Category: United Kingdom

Hidden Places Of Europe

Fierce Castles in Friendly North Wales

A huge green courtyard is one of the highlights of Caernarfon Castle. (photo: Gretchen Strauch) A classic moat surrounds Beaumaris Castle, perhaps the most romantic castle in Wales. (photo: Rick Steves) Humble, charming little Wales is a land of lusty men's choirs, salty harbors, slate-roofed villages, stunning mountains, and stout castles.
For many travelers, these mighty castles alone are reason enough to visit, and Wales is slathered with them. During the late 13th and early 14th centuries, English King Edward I started building these awe-inspiring fortresses — arguably the most breathtaking you'll find anywhere in Europe — to subdue the rebellious Welsh. These castles were masterpieces of medieval engineering, built with state-of-the-art castle technology, with sea access to restock from England.
In the Middle Ages, the standard castle was a simple stone building (“keep”) on a hill (“motte”), surrounded by a wall that enclosed a yard (or “bailey”) where the people li..

Read More
Hidden Places Of Europe

An Illustrated Guide to Weird British Expressions

An Illustrated Guide to Weird British Expressions by Marilyn Vinch
categories: USA Travel When JRR Tolkien described a world of bogs, trolls and enchanted trinkets in his Lord of the Rings saga, he was not working entirely from his imagination. Growing up in turn-of-the-century England, Tolkien was surrounded by a world in change, striving towards an urbanized future yet still mired in the muck of the drizzled countryside and grim early industry.
Britain is odd. Curious histories and long-festering cultures mean that however sophisticated Britain pretends to be in modern times, quaintness is never far beneath the surface. If you’re planning to visit the islands for the first time, the first such thing you notice might be the weird turns of phrase to be heard in everyday British speech. If you don’t know who “Uncle Bob” is or where “Bill’s mothers” is supposed to be, it might be a good idea to acquaint yourself with British English before you land.
Do you know, for exampl..

Read More
Hidden Places Of Europe

Getting Around England: Flights, Trains and More

Getting where you need to go isn't always half the fun, but in England, at least, the country's vast transportation resources make traveling relatively painless. Whether you're nipping about London in one of its red double-decker buses or heading off into the countryside via motorcoach, rental car or train, getting around England is reasonably easy.
Still, visitors should plot their journeys well in advance and take into consideration the costs and practicalities of their travel decisions. And for those who plan to drive in England, the most crucial piece of advice we can offer is this: We drive on the left here (and the steering wheel is on the right). It can be a bit daunting until you get used to it.
Following are a few practical tips about England transportation.
Most visitors arrive in England by plane, with the majority of international flights landing in one of London's international airports. Heathrow and Gatwick are chief amongst these, with Luton and St..

Read More
Hidden Places Of Europe

Bristol’s 7 best street food experiences

Bristol has a thriving street food scene that rivals those in bigger cities like London and Birmingham. There are several well-established food markets to choose from and the number of traders is growing all the time. You can find cuisines from every corner of the world being cooked on everything from portable smokers, gas rings […]

Read More
Hidden Places Of Europe

Fox reveals The six best hipster hotels in London

Until recently, I’d never stayed in London as anything other than a resident with my own bed to return to. But now we’ve made the move to Bristol, I’ve had the opportunity to explore some of London’s hotels. As always, I was on the hunt for some place special – creative hotels with unique design, stylish touches and something that makes you want to tell people about them. The capital’s filled with all sorts that fit this bill, so I honed in on the ‘hipster’ category. I’m somewhat loathe to use that word as I know its definition is amorphous and contentious, but for the sake of this piece I’m referring to the genre of hipster that’s largely defined by artisanal coffee, craft beers, retro design, bearded men and a departure from the mainstream. It’s a style I enjoy and am fussy about, and the following six are the best examples I’ve found of hipster hotels in London.
The most hipster hotels in London 1. Ace Hotel
The Ace deserves the crown for most hipster hotel in London; its bar is ..

Read More
Hidden Places Of Europe

The London Bucket List: 50 Must-Have Experiences

If you are planning a trip to London, how do you decide where to go? London is massive. And London ruled the world for a good chunk of history, and during that time, stocked its museums with artifacts from around the world. It takes days, weeks really, to see the best of London. Trying to figure out what to do can be overwhelming.
Here is a list of the best things to see and do in London, 50 to be exact. Don’t expect to see them all on your first trip to London, we didn’t either. But you’ll be back. London is the type of city you can visit multiple times and never grow bored.
At the end of this post, we do give recommendations of our favorite spots, to help you narrow down this mega list of sights. Or, skip ahead to our list now.

The London Bucket List Big Ben When you see Big Ben, it really feels like you are in London. For a first-timer here, it’s thrilling to get that first glimpse of Big Ben. And it never gets old. Day or night, we loved looking up at this famous British landma..

Read More
Hidden Places Of Europe

Fox reveals London Travel Tips

London offers a wealth of art and culture, trendy shops and global dining opportunities on both sides of the River Thames. Its thriving entertainment scene ranges from theaters and concerts to clubs and comedy venues. When the excitement gets too much, London's parks are ideal for relaxation… CONTINUE READING >>
The post London Travel Tips appeared first on The GypsyNesters.

Read More
Hidden Places Of Europe

Fox reveals Bristol Street Art: so much more than Banksy

Bristol Street Art: so much more than Banksy October 17, 2016 by Heather Cowper

If you're new here and enjoy my blog, I'd love you to to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!
“It’s a bit like Bristol really, you’re either clinging on by your fingertips or looking out to a bright future!” Well, perhaps Banky’s Bristol mural, The Well Hung Lover, is a metaphor for life in the city, as suggested by our street art guide Tina Altwegg of Where the Wall street art tours. Apparently Bristolians approach them all the time during their tours, and this was just one interpretation of the Banksy piece, given to them by a passer by on a previous tour. Our street art tour started and ended with a Banksy, but as we discovered there’s a lot more to the Bristol street art scene than the city’s most famous and mysteriously anonymous street artist.
Street art in Bristol
As we walked down the steps to view the Banksy mural from below, Tina fed us annecdotes about the art and artists..

Read More
Hidden Places Of Europe

Spectacular Autumn Colour at Westonbirt Arboretum

Spectacular Autumn Colour at Westonbirt Arboretum November 14, 2016 by Chris Callaghan

If you're new here and enjoy my blog, I'd love you to to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!
Westonbirt Arboretum is hidden in the countryside near the historic market town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire — just a 40-minute drive from Bristol. Run by the Forestry Commission and home to over 18,000 tree and shrub species from across the world, the Arboretum welcomes groups and families all year round to explore its leafy pathways and open grounds.

The Arboretum’s roots run back to the Victorian era, when wealthy 19th-century landowner Robert Stayner Holford began planting seeds collected on his travels around the world. As the land passed down the generations, the collection grew and the trees matured. Today, the park explodes into colour during autumn and spring to the delight of the many thousands of onlookers who come through the gates each season.
Autumn at Westonbirt Arbo..

Read More