spice to the event each September. www.padfieldvillage.org/PlumFair 11). Abbots Bromley Horn Dance – One of England’s oldest and most unusual traditions – a dance with reindeer antlers that is thought to date back 800, maybe 1,000 years, held each September. www.abbotsbromley.com/horn_dance 12). Indietracks – Get right on track for an offbeat music festival performed on trains at Midland Railway Butterley in July. Heritage railway meets indiepop on a musical journey with a difference. www.indietracks.co.uk
Pennine Way Edale, Derbyshure Index
SHROPSHIRE 12 things you never knew about Britain’s Olympic heritage 1). 2012 will be the 126th Much Wenlock Olympian Games. For further details, visit www.wenlock-olympian-society.org.uk 2). The Much Wenlock Museum, packed with memorabilia from the Games from the last 125 years, has been the subject of a major facelift – and re-opened its doors to the public in February 2012. www.shropshire.gov.uk/news/2011/05/much-wenlock-museum-wins-huge-lottery-grant/ 3). One of the Olympic mascots shares the same name as this historic Shropshire market town, “Wenlock”. To find out more about the 2012 Games Mascots, ‘Wenlock’ and ‘Mandeville’. www.ourlondon2012.com/mascots/about-us/ 4). The mascots are being produced by local Shropshire company, Golden Bear, in Telford. For more details, visit www.goldenbeartoys.com 5). While Much Wenlock is the cradle of the international modern Olympic Games, nearby Ironbridge is the cradle of the world’s Industrial Revolution, visit www.visitironbridge.co.uk/ 6). Cricketer W.G.Grace won the 440 yards hurdles, in the forerunner of the modern Olympic Games in London, in 1866. This is just one of several incredible facts unearthed by author Catherine Beale who has written the definitive book – Born Out Of Wenlock - about William Penny Brookes, and Shropshire’s key role in the history of the modern Olympic Games. www.cbeale.co.uk/ 7). The acknowledged founder of the modern Olympic Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, also took from William Penny Brookes’ the idea of “host cities”: as a result, the Olympian Games have been held in various host towns throughout Shropshire over the years; and the Olympic Games remain a highly sought-after prize amongst the world’s leading cities to this day. For details of the 2012 London Games. www.london2012.com/ Ironbridge Near Much Wenlock, Shropshire 110
SHROPSHIRE 8). A flavour of the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games can now be tasted across the globe following the launch of Wenlock Hampers. Much Wenlock in Shropshire is widely recognised as the home of the modern Olympic Games, with the Wenlock Olympic Society having been founded by local doctor William Penny Brookes in 1860. Wenlock Hampers celebrate this historical link by offering a truly local food and drink experience with all products sourced from producers within a 26.2 mile radius - a marathon’s distance of Much Wenlock! This novel concept is the brainchild of HEART of ENGLAND fine foods (HEFF), the food group representing Shropshire and the rest of the heart of England region. www.heff.co.uk/shop 9). Much Wenlock is not only the birthplace of the modern international Olympic movement, but also a perfect example of the county’s attractive market towns. The bookshop, Wenlock Books, for example, was named The Times Bookshop of the Year in 2006, and now hosts and annual Poetry Festival, presided over by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. www.wenlockbooks.co.uk/ 10). Guided tours of Much Wenlock are available for £1 per person in the company of Wenlock Guild of Tour Guides by contacting Helen Clare Cromarty at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)1952 277772. 11). It is possible to see a re-creation of a Victorian street at the time when the Olympian Games were being held, at nearby Blists Hill Museum, in Ironbridge. www.ironbridge.org.uk/our_attractions/blists_hill_victorian_town/ 12). Shropshire is one of the finest ‘hidden gems’ in Britain, famous for its food, dramatic landscapes, and many picturesque market towns For further details, www.muchwenlock2012.com
Much Wenlock Museum Much Wenlock, Shropshire Index
STAFFORDSHIRE Top 12 Things You Didn’t know about Stoke-on-Trent 1). The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery houses one of the finest and largest ceramic collections in the world. The Spitfire is housed here too.
2). The captain of the Titanic, Captain Edward Smith was from Stoke-on-Trent, and in 2012 its 100 years since the maiden voyage. A reminder of the City’s maritime connection with the famous liner is the locally brewed Titanic Ale available from many local pubs and supermarkets and is said to “go down well”.
3). Famous sons of the City include: Sir Stanley Matthews, the former football player, Arnold Bennett the writer, Reginald Mitchell the designer of the Spitfire.
4). Wedgwood the Company is over 250 years old.
5). Charles Darwin, the famous scientist, was the son of Josiah Wedgwood’s eldest daughter.
6). English Bone China is manufactured with 50% calcinated cattle bone, hence Bone China. English Bone China was originally invented by Josiah Spode in 1799.
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STAFFORDSHIRE 7). Stoke-on-Trent is the nearest city to the famous theme park Alton Towers.
8). It is known all over the world as The Potteries and there are over 30 pottery factory shops, award winning museums, pottery cafes, factory tours and opportunities to create your own masterpiece.
9). The local delicacy is the Staffordshire oatcake â€“ perfect fresh from a local oatcake baker with cheese and bacon as a favourite filling.
10). Robbie Williams, the famous singer originally with Take That was born and bred here.
11). There are six towns that make up the one city of Stoke-on-Trent: Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton.
12). The unique Staffordshire Hoard is housed at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, the most valuable collection of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found valued at ÂŁ3.285m.
Emma Bridgewater Factory Stoke-on-trent Index
SUSSEX Top 12 – Only in Sussex 1). Stoolball – Over 500 years old and the forerunner of both cricket and baseball, the game is played with similar equipment. One team fields while the other bats. There re 8 balls to an over, the bats are shaped like table tennis bats and made of willow. There are leagues of teams playing across East and West Sussex. 2). The Churdle – Sussex’s answer to the Cornish Pasty is a tasty treat of liver and bacon stuffed in a mitre-shaped pastry, tapered at both ends and with a top ‘chimney’ stuffed with breadcrumbs and cheese. It is believed to have originated in Chichester and was most popular 400 years ago. Modern variations exist with lamb, fish and vegetarian options. 3). Bonfire – A serious business in Sussex and Lewes is the Granddaddy of them all. Run by bonfire societies steeped in pageant and tradition, each year's enemy of the bonfire is a closely guarded secret. There are colourful costumes, lighted torches and burning effigies in processions through the streets of towns and villages from September to the end of November. Gala bonfire and firework displays see huge crowds packed into small spaces and firecrackers set off at random intervals for days. It's loud, boisterous and not for the faint-hearted. 4). Battle of Hastings – 1066 is probably the most famous date in England’s history when William, Duke of Normandy landed in Sussex to claim his right to the Kingdom. William marched his army inland to do battle with King Harold, who was slain when an arrow pierced his eye. Battle Abbey marks the location of this most famous battlefield on Senlac Hill. 5). Glorious Goodwood – A five day summer sporting highlight of the flat horseracing season and social calendar. Set overlooking the rolling Sussex Downs which give the meeting its Glorious moniker, the festival welcomes over 100,000 people with chic fashions, strawberries, chilled fizz and the best jockeys and thoroughbreds. 6). Brighton Royal Pavilion – Famous for its exotic appearance inside and out, this spectacular seaside palace of the Prince Regent (George IV) is one of the most dazzling buildings in the British Isles. Revered by fashionable Regency society, the Royal pleasure palace houses furniture, works of art and a magnificent display of Regency silver-gilt.
Battle Abbey East Sussex Index
SUSSEX 7). Kew Millennium Seedbank – The largest ex situ plant conservation project in the world. The focus is on global plant life faced with the threat of extinction and plants of most use for the future. Partners in 50 countries have to date successfully banked 10 percent of the world's wild plant species with a target to save 25 percent by 2020. The Millennium Seedbank is situated at Wakehurst Place Gardens. 8). Beachy Head – The highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162m (530ft) above sea level. The cliff faces southward and is subjected to fierce gales and erosion from the English Channel so parts are eroding at up to a meter every year. This natural action maintains the whiteness by revealing clean white chalk underneath. Beachy Head lighthouse, below the cliff, has distinctive red and white stripes. 9). Hickstead – Almost every great show jumper, horse and rider, of the past 50 years has competed at Hickstead. The All England Jumping Course is the home of international show jumping in Great Britain and the famous arena was described by legendary American show jumping Chef D'Equipe George Morris as a "magic carpet". Dressage, another Olympic equestrian discipline, was introduced in 1996 and the course hosted the European Championships seven years later. 10). Pooh Corner – The Ashdown Forest was the inspiration and setting of the Winniethe-Pooh Stories written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. Many of the Enchanted Places mentioned in Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner - 100 Acre Wood, Poohsticks Bridge, The Heffalump Trap and Galleon's Lap - are located here. 11). Spiked Rampion – The flower stolen by Rapunzel in the 1812 Brothers Grimm fairytale has suffered a rapid decline in numbers and only grows in East Sussex. It is now so rare and endangered it is protected by an army of volunteers known as flora guardians at top secret sites. Spiked rampions bloom for most of May and June and can be identified by their angular white flowers. 12). Tapsel Gate – Made of wood and balanced on a solid central pivot, instead of being hinged on one side, a Tapsel Gate can rotate through 90° in either direction to two fixed points. It was invented by, and named after, a Sussex family of bell-founders, essentially to keep cattle out of churchyards. Only six examples survive, all within a 16 km radius of Lewes.
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SUSSEX Top 12 – Sussex Vineyards 1). Bluebell Vineyard – A former pig farm is the unlikely home of the award-winning vines at Bluebell Vineyard Estates. Yet, Glenmore Pig Farm, tucked away down a quiet country lane in the heart of Sussex, is now producing some of the region’s top wines from its own grapes and those tended by other growers in the area. 2). Bolney Wine Estate – In 1972, Rodney Pratt set up a vineyard with his wife Janet and while he continued his job on the Square Mile, Janet ran the vineyard. They planted three acres of vines, establishing one of the first commercial vineyards in the country. Twenty five years later, their daughter Samantha took on the mantle and is now producing award-winning, quality wines from 16ha on the same site amid ancient woodland in the heart of Sussex. 3). Breaky Bottom Vineyard – Another of the pioneering vineyards in Sussex, Breaky Bottom lies in a fold in the South Downs, five miles from Lewes. Back in 1974, Peter Hall recognised the potential for grape-growing and winemaking in the UK and decided to tap into the increasing demand for clean, elegant, cool-climate wines. Breaky Bottom now concentrates solely on sparkling wine production. 4). Carr-Taylor Vineyard – When Linda and David Carr Taylor purchased the 8.5ha estate surrounding their family home in Westfield, near Hastings, back in 1969, they didn’t have firm plans for its future. But after identifying that the freedraining, sandy soil was perfect for vines, they gradually put all 8.5ha under vine, from 1971 to 1977, making Carr Taylor the most established vineyard in England. 5). Highdown Vineyard – When Aly Englefield helped out at vineyards as a stressreliever from her work as a film-set designer, she fell in love with viticulture and said goodbye to the starry world of the movies, enrolling to study wine production at Plumpton College. She bought Highdown with husband Paul and reopened it as a family business. Set on south-facing slopes near the sea, the vineyard’s 4.25ha is now mostly under vine, growing seven grape varieties.
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SUSSEX 6). Lurgashall Winery – Ever tasted wine made from the sap of the silver birch tree? This is just one of the unusual flavours on offer at Lurgashall Winery, where brambles, honey, even walnuts, are among the quirky choice of ingredients turned into liqueurs, country wines and meads. The winery was first established more than a quarter of a century ago at this complex of 17th- and 19th-century farm buildings in the shadow of Blackdown Hill.
11). Stopham Vineyard – When Simon Woodhead – a former electronic engineer on the Formula 1 circuit – spotted a fallow field with trees, sandy soil and southerly slopes in idyllic Stopham, he knew it was the ideal location for the vines he wanted to grow. So, this graduate of Plumpton College planted 8ha in 2007 and harvested his first crop in 2010. Simon completed a state-of-the-art winery on site for the 2010 harvest, and made his first wines in 2011.
7). Nutbourne Vineyard – A 19th-century windmill provides the charming setting for a tasting at Nutbourne Vineyards. Step out onto its first-floor balcony and you can survey the slopes of south-facing vines that produce an award-winning collection of white, rosé and sparkling wines. London restaurateur and chef Peter Gladwin and his wife Bridget took charge of this small Sussex wine estate in 1992. They have since expanded the vines to cover 12ha and produced 50000 bottles a year.
12). Storrington Priory – The Norbertine monks at Storrington don’t just serve the local Catholic community these days, they also tend 4,000 vines on a slope just across the road from their home, Our Lady of England Priory. The county’s most unusual vineyard is possibly its smallest, too. Just a hectare of land was put under vine by Father Paul MacMahon in 2006, with the first major harvest of its pinot noir and chardonnay grapes taking place in 2009. That harvest yielded around 4000 kilos of fruit, enough to make 1300 bottles of Storrington Priory sparkling wine.
8). Plumpton Vineyard – So, you want to learn all about wine? Well, Plumpton is in a class of its own – this is the only educational institution offering a degree in wine production in the UK and its wine business course is becoming increasingly popular. But it’s also home to a vineyard producing award-winning wines. Six hectares in the lee of the South Downs are tended by scores of students under the watchful eye of their lecturers. It’s a breeding ground for new vineyards and wine businesses. 9). Ridgeview Wine Estate – Heard the buzz about how Sussex vineyards are taking on the French Champagne houses at their own game? Since 1994, Mike and Chris Roberts and family have garnered more than 150 trophies and medals for the bubbly they produce from Sussex’s chalky soils, using traditional Champagne varieties and methods. In 2010 they beat off the likes of Taittinger and Charles Heidsieck to pick up one of wine’s most coveted prizes, Best Sparkling Wine in the World at the Decanter World Wine Awards, for their 2006 Grosvenor Blanc de Blanc. 10). Sedlescombe Organic Wines – Another early pioneer on the English wine scene, Roy Cook – along with his wife Irma – used their experience from abroad to establish England’s first organic vineyard back in 1979. Continuing on their innovative path, the couple achieved their dream when Sedlescombe became the producer of the first biodynamic English wine in late 2010. Spread across three sites – including the attractive, original 10-acre, south-facing plot, next to the visitor centre and shop – their 9.3ha includes the vineyard in the grounds of nearby Bodiam Castle.
