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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Services in the South West of England 2011

Christmas 2011 falls on a Sunday this year and a number of the South West's churches and cathedrals will be offering Midnight Communion and Christmas services.

Wells Cathedral south of Bath.
Cathedral Carol Service, Dec 23 from 6pm
Crib Services, Dec 24 2.00pm & 3.15pm
Midnight Eucharist, 11.30pm

Bath Abbey
Carol Praise 4pm
Festival of Lessons and Carols with Abbey Boys and Men's Choirs 7pm
Midnight Communion with Abbey Girls and Men's Choir 11.15pm

Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral. Wells, Somerset

Exeter Cathedral
12noon - Crib Service for Children sung by the Choristers
6pm - A Service of Lessons and Carols

Sunday 25th December
8am - Holy Communion
9.45am - Sung Eucharist sung by the Cathedral Choir (Setting: Schubert in G)
11.30am - Choral Mattins sung by the Cathedral Choir
4pm - Choral Evensong with carols from the Minstrels' Gallery sung by the Cathedral Choir

Bristol Cathedral
Saturday 24th December Christmas Eve
3.30pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols
11.30pm Midnight Eucharist

Sunday 25th December Christmas Day
10.00am Festal Eucharist
3.30pm Evening Prayer at the Crib

Gloucester Cathedral
Friday 23 December 6pm Christmas Carol Service
Christmas Eve 3.00pm Family Crib Service; 6.00pm Christmas Carol Service

Salisbury Cathedral
Saturday 24 December
Morning Worship 7.30am
A Family Service for Christmas Eve 4.00pm
Choral Evensong 6.00pm
Midnight Mass 11.30pm

Sunday 25 December
Holy Communion 8.00am
Sung Eucharist 10.30am
Festal Evensong 3.00pm

St Paul's Cathedral
Christmas Eve Carol Service
Sung Eucharist
25 December 2011
Festal Evensong
25 December 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Little Venice in London

Little Venice is where the waters from the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meet and form a scenic pool. There are a number of cafes and pubs along the waterside. The visitor to Little Venice can take a boat trip or walk on the tow path as it snakes its way through the heart of London.

One recommended walk involves following the canal route north-east for 2.5 miles until you reach Camden where you can see the Lock and the markets.

Little Venice lies a short walk (11 minutes or so) north from Paddington Station just off Blomfield Road. Alternatively, Little Venice is a 7 minute walk from Warwick Avenue tube station.

Map of Little Venice

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Manchester Metrolink

The Manchester Metrolink is a light rail system that connects the center of Manchester from Piccadilly Station to outlying suburbs in the Greater Manchester area.

Metrolink presently has seven lines: running to Altrincham from Cornbrook (Altrincham - Cornbrook Line), from Bury to Droylsden (Bury - Droylsden Line), from East Didsbury to Rochdale Railway Station (East Didsbury to Rochdale Line) from Piccadilly Station to Eccles (Piccadilly - Eccles Line), from Altrincham to Bury, the Altrincham - Bury Line and the Airport Line to Manchester Airport.

There have been extensions of the Metrolink to Ashton-under-Lyne, East Didsbury, Sportcity (the venue for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and now the home stadium of Manchester City FC), the Trafford Centre, and out to Manchester Airport. There are plans for extensions to Oldham, Rochdale and possibly Stockport.

The line to Chorlton-cum-Hardy, also called the South Manchester Line opened in 2011. A South Manchester Line extension to East Didsbury was completed in 2013 with new stations at Withington, Burton Road, West Didsbury, Didsbury Village and East Didsbury.

Also in 2013 the East Manchester Line from Bury to Droylsden extended from Piccadilly to Droylsden with stations at New Islington, Holt Town​, Etihad Campus (convenient for the Etihad Stadium), Velopark​, Clayton Hall​, Edge Lane​, Cemetery Road​ and Droylsden. ​ ​

After over a decade in planning and construction the first Metrolink line opened in 1992. The driving force behind the system was to link Manchester's two main stations of Piccadilly and Victoria. Within Manchester city centre the Metrolink runs as continental-style street tram, whereas out towards the suburbs it runs on previous heavy rail tracks.

The following stations interchange with the rail system either within the same station or a short walk: Piccadilly, Deansgate-Castlefield, Victoria, Altrincham, Eccles and Navigation Road.

Metrolink tickets are issued from machines at each stop and include, single, return, all day and all weekend tickets as well as season tickets for commuters. Fares are calculated on fare zones travelled through as in the London Underground and are more expensive at peak times. Travelling without a ticket occurs a fine of £100. Presently the cheapest off peak ticket is £0.90. First trains from Piccadilly are at around 6pm with last trains on weekdays from around 11.30pm to just before midnight. Trains run later on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Metrolink is useful for getting to Manchester United's Old Trafford Stadium and the adjacent Lancashire's Old Trafford Cricket Ground, The Lowry, The Imperial War Museum North, and MediaCityUK in Salford Quays. The Metrolink is also handy for King Street, the Arndale Center, Urbis, the Royal Exchange Theatre, the Wheel of Manchester and Manchester Cathedral.

