Showing posts with label England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label England. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sun Kissed Weekend at Bournemouth, Miami of the The UK

Bournemouth is a picturesque country of Dorset. This British seaside town on England south coast has been a European holiday hotspot for decades. Bournemouth is known as an epicentre of cultural and entertainment. Tourist flocks here to enjoy the stunning beaches, quirky shops, delicious cafes and the elusive British sunshine. Bournemouth is a popular tourist destination. It has magnificent beaches and is a vibrant cosmopolitan town. It’s perfect for a weekend break.

If ever you’re looking for an activity to burn off some energy then take a look at our rundown of thing to do in Bournemouth.

Have a fun family outing and take a boat trip in Dorset. It starts at Tuckton Tea Gardens, the Vintage Ferry Service runs down to Mudeford Sandbank stopping at Wick ferry and Christchurch Quay. At Tuckton Tea Gardens, there are bumper boats, rowing boats and self drive motor boats also available to hire.

Bournemouth Shakespeare Players is an amateur dramatic company worth noting. It is presided over by none other than Dame Judi Dench. The company puts up Shakespeare productions every year at prestigious venues like the Christchurch Priory House Garden, which will be the venue for their 40th anniversary production of a Midsummer Night’s dream in the00 summer of 2018. They often have open auditions, classes and workshop.

Ice Skate Bournemouth is a popular outdoor rink which sits pride of place in the town’s lower garden. The ice rinks arrival marks the beginning of Christmas, as it’s always beautifully lit up with twinkling lights- particularly beautiful after dark. There is also a separate child friendly Ice rink, rinky Dinks, where tiny tots can safely play on the ice away from the bigger Kids.

Jet Ski Safaris (POOLE): Jet skiing is a thrilling way to enjoy Bournemouth and Poole’s vast expanses of open water. There’s plenty of space to burn up the water on your aquatic motorbike. Take suggestions from a qualified personal watercraft instructor before exploring Poole Harbour and heading out on the open sea. If you are not a confident swimmer or you want to plan a group experience Jet Ski safaris also offer charted powerboat and rib rides.

Bournemouth Oceanariums is the ideal spot for families. Whether you want to greet the sharks or come face to face with otters, take a trio under water at this popular attraction.

If you’re looking for fine dining with sea view, or a quick bite to eat before you head out to a local cocktail bar, Bournemouth has the answer. The Ramada is the best with hundred of eateries within walking distance.

Coastline adventure is for those couples looking to get their hearts racing. There are a number of water sports like surfing, sea kayaking, slack lining paddle boarding, co steering and body boarding. You can also try your hand at jet skiing or windsurfing, if you are looking for something a bit more adventurous.

Nightlife in Bournemouth: If ever you are looking for a night out with a group of friends or on a romantic date, there is something for everyone. There are plenty of brilliant place perfect for hen and stag parties and the Triangle has many Lesbian and gay venues. Head to canvas for a night filled with fun and frolics. Best of music, drinks and food is served in our unique loft bar setting. If you are looking to unshackle yourself from the burdens of the working week and catch up with some friends then this is the place to be. Most of the top night life spots are in the town centre and surrounding areas and in walking distance from most central hotels.

Visiting Bournemouth brings you all the best things to do in and around Bournemouth to make the most of your stay.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Bristol – Fusion of Georgian & Victorian Architecture

Bristol is a county in south West England having an estimated population of 437,500 inhabitants in 2014. It is England’s sixth and United Kingdom’s 8th most populous city.Set in the midst of a historic harbour, Bristol is a commercial, creative and bustling city.

 It is lively, dynamic, cosmopolitan as well as ambitious and its cityscape is fusion of elegant Georgian as well as Victorian architecture with amazing modern buildings and developments. Bristol takes pride in award winning and internationally acclaimed cultural institutions, world class events as well as festivals with enticing markets and shops.

 It is an amazing destination for leisure as well as for business.In 1155, Bristol had received a Royal charter and was a part of Gloucestershire till 1373 when it became a county in its own right. Between the 13th to the 18th century, it ranked among the top three English cities following London together with York and Norwich with regards to tax receipts till the rise of Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool in the Industrial Revolution. The city is built around the River Avon and has a short coastline on the Severn Estuary that flows in the Bristol Channel.

World’s Top Ten Cities – DK Eyewitness

With great developments like the opening of Cabot Circus, the city’s new £500 million shopping and leisure quarter, together with the final phases of the impressive harbour side developments, the city is heading towards exciting times for the future.Bristol has been selected as one of the World’s top ten cities to visit, in 2009 by DK Eyewitness, the world’s best-selling guidebook publisher while other cities included in the list are Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Fes, Gdansk, Seattle (USA), Washington DC and Vilnius.