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SUSSEX Top 12 – International Sussex 1). Blue Touch Paper Carnival – Awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark, has the ambition to enable carnivals across the world to create a more accessible, inclusive, integrated and friendly experience. Carnival is about expression through drumming, dancing, making costumes, storytelling, dj-ing and watching the fun. The project is linked with the Rio Carnival among others. 2). Whispering Woods – A singing project in partnership with the Bulgarian National Choir leading towards a choir of one thousand singing together in a forest at night. The choirs include people who have never sung in public before, student chamber choristers and dancers from the University of Chichester and visual artists Same Sky, to create a magical performance. The next event is scheduled for summer 2012. 3). The Seed – Involves a large-scale outdoor production and virtual reality quest game, created for four of Sussex Great Gardens linked by a common history: Wakehurst Place, Nymans, Borde Hill, and High Beeches. The game and performances are inspired by the stories of the remarkable 19th Century Plant Collectors and their sponsored expeditions to far-off lands – the Himalayas, China, Burma, Tasmania and The Andes, sourcing rare plant species to create the Great Gardens - some were also spies. 4). Brighton Festival – In May, England’s largest arts festival comes alive with a powerful and exciting programme of cultural events through the form of music, dance, circus, theatre, art, film, talks and many fantastic free outdoor events for all ages, by both local and international artists. 5). Goodwood Revival – Revel in the glamour and allure of motor racing 1940s, 50s and 60s style and join motor sport luminaries including Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees and Derek Bell in an unabashed celebration of flat-out wheel-to-wheel racing around a classic racetrack. 6). Eastbourne Tennis – Two weeks of world class tennis action in this exciting preWimbledon tournament at Eastbourne's Devonshire Park. Competitors include male and female tennis stars from the World's top ten competitors.
Nymans Gardens Handcross, West Sussex Index
SUSSEX 7). Kew Millennium Seedbank – Is the largest ex situ plant conservation project in the world. The focus is on global plant life faced with the threat of extinction and plants of most use for the future. Partners in 50 countries have to date successfully banked 10 percent of the world's wild plant species with a target to save 25 percent by 2020. The Millennium Seedbank is situated at Wakehurst Place Gardens. 8). Crawley International Mela – A multi-cultural and multi-ethnic festival based around The Hawth. Stalls, performances and workshops including classical Indian dance, Ghanaian drumming, Japanese calligraphy, Dohl, Bollywood, RnB and the list goes on. 9). Hickstead British Jumping Derby – This is the only competition where riders take on the front descent of the infamous Derby Bank, the biggest of its kind to be found anywhere in the world. Other equestrian highlights include junior showjumping, polo and carriage driving. Enjoy with a glass of chilled bubbly. 10). Eastbourne Airborne – The world's biggest free seafront airshow featuring RAF and international display teams. Flying displays include the RAF Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Eurofighter, F16, plus parachute display teams, wingwalkers and aerobatic teams. 11). Chichester International Film Festival – This prestigious festival brings cinema enthusiasts 18 days of premiers, previews and new releases plus two separate pre-festival open air screenings, special events and a shoalful of guests. 12). Gatwick Airport – Is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest singlerunway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations (more than any other UK airport) in 90 countries for around 33m passengers a year on short- and long-haul point-to-point services. Gatwick has a £1bn investment programme to enable passenger growth to 40m by 2020.
Wakehurst Place West Sussex Index
SUSSEX Top 12 – Notorious Sussex 1). The Rolling Stones 1 – In 1968, original Rolling Stone Brian Jones bought Cotchford Farm, the country manor house formerly owned by A. A. Milne, author of the Winnie The Pooh books. Situated at Hartfield in the Ashdown Forest, Jones drowned in the swimming pool on July 02 1969. He was 27 years old. 2). The Rolling Stones 2 – Are responsible for another piece of Sussex infamy. In 1967 the band’s Mick Jagger and Keith Richards took friends down to Keith’s Grade II listed country mansion, Redlands, in West Wittering near Chichester, and began to party. One police raid, drugs bust and a naked Marianne Faithful later and the event became part of rock folklore. 3). Missing Link – Piltdown Man was a celebrated hoax and paleontological ‘man who never was’. In 1912, bone fragments from a skull were discovered in a gravel pit at Piltdown. It took over 40 years to expose Piltdown Man as a forgery and the identity of the forger has never been discovered 4). Author Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard lived in Monk’s House, a county retreat in the village of Rodmell. For over twenty years she found inspiration from the South Downs setting, working on her more experimental novels To the Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway. Affected by mental illness, Virginia Woolf weighted her pockets with stones, and waded into the nearby River Ouse. 5). Smuggling – The activity was rife in 18th century Sussex and of all the smugglers groups, the Hawkhurst Gang gained most notoriety. Formed around the mid 1730’s, its reputation for violence, torture and murder was second to none. It developed unprecedented power could call on upwards of 500 men within a few hours. Hastings and Rye saw most activity. The gang eventually broke up after the execution of leaders, Arthur Grey and Thomas Kingsmill. 6). Regency Brighton – The Prince Regent, later George IV, carried on a life of extravagance and excess. He made Brighton his fashionable seaside retreat and created the Royal Pavilion, built in the style of a Maharajah’s Palace and containing the most extravagant chinoiserie interiors ever attempted in the British Isles.
Royal Pavilion Brighton Index
SUSSEX 7). Sedition – Thomas Paine, radical thinker, powerful orator, founding father of the United States and Citizen of the World, lived in Lewes while employed as an excise officer. He was a regular debater at the town’s Headstrong Club, author of The Age of Reason and The Rights of Man and was directly involved with both the American and French revolutions where he is revered in both countries. 8). Bloomsbury in Sussex – Centred around Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, E.M Forster, Lytton Strachey, Leonard and Virginia Woolf, this group of thinkers, writers and artists banished stuffy Victorian conventions and created a Bohemian lifestyle at Charleston, a Grade II* listed building. 9). Madam Cyn – Celebrated madam Cynthia Payne of the swinging parties and luncheon vouchers who was convicted of running "the biggest disorderly house" in history, grew up in Bognor Regis. Her early life was turned into a film ‘Wish you were here’ starring Emily Lloyd. 10). Petworth House of Correction – Opened in 1788 to deliver hard labour and solitary confinement to petty criminals, mostly convicted of vagrancy. A succession of brutal governors employed a method of punishment equivalent to climbing a flight of stairs within a specified time. Called the ‘treadwheel’, it was the equivalent of climbing Mount Snowdon three times a day for six days a week and had to be completed within 10 hours in summer, seven hours in winter. Many prisoners fell off and were mangled. The practice was outlawed in 1898. 11). Battle of Lewes – In 1264, tired of bad government and royal extravagance, the barons led by Simon de Montfort, raised an army to challenge Henry III. The king's defeat led to the Mise of Lewes, a treaty which restricted the authority of the king and eventually gave rise to the UK parliamentary system of government. 12). Scientology – The Saint Hill College for Scientologists is situated on fifty-five acres of rolling countryside in Sussex. Nearby Saint Hill Castle is Saint Hill Manor, where L. Ron Hubbard lived and worked from 1959 to 1966.
Studio ﬁreplace at Charleston Farm East Sussex Index
SUSSEX Top 12 – Sussex Literary Hot Spots 1). Worthing – In 1894, Oscar Wilde wrote The Importance of Being Earnest at No 5, The Esplanade. The author spent the summer in the town with his family and named the hero of the play Jack Worthing. In the 1960s, playwright Harold Pinter wrote The Homecoming when living at his home in Ambrose Place. 2). Ashdown Forest – In 1925, A.A. Milne bought Cotchford Farm near Hartfield as a weekend and holiday home and the family moved there permanently in 1940. It became the setting for Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories, created for his son Christopher Robin and inspired by his son’s toy animals. 3). Lodsworth – E.H. Shepard, the illustrator of Winnie the Pooh, lived near the church in this tiny Sussex village, situated in the South Downs National Park. He is buried in the churchyard, with Winnie the Pooh and Piglet engraved on his tomb. 4). Horsham – Great romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on the outskirts of the town at Warnham. His life and work are chronicled at the Horsham Museum. Thriller writer Hammond Innes was also born in the town. He wrote over 30 novels, as well as children's stories and travel books. 5). Rye – Henry James lived in Lamb House, Rye and wrote Wings of a Dove, The Golden Bowl, and The Ambassadors during his stay. He was one of several authors to have success while living in Lamb House. E.F. Benson, also lived there and wrote the Mapp and Lucia books. He based the town Tillingham on Rye. 6). Burwash – Batemans the Jacobean home of Rudyard Kipling had no bathroom, no running water upstairs and no electricity yet he loved it for the country escape it provided. Now owned by the National Trust and open to the public there are original illustrations of the Jungle Book and Kipling's 1928 Phantom 1 Rolls-Royce. In 1907 Kipling was the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature and he wrote the stirring anthem ‘Sussex By The Sea’.
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SUSSEX 7). Rodmell – Monk's House was the home of the novelist Virginia Woolf and her husband, Leonard Woolf. They bought the house in 1919 as a country retreat from London. For over two decades, the Sussex countryside inspired Virginia Woolf's writing and she worked on her more experimental works including To the Lighthouse, and Mrs Dalloway. Afflicted by mental illness, Virginia Woolf eventually committed suicide in the nearby River Ouse. 8). Slindon – Although born near Paris, Hilaire Belloc wrote more about his beloved Sussex than any other writer. Much of his childhood was spent in Slindon and as an adult he returned, bought ‘King’s Land’ in the village of Shipley and spent over 40 years living and writing there until his death in 1953. 9). Rottingdean – Enid Bagnold wrote plays, novels and non-fiction. Her best known work is National Velvet, a role which established Elizabeth Taylor’s acting career. She lived at North End House and the garden inspired her play The Chalk Garden. Rudyard Kipling was another resident of Rottingdean and produced some of his most revered and memorable work including Kim and the Just So Stories there. 10). Crowborough – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle settled at Windlesham Manor in Crowborough where he spent the last 23 years of his life. Although best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, he also wrote novels, short stories, plays and nonfiction. Sherlock Holmes first appeared in ‘A Study in Scarlet' published in 1887, but several of the later stories were written at Windlesham. 11). Felpham – Poet and author William Blake lived in a cottage in Felpham. It is believed his lyrics to Jerusalem were inspired by the view towards the South Downs from Lavant. Blake was tried for sedition in Chichester and eventually found not-guilty. "Sussex is certainly a happy place and Felpham in particular is the sweetest spot on earth." (William Blake) 12). Houghton – The classic stories 'The Wind in the Willows', 'Grimms Fairy Tales' and 'Gullivers Travels' were illustrated by Arthur Rackham, who lived in the village.
Rye East Sussex Index
WARWICKSHIRE Top 12 Olympic Moments Create a unique break and your own Olympics moments around Warwickshire with Olympics football and Tudor Olympics, or a dip into a Shakespeare marathon. You’ll also find fantastic savings on many great days out. 1. Best ‘20.12’ breaks - Scoop super money-saving deals on staying in Warwickshire thanks to Great 2012 Offers inspired by this Olympics year. Enjoy up to 20.12% off selected cottage breaks in Shakespeare Country with cottages4u (to 18 July). Or unwind with a free bottle of bubbly and chocolates at 5-star Arbor Holiday and Knightcote Farm Cottages, on beautiful farmland at Southam (to 31 July). Stay and dine at 3-star Mallory Court, Royal Leamington Spa, on the 12th or 20th of each month and get a 20.12% discount on your final bill (to 31 December). Or how about a two-night break for two at 4-star Walton Hall, Warwick, or 4-star Billesley Manor Hotel, Alcester, at a 20.12% discount (to 31 August). 2. Best for Torch Relay celebrations - The relay of the Olympic Flame on its 70-day tour of the UK will have particular resonance when it passes through Coventry and Warwickshire – the glittering gold torch was made by Warwickshire manufacturers The Premier Group. Share celebrations en route through the county on 1-2 July as the torch visits Alcester, Newbold on Stour, Alderminster, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa, Kenilworth, Coventry and Rugby. Coventry hosts a special evening event on 1 July before the torch continues next day to Rugby, where Rugby Festival of Culture bursts into life, 2-15 July. Coventry also hosts a Flame Celebration as part of the Paralympic Torch relay – make a date for 25 August. 3. Best for Olympic football - Coventry, as an Olympic co-host city, is in the spotlight from 25 July to 9 August when 12 football matches are played at the Ricoh Arena – renamed the City of Coventry Stadium for the Games. If you don’t have a ticket you can still enjoy the buzz of lots of Olympics action at the new London 2012 Live Site in Millennium Place where news, events and live screenings of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are taking place.
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WARWICKSHIRE 4. Best ticket to tour - Launched especially to entice visitors to explore over the Olympics period and beyond, The Big Ticket is a winning way to see more of Coventry and Warwickshire’s iconic attractions – for less money. You’ve up to a month to visit three different venues all on one ticket: maybe go behind the scenes at the Ricoh Arena, immerse yourself in 1,000 years of compelling history at Warwick Castle, and survey superb views of Stratford-upon-Avon from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Tower. (£49.99 for a family of four, £34.99 for two adults.) 5. Best for messing about with boats - While the Olympic Torch passes through Warwickshire and Britain’s boating Olympians make their final preparations, there’s lots of light-hearted ‘messing about’ at Stratford River Festival, 30 June-1 July. Drop by for a glorious family summer weekend filled with music, narrow boats, craft and food stalls, an illuminated boat parade and dazzling fireworks. 6. Best Cultural Olympiad moments - Coventry’s Godiva Awakes is a breathtaking piece of public art created for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The heroine, who rode naked through the streets of Coventry in the 11th century, is re-imagined as a contemporary icon of courage and fairness, awakening to a thrilling performance by dancers, aerialists, musicians and pyrotechnicians. There’s a procession through the city centre by 2012 carnivalists and 220 young people, then, powered by 100 cyclists, Godiva journeys to London to celebrate the Games. (Godiva Awakes 28 July, city procession 29 July, journey 30 July-5 August.) 7. Best for Tudor Olympics - Join in the excitement of the second annual Tudor Olympics at The Falstaff Experience Tudor World in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Tudors played many sports and Henry VIII in particular had a passion for archery, jousting and tennis. Take part in the Tudor Olympic Torch procession (24-27 August), win a prize for completing the Tudor Olympic Trail and have fun with interactive versions of different events. (Tudor Olympics, 21 July-2 September.)