Manchester Metrolink map.
Click on the Metrolink Map to enlarge; copyright www.metrolink.co.uk

Metrolink RATP Dev UK
Metrolink House
Queens Road
Tel: 0161 205 2000

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hot Air Balloons at Royal Victoria Park in Bath

As well as being a relaxing getaway location, Royal Victoria Park in Bath is a hotspot for watching hot air ballooning in the summer. Companies like Bath Balloons offer champagne rides for £115 per person if you buy online at http://www.bathballoons.co.uk/.

Royal Victoria Park is located in central Bath and visitors to the park may also want to check out the botanical garden located within the park as well as the nearby gravel walk of Jane Austen fame.

Parks and Green Spaces
Royal Victoria Park Nursery
Marlborough Lane
Bath, BA1 2LZ
Tel: 01225 394041

© Britain-Visitor.com

Saturday, December 3, 2011

UK Slideshow

See a slideshow of images of the UK taken for the DevonVisitor blog. See images of the South West, the Cotswolds, Bristol, Dorchester, London, the North West and Scotland.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vernon Park Stockport

Vernon Park, adjacent to Woodbank Park in Stockport is a Grade II listed Victorian public park that runs down from Turncroft Lane in Offerton to the Goyt Valley below.

Vernon Park Museum

Whereas Woodbank Park is an open-style expanse of woods and grass, Vernon Park is a more formal and carefully tended strolling park laid out in 1858 by Stockport Corporation on land donated to the town by George John Warren (Lord Vernon).

Local Stockport and Reddish mill workers helped in the construction of the park and to build some of the distinctive features of Vernon Park including the stone fountain made by the workers of Greg & Co at Albert Mill.

Vernon Park was given the early nickname of "Pinch Belly Park" due to this involvement of impoverished mill workers in its initial construction.

Vernon Park, Stockport

Vernon Park is Stockport's oldest public park and things to see in the park include the Vernon Park Museum, a rose garden, the renovated bandstand (a copy of the original Victorian/Edwardian original), a lily pond and two crown bowling greens.

Vernon Park, Stockport

Plants to be enjoyed in Vernon Park include pine trees, rhododendrons and a variety of ferns in the fernery. Fred Perry Way runs through the park, which is a short walk from the great tennis master's birthplace.

Other places of interest in and around Stockport in Greater Manchester include Stockport Town Hall, Stockport Air Raid Shelters, St Mary's Church, Bramhall Hall, Stockport Market, Fred Perry's birthplace, Woodbank Park, the Viaduct and Stockport Hat Museum.

Vernon Park Bowling Green Stockport.


Vernon Park
Turncroft lane

Map of Vernon Park

© Britain-Visitor.com

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Edinburgh Waverley Station

Edinburgh Waverley Station is Edinburgh's major railway station. Edinburgh Waverley Station has intercity services to London King's Cross with East Coast via Newcastle and York, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport (TransPennine Express), Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Central.

Edinburgh Station

Local and mainline services from Edinburgh Waverley Station include trains to Aberdeen, Dunblane, Dundee, Falkirk, Inverness, Perth and Fort William with ScotRail. There is a CrossCountry service to Plymouth via Leeds and Birmingham.

Facilities within the Edinburgh Station concourse include branches of Boots and WH Smith ATMs, a bureau de change, car hire, wireless internet access and a lost property office. Edinburgh Station was completed in 1846 and renovated at the beginning of the 20th century with further refurbishments in 2006 and 2007.

Edinburgh attractions within easy reach of Waverley Station include Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament Building and Greyfriars Bobby.

Edinburgh Waverley Station
Edinburgh EH1 1BB
Monday to Saturday 4am - 12:45am
Sunday 6am - 12:45am
Tel: 0845 711 41 41

© Britain-Visitor.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay

The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay will start from Lands End in Cornwall on 19 May 2012 and will crosscross the United Kingdom, reaching within 10 miles of 95% of the UK's inhabitants.

The first week of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay will be in the south west of England.

Day 1 - 19 May 2012: Land's End to Plymouth passing through Penzance, Falmouth, Truro, Newquay, Liskeard, Saltash and Plymouth among other places.

Day 2 - 20 May 2012: Plymouth to Exeter including Brixton, Kingsbridge, Dartmouth, Totnes, Paignton, Torquay, Teignmouth and Exeter.

Day 3 - 21 May 2012: Exeter to Taunton passing through Okehampton, Bideford, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Dunster, Carhampton, Washford, Williton, and Taunton.

Day 4 - 22 May 2012: Taunton to Bristol visiting Street, Glastonbury, Wells, Shepton Mallet, Bradford on Avon, Bath, Hanham and Bristol.

Day 5 - 23 May 2012: Bristol to Cheltenham including Leigh Woods, Chippenham, Marlborough, Chiseldon, Wroughton, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Cirencester, Stroud, and Cheltenham.

Day 6 - 24 May 2012: Gloucester to Worcester passing through Ledbury, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Kidderminster, Droitwich Spa and Fernhill Heath.

Day 7 - 25 May 2012: Worcester to Cardiff through Powick, Malvern, Malvern Wells, Ross on Wye, Monmouth, Raglan, Abergavenny, Brynmawr, Blaenavon, Abersychan, Pontypool and Newport.

Day 8 - 26 May 2012: Cardiff to Swansea including Dinas Powys, Barry, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend and Neath.

