As Wales celebrates its Year of Adventure in 2016, VisitWales had highlighted 16 unique things to do in the destination – discover your own adventure! Choose from trampolining in a slate mine, experimenting with seaweed, catch some waves inland, find the world’s biggest Elvis festival and try to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch…and much much more!
- Charles Dickens walk around London – Free App
Follow the author’s footsteps around London with this app. You’ll be guided by GPS with suggestions for pubs along the way. Approximately two hours, search for ‘Walking with Dickens’ in the app store. www.dickenslondontours.co.uk
- The World Heritage Site Audio Tour of Bath, England – Free
Take yourself on a journey through Bath’s captivating sights, such as The Royal Crescent and Assembly Rooms. The tour comes with a free route map and 12 chapters/audio files. www.visitbath.co.uk
- Shakespeare Tour of Stratford upon Avon, England – $12 (£6)
Walk in William Shakespeare’s footsteps where he was born and buried. Highlights include the River Avon, Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church. Approximately two hours. www.stratfordtownwalk.co.uk
- Banksy tour of Bristol, England – $18.50 (£9.20)
Fans of provocative artist Banksy will love this street-art tour. What’s special about this tour is that the guides live and work in the local street art community. Approximately two hours. www.wherethewall.com/tours
- Food tour of East London – Pay What You Want
Eat like a king while spending only a few pounds. Sample samosas, taste the fish and chips voted ‘Best in London’ and peruse the hippest food trucks. Approximately two hours, suggested sampling cost $20-30 (£10-15). www.freetoursbyfoot.com
- LGBT Heritage tour of Manchester, England – $16 (£8)
Follow the stone rainbow flags to discover 200 years of LGBT life. Tour includes Mantos, the Gay Villages first openly gay bar and the statue of Alan Turing, the World War 2 mathematician persecuted for his homosexuality. Approximately 2 hours. www.manchesterguidedtours.com
- Mural Tour of Derry, Northern Ireland – $8 (£4)
Derry is divided culturally by hundreds of years of conflict by opposing religions. This historical tour explores the artistry and religious and political statements. Plus there’s free tea or coffee! Approximately one hour. www.derrycitytours.com
- Fear and Loathing in Cardiff tour, Wales – $12 (£6)
Wandering among Cardiff’s glorious gothic revival architecture, this tour takes in treachery, torture, execution, war, battles and piracy. Approximately two hours. www.cardiffwalkingtours.com
- Musical tour of Glasgow, Scotland – Free
Tour Glasgow to a soundtrack that features interviews with bands like Mogwai. You’ll find Franz Ferdinand’s Chateau and discover Glasgow’s cool underground scene. Download the tour through the Guidigo app and search for ‘Walking Heads.’ Four walks, all approximately one hour. www.walkngheads.net
- Rebus tour of Edinburgh, Scotland – $20 (£10)
Ian Rankin explores contemporary Edinburgh in his best-selling crime novels. Led by entertaining and knowledgeable guide Colin, the tour takes in locations featured in the books. Approximately two hours. www.rebustours.com
For more deals and discounts visit the VisitBritain Shop: https://www.visitbritainshop.com/
Info provided by: Cathy Stapells
Sandringham Estate holds many memories for the Royal Family. It is a favourite retreat of The Queen, and the late Princess Diana was born in a cottage located in the estate’s extensive grounds. Prince Charles had many childhood adventures at Sandringham House, the much-loved royal retreat, which is a beautiful place to visit. It’s only a short trip from King’s Lynn station, itself around a two-hour train journey from London. www.sandringhamestate.co.uk
Both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew were born at Buckingham Palace and it is still where notices of Royal births and deaths are attached to the railings for members of the public to read, despite news likely to appear via social media first! The announcements of the births of both the new princess and older brother Prince George were made there, presented on an easel just inside the gates that thousands of visitors flocked to see. The Palace, located in the heart of London, is open to the public for several weeks in the summer. www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/buckinghampalace
Glamis Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles and was the childhood home of the Queen Mother and the birthplace of her second daughter, Princess Margaret. Built in the late 1300s, and just a 90-minute drive from Edinburgh, the castle still belongs to the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, yet is also open to the public. There are regular scheduled tours, several exhibition rooms and beautiful gardens to visit. www.glamis-castle.co.uk
Windsor has a vibrant royal history, especially where young royals are concerned! Y Bwthyn Bach, also known as The Little House, is a miniature cottage in the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge. The Little House was presented to Queen Elizabeth (then Princess) on her sixth birthday and the Queen’s children and grandchildren have played in the house over the decades, although it isn’t open to the public. However, located to the south of Windsor town centre, Windsor Great Park is a well-loved and popular recreational retreat for many families, and has views of Windsor Castle (which you can visit). Windsor is also home to LEGOLAND, where you can see a miniature version of Buckingham Palace, home to The Queen!