9. Best of British record breakers - While we all hope our athletes break Olympic records, the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, is blazing a trail with its Motoring Record Breakers Exhibition. Admire the fastest British cars, the slowest, the smallest, the most economical – and a few of the more wacky record breakers too. (Motoring Record Breakers Exhibition, to 2 September.) 10.Best cultural marathon - Where better to be part of the World Shakespeare Festival than the Bard’s hometown: Stratford-upon-Avon is a main hub of the biggest celebration ever staged of Shakespeare ‘the world’s playwright’. It’s part of the London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. Catch a host of plays, director talks, post show talkbacks and more, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Courtyard Theatre, Swan Theatre, Swan Room and other local venues. (World Shakespeare Festival, to November.) 11. Best pedals to medals - Be inspired by bikes and memorabilia from Olympic champions Tommy Godwin, Chris Boardman and Tom Sabin, at Coventry Transport Museum’s fabulous, free Pedals To Medals exhibition. Come face to wheel with bikes ridden to glory on roads, in velodromes, up mountains and on Cyclo-Cross tracks, and get to know the local heroes who have influenced the cycling world. Even make your own piece of cycling history through interactive fun. (Pedals to Medals, 22 June-14 October.) 12.Best artistic escape - If you want to escape the Olympics hubbub, why not immerse yourself in the creative world of Warwickshire Open Studios. Featuring over 200 artists and makers in 150 venues, from Nuneaton to Whichford and Bidford-on-Avon to Dunchurch, it is the largest exhibition of unique and original art and craft in Warwickshire. Meet the people behind the painting, pottery, jewellery, silversmithing, textiles and much more; buy original art and find out about demonstrations and workshops.(Warwickshire Open Studios, to 15 July.)
8. Best savings on great days out - Pay less and do more with Great 2012 offers that also highlight the rich diversity of attractions around Warwickshire. Head for Twycross Zoo, Atherstone, and feed the Meerkats for just £20.12 (normal price £40) in July and August. Or maybe Tudor heritage and tales of the Gunpowder Plot are more your thing – get 2 for 1 entry at Coughton Court, near Alcester, during June. Explore with full-day cycle hire at half-day price at Stratford Bike Hire until 31 August. Or make a day of it driving the most iconic English sports car, a Jaguar E-Type Roadster – bookings before the end of June are discounted by 20.12% at The Open Road Classic Car Hire based at Sherbourne. Index
WILTSHIRE Top 12 Wiltshire attractions 1). Stonehenge – If you were to ask people around the world to name the most famous historical site in Britain, Stonehenge would certainly make the top five, if not the number one slot and this status is well deserved. Standing majestically on Salisbury Plain these grey-green stones are visible from miles around and attract visitors from across the globe. Geology tells us that some of these prehistoric stones originated in Pembrokeshire but how they came to stand in the formation we see today is anyone’s guess. Theories range from the placement being that the builders were from a sun worshipping culture to the circle and banks being part of a huge astronomical calendar. Either way the site, which also includes earthworks, burial mounts and other circular ‘henge’ monuments, is not to be missed. Adult tickets cost £7.80, while children can enter for £4.70 per child. www.english-heritage.org.uk/stonehenge 2). Longleat – Longleat is probably the best known and most popular family attraction in Wiltshire and with its fascinating safari park, spectacular grounds and 15 on-site attractions it’s not hard to see why. Firstly there is the stately home with all its magnificent treasures, an attraction which in itself could take a full day to explore. Then there is the fantastic parkland within which you will find a safari park, maze, safari boats and miniature railway just for starters! Ticket options vary greatly but for one which allows entry into all of the attractions in one day, book the ‘All in one day ticket’ for £19.50 for children and £27.50 for adults. www.longleat.co.uk 3). Salisbury Cathedral – This magnificent and picturesque building looks as good today as it did when it was first constructed over 750 years ago. Towering into the sky at 123m, the spire of Salisbury Cathedral is the tallest in Britain and the building itself is located in the largest medieval close in Britain. Situated right in the centre of Salisbury the Cathedral is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings and 3.2ha of landscaped lawns. Inside the cathedral is equally impressive and you can see the world’s best preserved Magna Carta (AD 1215) and Europe’s oldest working clock (AD 1386). A tower tour will take you onto the roof spaces where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Salisbury and surrounds. Tours to the cathedral floor areas are free with visitors being invited to make a £6.50 donation per adult and £3, which help with the continuing conservation work. Tower Tours are also available for £10 for adults and £8 for seniors/children. www.salisburycathedral.org.uk 126
Stonehenge Wiltshire Index
WILTSHIRE 4). Avebury – Perhaps not as well known as Stonehenge but equally awe-inspiring is the great stone circle of Avebury. Some 100 stones create a ring a quarter of a mile in diameter, Avebury is a site to behold. And it doesn’t end there. Across the fields and within full view of the stones is Silbury Hill, a 40m high mound, which despite excavations remains a mystery as to what it represents. Avebury is free to visit. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury 5). Bowood House & Gardens – Dating back to the 18th century, Bowood is the home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Landsdowne. The exhibition rooms display an impressive collection of family heirlooms including silver, porcelain and paintings. The gardens comprise terraces, lake, waterfall, Doric temple and 20ha of rhododendron gardens, plus an amazing adventure playground for children. www.bowood.org. 6). Caen Hill Locks – In 2010 the Kennet & Avon Canal celebrated its bicentenary. The canal, which is Wiltshire’s main waterway, offers great days out for all the family including the fun of King Alfred’s Trail near Pewsey where visitors can collect brass rubbings of insects, plants and wildlife that can be seen on route. The most spectacular section of the canal is that at Caen Hill near Devizes where a compact flight of 16 locks form part of the 29 locks which raise the canal 72m in just 3.2km. www.waterscape.com 7). Lacock & Lacock Abbey – A visit to the beautiful National Trust village of Lacock is like taking a step back in time. The beautiful and fascinating cobbled streets are a delight and here visitors can find a range of traditional shops including the famous Lacock Bakery. Other highlights include Lacock Abbey and Fox Talbot Museum. Visiting the village is free, although admission charges apply for the Abbey and Museum. Lacock is famed for being a location for numerous films and TV dramas including Cranford and Harry Potter. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lacock
Salisbury Cathedral Wiltshire Index
WILTSHIRE 8). White Horses – Wiltshire’s countryside is famous for its chalk white horses which can be found on many hills. The horses are thought to date back to 878AD when the first appeared at Westbury, although the original horse is no longer visible as a new one was cut on top in 1778. Of the 13 known white horses of Wiltshire - eight remain visible today, the most recent of which was cut on the hill above Devizes to celebrate the Millennium. The best of the remaining White Horses are as follows: Westbury White House – cut in 1778 and measures 55.4m x 33m and is best seen from the B3098 Westbury to Lavington Road. Cherhill – cut in 1780 and measures 39.3m x 43.3m and is best viewed from the main A4 road between Calne and Beckhampton. Marlborough – The smallest of the horses at just 18.6m x 74.3m, it lies in the grounds of Marlborough College having been cut in 1804 and is best viewed from the A4 between Marlborough and Manton. Alton Barnes – cut in 1812, it measures 50.3m x 55m and is best viewed on the Kennet and Avon canal bridge, one mile south of the horse. Broad Hinton/Hackpen – Cut in 1838 for the Coronation of Queen Victoria, this horse measures 27.5m x 27.5m and is best viewed from the A361 between Avebury and Swindon. Broad Town – originally cut in 1863 and restored to its former glory in 1991, this horse measures 26m x 18.6m and is best viewed from the B4041 between Broad Hinton and Broad Town. New Pewsey – there was an Old Pewsey horse which is now barely visible so in 1937 the Pewsey Fire Brigade cut this figure to commemorate the Coronation of George V1. The horse measures 20m x 13.7m and is best viewed from the A345, Pewsey to Amesbury.
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WILTSHIRE 9). STEAM Museum – STEAM is Swindon’s premier museum and tells the story of the men and women who built the Great Western Railway. Visitors can climb aboard locomotives and discover all there is to know about STEAM Railways. Various special events occur throughout the year including half-term pirate parties and special Christmas events. www.steam-museum.org.uk 10). Stourhead House & Gardens – It takes a full day to explore the entire splendour of Stourhead House and Gardens at Stourton. The House itself is a beautiful 18th century Palladian mansion filled with Georgian treasures, Chippendale furniture and fine paintings. However it is the landscaped gardens with their lakeside walks, grottoes and classical temples that attracts most visitors. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead 11). Malmesbury Abbey – Situated in the centre of the historic market town of Malmesbury, the Abbey is a Norman/Romanesque Abbey, founded by St Aldhelm in Saxon times. Today it acts are the parish church but in its heyday Malmesbury Abbey was one of the largest buildings in the country and even though only about one third of the 12th century Abbey Church remains today, it still constitutes one of the most notable remains of Norman ecclesiastical architecture in England. It is also the burial place of King Athelstan (895-940). www.malmesburyabbey.com 12). Crop circles – Have been associated with Wiltshire for centuries. While some have been created by ‘circle-makers’ who construct these amazing formations in crops such as Linseed and Rapeseed, others remain a mystery, appearing quite literally overnight. In Wiltshire they often appear close to ancient monuments, leaving some people thinking that they are a paranormal phenomenon. However you view it the circles remain impressive and each year during the summer months many ‘crop’ up throughout the county. For listings of the latest circles visit www.visitwiltshire.co.uk
Malmesbury Abbey Wiltshire Index
YORKSHIRE Top 12 - Hidden Gems in York Look up and around all the time when you’re walking through York – you will see little faces looking down at you, peculiar old signs and fascinating details on York’s old buildings. Take Monk Bar for instance. Perched on the two towers of the bar are six stone figures, all seemingly ready to rain down boulders on passers-by. Along Stonegate, at the entrance to Coffee Yard sits the bright red “Printer's Devil”, a carved sign that indicated the location of the print works up until the 18th century. The apprentices, who carried the hot plates, were known as the printer’s devils. The figure of an American Indian at 76 Low Petergate is the former advertising sign of the tobacconist – the boy’s kilt and headwear represent tobacco leaves. Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, sits on the corner of Minstergates, leaning on a pile of books, to advertise the bookseller’s shop below, where authors and literary readers met as members of one of Britain’s earliest book groups. York is crammed with museums, attractions, shops, restaurants, pubs and magnificent architecture. Here are a few that are less well known but every bit as deserving of the visitor’s attention. 1). Richard III Museum – Located in the imposing gateway of Monk Bar at the entrance to Goodramgate, this is the only one of York’s four Bars or gateways whose wooden portcullis is still in working order. The museum presents a reconstructed, modern day Trial presenting the case both for and against Britain’s most notorious King – was he an evil, hunchbacked monster who brutally murdered the “Princes in the Tower”, or a loyal, courageous ruler, unfairly maligned by historians? Make up your own mind here. email@example.com www.richard3museum.co.uk. 2). Bar Convent Museum – The history of Christianity in the north of England is explained in this charming museum housed in a Georgian building which is also a working convent, licensed café, gift shop and one of York’s most unusual guesthouses (fifteen bedrooms are available). The beautiful chapel was hidden in the centre of the building to avoid detection at a time when Roman Catholics were subject to persecution. The Bar Convent Museum is the oldest active convent in the country. firstname.lastname@example.org www.bar-convent.org.uk
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YORKSHIRE 3). Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate – Adjoining Lady Row on Goodramgate – York’s oldest row of houses, is a little gateway that would be all too easy to miss, but leads to Holy Trinity Church, one of York’s finest medieval churches, hemmed in and hidden by buildings on all sides. In this secret garden of tranquility, the ghost of Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland is supposed to wander, searching for his head – he was beheaded for high treason. The church escaped the 19th century reformers and has retained its original character, with box pews and medieval glass, including a stunning east window dating back to 1470. 4). St Mary’s Abbey – The statuesque ruins of St Mary’s Abbey lie in Museum Gardens, the grounds of the Yorkshire Museum. The picturesque setting has been used as a backdrop to open-air theatre on many occasions, including the York Mystery Plays. St Mary’s was once the most important Benedictine monastery in northern England. 5). Statue of Constantine the Great – The striking statue of an elegantly reclining Constantine complete with sword is positioned outside the Minster, a fitting reminder that a great Roman military headquarters once stood on this very site. Nearby is the single surviving pillar excavated from Constantine’s fortress. 6). Margaret Clitherow’s House – This tiny Shambles house was home to butcher’s wife Margaret Clitherow, a Roman Catholic who sheltered priests from persecution. She suffered for her selfless bravery by being deliberately crushed to death beneath a door in 1586. The house is now a shrine to her memory, and one of the most peaceful and simple chapels in the whole of York. 7). Barley Hall – This meticulously restored medieval townhouse, right in the heart of York’s historic streets, was once home of Alderman William Snawsell, Goldsmith and Lord Mayor of York. Its remains were found behind centuries of buildings in the atmospheric ginnel Coffee Yard. Step back in time and discover what life was like for the Alderman and his family in the 15th century. Costumed guides or an audio tour – presented by York-born Judi Dench and Robert Hardy – fill you in on the building’s colourful history. email@example.com www.barleyhall.org.uk
St Mary’s Abbey Whitby Index
YORKSHIRE 8). Mansion House – In the centre of York there's a hidden gem, a building rich in the city's history, and just waiting to be discovered. Behind its imposing facade, through the blue door is a remarkable story of the Lord Mayors of York and their entertainment for the good of the city! Since 1725 the house has been the home of the Lord Mayors of York and houses one of the finest civic collections in the country, including fine silverware, clocks and furniture. Guided tours from July until December every Friday and Saturday at 11:00 and 14:00 lasting approximately 1 hour. firstname.lastname@example.org 9). Treasurer’s House – A beautiful house, attractive gardens, welcoming tearoom – and some of the most famous ghosts in York. Originally the Minster’s Treasurer lived on this site; it was his responsibility to run the Minster efficiently. The present building dates from the late 16th century, and was a private residence, but the name stuck. It is now home to a magnificent antiques collection, and is run by the National Trust. And the ghosts? A company of Roman foot soldiers, who appeared through a cellar wall in 1953 – the terrified young plumber who saw them, described their garb in meticulous detail – and experts later confirmed that the house is indeed built over a Roman road. email@example.com www.nationaltrust.org.uk/treasurers-house-york/ 10). Merchant Adventurers’ Hall – The splendidly named Merchant Adventurers were one of medieval York’s most prestigious guilds. These were the overseas traders, the men who helped make the city rich, and their guildhall reflects their exalted status. The building is one of the best preserved of its kind in Europe, and has stood largely untouched for over 600 years. www.theyorkcompany.co.uk
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YORKSHIRE 11). York Brewery – Take a tour of York’s award-winning independent brewery, to see each stage of the brewing process. Tasting of the end products – including Stonewall and the stronger Yorkshire Terrier – are of course included! www.york-brewery.co.uk 12). York Cold War Bunker – Visitors are able to take a guided tour of a semisubmerged secret bunker on the outskirts of York. At the height of the Cold War, Britain had a total of 1,561 nuclear shelters, designed to withstand severe bombardment. The shelter was one of the best surviving examples of its type in the UK, and the first to be designated a Scheduled Monument. Complete with original fixtures and fittings, visitors can experience an atmosphere as authentic as that found in films such as the Ipcress File or the TV serial Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Visits to the Bunker will be by pre-booked guided tour only. To make a booking please ring Clifford’s Tower. www.english-heritage.org.uk
Barley Hall York Index
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YORKSHIRE Top 12 – Things That Make York Special 1). Largest Gothic cathedral – in Northern Europe – York Minster – This massive cathedral took 250 years to build, from 1220 till its consecration in 1472. 2). York is home to the largest Railway Museum in the world where visitors can book rail trips on the iconic Flying Scotsman and view the only Japanese Bullet train outside of Japan. 3). The Best Race Course in Great Britain – York Races run from May to October – Did you know the Romans started racing in York in 208AD? 4). The Biggest Festival of Food and Drink in Great Britain – takes place for 10 Days in September. 5). The one and only Jorvik – the only attraction of its kind that is based on a real archaeological dig – the authenticity of Jorvik makes it unique. York was the trading hub of the Viking world. Jorvik has attracted over 13.5m visitors in 20 years and it has become one of Britain’s top visitor attractions. 6). York and Chocolate – York has a long history of chocolate making – Nestlé (formerly Rowntrees) and Terry’s (now owned by Kraft) chocolate factories grew up here – all the famous names are made here – Kit Kat being the biggest seller. Some 47 bars are eaten every second and in 1999 sales amounted to £250m, breaking the half a billion pounds barrier for the first time – and all made in York! York’s first chocolate attraction is set to open in Spring 2012.
