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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Travelodge Hotels

Travelodge Hotels Limited is a privately operated hotel chain with locations throughout the United Kingdom. Known simply as "Travelodge", it is the second largest budget hotel chain in the UK (Premier Inn is number one). Moreover, Travelodge is the third biggest hotel chain in the UK by number of rooms with 31,600 at the end of 2010.

Travelodge UK, Bath, England

The Travelodge Bath Waterside Hotel pictured above is one of two locations in central Bath. The other is the Travelodge Bath Central Hotel. Located within a mile of Bath bus station and Bath Spa train station, the Travelodge Bath Waterside Hotel offers a less expensive but convenient alternative to lodging in Bath. Nearby attractions include the Bath locks on the Kennet and Avon canal, Pulteney Bridge and Bath Abbey.

Travelodge Bath Waterside Hotel
Rossiter Road
Widcombe Basin
Tel: 0871 984 6407
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Chester Town Hall

Chester Town Hall in Northgate Street opposite Chester Cathedral in the centre of Chester, Cheshire, was completed in 1869.

Chester Town Hall, Cheshire, UK.

Chester Town Hall is constructed in sandstone in the Gothic Revival style of architecture. The building is modelled on the design of the Cloth Hall in Ypres, Belgium. The distinctive central tower has a height of 49m.

Like many provincial town halls across the UK, various rooms are available for hire for such functions as weddings.

Most of the administrative duties of Chester's town hall are now carried on in a modern building opposite Chester Castle.

Chester Town Hall, Cheshire, Britain.

Other attractions to see in Chester include the Roman Amphitheater, the Roman Gardens, Grosvenor Park, the River Dee, St John's Church, the Meadows, and the Rows.

Chester's pubs and cafes include the riverside Boathouse, Ye Olde King's Head and the Victoria at the Cross.

Chester Town Hall
Northgate Street
Chester, CH1 2HJ
Tel: 01244 977703

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Hotels and Guesthouses in the UK
Hotels and Guesthouses in Chester UK

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral is the most famous attraction in Canterbury and has given the city much of its identity over the centuries since a church was first constructed here way back in 602, at the beginning of Saxon England's conversion to Christianity by Augustine.

Nowadays Canterbury Cathedral is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England and Anglicans worldwide.

Canterbury Cathedral forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising the cathedral along with St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church.

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent, UK.

In 1070, the first Norman archbishop Lanfranc demolished the original Saxon structure, which had been damaged in a fire and began the building that we now see as Canterbury Cathedral. Little remains of these early Norman structures except for the Romanesque Crypt, which is the oldest of its kind in England, and was begun under an archbishop named Anselm.

Canterbury Cathedral has been much modified and enlarged over the following centuries and includes the 71m-tall Bell Harry Tower (the present central tower) that was completed in 1505, the spectacular Gothic Nave and St. Anselm's Chapel.

Altar of the Sword's Point, Canterbury Cathedral, Kent.

The spectacular interior of Canterbury Cathedral includes the tomb of King Henry IV and his wife Joan of Navarre and a gilded effigy of the Black Prince, the son of Edward III and one of the most famous of English warrior princes of the medieval period.

Also impressive are the stained glass in the Trinity Chapel which depict the life of Thomas a Becket.

Notice the white marble St. Augustine's Chair where archbishops of Canterbury are enthroned.

Tomb of the Black Prince, Canterbury Cathedral, Kent.

Canterbury Cathedral is deeply associated with the murder of Thomas a Becket within its walls in 1170. Beckett's shrine stood within the Trinity Chapel until 1538, when it was looted and destroyed during Henry VIII's Reformation.

Now Becket's martyrdom is marked by the Altar of the Sword's Point at the very spot the "troublesome priest" was murdered by knights of Henry II.

As Becket's tomb became a place of pilgrimage immortalized in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, drawing pilgrims from all over Britain and Europe, the cathedral and surrounding town became increasingly wealthy and had the funds to expand and beautify the church.

The fascinating Canterbury Tales museum in Canterbury is a recreation of medieval life celebrating Chaucer's masterpiece.

Canterbury Cathedral stained glass window.

Canterbury Cathedral
11 The Precincts
Kent CT1 2EH
Tel: 01227 762862

Visitors to Canterbury should also visit the nearby Canterbury Heritage Museum and the Roman Museum Canterbury.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hebridean Cuisine

Hebridean food has much in common with the cuisine of the Shetland Islands.

Hebridean Cuisine.

The Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland, are known for their high-quality fish and seafood especially crabs, lobsters, mussels, oysters, salmon and scallops.

Smoked fish is another treat from the Hebrides and there are smokehouses in Stornoway and on North Uist and South Uist.

Stornoway Black Pudding is a local specialty that visitors should be encouraged to try. Local butchers add a local twist to their puddings make the taste unique to the locality.