Day 9 - 27 May 2012: Swansea to Aberystwyth with Llanelli, Fishguard, Newport, Cardigan, Llanrhystud and Aberystwyth on the route.

Day 10 - 28 May 2012: Aberystwyth to Bangor heading via Bow Street, Tal-y-bont, Tre Taliesin, Machynlleth, Dolgellau, Llan Ffestiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Porthmadog, Criccieth, Caernarfon, to Bangor.

Day 11 - 29 May 2012: Beaumaris to Chester taking in Beaumaris, Menai Bridge, Conwy, Llandudno, Rhos on Sea, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Queensferry, Hawarden and Saltney.

Day 12 - 30 May 2012: Chester to Stoke-on-Trent with Wrexham, Rhostyllen, Welshpool, Shrewsbury, Ironbridge, Telford, Newport, Stafford, Shelton, and Stoke-on-Trent on the way.

Day 13 - 31 May 2012: Stoke-on-Trent to Bolton passing Macclesfield, Knutsford, Runcorn, Widnes, Warrington, Wigan, Scholes, Ince to Bolton.

Day 14 - 1 June 2012: Bolton to Liverpool via Horwich, Ormskirk, Southport, Ainsdale, Formby, Crosby, St Helens, Huyton, Knotty Ash, Old Swan and Birkenhead.

Day 15 - 2 June 2012: Liverpool to Castletown, Isle of Man taking in Douglas, Laxey, Onchan, Ballasalla and Castletown.

Day 16 - 3 June 2012: Belfast to Portrush in Northern Ireland including Holywood, Bangor, Stormont, Carrickfergus, Glenariff, Cushendall, Ballycastle, Dervock and Bushmills.

Day 17 - 4 June 2012: River Bann to Londonderry passing via Coleraine, Castlerock, Downhill, Bellarena, Limavady, Ballykelly, Greysteel, Londonderry

Day 18 - 5 June 2012: Londonderry to Newry via Bready, Ballymagorry, Omagh, Dromore, Enniskillen, Armagh, Portadown, Gilford and Banbridge.

Day 19 - 6 June 2012: Newry to Belfast through Lisburn.

Day 20 - 7 June 2012: Newcastle to Moorfields passing through Crossgar, Templepatrick, Antrim, Ballyronan, Magherafelt and Ballymena.

Day 21 - 8 June 2012: Stranraer to Glasgow in Scotland passing Cairnryan, Ballantrae, Ayr, Kilmarnock, Lochwinnoch, Kilmacolm, Port, Glasgow, Rutherglen, Glasgow, Giffnock and back to Glasgow.

Day 22 - 9 June 2012: Glasgow to Inverness with the torch passing Dumbarton, Glencoe, Fort William, Lewiston and Drumnadrochit.

Day 23 - 10 June 2012: Kirkwall (Orkney Islands) to Lerwick (Shetland Islands).

Day 24 - 11 June 2012: Stornoway to Aberdeen with passes through Inverness, Aviemore, Carrbridge, Grantown-on-Spey, Tomintoul, Crathie, Ballater, Dinnet, Aboyne, Kincardine O'Neil, Banchory, Drumoak, Peterculter, Bieldside and Cults.

Day 25 - 12 June 2012: Aberdeen to Dundee through Stonehaven, Marykirk, Hillside, Montrose, Brechin, Forfar, Meigle, Coupar, Angus Woodside, Burrelton, Balbeggie, Scone, Scone Palace, Perth, Abernethy, Newburgh, Cupar, Dairsie, Guardbridge and Leuchars.

Day 26 - 13 June 2012: St Andrews to Edinburgh including Milnathort, Kinross, Crook of Devon, Alloa, Dunblane, Stirling, Cumbernauld, Larbert, Camelon, Falkirk, Skinflats, Cairneyhill, Crossford, Dunfermline, and Broxburn

Day 27 - 14 June 2012: Edinburgh to Alnwick past Musselburgh, Dalkeith, Lasswade, Peebles, Innerleithen, Walkerburn, Selkirk, Galashiels, Earlston, Gordon, Greenlaw, Duns, Chirnside, Foulden, Berwick-Upon-Tweed & Bamburgh

Day 28 - 15 June 2012: Alnwick to Newcastle upon Tyne via Hipsburn, Warkworth, Amble, Ashington, Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, Ashington, Choppington, Morpeth, Hartford, Bedlington, Blyth, Whitley Bay, Cullercoats, Tynemouth, North Shields, Howdon, Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne

Day 29 - 16 June 2012: Gateshead to Durham with passes through South Shields, Whitburn, Sunderland, Stocksfield, Hexham, Riding Mill, Consett, Moorside, Castleside, Tow Law, and Langley Park.

Day 30 - 17 June 2012: Durham to Middlesbrough via Sherburn, Sherburn Hill, Haswell Plough, Peterlee, Horden, Blackhall Colliery, Hartlepool, Billingham, Sedgefield, Bishop Auckland, Shildon, Middridge, Newton Aycliffe, High Beaumont Hill, Harrogate Hill, Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees.

Day 31 - 18 June 2012: Middlesbrough to Hull including Redcar, Marske-by-the-Sea, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Lythe, Sandsend, Whitby, Pickering, Scarborough, Filey, Bridlington and Beverley.