www.theroyallandscape.co.uk/gardens-and-landscape/windsor-great-park, www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/windsorcastle, www.legoland.co.uk
The first Tudor King of England, King Henry VII (born Harri Tudor), was born in Pembroke Castle, in south-west Wales in 1457. The castle is a historical landmark and was restored to its original glory in the mid-1900s. A must-see when visiting Wales, its exhibitions and guided tours offer a fascinating insight into Britain’s history. Be sure to enjoy a cup of coffee on your visit; the castle’s café is rumoured to have the best coffee in Pembrokeshire! www.pembroke-castle.co.uk
Edinburgh Castle, perched high on the hill over the Scottish capital, was the birthplace of King James VI in June 1566. As well as an interesting tour of this Royal Palace where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her only child, James, visitors will experience The Honours of Scotland, which are the nation’s crown jewels. www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk
GREAT ways to save on Britain
Your cash travels further with these value-for-money options
Toronto (February 24, 2015) – Pack your bags for the trip to Britain you’ve always wanted. With excellent value-for-money options, you really can make your cash go further and indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of British cities, explore the glorious countryside and tour the castles and stately homes you’ve only seen on film and television.
Here are top ways Canadian visitors can see as much of Britain for as little as possible:
Buy before you go: Many offerings are available on www.visitbritainshop.com for travellers to buy in Canadian dollars before they leave Canada. Visiting London? Save on the Visitor Oyster Card. This pay-as-you-go smartcard can be used on all public transport in London. A tube journey costs $4.47 (£2.30) with Oyster or $9.32 (£4.80) with cash giving users a 50% discount. The card also provides exclusive discounts and offers at top restaurants and shops. Also save on The London Pass, which provides visitors access to 60-plus attractions including Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle. Visiting just three top attractions in a day can save you $38.83 (£20). It also saves time as it grants priority entry, moving you to the front of the line.
And for theatre buffs, the VisitBritainshop.com ticketing service for London’s renowned theatre saves you up to 60% on your tickets on a selection of the biggest musicals, comedies, dramas, classics and family-friendly West End favourites. Dinner and a show packages are also available saving you more on a complete night out in London. Can’t make up your mind before you get there? Visit TKTS, the official London Theatre ticket booth located in Leicester Square, for daily discounts. You can also save considerably by purchasing standing stalls tickets such as those at The Globe Theatre from $9.71 (£5) and for the English National Opera from $19.41 (£10).
World-class museums and galleries: You don’t need to spend a penny to soak up some of the best of British culture. Entrance is free to many major museums, not just in London at the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery and Tate Modern (celebrating its 15th anniversary this year), but step beyond the capital to save in other fabulous cities. If you are in Edinburgh for the festivals in August, don’t miss the Free Fringe. It offers hundreds of free events and is a fantastic opportunity to watch innovative performances from music to comedy to poetry recitals (http://freefringe.org.uk). Discover more about Scotland’s natural history and its ancient cultures at the National Museum of Scotland, which recently underwent a multi-million pound redevelopment. (http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/).