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YORKSHIRE 7). We have two of the countries most beautiful national parks right on our doorstep – the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. The North York Moors Steam Railway at Goathland was the location for the first Harry Potter film. 8). The Treasurer’s House in York was in the Guinness Book of Records for having the ‘Ghosts of Greatest Longevity’. Built over the main Roman thoroughfare leading into York, the house was the site of a remarkable apparition in the 1950. There are several evening ghost walks in the city. 9). York has the Longest and Best Preserved town walls in England. 10). The city is an archaeologist’s delight. York contains one of Britain’s very few ‘wet sites’, where organic materials such as wood and leather survive. Find out more at Dig and Jorvik visitor attractions. 11). York is home to the earliest custom built dance hall in the UK – the Assembly Rooms, designed by Lord Burlington and now home to Ask restaurant. 12). Finally don’t forget there are lot of new things in the city – if you haven’t visited for a year or two you will find a multitude of new bars, cafes and award winning restaurants.
Jorvik Viking Centre Yorkshire Index
YORKSHIRE Top 12: Family Friendly Museums 1). Eureka! National Children’s Museum, Halifax – Eureka is a wonderful museum dedicated entirely to games, entertainment and downright fun for people for children both young and old. If a bit of messy jelly-making is your thing or perhaps some more active fun with a ball out in the garden, the Eureka! National Children’s Museum has a bit for everything. 2012 marks the 20th birthday of this extravaganza of childhood memories brought together under one fun-filled roof and in celebration thereof, the new play20 website has just been launched, brimming with ideas on all the way people of all ages can have a good time! For more information, visit play20.org. 2). National Media Museum, Bradford – At the National Media Museum (formally known as the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television) in Bradford, you can go back in time and see the first photographic negative, the earliest television footage, the world’s first moving image, the UK’s first permanent installation of an IMAX cinema and much much more. The museum hosts Bradford Film Festival in March, Bite the Mango in September and Bradford Animation Festival in November. These attract international speakers and new and classic works from around the world. 3). National Coal Mining Museum for England, Wakefield – One of the prime traits that Yorkshire is famous for has always been coal-mining so what better place to open The National Coal Mining Museum for England than in Wakefield. The museum takes its visitors down the lengthy and at times distressing timeline of events which developed the industry over the years. Underground, you can experience the conditions which miners worked in and see the tools and machines which they used. Above ground a visitor centre exhibits the social and industrial history of the English mines. Read through the “Coal News” or visit the boiler house and the coal screening plan or take a ride on the paddy train; this is England’s ultimate mining experience. The NCM is an Anchor Point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.
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YORKSHIRE 4). Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds – Right next to St James Hospital in Leeds, West Yorkshire, the Thackray Museum presents a detailed history of medicine. Its Grade II listed building, built in 1858, boasts a colourful past including providing care for armed services personnel in WWI and accommodating the poor in Victorian times. One of the museum’s highlights - Leeds 1842: Life in Victorian Leeds - presents a reproduction of slum streets complete with authentic sights, sounds and smells to tickle all the senses and take visitors back in time to follow the lives, ailments and treatments of eight Victorian characters. The museum also houses the skeleton of Mary Bateman, the "Yorkshire Witch", who was executed for witchcraft in 1809. 5). Royal Armouries, Leeds – The National Collection of Arms and Armour is displayed in the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, West Yorkshire, part of the Royal Armouries family of museums which includes the Tower of London, Fort Nelson in Hampshire and the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Located in Clarence Dock, the Royal Armouries Museum is a £42.5 million purpose-built museum which opened its doors to the public in 1996. Exhibitions include ancient, medieval and 17th to 20th century warfare, hunting weapons, oriental artillery and self-defence arms. 6). World of James Herriot, Thirsk – Enjoy a great family day out at the World of James Herriot - The premier visitor attraction in Yorkshire! Set in the picturesque market town of Thirsk, 23 Kirkgate is home to the world famous vet-cum-author James Herriot. Today you can step back in time and experience the life of a vet and see what has made James Herriot into a global phenomenon. Come and get behind the scenes of the BBC TV series 'All Creatures Great and Small', and see what has been capturing the hearts and minds of so many around the world, all the while putting Yorkshire firmly on the map.
7). Bronte Parsonage, Bradford – Home to the Brontes, the world’s most famous literary family, between 1820 and 1861, the beautifully preserved Haworth Parsonage has had its doors opened to visitors from all over the world over the past 75 years. This quintessentially English family including, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, has produced some of England’s most praised books and their Georgian home still retains the atmosphere as it once was in Bronte-time with the furniture, clothes and personal possession that they once used changed annually to entice visitors to see something new each time they visit. 8). Yorkshire Air Museum, York – Britain’s largest independent museum, The Yorkshire Air Museum, and the location of the Allied Air Force Memorial, can be found in Elvington just outside the City of York. Spreading over a 20 acre parkland site on the former WWII RAF Bomber Command Station, the museum is the largest and most original WWII station open to the public. The museum also boasts the only base used by the French heavy bomber squadrons during the war and today includes award winning gardens, a large NAAFI style restaurant and shop, plus over 15 top class exhibitions, a large range of military vehicles and 50 historic aircraft, many of which are in working order. 9). Yorkshire Museum, York – Reopening its doors in the summer of 2010, the Yorkshire Museum presented itself in full pride after a nine-month £2 million refurbishment project. Today, five new galleries showcase a special selection of some of Britain’s finest archaeological treasures, extinct animals, birds and fossils. The four permanent collections at the museum all have English designated collection status, of pre-eminent national and international importance. The collection began in the 1820s with the collection of animal bones and fossils from Kirkdale Cave. The collections exhibit collections of biology, geology, astronomy and astrology.
YORKSHIRE 10). The Hepworth Wakefield – This renowned art gallery brought over 100,000 visitors to Wakefield, West Yorkshire just five weeks after it opened its doors to the public on 21st May 2011. Situated on the south side of the River Calder, it carries the name of artist and sculptor Barbara Hepworth, who was born and schooled in Wakefield. Costing over £35 million to build, the Hepworth Gallery was funded by Wakefield Council, Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The 1600 square meters of gallery space is the home of 44 plaster and aluminium working models donated by Dame Barbara Hepworth’s family and other temporary contemporary art exhibitions from artists in the likes of Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, Jacob Epstein, David Hockney, Ivon Hitchens and others. 11). Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield – This open-air gallery in West Bretton, Wakefield shows the works of UK and International artists in the likes of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, natives of the West Yorkshire area. The park is situated in Bretton Hall, an 18th century private estate which in the mid-1900s became a College of Further and Higher Education. The garden present an array of follies, landscape features and architectural structures to its thousands of visitors each year. 12). Jorvik Viking Centre, York – Visitors of this magnificent centre are really offered an experience to remember by being taken back to 5:30PM on 25th October 975AD in a time-capsule embarking on a tour of a reconstructed Viking settlement. Speaking in Old Norse and tickling your sense of smell with aromas both appetizing and not, this extravaganza will leave visitors of all ages literally speechless. Amongst others, the centre is also the home of a replica of the Coppergate Helmet found near the site of the Centre, the original of which can be found in the Yorkshire Museum. The Jorvik Viking Centre also hosts the annual Viking Festival taking place in the second week of Febraury. The festival commemorates the ancient Viking “Jolablot” tradition.
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YORKSHIRE Top 12: Yorkshire Film Locations 1). Malham Tarn and Cove, North Yorkshire Moors Railway – Situated 1 km north of the small village of Malham in North Yorkshire, lies the breathtaking curved limestone cliff of Malham Cove. Originally covered by a large waterfall formed by a melting glacier above it, the cove is famous for its 400 irregular stone steps which form part of the Pennine Way route leading up to the uneven limestone pavement at the top of the cliff. The remainder of what was once a massive waterfall now forms a stream which flows out of the lake of Malham Tarn, 2 km north of the cove. Malham Cove is also one of the places that Hermione and Harry visit on their adventurous travels in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1). 2). Aysgarth Falls – Thousands of gallons of water cascade down the triple flight of waterfalls surrounded by farmland and forest in a one-mile stretch of the River Ure near the village of Aysgarth. These picturesque waterfalls are the Aysgarth Falls and are their surroundings are the home of countless wild birds, squirrels and deer during the months of spring. The waterfalls have been featured in many television programs and feature films including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, where the people’s hero first meets Little John right at the river crossing on the upper fall. 3). Whitby Abbey - Dracula – Overlooking the ever stormy North Sea on the East Cliff above Whitby in North Yorkshire, lies the Grade I listed ruined Benedictine abbey – Whitby Abbey. Currently in the care of the English Herritage, Whitbey Abbey was ruined during the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII and has been featured in the 1992 production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. 4). Kettlewell and Skipton - Calendar Girls – Kettlewell is a small town situated in Upper Wharefedale, North Yorkshire between the villages of Grassington, Kinsey and Conistone. It is believed that Kettlewell is an old Anglo Saxon village and traces of their farming methods can still be seen in the terraced fields. The village lies some 14 miles north of Skipton which is a lovely market town and civil parish within the Craven district of North Yorkshire. The town spreads its realms along the course of both the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the River Aire. Both villages were featured to represent the village of Knapely in the 2003 film Calendar Girls. You can even find ‘Calendar Girl Trail’ brochures available at local Kettlewell and Skipton shops and public houses which give information on the locations and buildings used in the film’s scenes. Index
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YORKSHIRE 5). Nostell - Brideshead – In the City of Wakefield lies the tiny village of Nostell, a civil parish with population of 90. It is the home of the Augustinian Nostell Priory, an 18th Century Palladian historic house currently owned by the National Trust. The Baroque Castle Howard, in Nostell was used as the location for the television series Brideshead Revisited. 6). Fountains Abbey – Founded in 1132 and situated 3 miles south-west of Ripon in North Yorkshire the Fountains Abbey is one the largest and best preserved Cistercian monasteries in England. The Grade I UNESCO World Heritage Site is currently owned by the National Trust and operated for over 400 years until Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of Monasteries. Over the past 30 years Fountains Abbey has been a popular filming location for film productions including the 2006 film adaptation of the comedy-drama play The History Boys, The Secret Garden as well as the TV series Flambards, A History of Britain and the game show Treasure Hunt. 7). Harewood - Emmerdale – The village of Harewood is a civil parish in the City of Leeds in West Yorkshire most famous for Harewood House, a stately home and the All Saints’ Church situated on the house’s grounds. The Grade I listed building built in the 15th Century is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Harewood and more specifically the Harewood Estate is also famous for being used as the exterior set of the hit soap opera Emmerdale. 8). Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – Being the only railway in the world offering real ale on board its trains, Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a 5 mile long branch line that served the mills and villages in the Worth Valley. Today, it a heritage railway line running in its original form from Keighley to Oxenhope and connecting to the national rail network line at Keighley railway station. The Old Gentleman’s Saloon, featured in the 1970s British drama film based on the E. Nesbit novel The Railway Children is situated on the railway line and is a former North Eastern Railway directors’ Saloon.