Day 32 - 19 June 2012: Hull to York passing Brough, Goole, Camblesforth, Selby, Monk Fryston, Barkston Ash, Tadcaster, Boston Spa, Wetherby, Harewood, Knaresborough, Harrogate and Ripon.

Day 33 - 20 June 2012: York to Carlisle taking in Thirsk, Northallerton, Aiskew, Bedale, Aysgarth, Leyburn, Richmond, Barnard Castle, Brough, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Penrith and Carlisle.

Day 34 - 21 June 2012: Dumfries to Bowness-on-Windermere thru Annan, Eastriggs, Gretna, Carlisle, Wigton, Workington, Whitehaven, Cockermouth, Keswick, Grasmere and Ambleside.

Day 35 - 22 June 2012: Kendal to Blackpool with Bolton-le-Sands, Hest Bank, Morecambe, Lancaster, Garstang, St Michael's On Wyre, Fleetwood and Cleveleys on the route.

Day 36 - 23 June 2012: Lytham St Anne's to Manchester via Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Rochdale, Heywood, Bury, Whitefield, Prestwich, and Cheetham Hill.

Day 37 - 24 June 2012: Salford to Leeds via Trafford, Moss Side, Rusholme, Longsight, Levenshulme, Stockport, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Huddersfield, Brighouse, Halifax, Bradford, Keighley, Skipton, Ilkley, Headingley, and Richmond Hill.

Day 38 - 25 June 2012: Leeds to Sheffield through the towns and villages of Hunslet, Beeston, Morley, Batley, Dewsbury, Wakefield, Castleford, Pontefract, Barnsley, Darton, Kexbrough, Chapeltown, Ecclesfield.

Day 39 - 26 June 2012: Sheffield to Cleethorpes through Rotherham, Templeborough, Dalton, Thrybergh, Conisbrough, Warmsworth, Doncaster, Armthorpe, Dunsville, Hatfield, Scunthorpe, Brigg, Wrawby, Immingham, Grimsby.

Day 40 - 27 June 2012: Grimsby to Lincoln with the torch going through Louth, Legbourne, Withern, Maltby Le Marsh, Mablethorpe, Trusthorpe, Sutton-on-Sea, Mumby, Hogsthorpe, Ingoldmells, Winthorpe, Skegness, Wainfleet All Saints, Wrangle, Boston, Sleaford and Bracebridge Heath.

Day 41 - 28 June 2012: Lincoln to Nottingham passing Edwinstowe, Mansfield, Kelham, Newark-on-Trent, Balderton, Grantham, Radcliffe-on-Trent.

Day 42 - 29 June 2012: Nottingham to Derby including Bolsover, Calow, Chesterfield, Matlock, Darley Dale, Bakewell, Buxton, Ashbourne.

Day 43 - 30 June 2012: Derby to Birmingham taking in Burton upon Trent, Streethay, Lichfield, Hopwas, Tamworth, Great Wyrley, Newtown, Bloxwich, Leamore, Birchills, Walsall, Willenhall, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Oldbury, West Bromwich and Smethwick.

Day 44 - 1 July 2012: Birmingham to Coventry with Solihull, Earlswood, Redditch, Astwood Bank, Alcester, Evesham, Wickhamford, Broadway, Chipping Campden, Newbold on Stour, Alderminster, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa, Kenilworth on the route.

Day 45 - 2 July 2012: Coventry to Leicester visiting Rugby, Dunchurch, Northampton, Wellingborough, Isham, Kettering, Geddington, Corby, Dingley, Market Harborough, Lubenham, Foxton, Kibworth Harcourt and Oadby.

Day 46 - 3 July 2012: Leicester to Peterborough including Loughborough, Hoton, Melton Mowbray, Langham, Oakham, Uppingham, Stamford.

Day 47 - 4 July 2012: Peterborough to Norwich via Spalding, Moulton, Whaplode, Holbeach, Long Sutton, King's Lynn, South Wootton, West Rudham, East Rudham, Fakenham, Holt, Cromer, Aylsham.

Day 48 - 5 July 2012: Norwich to Ipswich passing Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Wrentham, Reydon, Southwold, Kelsale, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh, Wickham Market, Ufford, Melton, Woodbridge, Felixstowe.

Day 49 - 6 July 2012: Ipswich to Chelmsford with the torch going through Colchester, Maldon, Rayleigh, Southend-on-Sea, Hadleigh, Basildon, Grays, Herongate, Brentwood.

Day 50 - 7 July 2012: Chelmsford to Cambridge via the towns and villages of Harlow, Waltham Abbey, Waltham Cross, Hertford, Ware, Bishop's Stortford, Saffron Walden, Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket.

Day 51 - 8 July 2012: Cambridge to Luton including St Ives, Huntingdon, Bedford, Cotton End, Letchworth Garden City, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, St Albans & Hemel Hempstead.

Day 52 - 9 July 2012: Luton to Oxford passing Dunstable, Milton Keynes, Bletchley, Buckingham, Winslow, Whitchurch, Aylesbury, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, Waddesdon, Bicester, Kirtlington, Woodstock, Kidlington.