Hebridean lamb and cattle are raised on both grass and heather which gives the meat a lovely taste.

Hebridean Cuisine.

Famed desserts from the islands include Scottish tablets and delicious shortbreads. Luxury chocolate truffles are sold across the Hebrides direct from Stornoway's very own chocolate factory - Hebridean Chocolates - while the Hebridean Toffee Company based on the Isle of Barra produces homemade luxury confectionery sold across the islands and in the shops of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The Outer Hebrides has its own beer brewed in Stornoway at the Hebridean Brewery and for whisky try a dram from the new Abhainn Dearg distillery in Uig, on the Isle of Lewis.

Spirit of Lewis, Hebrides.

Spirit of Lewis is single malt spirit from the distillery but is aged for less than 3 years so is legally not a whisky.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cumberland Pencil Museum

The Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick in the Lake District is one of England's quirkier museums.

Cumberland Pencil Museum, Lake District, UK.

The discovery of graphite in the area led to Keswick becoming an important pencil-making town and the Cumberland Pencil Museum tells this story. Pencils have been made in the area since 1832 producing such famous brands as Lakeland pencils and Derwent Watercolour pencils.

The Cumberland Pencil Museum hosts regular free demonstrations & tuition workshops as well as family fun days, which are great for kids, especially at this time of year when children can draw, create and build their own Christmas presents.

The museum has a shop where you can buy pencils and pastels and also a coffee shop to relax.

Cumberland Pencil Museum.

Cumberland Pencil Museum
Southey Works
CA12 5NG


From the M6 motorway, Junction 40 follow signs for A66 Keswick and continue into the town centre. The nearest railway station is Penrith, 17 miles away. From Penrith it is a 40 minute bus ride to Keswick.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cerne Abbas Giant Dorset

Dorchester is close to two historic sites, Maiden Castle to the south of town and Cerne Abbas to the north.

The origins of Maiden Castle are thought to be prehistoric, but the Cerne Abbas Giant is believed by archaeologists and historians to be either pre-Roman or Romano-British, though the first mention of it is only in the late 17th century.

Cerne Abbas Giant Dorset, England.
The Cerne Giant is on the left

The Cerne Abbas Giant is a hill-figure carved into the chalk hill with the 2-foot trenches also filled with crushed chalk.

The priapic figure is 180 feet tall, brandishes a club and has a disproportionately small head. The club has led to the comparisons with the Greco-Roman god Hercules.

The figure seems connected with local fertility rites and it was thought that women lying on the aroused, 36-foot member of the figure would increase their chances of giving birth, though this practice is now discouraged by the new owners, The National Trust.

Cerne Abbas Giant Dorset.

The Cerne Giant is close to the charming village of Cerne Abbas, off the A352 Dorchester-Sherbourne road, with its Tudor cottages and ruined abbey.

By public transport there are Damory Coaches 216 buses from both Dorchester and Sherbourne to Cerne Abbas on weekdays. Maiden Newton train station is 6 miles distant, while Dorchester West train station and Dorchester South stations are both 8 miles away.

Cerne Giant (National Trust)
Cerne Abbas, Dorset, DT2 7AL
OS Grid Ref: ST666016

Cerne Abbas, Dorset, UK.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bus from Heathrow Airport to Bath

National Express runs express buses from Heathrow Airport to various parts of the country including Bath. An alternative way to reach Bath from Heathrow is to take the Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station and then train to Bath Spa.

national express coach, heathrow airport

Taking a National Express coach to Bath, however, avoids having to journey back into central London and then out west again. The service between Heathrow and Bath takes about 2 hours and is reasonably priced (around ₤30 return for an advance fare booked online). Amendable fares are slightly more expensive.

There are presently services leaving Heathrow at 8.20am, 10.24am, 1.10pm, 3.15pm and 6.25pm.
Some of the scheduled departures would involve a change of bus and a wait in Bristol adding up to a journey time of nearly 4 hours. Check for the direct services which take 2 hours for the fastest service.

national express coach, heathrow airport, london, uk

National Express tickets are available in a variety of ways and different pricing schemes. Booking on line at www.nationalexpress.com is easy. Traditionally, however, tickets are sold through National Express ticket offices located at coach stations, or by third-party agents including travel agents around the country. In general, tickets are sold at the 'Standard Fare' or at 'Advance Fares' when booking in advance.

Customers looking for a discount may want to consider a coachcard. National Express currently offers four different coachcards. These include:
the Young Person Coachcard – for those under 26 or full-time students of any age. This card allows for one-third off the standard fare;
the Family Coachcard – which enables one child (ages 3–15) to travel for free with one full fare paying adult (or 2 children with 2 adults);
the Senior Coachcard – which allows for one-third off the standard fare;
and the Disabled Coachcard – which also allows for one-third off the standard fare.

Buses from Heathrow Airport arrive at Bath Bus Station.


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