Besides this, it is also one of the first cycling cities in the UK and European Green Capital for 2015. In 2008, several days after being recognised as a potential European Green Capital, Bristol was announced as the `UK’s Most Sustainable City’ in a separate independent assessment taken up by Forum for the Future. Moreover, Bristol was also crowned `European City of the Year’, at the annual awards which was held by the Academy of Urbanism, comprising of 100 members of industry-leading architect, engineers, planners, developers and designers.

Best Shopping Centre in Europe

Bristol is street party capital of the UK and its new £500 million retail development, Cabot Circus also won the `Best Shopping Centre in Europe’ award at the 2008 MAPIC International Retail Development Conference in Cannes. Bristol’s prosperity is linked with the sea, right from earlier days and the Port of Bristol was originally in the city centre before it was moved to the Seven Estuary at Avonmouth; Royal Portbury Dock is towards the western edge of the city.

The economy in recent years depended on the creative media, aerospace and electronics industries and the city centre docks have been regenerated as centre of culture heritage. Bristol, being a major seaport, has a long history of trading commodities, like wool cloth exports, and imports of fish, grain, wine and dairy products and later on tobacco, tropical fruits, and plantation goods. Major import products presently are motor vehicles, timber, and fresh produce and petroleum products. Bristol is an amazing historical city to visit and explore.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Broads

Broads -Magical Waterland of Britain 

The Broads is the magical water land of Britain which is a beautiful environment of inland lakes that have been formed from medieval peat excavations and subsequently flooded. They are a network of navigable rivers and lakes in the English counties of Suffolk and Norfolk. It is made up of forty three separate Broads and six rivers which are connected by more than 200 km of lock free navigable waterways and due to its wild expanse of shallow lakes, woodland, grazing marshes and fen, is home to several of the rarest plants as well as wildlife in UK inclusive of colourful swallow tail butterfly and the enchanting white water lily.

The Broads and a few of the surrounding land have been considered as special area with a certain level of protection which is similar to a national park by the Norfolk and the Suffolk Broads Act 1988. The Broads Authority which is a special statutory authority is responsible for the management of the area which became operation in 1989. Its total area covers a space of 303 square kilometres, major part of which is in Norfolk with more than 200 kilometres being of navigable waterways.

Member of International Family of National Parks 

Thirteen broads have been opened for navigation with three more having navigable channels where some of these broads have been imposed with navigation restrictions during autumn and winter season. The Broads is also a member of the international family of National Parks and its unique landscape with shallow lakes as well as rivers makes it an appropriate area for wildlife.

The Broads offers tourists a wonderful experience with its rich mixture of attraction on land and water throughout the year in the historical city of Norwich. The beautiful countryside together with many picturesque charming towns and villages, the big skies and sparkling landscape of marshland field, tangled woodlands all adds up for a perfect adventure and relaxation, a time for leisure, to reflect, explore and enjoy a time of serenity and peace away from the hectic schedules of life.

Best Way to Explore – By Boat 

The best way to explore Broads is by boat and the famous Broads motor cruisers are holiday favourites since 1930. The current boats are provided with all comforts of home on board and should the tourist desire to visit during quieter or cooler month, it could be the best option for exploration. The freshness of the air, mingled with sparkling water and wide horizons during the day and the dark starry nights could give the visitors an awesome boating holiday experience on the Broads.

This location has been a boating holiday destination for many since the late 19th century and in 1878, small yachts were made available for hire from John Loynes. Being easy to access to the area by rail from London, Harry Blake in 1908, then created an agency for yachting holidays.

It has also been an important racing yachts centre since then and the design of the boats have undergone several innovative features, which include short fin keels and separate rudder and the design eventually was used on seagoing yachts since the 1960s.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Madame Tussauds London

Madame Tussauds – World Famous Wax Attraction

Madame Tussauds is a world famous wax attraction in London with branches in various major cities which was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud and formerly known as `Madame Tussaud’s. Madame Tussauds has now grown to be a major tourist attraction in London, incorporating till 2010, the London Planetarium in its west wing displaying wax works of historical as well as royal figures, sports star, film stars and infamous murderers.

It is owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments. The Museum has expanded and continues to expand with branches in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Blackpool, Hollywood, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, New York City, Shanghai, Sydney, Vienna, Washington, D.C., Wuhan and Tokyo with temporary museum in Busan – Korea, together with location coming in various areas like Beijing, Singapore, Prague, Orlando and San Francisco. The London museum being a world famous wax attraction provides an ultimate celebrity experience in the heart of Time Square comprising of over 225 incredibly life like stars and icons.

New York Pass/Marvel Super Heroes 4D

The New York Pass offers free entry to witness this attraction while entrance to Marvel Super Heroes 4D is provided with an additional fee. The New York Pass not only provides a free entry to Madame Tussands Wax Museum, but also 80 other attractions within New York City.At Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, one can take the opportunity of taking a picture with their favorite celebrity where the wax replica of over 100 replicas look real as though they are really present there.