Day 53 - 10 July 2012: Oxford to Reading via Abingdon, Wallingford, Crowmarsh Gifford, Nettlebed, Henley-on-Thames, Bisham (Bisham Abbey), Maidenhead, Slough, Windsor, Egham, Ascot, Bracknell.

Day 54 - 11 July 2012: Reading to Salisbury through Theale, Thatcham, Newbury, Basingstoke, Kings Worthy, Winchester, Andover, Ludgershall, Tidworth, Amesbury.

Day 55 - 12 July 2012: Salisbury to Weymouth through Wilton, Barford St Martin, Fovant, Ludwell, Shaftesbury, Fontmell Magna, Iwerne Minster, Stourpaine, Blandford Forum, Winterborne Whitechurch, Milborne St Andrew, Puddletown, Dorchester, Winterbourne Abbas, Bridport, Chideock, Lyme Regis, Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury, Portesham, Chickerell, Wyke Regis, Osprey Quay, Portland.

Day 56 - 13 July 2012: Portland Bill to Bournemouth including Southwell, Weston, Easton, Portland, Fortuneswell, Weymouth, Preston, Osmington, Corfe Castle, Swanage, Stoborough, Wareham, Sandford, Lytchett Minster, Upton, Poole, Ashley Cross, Branksome & Wallisdown.

Day 57 - 14 July 2012: Bournemouth to Southampton via Boscombe, Christchurch, Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Lymington, Totland, Yarmouth, Carisbrooke, Newport and East Cowes.

Day 58 - 15 July 2012: Southampton to Portsmouth including St Peter Port, St Helier, Fareham, Bridgemary, Gosport, before the torch arrives in Portsmouth.

Day 59 - 16 July 2012: Portsmouth to Brighton and Hove via Petersfield, Rogate, Midhurst, Tillington, Petworth, Duncton, Chichester, North Bersted, South Bersted, Bognor Regis, Woodgate, Westergate, Arundel, Worthing, Lancing, West Blatchington.

Day 60 - 17 July 2012: Brighton to Hastings through Crawley, Copthorne, Felbridge, East Grinstead, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough, Lewes, Eastbourne, Pevensey Bay, Pevensey, Bexhill-on-Sea, St Leonards-on-Sea.

Day 61 - 18 July 2012: Hastings to Dover including Rye, Hamstreet, Ashford, Hythe, Sandgate, Folkestone.

Day 62 - 19 July 2012: Deal to Maidstone taking in Sandwich, Great Stonar, Cliffsend, St, Lawrence, Ramsgate, Broadstairs, St Peters, Cliftonville, Margate, Westgate-On-Sea, Birchington-on-Sea, Upstreet, Sturry, Canterbury, Thanington, Faversham, Challock, Harrietsham.

Day 63 - 20 July 2012: Maidstone to Guildford thru Chatham, Gillingham, Rochester, Gravesend, Sevenoaks, Riverhead, Godstone, Reigate, Dorking, Westcott, Shere, Godalming.

Day 64 - 21 July 2012: Greenwich to Waltham Forest including the London Boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Waltham Forest

Day 65 - 22 July 2012: Redbridge to Bexley, Barking and Dagenham, Havering.

Day 66 - 23 July 2012: Lewisham to Wandsworth via Bromley, Croydon, Sutton, Merton, Wandsworth

Day 67 - 24 July 2012: Kingston to Ealing via Richmond, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing.

Day 68 - 25 July 2012: Harrow to Haringey through the London Boroughs of Brent, Barnet, Enfield.

Day 69 - 26 July 2012: Camden to Westminster through Islington, City, Southwark, Lambeth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea.

Day 70 - 27 July 2012: Hampton Court Palace to Olympic Park

The torch makes its final journey, from Hampton Court Palace to the Olympic Park where it will light the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

Source BBC news for a complete list of towns and villages the Olympic Torch passes through.

The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is Friday 27 July 2012

© Britain-Visitor.com

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bushey Norwood

Bushey Norwood is the local name for a large field which was planted with trees in the 19th century to form parkland. Bushey Norwood is accessible via the Bath Skyline walking trail. Bushey Norwood is owned and operated by the National Trust.

In recent times, Bushey Norwood (see below) has been the site of numerous equestrain events, and it may have been the site of an 18th century horse race course. Three stones on the property are believed to be connected with that race course, but there is also speculation that the stones are connected to an ancient stone circle.

Bushey Norwood is a wonderful spot to search for wildlife (particularly birds) as well as wild flowers.

Visitors to Bushey Norwood may also want to visit the nearby American Museum, Sham Castle or Prior Park in Bath.

Bushey Norwood Map

© Britain-Visitor.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bath Skyline

Bath Skyline is composed of six miles of way-marked trails (see below). The Bath Skyline trail takes in a vast stretch of Bath's south-east skyline landscape and is famed for its wild flowers and elevated views.

Bath Skyline, UK

The walker on the Bath Skyline can encounter hidden valleys, tranquil woodlands and patchworks of meadows. The Batyh Skyline is rich in wildlife and features rare plant species. The Bath Skyline is perfect for picnics, kite flying and escaping from the city. There is also an Iron Age hill-fort, Roman settlement, and Sham Castle to be seen along the trail.