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YORKSHIRE 9). Elland Road and Headingley Stadium – Elland Road Stadium has been the permanent residence of the Leeds United A.F.C. since the club’s foundation in 1919. Situated in Beeston, Leeds in West Yorkshire, the football stadium is the 12th largest all-seater in England and has hosted a number of FA Cup semi-final matches as well as concert performances from bands like Queen, U2 and Rod Stewart. Elland Road Stadium as well as the Headingley Stadium, home to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the Leeds Rhinos and the rugby union team Leeds Carnegie, were both used as film-locations for The Damned United, centered around the 44-day reign of Brian Clough (played by Michael Sheen) at the Leeds United club in 1974. Elland Road Stadium was further used for filming the alternative of old Wembley Stadium in the 2010 epic The King’s Speech. 10). Haworth – Once home to the literary gurus the Bronte family, Haworth is where you should come to see Wuthering Heights brought to life. Used as the set of the 2011 Andrea Arnold film adaptation, the small village in West Yorkshire provides the perfect choice for a weekend getaway to see the famous Bronte Parsonage Museum and the traditional steam train on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. 11). Harrogate and Old Swan Hotel – Used as the film location for the 1977 production of Agatha, starring Dustin Hoffman and Vanessa Redgrave, the Old Swan Hotel is the very hiding place that Agatha Christie used in her 1926 disappearance. The prestigious hotel, spreading its grounds in the heart of Harrogate is the ultimate melange of contemporary luxury and Victorian splendour. 12). Holmfirth - Last of the Summer Wine – Holmfirth is a small town in the Holme Valley within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire right in the middle of the Holme and Ribble rivers consisting of stone-build cottages nested in the Pennine Hills. Holmfirth was primarily famous for the Bamforth & Co Ltd filmmaking centre but in recent times it has become mostly recognized as the location of the BBC sitcom written by Roy Clarke - Last of the Summer Wine, which brings thousands of tourists to the town annually to enjoy the stunning landscapes and reminisce on scenes of the long-running TV comedy.
Haworth Moor Yorkshire Index
Moulin Huet Bay Guernsey Index
GUERNSEY Top 12 Food Experiences 1). The Ormer – Guernsey’s own seafood delicacy, the Ormer is a favourite with islander’s who can spend hours wading through rock pools on Guernsey’s coastline in search of the elusive abalone. 2). Try deliciously creamy Guernsey Ice Cream – found in most restaurants and beach kiosks. The Guernsey cow produces some of the best milk in the world; look out for the golden butter and local yoghurts as well. 3). Traditional Guernsey Gâuche – One of Guernsey’s definitive delicacies is Guernsey Gâche. Tune in your taste buds before you visit, with this genuine recipe and it’s easy to make too. 4). A very hearty Guernsey beanjar – The traditional Guernsey Bean Jar has been around for centuries, and still proves popular today. 5). Rich Guernsey cream – You simply can’t visit Guernsey without sampling some of the finest Guernsey cream with your scones! 6). Gâuche Mélée – traditional Guernsey apple dessert and is a favourite with local Guernsey folk. Gâche Mélée is particularly good in the autumn when the nights are becoming colder and darker and the apples are freshly picked. It’s great eaten hot or cold and with a dollop of Guernsey cream or custard. 7). Crab Sandwiches – Visit a beach kiosk and tuck in to this seafood delight. 8). Have a Beach BBQ – A real favourite pastime when the tide is up. 9). Enjoy Fish & Chips – on the sea wall at Cobo as you watch the sun go down on the West Coast. 10). Fort Grey Blue Cheese – Award winning cheese, ideal baked into a quiche or used in a fondue. 11). Locally brewed Rocquettes Cider – The island has a long brewing tradition and local beers are widely available in bars and restaurants. 12). Hedge vegetables – locally grown and delicious. islanders love to buy and sell them from makeshift stalls at the side of the road. 143
St Peter’s Port Guernsey Index
GUERNSEY Top 12 day visit activities 1). One good turn deserves another – take part in a cliff walk to explore the Islands rugged coast and beautiful scenery. 2). A cornet of a different type – Castle Cornet is an ancient castle with three museums and historic gardens. The noon-day gun is fired daily by soldiers in 19th Century costume. The museum is a gentle 15-minute walk from the town centre. 3). You know your worth it – St Peter Port is home to a wealth of independent retailers offering everything from antiques to clothes, to jewellery. Most are concentrated around the High Street, Arcade, Smith Street and Pollet areas, but it is also worth visiting Guernsey’s newly rejuvenated Market Halls and the Old Quarter in and around Mill Street. 4). Lucky number 7 – Take a coastal drive of the island on the Number 7 or 7A public bus. Journeys cost as little as £1 for the circular trip and can provide a really good way of sampling a taste of island life. 5). You will have such a good time you will be in stitches – Why not walk up Smith Street towards St James and visit the Guernsey Tapestry. Our fantastic tapestry depicts Guernsey’s history in 10 unique embroidered panels with audio interpretation. The work, love and labour that went into the tapestry was for one of Guernsey’s Millennium projects and really does give a fascinating insight into Guernsey over the ages.
8). Approach with Military precision – For visitors with a keen interest in WWII and Guernsey’s military history, La Vallette Underground Military Museum in St Peter Port offers an award winning and unique display of Guernsey’s military history housed in a German tunnel complex. 9). Recharge those batteries – Relax and sample one of Guernsey’s 27 beaches and bays, take in one museum of choice, have alfresco coffee, a spot of retail therapy all being the general ambiance of our European flavoured Town. Guernsey is your oyster. 10). A visit to paradise Island is only 20 minutes away – If the departure and return times for the Herm Trident fit with your schedule then why not take the 20-minute boat journey to the paradise island of Herm. If time allows, you may choose to walk all the way around Herm and experience the glorious Shell Beach and Belvoir Bay or alternatively stop at the picturesque quay, have coffee and admire the scenery. 11). It’s little and very loveable – Visit the Little Chapel possibly the world’s smallest consecrated church and beautifully decorated with seashells, pebbles and colourful pieces of broken china. 12). Tantalise your taste buds – Head West and visit a beach kiosk to try the crab sandwiches, and local Guernsey Gâuche with lashings of golden Guernsey butter whilst sunbathing on one of Guernsey beautiful West coast bays.
6). Bienvenue à la maison de Victor Hugo – Victor Hugo’s exquisitely ornate home during his exile in Guernsey is located in Hauteville. This museum, owned by the City of Paris, has been preserved as it would have been found in the eighteen hundreds and tells the story of Victor Hugo during his 15 years in the island. 7). Trails, Trials and Tribulations of St Peter Port – Pick up the St Peter Port Trails Map from the Guernsey information centre and choose one of the five fantastic routes around our capital explaining the Town’s colourful history as you go. There are different walks for those who prefer a gentler stroll to those who are more ambitious. On many days walking tours of St Peter Port are also offered from the Information Centre for Guernsey visitors.
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Riverside Museum Glasgow Index
SCOTLAND Top 12 of Scotland 1). Edinburgh Castle – A fortress perched on an extinct volcano, dominates the Scottish capital. See the Honours of Scotland, the nation’s Crown Jewels; tour the rooms of the Royal Palace and see where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her son James ; watch the One O’Clock Gun being fired each day (except for Sundays) as it has been since 1861, when it was a signal for ships in the Firth of Forth and the port of Leith – and coinciding with the Time Ball, a large white ball which is raised above the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill, and drops at exactly 13:00. 2). Visit a whisky distillery – There are over 40 open to the public, large and small, on the mainland and on the islands. You can follow the Malt Whisky Trail through the Highlands, or the Whisky Coast Trail along the west coast and islands from Mull to the Isle of Skye. If you don’t have time to explore those areas learn about it at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. 3). Watch or play a round of golf – With more than 550 courses in Scotland, the “Home of Golf”, you certainly won’t have a problem finding one to play on! There are courses in all parts of Scotland, and aimed at different levels of skill, including championship courses like the Old Course in St Andrews, to Turnberry on the west coast and Gleneagles near Perth, venue for the Ryder Cup in 2014. 4). Traquair – The oldest inhabited house in Scotland, dating back to 1107. Originally built as a hunting lodge for Scottish kings and queens, it was later a refuge for Catholic priests, and the family supported Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobite cause. Mary visited Traquair with her husband and baby son James in 1566 and the baby’s cradle, her bed and some other possessions can still be seen in the house. The Bear Gates outside the house were installed in 1738 and after Bonnie Prince Charlie visited a few years later, legend says the Earl vowed they wouldn’t be opened again until a Stuart was crowned in London – so they have been closed ever since. Drink in all the history along with a pint from Traquair’s own brewery! 5). The Royal Yacht Britannia – Played host to some of the most famous people in the world, as well as being home to HM The Queen and the Royal Family. Now you can tour the ship in its permanent mooring in the revived port area of Leith in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Index
SCOTLAND 6). Scotland with Style – Glasgow – Scotland is the city of the unique designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Follow in his footsteps on a Mackintosh Trail, to include the Glasgow School of Art, refreshments in the Willow Tea Room and The Lighthouse, one of Mackintosh’s earliest buildings (originally designed as offices for the Glasgow Herald newspaper) brought to new life with a modern extension. 7). Loch Ness – Famous for the monster Nessie. You may not be guaranteed a viewing but the loch is well worth a visit: Scotland has over 500 freshwater and saltwater lochs, and Loch Ness is the second largest, behind Loch Lomond. Make sure to visit the half ruined Urquhart Castle, perched above the loch. 8). Ghosts – Like Nessie, visitors to Scotland aren’t guaranteed a sighting of (or hearing) a ghost but there’s no shortage of tales of hauntings at castles such as Glamis, and Fyvie – and even without the spirits, they are great castles to visit! 9). Get active! – Scotland is a great destination for activities, whether they be kayaking, cycling, walking or more extreme sports such as river bugging in Perthshire! 10). Visit an island – but which one, there are so many! From the Shetlands in the north, via the Outer Hebrides to the Inner Hebrides and down to Arran, named “Scotland in miniature” the Scottish Islands are a must-see for any visitor. 11). Take in an Edinburgh Festival – In case you thought there was just one, think again! As well as the Edinburgh International Festival, and Fringe Festival, there are book, jazz and film festivals, in the summer, as well as the fun-filled Hogmanay Festival at New Year. 12). Eat Scotland! – If you want some good food to accompany the whisky, you won’t go here. Yes you can try the traditional haggis, but there are many other mouthwatering offerings – try them out at the weekly, award-winning Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, or at cafes and restaurants around the country.
Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness Highlands Index
GLASGOW Top 12 things to do in Glasgow 1). Riverside Museum – Glasgow’s iconic new Riverside Museum is a fitting home for the city’s world-class transport collection and is a place that will inspire, educate and entertain. The stunning building is located where the River Clyde meets the River Kelvin at the heart of Glasgow Harbour. The design reflects internationallyrenowned architect Zaha Hadid’s dramatic interpretation of the collection. www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums One of the undoubted stars of the new attraction is the The Tall Ship SV Glenlee, which has moved to a permanent berth at Riverside - a move that reinforces The Tall Ship‘s position as a major visitor draw and an icon of Glasgow’s shipbuilding heritage. www.thetallship.com 2). Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland's most popular free attractions. It is home to 22 themed, state-ofthe-art galleries displaying an astonishing 8000 objects. The collections are extensive, wide-ranging and internationally significant. They include - natural history, arms and armour, art from many art movements and periods of history, and much more. www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums 3). Glasgow School of Art – Charles Rennie Mackintosh was one of the most creative figures of the 20th century and a leading figure in the European Art Nouveau movement. The Glasgow School of Art, completed in 1909, is thought to be his greatest architectural achievement. Still a working art school, the regular guided tours take visitors through the corridors of this fascinating building, into the Mackintosh Room and furniture gallery, and finishing in one of the most celebrated interiors, the Mackintosh Library. www.gsa.ac.uk
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GLASGOW 4). Mackintosh House – The Mackintosh House House is a reconstruction of the principal interiors from 78 Southpark Avenue (originally 6 Florentine Terrace), the Glasgow home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, the artist Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh from 1906-1914. The Mackintosh House opened as an integral part of the University’s Hunterian Art Gallery in 1981 and great care has been taken to ensure that the sequence of rooms mirrors that of the original. www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian 5). The Burrell Collection – More than 8000 art objects amassed in a lifetime by the Glasgow shipping magnate Sir William Burrell are housed in the award winning Burrell Collection in the beautiful woodland setting of Pollok Country Park. The collection ranges from work by major artists including Degas and Cezanne, to important examples of late medieval art and Chinese and Islamic art. www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums 6). Gallery of Modern Art – The Gallery of Modern Art, housed in an iconic building located in the heart of the city, is the most visited modern art gallery in Scotland and is home to a range of cutting-edge painting and sculpture and a wealth of innovative installations. For over 100 years the building was a centre for business and commercial exchange where information and goods were traded. www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums 7). Scottish Football Museum – The Scottish Football Museum celebrates the unique football heritage of Scotland and is home to some of the world’s most impressive national collection of football related objects, memorabilia and ephemera, including the oldest national trophy, the Scottish Cup. The 14 galleries allow you to explore the development of the modern game in Scotland, from the 19th century to the present day. www.scottishfootballmuseum.org.uk 8). Glasgow City Chambers – The City Chambers, the headquarters of Glasgow City Council is over 100 years old and Glasgow's finest example of 19th Century architecture. The City Chambers is an impressive symbol of Glasgow’s political strength and historical wealth. www.glasgow.gov.uk
9). Glasgow style mile – Glasgow’s style mile offers the best shopping in the UK outside of London’s West End. Sauchiehall, Buchanan and Argyll Street are packed full of well-known brands and are home to numerous malls and department stores including Buchanan Galleries, John Lewis, St Enoch Centre and House of Fraser. Princes Square houses a range of designer favourites and the Merchant City is home to exclusive brands and luxury boutiques. 10). Music in Glasgow – Glasgow has been hailed by Lonely Planet as having one of the best live music scenes in the world and is also a UNESCO City of Music. The city hosts an average of 130 music events each week and it is estimated that music businesses generate some £75m a year for Glasgow’s economy. Glasgow’s legendary music scene stretches across the whole spectrum from contemporary and classical to Celtic and Country. Its venues are equally varied and include King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (consistently voted the top live music venue in the UK), the Barrowlands, O2 Academy, the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre, Glasgow Royal Concert Halls and many pub and clubs throughout the city. 11). Contemporary Art in Glasgow – No fewer than five Turner Prize winners (Martin Creed, Douglas Gordon, Simon Starling, Richard Wright and Susan Philipsz); six Turner Prize nominees (Christine Borland, Phil Collins, Nathan Coley, Jim Lambie, Cathy Wilkes, Lucy Skaer) have hailed from, trained in, or worked out of the city in recent years. Innovative spaces such as Trongate 103 (www.trongate103.com) and The Briggait (www.thebriggait.org.uk) in the heart of the Merchant City); CCA on Sauchiehall Street (www.cca-glasgow.com) and Tramway on Glasgow’s South Side (www.tramway.org) are just some of the cutting-edge venues at the very epicentre of the city’s creativity with their year-round programmes of thought provoking events and exhibitions. 12). 12. People's Palace and Winter Gardens – The People’s Palace, set in historic Glasgow Green, tells the story of the people and city of Glasgow from 1750 to the end of the 20th century. The Palace is home to a wealth of historic artifacts and paintings and film and interactive displays all of which give an insight into www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums
GLASGOW Top 12 things to do within 1 hour of Glasgow 1). The Wallace Monument – Completed in 1869 after eight years' construction, the 220 feet high Wallace Monument sits prominently on the Abbey Craig two miles north of the city of Stirling itself. It was from this prominent hilltop in 1297 that William Wallace watched the English army approach across Stirling Bridge before leading the Scots into battle, and to victory, so it’s a fitting, and striking, location for the national monument to a national hero. Also on display is what is said to be the 700 year old Wallace sword, some 1.6m long. Coming face to face with such a magnificent piece of metalwork you wonder how anyone could have lifted or carried it, still less fought with it! When you reach The Crown at the top of The Monument the view will take your breath away. It’s one of the finest sights Scotland has to offer, from Ben Lomond and The Trossachs in the west and through The Forth Valley past the city of Stirling and The Ochil Hills to The Pentland Hills in the east. www.nationalwallacemonument.com 2). Mackintosh Hill House at Helensburgh – Charles Rennie Mackintosh was one of the most creative figures of the 20th century and a leading figure in the European Art Nouveau movement. The Hill House is considered to be Charles Rennie Mackintosh's finest domestic creation, dating from 1902. Sitting high above the Clyde, it is home to original Mackintosh furniture and interior design by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife and also has attractive formal gardens designed recognisably in the Mackintosh style. www.nts.org.uk/Property/The-Hill-House/About/ 3). Auchentoshan Distillery – Established in 1823, Auchentoshan (Ock-un-tosh-un) Distillery is situated on the A82 between Glasgow and Loch Lomond. This Lowlands Malt Distillery rests at the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills, overlooking the famous River Clyde, once renowned as the Scottish gateway to the world. Auchentoshan, meaning 'corner of the field', produces a delicate, smooth and light Single Malt Whisky. The subtle aroma and flavour of its spirit is achieved by the unique Triple Distillation process, whereby the spirit is not distilled twice, as elsewhere in Scotland, but instead, distilled three times producing even greater refinement to its character. The distillery has had six careful owners who have handed down its unique production process and Auchentoshan has been extensively refurbished since its acquisition by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd in 1984. A warm welcome awaits you - take a guided tour of the distillery and sample a wee dram. www.auchentoshan.co.uk
4). Visit Edinburgh for a day – Edinburgh, the inspiring capital of Scotland, is a historic, cosmopolitan and cultured city. The setting is wonderfully striking; the city is perched on a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags which rise from the generally flat landscape of the Lothians, with the sheltered shoreline of the Firth of Forth to the north. Edinburgh Castle dominates the city-centre skyline and from its ramparts you can look down on medieval lanes and elegant, sweeping terraces that hold over a thousand years of history, mystery and tradition. Yet you will also see a modern, dynamic capital where international festivals attract the world's leading performers, galleries display cutting-edge art, and bars, restaurants and clubs create a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere with a distinctly Scottish twist. 'Edinburgh,' said writer Robert Louis Stevenson, 'is what Paris ought to be'. 5). Burns Country - Ayrshire – Venture 58km south of Glasgow to Ayrshire, the heart of Burns Country. Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns, was born in Alloway and visitors can make a trip to his birthplace and experience the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum nearby. The museum comprises the famous Burns Cottage where the poet was born, the historic landmarks where he set his greatest work, the elegant monument and gardens created in his honour and a modern museum housing the world’s most important collection of his life and works. www.burnsmuseum.org.uk 6). The Carrick Course, Cameron House – Weaving through an area of outstanding natural beauty on the banks of Loch Lomond, The Carrick golf course at the deluxe resort at Cameron House is one of Scotland’s newer championship standard golf courses and, arguably, the country’s most breathtaking round. Sympathetically designed in keeping with its position within Scotland’s first National Park, the par 71 course follows a traditional Scottish heathland style and, uniquely, straddles the rolling Lowlands and majestic Highlands of Scotland. Challenging holes stretch over beautiful undulating fairways, hug inland lagoons and overlook the glittering waters of the Loch and rugged mountains beyond. Designed by acclaimed golf architect, Doug Carrick, The Carrick extends from 4755m, from the front tees, to 6480m from the championship tees. www.golf.visitscotland.com/courses/the_carrick.aspx
GLASGOW 7). Loch Lomond – The single biggest expanse of inland water in the British Isles, Loch Lomond brings together two very different Scotlands. From its 'bonnie banks', located within the boundaries of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to Helensburghs elegant promenades and the shipping heritage of the Clyde, this is an area of dramatic contrasts. The sheltered harbour at Balmaha is the ideal centre for sailing and water-sports, while the championship golf course at Loch Lomond Golf Club regularly attracts household names to world-class golfing tournaments. Why not see Scotland as you've never seen it before by taking off and landing on the waters of Loch Lomond with Loch Lomond Seaplanes, the UK's only commercial seaplane service. They provide regular excursions, charters and lunch flights across Scotland from their base on Loch Lomond. Cruise Loch Lomond also offers cruises throughout the year allowing you to experience the beauty, tranquillity and adventure on Loch Lomond - the jewel in Scotland’s first National Park. 8). New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site – New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village nestled in the spectacular south Lanarkshire valley in southern Scotland, close to the Falls of Clyde and less than an hour from Glasgow. Discover the fascinating history of New Lanark which has been interpreted in the award-winning New Lanark Visitor Centre. The impressive cotton mill village of New Lanark was founded in 1785. New Lanark quickly became known under the enlightened management of social pioneer, Robert Owen. He provided good homes, fair wages, free health care, a new education system for villagers and the first workplace nursery school in the world! Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, New Lanark, has been beautifully restored as a living community, which welcomes visitors from all over the world. www.newlanark.org 9). Falkirk Wheel – Measuring 35m, The Falkirk Wheel is the world’s only rotating boatlift and is used to connect the Forth & Clyde and Union canals in central Scotland. This magnificent, mechanical marvel has been constructed to 21st Century, state-of-the-art engineering and it is already being recognised as an iconic landmark worthy of Scotland's traditional engineering expertise. Designed to replace a series of lock gates built in the 19th Century - long since demolished and replaced by housing - The Falkirk Wheel is the showpiece of the Millennium Link project where coast-to-coast navigation of the canals has been re-established for the first time in over 40 years. www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk
10). Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park – Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park is Glasgow’s nearest big countryside attraction for healthy family fun days out or outdoor activities. All visitor centres have free parking and entry, sign posted woodland walks and nature trails, easy wildlife watching, indoor and outdoor attractions, cafes, gift shops and a Ranger Service. The park boasts seasonal row boat and mountain bike hire as well as walks in Parkhill Wood, the designed landscape woodlands of the Semple Clan. Ask the Rangers about the Parkhill Challenge - a treasure-hunt style activity suitable for all the family. www.clydemuirshiel.co.uk 11). Glengoyne Distillery – Glengoyne is open all year round for guided distillery tours, whisky tastings, in-depth blending sessions and Masterclasses. Situated just 22.5km north of Glasgow, Glengoyne is close to Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs. The visit begins with a dram of 10 year old Single Highland Malt before enjoying a guided tour of the distillery. After the tour, guests are invited in to the new state-of the-art whisky 'Sample Room' to take their whisky knowledge to new levels. With its locally hand crafted, light oak fixtures and fascinating array of sample bottles, the spectacular Sample Room is where guests can create their own unique blend of whisky, under the watchful eye of the expert blender. www.glengoyne.com 12). Stirling Castle – For generations Scotland’s royalty gathered at Stirling Castle to revel in its impressive buildings, superb sculptures, fine craftsmanship and beautiful gardens. Today, visitors can do the same. Highlights include The Great Hall, Chapel Royal, Regimental Museum of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, The Great Kitchens and Tapestry Studio. Guided tours of the castle help bring its rich and colourful past to life in vivid detail. Audio tours in six languages are available and a free guided tour of Argyll’s Lodging, one of Europe’s finest surviving 17th-century townhouses, is also included in the entry price. The Palace Project has now seen the six ground floor Kings’ and Queens’ apartments in Stirling Castle’s Renaissance Palace restored to their mid-16th century opulence. Also restored to the Castle for the first time since 1777, are the Stirling Heads, the supreme example of hand carved renaissance iconography in Scotland. The courtiers are depicted in the style of classical gods at some sort of celestial court, and this reflects the Renaissance hankering for the cultural glories of classical Rome and Greece. www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk
Blue Lagoon Abereiddi Index
CARDIFF Top 12 Cardiff 1). Cardiff Castle – Cardiff may only have been a city for 100 years, but there has been a castle here for nearly 2000 years. The original Roman walls and Norman keep can still be explored, but the highlight of a visit is the tour of the refurbished Victorian interiors – transformed into a mock-Medieval palace by the 3rd Marquess of Bute. www.cardiffcastle.com 2). Millennium Stadium – When the stadium isn’t hosting major sports matches or concerts you can take a tour of the 74000 seater stadium. Walk down the player’s tunnel, try out the Queen’s seat in the Royal box and discover how they removed the curse from the away-team changing rooms. www.millenniumstadium.com 3). Wales Millennium Centre – Dominating the skyline in Cardiff Bay, the Wales Millennium Centre is home to seven major arts organizations, including Welsh National Opera and Diversions Dance Company. The centre presents international opera, ballet, modern dance and musicals. ‘Arts Sherpas’ run backstage tours of the centre, and if you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of a rehearsal. www.wmc.org.uk 4). Techniquest – Enter a world of science and technology at Cardiff Bay’s Techniquest, which is sure to delight children of all ages. Fancy firing a rocket, launching a hot air balloon or racing an electric car? There are over 160 hands-on exhibits with puzzles and activities to entertain the whole family. There are also shows in the Science Theatre and tours of the Universe in the Planetarium. Visitors can also conduct their own experiments in the science Laboratory. www.techniquest.org 5). National Museum of Wales – Two wealthy Welsh sisters bequeathed their large art collection to the museum and gallery in the mid 20th century, resulting in Cardiff owning one of the largest collections of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris, with works by Renoir, Monet and Cezanne on display. A couple of hours can easily be spent exploring the extensive museum exhibits too. (free entry, closed Mondays) www.museumwales.ac.uk Millennium Stadium Cardiff 153
CARDIFF 6). National History Museum St Fagans – The national History Museum at St. Fagans is home to a variety of historic buildings from across Wales – all of which were taken apart brick by brick and carefully reconstructed in the museum to present a view of life in Wales over the last 500 years. Re-erected buildings include an elegant mansion house, a humble quarryman’s cottage, farmhouses, a terrace of six cottages and a Victorian shop complex from the South Wales valleys with a working bakery, blacksmiths, saddler, tea shop and store. The museum is open every day and also runs regular seasonal events. www.nmgw.ac.uk 7). Chapter Arts Centre – Chapter has earned a reputation as one most diverse arts centres in Europe, and combines theatre, art, film, music and literature into one venue. The gallery hosts exhibitions by artists from across the globe, and is the venue for the annual Experimentica Festival, boasting some of Britain's most dynamic art. The Chapter has recently undergone a £3.5 million facelift and is celebrating its 40th birthday with a year of special events. www.chapter.org
11). The Cardiff Story Museum – Discover how Cardiff was transformed from the small market town of the 1300s to one of the world's biggest ports in the 1900s, to the cosmopolitan capital we know today. www.cardiffstory.com 12). Cardiff’s’ Arcades – Cardiff’s arcades still retain many of their Victorian and Edwardian features and are now home to dozens of unique stores and cafés. All manner of Welsh gifts can be found in these arcades, from handmade Welsh textiles to Welsh love spoons and rugby shirts. Visit Morgan and Castle Arcades for the latest designer fashions in independent stores such as Woodenwood or rest your feet and enjoy a meal in cafes such as vegetarian café Crumbs, or The Plan, which specialise in organic and FairTrade food. www.royalarcadecardiff.com www.cardiffcastlearcade.co.uk
8). Cardiff International White Water – THE most popular and sociable of all our water sports, White Water Rafting ranges from the thrills and spills to the gentler float trip. Descend raging rapids in the heart of our capital city on this adrenalin fuelled activity. Whatever your experience you are in for an enjoyable ride! www.ciww.com 9). The Senedd (Welsh Parliament Building) – The Welsh Assembly Government’s new debating chamber, The Senedd, was opened by the Queen in March 2006. Visitors can explore the building, have coffee and Welsh cakes in the café or watch Assembly debates from the public viewing gallery. www.wales.gov.uk 10). Spillers Records – Officially the oldest record store in the world, Spillers Records has been a fixture in Cardiff since 1894. As well as a diverse selection of CDs and vinyl from the latest up and coming indie and dance acts, the store has a section dedicated to Welsh bands and singers. www.spillersrecords.co.uk
Cardiff International White Water Cardiff Index
WALES Top 12 Wales – Castles and More 1). Wales has 641 castles – so you won’t be spoilt for choice! From Raglan in the south east to Pembroke in the south-west of Wales; from Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey to Powis near the mid Wales border, they all tell a story… below are just four of the best. 2). In the south, Cardiff Castle dominates the centre of the capital city, and from outside looks imposingly medieval, definitely a fortress to repel rather than a luxurious home. But venture inside and you will see stunning, colourful, decorative interiors, the exuberance of the architect William Burges who redesigned the castle in the 19th century. For more exuberance, why not join a Welsh banquet in the castle’s undercroft. Just outside town, on a hill, stands Castell Coch, by the same architect and with equally stunning interiors. 3). In North Wales, Caernarfon Castle is one of the most famous and impressive castles, now a World Heritage Site, taking nearly 50 years to build - and which you can spend hours exploring it. Conwy Castle and its Town Walls together form another World Heritage Site, just along the coast. 4). Celtic Manor in south Wales hosted the Ryder Cup in 2010 and dedicated golfers will want to attempt to equal their scores with a game there. But like the castles, there are courses all across the country. Not surprisingly, there may be a castle looming over the next green – notably at Harlech. And for anyone who thinks they know about water hazards – you haven’t been to Nefyn in North Wales, famous for The Point, where the sea is all round you! 5). For those who are looking for a more adrenalin-charged experience, they don’t come much more memorable than coasteering: – “a wild combination of scrambling, climbing, traversing, cliff jumping and swimming that was first developed in Pembrokeshire in the 80s and 90s and has now taken off all over the world” 6). For those who prefer to look at the view from a cliff, rather than jump off it, there are great walks (and views) along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a national trail set in a National Park. It will form part of the 1368km Welsh Coast Path, which it is hoped will open in 2012.