Countryside charms: The National Trust Touring Pass allows unlimited access to over 300 stately homes, gardens and castles for $46.60 (£24) (for seven days) and children under 5 go free. Enjoy the ease of unlimited rail travel throughout England, Scotland and Wales with the BritRail GB Flexi pass. Days do not have to be consecutive so you are free to change your travel plans as you please, and no need to stand in line for tickets. Enjoy huge savings compared to buying individual tickets for each journey. BritRail passes must be purchased before you leave Canada, as they are not available in Britain. This year marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta by King John and his barons. Destinations across England will celebrate the anniversary of this iconic charter for outlining the ideas of freedom, democracy and rule of law with six new tourist trails, www.magnacartatrails.com
On the trail of GREAT food: Britain offers a delicious array of food and drink, from Michelin-starred restaurants to modestly priced gastropubs. Explore the countryside along outstanding food trails in popular regions such as Yorkshire and Cornwall, as well as Wales and Scotland to meet local producers, sample seasonal produce and experience the freshest ingredients. Scotland is celebrating a year of food and drink, and you don’t have to pay top money to get some of the tastiest offerings. The buzz in Glasgow is along Sauchiehall, a great place to head to for some excellent food at terrific prices. Cocktail & Burger is a cool basement bar and restaurant, offering $9.71 (£5) lunch deals (http://www.cocktailandburger.com/), while further down the street, if you want to upgrade to a steak, head to the Butchershop Bar & Grill (www.butchershopglasgow.com). In Edinburgh, you can find fresh, seasonal, local, sustainable and homemade dishes for less than $19.41 (£10) at Bia Bistrot, (http://www.biabistrot.co.uk/). Also with a strong focus on local and British ingredients is The Dogs gastropub in the city centre you’ll find lunchtime feasts of haggis and Cumberland sausage hash with whisky sauce and beef burger with black pudding for less than $13.59 (£7) (www.thedogsonline.co.uk). The 100% vegetarian, fair trade and organic, Milgi in Cardiff is a unique venue that is a restaurant, a bar, a café, a gallery, a music venue – and aims to offer customers good prices; try the vegetarian Sunday lunch for under 17.47(£9), join in ‘art club and curry’ nights for $12.62 (£6.50), while every third Sunday of the month Milgi holds a $1.94 (£1) market for some bargain shopping (www.milgishopping.com).
Northern cultural renaissance: Whether you’re a football fan or a history buff, Manchester’s free museums are a must including the National Football Museum, the Manchester Museum, the Imperial War Museum North and the People’s Museum – where interactive exhibits relate a 200-year tale of British democracy (www.visitmanchester.com). Beatles fans will want to visit locations that inspired John, Paul, George and Ringo…and can do so for free! Soak up the electric atmosphere in The Cavern – the venue where it all began for The Beatles – during the day or Monday to Wednesday evenings when there is free admission, and head to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields for those must-do photo opportunities (www.cavernclub.org). There are plenty of other Beatles-specific visitor attractions such as the Beatles Story or the National Trust joint tour of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes – these are both ticketed (www.beatlesstory.com, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles-childhood-homes). And Liverpool will be central on May 25 to the 175th anniversary of the Cunard Line when the Three Queens (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria) meet there to salute the city, http://www.cunard.com/campaigns/anniversary-cruises/175-celebration/
VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is responsible for inspiring the world to explore Britain and for developing the UK’s visitor economy.
Canadians made 744,000 visits to Britain in 2013 and spent $966 million CAD (£531 million) – making Britain the fourth most popular outbound destination overall for Canadians and the second most popular long-haul destination.
Visitors traveling to Britain can find out more information fromvisitbritain.complus purchase money and time saving local transport, sightseeing, attraction, theatre and tour tickets fromvisitbritainshop.com.
Follow us on Twitter@VisitBritain,Pinterest(Love GREAT Britain), Instagram:lovegreatbritainand Facebook:LoveGREATbritain
PR & Communications Manager – Canada
|ZARA AND THE ROYALS’ LOVE OF HORSES|
|When Britain’s equestrian eventing team were presented with their silver medals today, Tuesday July 31st, it was a family affair for one of them.|
|The Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips, was congratulated by her mother, the Princess Royal, who herself competed in the eventing team of the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Appropriately, the medals were presented against the backdrop of Queen’s House in Greenwich.
The Royal family has strong links with horse riding. Events such as the Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire and the Burghley Horse Trials in Lincolnshire have always attracted the royals. The Queen in particular has always been an enthusiastic race-goer, as well as owning racehorses herself.