500 Acres of the Bath Skyline are owned and managed by the National Trust.

Visitors to the Bath Skyline may also want to view nearby Prior Park or the Dundas Aqueduct in Bath.

Bath Skyline Map

© Britain-Visitor.com

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bonfire Night Firework Displays 2011

Celebrations and Firework Displays marking Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night will be taking place around Britain and in the south west on Saturday November 5th

Fireworks displays in the south west of England include:


Saturday 5th November
Bath Rec Fireworks Display (Bath Rugby Football Club)

Adults £5, children and students £2


Friday 4th November
Dowend Fireworks Show
King George V Playing Fields
Gates open at 6pm

Adults £5 on the gate (£3.50 in advance); children £4 on the gate (£3.50 in advance)

Downend is north east of Bristol city center between the M32 and the M4


Exeter Round Table's annual charity fireworks display is the 31st so far.

Thursday November 3rd
Westpoint Arena
5.30 gates open
6.00 Heart roadshow & entertainment
7.30 Firework display

Adults £5, Children £3, Family (2 Adults & 2 Kids) £13

Special return fare of £1 per person from Exeter city centre to Westpoint Arena on Stagecoach buses 52B and X52. Present ticket for Westpoint fireworks display on the bus.


Saturday November 5th

Hoe Promenade

Bonfire lit at 7.30pm; Fireworks from 8pm set with musical soundtrack. Smeaton's Tower, the Citadel and the War Memorial floodlit with coloured lights.

November 5 also sees the annual Ottery St Mary tar barreling, when the local pubs sponsor a tar-soaked wooden barrel, which is then set alight and carried through the streets by men, women and even children.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Bridge Tea Rooms Bradford on Avon

The Bridge Tea Rooms (see below) in Bradford-on-Avon are housed in a former blacksmith's cottage dating from 1675. The Bridge Tea Rooms boast authentic Victorian surroundings, and the staff dresses in period costume.

The Bridge Tea Rooms have been recognized for their excellence by the prestigious UK Tea Guild for the past 15 years. The Bridge Tea Rooms serve 30 different teas from around the world and offer a variety of pastries made on the premises.

Visitors to the Bridge Tea Rooms may also want to take in some of Bradford-on-Avon's other fine attractions such as the Saxon Church or Barton Bridge.

The Bridge Tea Rooms & Restaurant
24a Bridge Street
Bradford on Avon
BA15 1BY
Tel: 01225 865537

The Bridge Tea Rooms Map

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wadworth Brewery Devizes

In 1875, Henry Wadworth purchased the old Northgate Brewery in Devizes and founded Wadworth & Co. The present Northgate Brewery (see below) was built in 1888.

Wadworths is famous for its 6X ale, but the company also produces other ales, including Henry's Original IPA, Horizon (a Golden Ale), Bishop's Tipple (a full-flavoured Golden Ale) and Strong In The Arm.

One remarkable fact about Wadworths is its continuing use of traditional shire horses to deliver their casked ales to local pubs in Devizes. Wadworths is one of only four breweries in the UK that still use horses to deliver ale. The sight of the shire horses is well known in Devizes, and nowadays the image is nearly synonymous with the town.

Wadworth recently opened an interactive Visitor Centre and gift shop at the brewery (see below). Visitors can tour the brewery as well as taste the Wadworth range of ales.

Visitors to the Wadworth Brewery may also want to visit some of the other Devizes attractions such as the Wiltshire Heritage Museum or Devizes Castle.

Wadworth Brewery Visitors Centre
New Park Street
SN10 1JW
Tel: 01380 732277

Wadworth Brewery Map

© Britain-Visitor.com

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Town Criers in Britain

People wandering around in period costume have become an increasingly frequent sight in tourists towns up and down the UK. Roman soldiers in Chester, Georgian ladies in Bath and this town crier pictured in Dorchester with an American tourist.

Town criers or bellmen were elaborately-dressed officials who read out pronouncements required by law courts as well as other general news to local townspeople such as market days, advertisements and news of the birth or deaths of royalty and important people. Town criers carried a bell and shouted out "Oyez! Oyez!" to grab people's attention. As most people in medieval times, when the practice is thought to have begun, were illiterate, a town crier was essential to pass on news to the townsfolk.

Over 140 towns in Britain now have a registered town crier including Chester and Kingston-upon-Thames.

Other places of interest in Dorchester include Hardy's Cottage in Higher Bockhampton, the Wessex author's birthplace, and Max Gate, where Hardy lived in later life.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Albert Memorial

Opposite the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington stands the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park.

The Albert Memorial was completed in 1872 to honour Albert, the Prince Consort, and husband of Queen Victoria, who died of typhoid in 1861, aged only 42. Over £120,000 (worth around £10,000,000 today) was raised by public subscription to build the memorial and the gilt bronze statue of the prince (by John Henry Foley and Thomas Brock), which sits under the canopy.

The Albert Memorial is 54m tall and was designed by the prolific British architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, who also designed the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Scott also has a number of lunatic asylums, libraries, schools and workhouses on his CV of around 800 public buildings.

At the four corners of the outer area of the monument are four sculptures representing Europe, Asia, Africa and The Americas. At the base of the monument itself are four further sculptures depicting useful Victorian sciences (agriculture, commerce, engineering and manufacturing), each by a different sculptor. Extensive restoration was carried out on the Albert Memorial in the 1990s.