Caenarfon Castle Gwynedd Index
WALES 7). If you are agonising over what books to take on holiday – forget about choosing them till you get to Wales. Hay on Wye, near the border with England has become famous for its second-hand and antiquarian bookshops, and for one of the best literary festivals. 8). The daffodil is one of the national symbols of Wales, so it’s no surprise the Welsh take their gardens seriously. Powis Castle is the backdrop to enormous clipped yew trees in a 10.5ha garden; Bodnant has a magnificent collection of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias as well as its famous laburnum tunnel; while Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire were saved from ruin when a trust was set up about 15 years ago to restore them. 9). From Anglesey Sea Salt to Salt Marsh Lamb, from Caerphilly Cheese to beef from pedigree Welsh Black cattle, Wales produces some very tasty food. Sample it in some of Wales’s great pubs and restaurants, in towns and village which have a reputation for good food (and a food festival) such as Narberth and Abergavenny, or at the specialist Great British Cheese Festival, held in Cardiff in September. Check out Welsh Food & Restaurants. A Guide to Eating out in Wales 10). In Wales trains aren’t just for getting from A to B, but a fun day out in their own right. Try one of the Great Little Trains of Wales, whether travelling along coastline, through woods and along river banks, or up Wales’ tallest mountain, Snowdon. 11). St Fagan’s is Wales’s most popular heritage attraction, an open-air museum featuring over 40 buildings from different periods which have been moved from elsewhere and rebuilt on a site on the outskirts of Cardiff, while regular displays of traditional crafts and activities bring the site to life. Currently “only” covering the history of Wales over 500 years, there are plans to bring the National Museum of Wales’ archaeological collections to St Fagan’s, so the period covered extends to 250,000 years. 12). Premier League football - Swansea City has just been promoted to the Premier League – the first time a Welsh team has played in the league since it kicked off in 1992. Powys Castle Powys Index
WALES Top 12 Wales 1). Castles and Historic Houses – How do you like your history? With over 600 castles and historic houses in Wales, we’re certain Wales has something that’ll appeal to every interest. For a castle with added bite, try Beaumaris. Its defences include entrances protected by murder holes, from which defenders would be able to rain down hot oil onto any would-be attackers. If you’re more of a lover than a fighter, then perhaps Carreg Cennen will be for you. It’s been named in a shortlist of 10 castles vying for the UK’s most romantic ruin. 2). Museums and Heritage – Welsh history is written all over the landscape, from Neolithic burial chambers to hands-on science discovery centres. There are museums for every passion: from the origins of Wales to Doctor Who. We’ve got 7 national museums that help tell Wales’s story through art, history and the natural environment. At Big Pit: National Coal Museum you can go 90m underground with a real miner to discover what life was like at the coal face. A great day out guaranteed and even better, all seven museums are free to visit. 3). National Parks – There are three National Parks in Wales. Snowdonia is the largest, with the highest mountain in Wales (Snowdon) and largest natural lake (Llyn Tegid). Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is Britain’s largest coastal national park, with spectacular landscapes. For a small country, there’s a breathtaking remoteness to the Brecon Beacons, but there are also sheltered woodlands, reservoirs, waterfalls and caves. 4). Go Coastal – With 1,200 km of coastline, Wales has plenty of seaside resorts. In Victorian resorts like Llandudno, you can indulge in seaside traditions like strolling along the prom. There are harbour towns, like New Quay, from which you can take a boat-ride to look for some more unusual local inhabitants – dolphins, seals and porpoises. Then there are villages where the sand and sea are the focal points – like Llangennith, the (unofficial) surf capital of Wales, with its laid-back vibe. Our coastline also has more than its fair share of Blue Flags: 45 in 2010. 5). Gardens – Wales is full of gardens. It’s location on the Western edge of Britain, combined with the warming effects of the Gulf Stream, means things grow bigger and better here. That might explain why Bodnant Garden is home to the UK’s tallest California Redwood. Or why Portmeirion has a giant herbaceous flowering plant native to the Brazilian forests. 157
Sgwd Gwladys Waterfall Brecon Beacons National Park Index
WALES 6). Great Little Trains of Wales – Built at a time when the pace of life was slower, Wales’s narrow gauge steam railways are a charming way of taking in the scenery, some having a history of well over 100 years. 2011 will be memorable for the Welsh Highland Railway as, for the first time ever, passengers will be able to ride the complete route from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, where they can jump aboard the world-famous Ffestiniog Railway. A total trip of 64 km – a great railway journey for anyone with a soft-spot for steam travel. 7). Galleries/Venues – In 2011, the National Museum Cardiff will complete the development of a National Museum of Art for Wales, exhibiting works by Renoir and Van Gogh alongside collections by distinguished Welsh artists. Ffotogallery in Cardiff hosts exhibitions, workshops and courses of all kinds; Oriel y Parc in St Davids is an innovative architectural home to many of the finest pieces of landscape art in Wales. The Wales Millennium Centre is a striking addition to the Cardiff landscape and home to several of Wales’s premier performing arts companies. 8). Inspired by Wales – Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven is said to have been created at Bron-yr-Aur, a cottage in southern Snowdonia. The Pembrokeshire coastline inspired the makers of the latest Harry Potter movie to build Shell Cottage, set in fictional Tinworth, on Freshwater West beach. Charles Darwin – yes, the one who ‘invented’ evolution – actually trained as a geologist and honed his skills observing the natural world during field trips across North Wales. And you can’t talk about people inspired by Wales without mentioning Dylan Thomas, who wrote many of his finest works, including Under Milk Wood, from his writing shed overlooking the Tâf Estuary.
9). Adventure – If you’ve a passion for adventure you can choose the challenge in Wales. Have a go at coasteering. First, kit yourself out in a wetsuit, helmet and buoyancy aid. Then, do everything your mum told you not to: climb, swim, slip, slide and scramble your way along the rugged coastline before throwing yourself off the cliffs into the swirling waves below. If that doesn’t appeal there’s always rock climbing, white water rafting, canyoning, caving, scrambling or paragliding. Our Visit Wales websites will point you in the right direction. So what are you waiting for? Go play. 10). Golf – Wales was proud to host The Ryder Cup in October 2010. And what a thrilling Ryder Cup it turned out to be, with Europe clinching victory over the US right at the death. But that was just the start. There’s a whole nation of golf to explore – over 200 courses – from outstanding links courses like Royal Porthcawl and Royal St David’s, or laid back courses like Clifftop Cardigan or Cradoc, and nine-hole hilly delights at St Davids City and Priskilly Forest. Golf in Wales has it all – whether you’re looking for a challenging 18-hole course, just want to ‘pay and play’ or practice your swing at the driving range. 11). Walking – Wales is a strong contender for the best walking country in Europe, maybe even the world. It’s not just the 805 km of National Trails, the five Areas of Outstanding Beauty, the treasure trove of Welsh history or the astonishingly ancient landscape. It’s the sheer variety packed into such a relatively small space. Work continues to create the Wales Coast Path, which by 2012 will provide walkers, cyclists and horse riders a continuous 1,368 km path running right around the coastline. National Geographic recently voted Pembrokeshire the second best coastal destination in the world! So that’s what you should do get out there and take a walk! 12). Cardiff – Cardiff or Caerdydd as the Welsh say is the capital city of Wales. A modern and cosmopolitan city with an event calendar to rival any other European capital. In the Cardiff Bay area, you’ll find some stunning showpiece buildings; the Millennium Centre, a fantastic arts and cultural venue, the new slate and glass Welsh Parliament Building and in the city centre, the Millennium Stadium with its sliding roof. But despite all that forward thinking, it’s a city that has not forgotten its past. The Civic Centre and National Museum are one of the finest in Europe and Cardiff Castle an unexpected city centre surprise.
Titanic Belfast Belfast Index
BELFAST Top 12 Titanic: Built in Belfast Explore the history of Titanic, Built in Belfast. The story of the most magnificent ship of her age and the tragedy of her sinking in freezing Atlantic waters less than two weeks later has captured the hearts and imaginations of people all over the world ever since. 2012 marks the centenary of Titanic’s maiden voyage and tragic end. Only in Belfast can you trace the Titanic story to its source, discover the passion and pride of those who built her and relive the excitement of Titanic Town at the height of its powers. Titanic is coming home. Come and share the moment with us in Belfast 2012!
3). Titanic and Olympic Slipways – On 31st March 1911 in just over 60 seconds using over 20 tonnes of tallow (grease) and soap to ease her passage, Titanic was launched from these very slipways, directly in front of Titanic Belfast visitor attraction, just a few metres away. It was here too that thousands of riveters, welders, shipwrights and others laboured on her giant hull, clambering over the towering Arrol Gantry, the biggest in the world when it was specially built for Titanic and her sister ships.