Royal Ascot is perhaps the most famous – the June racing festival at the course west of London, where the hats are almost as important as the horses. The Derby, held at the Epsom race course in Surrey, is also an important date on the social calendar and was indeed the opening event of the central weekend of the Diamond Jubilee in June.
Horse racing fans have plenty to watch this week: in addition to the Olympic events, Glorious Goodwood takes place at the Sussex course attached to the ancestral home of the Dukes of Richmond and Gordon, direct descendants of King Charles II.
Zara Phillips frequently attends the prestigious Cheltenham Festival in March. She was first spotted with her future husband, England rugby player Mike Tindall, at the Gloucestershire race course where she recently carried the Olympic torch.
She has close associations with Cheltenham, having been “Club 18-24” president of the race course, and she played hockey for Cheltenham Ladies’ College. The couple, who were married in Edinburgh, live in Cheltenham and are often seen at the Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power, a pub bought by a racing industry consortium including Peter Scudamore and Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Polo has also proved very popular, with the Prince of Wales, Princes William and Harry all enthusiastic players. One of the most famous grounds is the Guards Club, in Windsor, which was founded by the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Mighty Arrow, Soca King of the World, dies at 60.
OLVESTON, Montserrat (Sept 15, 2010) – The Soca King of the World, Alphonsus “The Mighty Arrow” Cassell, died at his residence on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat today at the age of 60.
The international recording artiste was diagnosed with cerebral cancer in early 2009. He was airlifted to the neighbouring island of Antigua last week for treatment.
His family wishes to thank the medical teams, friends and family who gave their support during the period of his illness.
Arrow or “Phonzie”, as he was referred to by close friends and family, is responsible for taking the soca genre to the international music scene with his 1982 smash hit, Hot, Hot, Hot.
Having won the local calypso competition on four occasions, the talents of the proud son of Montserrat were spotted by former Beatles manager, Sir George Martin, who worked with Arrow to turn his focus to his recording and touring career.
Arrow recorded no less than 22 studio albums with other notable hits including Long Time, Dancing Mood, O’La Soca and Groove Master.
He has performed at concerts, music festivals and gala events across the globe.
“His death is a great loss to the family, his native land of Montserrat and the music world,” said his brother, Justin “Hero” Cassell, another talented vocalist and songwriter, who worked with Arrow during his peak years.
Funeral announcements will be made in due course.
—For further information contact Justin “Hero” Cassell at (664) 496-0203.
Wales’ 2010 Fall Food Festivals and Events
June 10, 2010 – Wales is now renowned for its locally-sourced food – and a bevy of Fall Food Festivals gives the visitor wonderful ways to savor the true tastes of Wales, without even visiting one of Wales’ four, Michelin-starred eateries.
The Really Wild Food and Countryside Festival will take place September 4 – 5, 2010 in Britain’s smallest city – St. Davids in Pembrokeshire, South Wales. Where better to forage for your supper and celebrate countryside crafts from nature, than in St. Davids – on track to be the world’s first carbon neutral city. www.reallywildfestival.co.uk.
The Abergavenny Food Festival – www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com – celebrates its 12th year on September 18 and 19.
The Great British Cheese Festival – in the grounds of Cardiff Castle on September 25 and 26 – attended by 10,000 international foodies and 100 cheese-makers, affords visitors the opportunity to taste 500 cheeses, take cheese-making classes and observe cheese-making firsthand. www.thecheeseweb.com has all of the details.
Moving to north Wales, the Conwy Food Festival will take place in this medieval walled city and Unesco World Heritage site on October 23 and 24. Check it out on www.conwyfeast.co.uk. Entry to the once impregnable Conwy Castle will be free to Food Festival visitors this year.
Green Events – based in Llanwrtyd Wells in mid Wales – will host The Real Ale Wobble and it is this event that marks the start of the Mid Wales Beer Festival on November 13. The Real Ale Ramble (also part of the Beer Festival) takes place on November 20. Full details can be found at www.green-events.co.uk.
Other food related events in Wales can be found on www.walesthetruetaste.co.uk and more information on Wales can be found on www.visitwales.ca, www.twitter.com/visitwales and www.facebook.com/visitwales.
Eirlys Thomas, Rob Jones and Bob Titley