An earlier Albert Memorial was also built in Albert Square in Manchester in memory of the popular royal.

Other attractions in London near to the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial include Hyde Park, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and Buckingham Palace.

The nearest underground stations to the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial are South Kensington, Knightsbridge, Gloucester Road and High Street Kensington. London buses that stop near the Royal Albert Hall include the numbers 9, 10, 52, 360 and 452.

Albert Memorial Map

© 2011 Britain-Visitor.com

Thursday, October 20, 2011

House of Bears Bath

House of Bears in Bath (see below) is a shop specializing in limited edition bears for collectors. At the House of Bears, the visitor will find a wide variety of bears by famous makers such as Steiff, Merrythought and Teddy Hermann. House of Bears also has a unique selection of handmade bears by British Artists such as Christine Pike and Samantha Potter.

Visitors to the House of Bears Bath may also enjoy visiting some of Bath's other attractions such as Sally Lunn's or the William Herschel Museum.

House of Bears
22A Broad Street, Bath
Tel:01225 443091
House of Bears Map

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Map of the North West of England & Wales

Use this map of the north west of England to navigate to many of the attractions in the area.

Cities covered in this map of the north west of the UK include Manchester, Stockport and Chester as well as the Peak District in Derbyshire.

Find such north west attractions as the Roman Amphitheater, Dewa Roman Experience, and Chester Cathedral in Chester, Stockport Town Hall, Stockport Air Raid Shelters, St Mary's Church, Bramhall Hall, Stockport Market, Fred Perry's birthplace and Woodbank Park in the Stockport area and The Lowry, Imperial War Museum North, Canal Street Gay VillageKing Street, Chinatown, the Arndale Center, Urbis, the Royal Exchange Theatre, the Wheel of Manchester and Manchester Cathedral, all in and around the cities of Manchester and Salford.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No.1 Royal Crescent Bath

No.1 Royal Crescent (see below) is a beautifully restored Georgian town house which displays for the visitor a taste of life in Georgian Bath.

Royal Crescent Bath

No.1 Royal Crescent was the first house to be built in the Royal Crescent and provided luxury accommodation to the wealthy visitors who came to take the waters and enjoy the social season.

Built between 1767 – 1774 and designed by the architect John Wood the Younger, the Royal Crescent is considered to be one of the finest achievements in 18th century urban architecture. The Royal Crescent is widely viewed as the pinnacle of Palladian architecture in Bath.

Nowadays, No.1 Royal Crescent is a museum which provides visitors to the Royal Crescent with an opportunity to see what lies inside the famous fa├žade and to see what life was like for the wealthy in 18th century Bath. Each room at No. 1 Royal Crescent highlights Georgian interior design and features authentic furniture, paintings, textiles and carpets.

Visitors to the Royal Crescent may also want to visit some of Bath's many other attractions such as the Roman Baths, Prior Park or Bath Abbey.

1 Royal Crescent
Tel: 01225 428 126

Royal Crescent Map

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

St John the Baptist's Church Chester

St John the Baptist's Church in Chester is a Grade I listed building on the north bank of the River Dee adjacent to the Roman Amphitheatre and Grosvenor Park.

St John the Baptist's Church consists of ruins of the former church building on the eastern side of the current church (see above photo) and the present Church of St John the Baptist built in red sandstone. St John's supposedly dates back originally to the 7th century and has been rebuilt on a number of occasions due to the frequent collapse of its structures in 1468 and 1572 and again in 1881 when the imposing Gothic tower fell in.

Much of the church's interior remains Norman while the stained glass windows (pictured) are from the mid-19th century.

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist Chester
Vicar's Lane/Little St John Street
Tel: 01244 403634

St John the Baptist's Church in Chester can be visited along with the very close Roman Amphitheater, Dewa Roman Experience, the Meadows, Grosvenor Park, Chester Cathedral, and the Cross.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Bakewell is an historic market town located on the banks of the River Wye in the Peak District of Derbyshire.

Bakewell is known for its weekly Monday markets and as the home of the Bakewell Pudding (not to be confused with the Bakewell Tart).

Bakewell is the adminisitrative centre of the Peak District National Park - Britain's first national park established in 1951 and the National Park authority is a major employer in this town of less than 4,000 people.

Things to see and do in Bakewell including visiting the town's weekly Monday stall market in the centre of town. The livestock market is now housed in a modern building outside Bakewell itself. In the first week of August Bakewell also hosts its annual agricultural fair.

The Rutland Arms is where the Bakewell Pudding was created by accident and in 1811 is believed to have been visited by the novelist Jane Austen.

The Bakewell Pudding Shop is a must for fans of the pastry who can sample one on the premises.

Other Bakewell attractions include the Old House Museum, All Saints Church, original workers' cottages at Arkwright's Lumford Mill, the Old Bridge, dating from the 13th century and Holme Bridge.

Getting to Bakewell

Bakewell is close to Buxton on the A6 and is easily reached from Manchester, Stockport, Derby and Sheffield. Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House are both close to Bakewell.
Google map of Bakewell

© Britain-Visitor

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Scottish Parliament Building

The striking Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh was designed by Spanish architect Enric Miralles (1955-2000) and built using oak, steel and granite.