1). Titanic Belfast – Welcome to Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest and greatest Titanic visitor experience. This is an iconic six-floor building featuring nine interpretive and interactive galleries, including a shipyard ride and recreation of the ship’s decks and cabins, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the city and people which made her. Visitors will learn about the conception of Titanic in the early 1900s, through to her construction and launch, to her maiden voyage and the aftermath of the sinking, continuing into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre, giving you unparalleled access to high-definition footage from Titanic’s wreck on the ocean floor. As well as a stunning banqueting suite, there is space for community arts and education facilities, a gallery for touring and temporary exhibitions, cafes, restaurants and shops. Titanic Belfast opened on 31st March 2012, in time to commemorate the centenary of Titanic’s maiden voyage and tragic end. www.titanicbelfast.com
4). Titanic’s Dock & Pumphouse – Titanic’s last footprint on land, the Thompson Dry Dock was built to accommodate the near 275m length of Titanic and her sister ship Olympic. The largest dry dock in the world at the time, it was here that Titanic was fitted out. Adjacent is the Edwardian Thompson Pump-House whose pumps drained 23m gallons of water from the dry dock in just under 100 minutes. Enjoy a snack and drink while learning about Belfast’s incredible shipbuilding heritage, including audio displays and rare footage of Titanic. You can still see the original pumps on regular tours. Later in 2012, members of the public will be able to descend the 13.4m into Titanic’s Dock and walk in the footsteps of Titanic’s builders. www.titanicsdock.com
2). Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices – Forget Hollywood, here in Belfast you can only relive the romance and passion of the Titanic story but take your own epic adventure though its creation in the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices. These beautiful rooms have barely changed from the time Thomas Andrews and his ingenious colleagues designed Titanic and her sister ships. This is where it all began and the dream took shape. Explore this evocative room as part of a Titanic Walking Tour or a Titanic Tour. www.titanicwalk.com
5). SS Nomadic – The last remaining White Star Line vessel, SS Nomadic is currently being restored at Hamilton’s Dock, near Titanic Belfast. The boat which once ferried first and second class passengers to Titanic from the French port of Cherbourg, was designed by Tomas Andrews and built at Harland and Wolff beneath the giant profiles of Titanic and Olympic. On 10th April 1912, Nomadic took 142 passengers from Cherbourg to join Titanic on her maiden voyage. On-board were some of Titanic’s most famous passengers – Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and his celebrated fashion designer wide, Lucille, American socialite Molly Brown and wealthy industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim. Nomadic would then go on to serve Olympic during her long and successful career, returning to Belfast in 2006. She is due to open to the public following restoration in Autumn 2012 www.nomadicbelfast.com
BELFAST 6). Ulster Folk and Transport Museum: TITANICa The Exhibition & The People’s Story – Head out of Belfast and enjoy Northern Ireland’s most comprehensive Titanic Exhibition at the Ulster Transport Museum, featuring artefacts, technical plans and photographs including the original White Star Line collection. Over 500 original artefacts are on display in the exhibition which focuses on the lives and skills of the shipyard workers and the human stories of those connected to Titanic and her sister ships. The exhibition includes 35 fascinating artefacts raised from Titanic’s seabed wreck including a porthole, crockery, personal belongings, silverware and glassware. Take the short walk across to the Ulster Folk Museum and walk the streets lined with original cottages, schools and shops that reflect the era of Titanic’s maiden voyage. Explore the home of a Harland and Wolff riveter, visit the post office to compose your own Morse code message sent from Titanic and pop into the printers for a Titanic launch ticket or newspaper of the period. www.nmni.com/Titanic 7). The Belfast Barge – Located at Lagan Quay, just minutes from the city centre, the 600 ton barge hosts a fascinating exhibition exploring the story of Belfast’s incredible maritime history through touch screens, interpretive panels and interactive displays. The Barge also houses personal audio accounts from many Belfast shipbuilders. You can also enjoy a superb meal of locally sourced food on board at the acclaimed Galley café. www.belfastbarge.com 8). Belfast City Hall – Also known as the Stone Titanic for its many links to the legendary liner, the magnificent Belfast City Hall is one of the city’s most popular visitor attractions. A commemorative event was held at Belfast City Hall on April 15th 2012 to mark the centenary of Titanic’s maiden voyage and tragic end. The new Titanic Memorial Garden was unveiled, the centrepiece being a feature which names all 1512 people lost on Titanic, the only memorial in the world to do this. In the City Hall itself you can enjoy an exhibition about Belfast’s industries from the 1600s to the present day in the Bobbin Café. Tours of the City Hall and its famous marble halls are conducted daily. www.belfastcity.gov.uk/cityhall 9). Maritime Masts, Belfast City Centre – Whilst heading down Belfast’s main thoroughfare of Royal Avenue, take time to appreciate the spectacular sculptured masts that line this famous street. There are eight in total, celebrating the famous ships that were built in Belfast including Titanic, her sister ships Olympic and Britannic and other including Titanic’s tender vessel, Nomadic. Each mast carries a sail which celebrates Belfast’s maritime heritage. Index
10). Titanic Menu at Rayanne House – Treat your tastebuds at Rayanne House, where head chef Conor McClelland prepares for you a lavish nine course menu based on the last meal served in Titanic’s first class dining room, served to famous passengers like the unsinkable Molly Brown and Benjamin Guggenheim. From Rayanne House, enjoy views of Belfast Lough, out of which Titanic sailed to embark on her maiden voyage. www.rayannehouse.com 11). Titanic Tours – You can explore Belfast and its Titanic history in many different ways! Titanic Walking Tour: exploring Titanic Quarter with special access to the historic Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and finishing a Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House where you can enjoy coffee or lunch. www.titanicwalk.com Titanic Boat Tour: The world’s only tour of the key Titanic sites by boat is right here in Belfast, taking you back to the time when Titanic and her sister ships were designed, built and launched. www.laganboatcompany.com Titanic Tours Belfast: Enjoy a thrilling luxury car tour of Titanic sites with a unique personal insight. Tour Guide Susie Millar is the great grand-daughter of Thomas Millar who worked on the construction of Titanic and sailed on her maiden voyage as an engineer, tragically never to return. www.titanictours-belfast.co.uk Titanic Self Guided Tours There is an exciting range of self-guided tours available! www.belfasttours.com www.mytourtalk.com www.visitstrangfordlough.co.uk www.goexplore.com 12). Sir Thomas Andrews’ Belfast – This walking tour takes visitors back to the Belfast or Sir Thomas Andrews, chief designer of the Titanic. En route is the school he attended as a child, the nearby technical college he studied at, his bachelor flat, the church at which he worshipped and many more locations of interest. www.bluebadgeireland.com
NORTHERN IRELAND Top 12 – Causeway Coastal Route 1). The Old Bushmills’ Distillery - The craft of whiskey making has been carried out at Bushmills for over 400 years using the same traditional methods to create the finest Irish whiskeys. Why not join us to see for yourself in the company of an experienced guide who will take you through the heart of the oldest working distillery in Ireland. Please call for opening times and age restrictions. 2). Cushendun & Torr Head - Nestling at the foot of Glendun, is Cushendun, with its distinctive Cornish-style village square and cottages by architect Clough WilliamsEllis. Artists Maurice Wilkes, Deborah Brown and Charles McAuley were inspired by its beauty. Along the coast, only twelve miles separate rocky Torr Head from the Mull of Kintyre. Many Scottish clansmen settled along this North Antrim Coast. 3). Gracehill Village - Two miles west of Ballymena lies the village of Gracehill, where you can step back 250 years in time. This small village was founded by the Moravians between 1759–1765 and is Ireland’s only Moravian settlement. The layout of the village and unique Georgianstyle architecture remains unchanged. In 1975, it was designated Northern Ireland’s first Conservation Area. 4). Bonamargy Friary, Ballycastle - On the outskirts of Ballycastle are the picturesque ruins of Bonamargy Friary, founded around 1500 by the Franciscans. It contains the remains of chieftain Sorley Boy McDonnell. In Ballycastle, there is a memorial to Guglielmo Marconi who carried out the first tests on radio signals here in 1898.
Giant’s Causeway Northern Ireland 162
NORTHERN IRELAND 5). Rathlin Island & RSPB Viewpoint - Take the 20-40 minute ferry trip to Rathlin Island. Amidst the rugged landscape of this isolated island, you can let your mind wander and discover a tranquility and beauty that is so unexpected. The ferry to Rathlin Island travels just six miles across the "Sea of Moyle". This island is six miles long, one mile wide, "L" shaped and home to a small population of around seventy people. Thousands of nesting seabirds can be viewed from Kebble National Nature Reserve. There are many tales of myth and mystery surrounding Rathlin, the most famous tells of Robert the Bruce. In 1306, the Scottish King was driven from Scotland by Edward I of England and took refuge on Rathlin. While he was on Rathlin, it is said that he watched a spider persevering again and again to bridge a gap with its web. Eventually it succeeded. Robert the Bruce took heart from the spider's efforts, raised fresh forces and returned to Scotland to fight for his kingdom. He too, eventually succeeded and in 1314, regained the crown of Scotland. 6). Glenariff Forest Park Waterfalls & Carnlough Harbour - Enjoy the space and freedom of this beautiful forest park. It is a rambler’s paradise with woody glades, small lakes and tumbling waterfalls. Take a leisurely coastal drive to Carnlough, where fishing boats rest in the harbour. Call in for refreshment at The Londonderry Arms Hotel, an 1848 coaching inn once owned by Winston Churchill. 7). Giant’s Causeway - (World Heritage Site). The Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site is Northern Ireland’s most famous visitor attraction. The extraordinary geometric columns were formed as a result of volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. However, you may prefer the story that the giant Finn McCool built these stepping stones to reach and defeat his adversary in Scotland. The exciting new ‘Giant’s Causeway Visitor Experience’ interpretive centre is due to on 3 July 2012.
9). Dunluce Castle - This late Medieval 17th century castle, strikingly perched on rocky cliffs and overlooking the North Atlantic, was the headquarters of the MacDonnell Clan. Constantly fought over, it eventually succumbed to the power of nature, when part of it fell into the sea one stormy night in 1639. It was abandoned shortly afterwards. 10). Patterson’s Spade Mill - Watch as billets of red hot steel are hammered into perfectly balanced spades at the last water-driven spade mill in the British Isles. The Patterson family made spades at this site for generations using tools and techniques little changed from the Industrial Revolution. Take a step back in time and see firsthand how the common garden spade is created using age old methods. Bespoke hand crafted spades can be made to order. 11). Carrickfergus Castle - This is one of Northern Ireland’s most striking monuments whether approached from land, sea, or air. It is the first building of its kind in the north of Ireland. Today, this 800 year old castle is open to the public for fun days out. Those wishing to learn more about its history can follow the story of the castle’s transformation over time from family home to centre of royal power, army barracks and modern day visitor experience. 12). Royal Portrush Golf Club - Royal Portrush is widely recognised as one of the top golf courses in Europe. It regularly features in top 20 golf rankings across the world, and has hosted many elite international events in its prestigious history. After an absence of almost 60 years, the Irish Open will return to Northern Ireland this summer. The world class links course at Royal Portrush Golf Club will host this prestigious event, from Thursday 28 June to Sunday 1 July.
8). Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge - Take the exhilarating rope bridge challenge to Carrick-a-Rede island (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and enjoy a truly cliff top experience. Near the North Antrim Coast road, amid unrivalled coastal scenery, the 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm is traversed by a rope bridge that was traditionally erected by salmon fishermen.
NORTHERN IRELAND Top 12 – Derry/Londonderry 1). Derry Walls - Among the many historic monuments in Derry, the massive city Walls on the west bank of the River Foyle are the most striking and memorable. Built between 1614 and 1619, the original Walls are almost perfectly preserved today, making Derry one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. Using earth, lime and local stone (some from ruined medieval monastery buildings) Peter Benson from London skilfully constructed the thick defensive ramparts and angular artillery bastions following closely the design of Sir Edward Doddington of Dungiven. Despite sieges in 1641, 1649 and the Great, Derry's Walls were never breached proof indeed of their careful planning and excellent construction, and reason for the title 'The Maiden City'. 2).St. Columb’s Cathedral - The Cathedral was the first of its kind to be built after the Reformation. As one of the city’s most historic buildings, its Chapter House Museum contains artefacts from the Siege of 1689 as well as information on famous personalities; Cecil Frances Alexander (the hymn writer), the Earl Bishop and world famous philosopher, George Berkeley. 3). First Derry Presbyterian Church and Blue Coats Visitor Centre - The First Derry Presbyterian Church has recently been re-opened following a programme of works that has totally renovated the building. Having been closed for a period of eight years, the church is once again being used as a place of worship. Adjoining the church is the refurbished Blue Coats School, now home to the Blue Coats Museum and Interpretation Centre. This new facility tells the history behind the church, along with the history of Presbyterians in the city (andbeyond) and the role they played in the Great Siege. 4).The Tower Museum - The Tower Museum immerses you in Londonderry’s potent history with two engrossing exhibitions: The Story of Derry Exhibition, which narrates the city’s development from monastic times to present day and An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera, the story of a Spanish galleon that sank off the Donegal coast in 1588. Opening times vary during summer months.
The Peace Bridge Derry-Londonderry 164
NORTHERN IRELAND 5). Walking, Bus, Road Train and Taxi Tours - Learn about the city’s past and present by going on a guided walking tour. Or go it alone with the MyTourTalk MP3 player. Take an hour-long bus tour or a 30-minute ride on the LegenDerry Road Train which takes in the colourful street murals. On board commentary informs, entertains and uncovers the city’s history. Alternatively take a more intimate taxi tour and explore the stories of this historic city. Details of all tours available from the Tourist Information Centre. 6). Museum of Free Derry - The museum focuses on the civil rights campaign which emerged in the 1960s and the Free Derry/early Troubles period of the early 1970s. It tells the people’s story of the civil rights movement, the Battle of the Bogside, Internment, Free Derry and Bloody Sunday. The museum has an archive of over 25,000 individual items relating to the period. Most items with immense historical significance were donated by local residents. 7). The Craft Village - The charming Craft Village is located in the area between lower Shipquay Street and Magazine Street in the centre of the city and is a reconstruction of an 18th century street and 19th century square. This village combines lovely craft shops, a thatched cottage, balconied apartments, a licensed restaurant and a coffee shop. The square is used throughout the year for different outdoor events such as live music performances. 8).Loughs Agency, Riverwatch - Riverwatch at the Loughs Agency is a must for all ages. Learn about the incredible fish life in our loughs, rivers, sea and shore through interactive exhibitions and activities. Eight aquariums hold freshwater and saltwater species from different eco-systems. If you’re lucky, you might just arrive at feeding time. 9). Creggan Country Park - A great place for sports enthusiasts, or those who simply want to enjoy the scenery. Enjoy outdoor pursuits, paintballing, watersports, water park and angling, available here with professional instruction. There are wonderful views including the Donegal Hills and across the city to the Lough Foyle estuary, with Binevenagh Mountain visible in the distance.
10). Peace Bridge - Talk a walk across the Peace Bridge, officially launched on 25th June 2011. The bridge physically links the two banks of the River Foyle, providing a new and exciting shared public space. Its distinctive form - representing a human handshake across the water - joins all communities living in Derry~Londonderry in a symbolic gesture of reconciliation and peace". The bridge measures 235 metres bank to bank (312 metres in total) and it is approximately 4 metre wide, with landing points at the rear of the Guildhall and Ebrington embankment. 11). Ebrington Heritage Trail and Barracks - The Barracks are named after Lord Ebrington, the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and were built between 1839 and 1841 on a prime site overlooking the River Foyle. During the Second World War the barracks became part of the 'H.M.S Ferret' naval base, the main escort base and Anti-Submarine Training School for the allied navies operating from Derry. After the war it became known as 'H.M.S Sea Eagle' and operated as the Joint AntiSubmarine School until 1970, when it was handed back to the British Army and re-named again as Ebrington Barracks. The base was closed by the Ministry of Defence in 2004. The Ebrington site has been recently developed as an exciting new events space for the city of Derry. 12). Austin’s Roof Top Restaurant - Have lunch in the world's oldest independent department store. Austins store has been the cornerstone of the city’s Diamond area since 1830. At 180 years of age, Austins is 5 years older than Jenners of Edinburgh, 15 years older than Harrods of London and 25 years older than Macy’s of New York. This is the oldest such store in the world and are soon to celebrate yet another golden age. Located in the historic centre of Derry, Austins is now a most imposing 5 storey Edwardian building with its conglomeration of large windows, columns, pedestals, balconies and a copper roofed cupola. Always a department store, Austins is renowned throughout Ireland for its impressive range of Irish crystal, Giftware, Fashions, Linens and Homewares.