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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.

© Britain-Visitor.com

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

© Britain-Visitor.com

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.

© Britain-Visitor.com

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

© Britain-Visitor.com

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

© Britain-Visitor.com

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

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Lowry

The Lowry, located in the redeveloped Salford Quays district of Manchester close to The Lowry Outlet Mall, The Imperial War Museum North and MediaCityUK, is the main attraction in the area.

As well as housing two theatres (the Lyric and the Quays) and a studio workshop, the Lowry holds a permanent collection of the works of local artist L S Lowry (1887-1976), known for his paintings of industrial scenes of Salford and also presents temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.

The Lowry was designed by architect Michael Wilford and opened in 2000 with funds from The Lottery. The project also included the bridge over the canal leading to the Imperial War Museum North. The Lowry offers a restaurant, cafe and bar with al fresco seating with fine views of the waterside location and a shop.

Other notable 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.

The Lowry
Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ
Box Office: 0843 208 6000

The nearest Metrolink stations to the Lowry are MediaCityUK or Harbour City - take a tram from Piccadilly Station on the Eccles Line.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Monday, October 3, 2011

Beetham Tower Manchester

The Beetham Tower in Manchester is the city's tallest structure and the largest skyscraper in the UK outside London. The Beetham Tower is the 7th largest tower in the UK and the largest residential building in Europe. Future Beetham Towers are planned for London and Birmingham.

The 47-story residential building was completed in 2006 and was designed by Manchester-born and based architect Ian Simpson - he also owns the penthouse at the top for which he is reported to have paid a cool 3 million pounds! Simpson is also the architect of the Urbis building in Manchester.

The Manchester Hilton Hotel occupies the floors up to level 23 with apartments above that. The total cost of Beetham Tower is estimated at 150 million pounds.

The striking building is located at the junction of Great Bridgewater Street and Liverpool Road
in Deansgate.
Beetham Tower map

Other Manchester attractions within the city include the Imperial War Museum NorthCanal Street Gay VillageKing Street, Chinatown, the Arndale Center, Urbis, the Royal Exchange Theatre, the Wheel of Manchester and Manchester Cathedral.

Beetham Tower can be accessed from Piccadilly Station.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Imperial War Museum North

The Imperial War Museum North is located in Salford Quays close to The Lowry, The Lowry Outlet Mall, and MediaCityUK.

The Imperial War Museum North is one of the five branches of the Imperial War Museum including the original in south London.

The impressive building, designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind, consists of three "shards" representing air, earth and water and sits adjacent to the Manchester Ship Canal. The museum focuses on the effects of war on people and communities and opened in 2002.

Exhibits include a car destroyed in a bombing in Iraq, a United States Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jet (see image above) and a 13-pounder artillery piece which fired the British Army's first shot of World War I.

The museum has a permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions in a separate gallery. Hourly audio-visual displays enhance the visitor experience.

Outside the entrance to the Imperial War Museum North is a captured Iraqi T-55 tank from the Gulf War of 2003 (see photograph below).

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

Imperial War Museum North
The Quays
Trafford Wharf Road
Manchester M17 1TZ
Tel: 0161 836 4000
Opening Times: 10am-5pm
(last admission 4.30pm)

Closed 24-26 December; the Imperial War Museum North has a small shop with books and souvenirs on sale.

Imperial War Museum North, Manchester

The nearest Metrolink stations to Imperial War Museum North are MediaCityUK or Harbour City - take a tram from Piccadilly Station.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Castleton in the Derbyshire Peak District is a popular spot for visitors.

The ruins of Peveril Castle loom over the small village, which is most famous for its limestone caves and caverns: Blue John Cavern, Peak Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern. A small amount of Blue John is still mined today.

Castleton's annual festival, held annually on May 29 is the "Garland Day" or "Oak Apple Day", when a Garland King wearing a huge garland of flowers parades through the village.

Castleton is a good place to begin a hike in the Peak District to such local beauty spots as Cavedale, Winnats Pass and Mam Tor.

Other places to see in and around the Castleton area in Derbyshire include Buxton, Eyam Hall, Eyam Stocks and the picturesque Hope Valley.

Images of Castleton by Stephen Kenworthy

Map of Castleton

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