The Scottish Parliament Building was built between 1999 and 2004 at huge cost and is located at the edge of the Old Town in Edinburgh near Palace of Holyroodhouse, Holyrood Park and Salisbury Crags.

The building is designed to represent the culture and identity of Scotland and its people and to blend in to the surrounding natural and physical environment.

The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

Access: The Scottish Parliament is 15 minutes walk from Edinburgh Station. Other places of interest nearby include the statue of Greyfriars' Bobby and Edinburgh Castle.

Hotels and Guesthouses in Edinburgh UK

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Caerphilly Cheese

Caerphilly Cheese (see below) is a hard, white cheese that comes from the area around the town of Caerphilly in Wales. Although Caerphilly Cheese was not originally made in Caerphilly, it was sold at the market there, and thus took the town's name.

Caerphilly is a nearly white-coloured, crumbly cheese made from cow's milk with a fat content of around 48%. Caerphilly Cheese has a mild taste with a detectable but not unpleasant slight sourness.

Caerphilly Cheese may have been developed to provide the coal miners of the area with an easy way of replenishing the salt lost during their hard work underground and thus became a dietary staple for the coal miners.

The town of Caerphilly holds a three day festival every year to celebrate the cheese.

People who enjoy the cheese may wish to visit the town of Caerphilly and to see its famous castle.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Three Shires House Stockport

Located on Underbank and close to Stockport Market is the Three Shires House - a black and white half-timbered Tudor building that was built around 1580 and belonged to the Legh family of Adlington Hall.

Three Shires House Stockport

Since 1824 a shop front was inserted into the building, which has served various functions since, including a pub - The Three Shires, which closed in 2008.

Three Shires House Stockport

The Three Shires
32 Underbank, Stockport

Other places of interest in and around Stockport in Greater Manchester include Stockport Town Hall, Stockport Air Raid Shelters, St Mary's Church, Bramhall Hall, Stockport Market, Fred Perry's birthplace, Woodbank Park, Vernon Park, the Viaduct and Stockport Hat Museum.

© Britain-Visitor

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Lowry Outlet Mall

The Lowry Outlet Mall, in the Salford Quays area of Manchester next to The Lowry and near to The Imperial War Museum North and MediaCityUK, is a major shopping attraction in this recently redeveloped district of the city.

The Lowry Outlet Mall includes branches of Austin Reed, Gap, Nike, Marks & Spencer, Trespass as well as a selection of restaurants and cafes including Pizza Express, Burger King, Harry Ramsden's Fish and Chips, an Indian restaurant and Subway arranged in a Food Court.

The Lowry Outlet Mall entrance, Manchester

Other attractions within the cities of Manchester and Salford include the Canal Street Gay VillageKing Street, Chinatown, the Arndale Center, Urbis, the Royal Exchange Theatre, the Wheel of Manchester and Manchester Cathedral.

Harry Ramsden, The Lowry Outlet Mall

The Lowry Outlet Mall
The Quays
Salford Quays
Manchester M50 3AH
Tel: 0161 848 1848
Monday-Friday 10am-6pm with late opening on Thursdays until 8pm. Saturday hours are 10am-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm.

The nearest Metrolink stations to the Lowry Outlet Mall are MediaCityUK or Harbour City - take a tram from Piccadilly Station on the Eccles Line. The #9 bus links Salford Crescent rail station and Salford Shopping City with MediaCityUK and The Lowry at Salford Quays.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tolldy Tollhouse

Until the late 18th century, Wales was notorious for the poor quality of its roads. In the late 18th century, local gentry began building private roads which charged tolls. The Tolldy Tollhouse (see below) was built for the collection of tolls on one of those roads. The Tolldy Tollhouse was built in 1772 at Penparcau, Aberystwyth, Dyfed and belonged to the Aberystwyth District of Cardiganshire.

The tollhouses were very unpopular with travellers, especially with farmers who used them to carry lime to their fields, and this resulted in the Rebecca Riots of 1839-1843.

Tolldy Tollhouse

The Tolldy Tollhouse is on display at the Museum of Welsh Life (aka St Fagans National History Museum). The Museum of Welsh Life is situated 4 miles west of Cardiff City Centre, just off the A4232.

Visitors to the Museum of Welsh Life may also want to visit nearby Caerphilly Castle, Caerleon Fortress Baths, Caerleon Amphitheatre or Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon.

St Fagans National History Museum
Tel: 029 2057 3500

Museum of Welsh Life Map

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Plough Inn Hickling

At the basin of the Grantham Canal in the village of Hickling, south of Nottingham is the pleasant Plough Inn.

The Plough Inn, situated in front of a large canal basin, was once popular with the navvies who built the canal and the people who worked it.

There's a spacious beer garden, excellent ale and pub food and if my memory serves me correctly a place to play boulles (Petanque).

Visitors to the Plough Inn can stroll or cycle along the Grantham Canal and see Clark's Bridge, a Grade II listed structure constructed with handmade, red bricks.

The Grantham Canal is no longer in use but is popular with anglers, cyclists, hikers and dog-walkers. Wildlife along the canal includes swans.

Plough Inn Access

The Plough Inn
Tel: 01664 822225
Plough Inn Map

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