The two floors, 30,000 square foot museum gives visitors the opportunity of getting close and personal with the celebrity where touching is highly encouraged and the pictures look very realistic. Some of the replicas do have fun little features included, such as when one touches celebrity Jennifer Lopez’s backside, she tends to blush. Being in partnership with Marvel Comics, Madame Tussauds has assembled some of the Avengers, a multi-sensory Marvel 4D Theatre which enables film viewers to experience the action as well as get wet when the superheroes tend to save Las Vegas from being destroyed.

Face to Face Experience with Celebrities 

Making a wax figure is a lengthy process which could take from four to six months. When a researcher prepares a survey on the celebrity or star in the attraction, they tend to obtain all information with regards to the celebrity, which includes on how they would pose for pictures, their common facial expressions together with their hairstyles and preference on their attire.

If they are in a position, they then come in for a sitting. The stylist takes over their measurements together with various photos which provide the artist with the opportunity to match the hair as well as eye shade perfectly. The team use oil based paint for the face, and applies it in layers, thereby creating a skin complexion that seems very real.

Another amazing fact is that the body is not only made of wax but of steel and clay as well. Madame Tussauds adds or rotates new figures, to keep the attraction exciting and new, frequently. Once can get the opportunity of a face to face experience with some of their favorite celebrities and capture them in picture and cherish those memories for a life time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens – Collections of Conserved Plants/Living Plants/Document

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew was founded in 1759 and this historic landscape garden features the significant period of the art of gardens during the 18th to 20th centuries, housing botanic collections of conserved plants, living plants as well as documents, which have been enriched all through the centuries. Since its creation, the gardens have made remarkable significant as well as uninterrupted contribution to the study of plant diversity and economic botany.

It has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. The Kew Gardens is one of main visitor attraction of London while the second garden in West Sussex, is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank and its science and conservation work, provide help in discovering as well as describing the world’s plant and fungal diversity in safeguarding the plant life of the world for the future, together with promoting the sustainable use of plants.

The Royal Botanic Garden is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in UK. Being an international important botanical education and research institution, it has 750 staff with its chief executive being the current Director, Richard Deverell while its board of trustees is chaired by Marcus Agius, Barclays PLC’s former chairman.

Home to Internationally Important Millennium Seed Bank 

The botanic gardens at Kew is organised in Richmond upon Thames in southwest London and at Wakehurst Place, which is a National Trust property in Sussex. This is home to internationally important Millennium Seed Bank and the Seedbank is the site of several research project as well as international partnerships with around 80 countries.

The seeds stored at the banks helps in two functions namely, it provides an ex situ conservations resource as well as facilitates research across the globe by posing as a repository for seed scientists. Kew also functions jointly with the Forestry Commission, Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent that specialises in growing of conifers. Kew’s `Old Lions’ are the oldest and the most magnificent trees together with known dates in the Garden that dates back to the year 1762 while the first of the five `Old Lions is the oriental plane – Plactanus orientalis, which stands towards the northern end of the Broad Walk and opposite the Orangery. The others being pagoda tree, maidenhair tree – Ginkgo biloba, black locust – Robinia pseudoacacia, Caucasian elm – Zelkova carpinifolia,

Kew’s Old Lion Trees 

The pagoda tree which is given a tongue twisting scientific name – Styphnolobium japonicum is a native to China inspite of japonicum, indicating that the tree is Japanese which grows off of the Broad Walks’ central path near the Ice House. The maidenhair tree is a male tree with pollen producing catkins and it is the female trees that produce the fruits with their smelling fleshing coatings.

This tree is also the early introduction from China and one of the remaining trees from the first section of the botanic garden which was started in 1759, by George III’s mother, Princess Augusta. The black locust or false acacia was introduced in 1630s to Europe and the tree originally planted in 1762 at Kew is presumed to have come from the Duke of Argylls’ estate in Whitton and seems to be the survivor of other trees that had been brought to Kew from the estate during the 18th century. The Caucasian elm is the last of the three original Zelkovas and grows in the Herbarium paddock and is not in the public area of the gardens.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Tower of London, UK

Tower of London, UK
The Tower of London – World Famous Fortress

The Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous fortresses, a historical castle which is located towards the north bank of the Thames River in central London and lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which is separated from the eastern side of the square mile of the City of London through the open space called Tower Hill.

 It has served the purpose as royal palace, armoury, prison as well as a zoo where the ancient stoneshold secrets as fortified vaults that shine with priceless jewels together with historic uniformed Beefeaters that guarded the grounds. It was founded at the end of 1066 as a part of the Norman Conquest of England and the White Tower which gives the castle its name was erected by William the Conqueror in the year 1708.

 It was considered as a resented symbol of oppression which was inflicted on London by the new ruling elite. From 1100, the castle was used as a prison till 1952, but it was not the main purpose. Early in its history, it served as a grand palace of royal residence and overall, the tower is a complex of many building set within two concentric rings of defensive walls as well as a moat with several phases of expansion under the guidance of Kings Richard, the Lionhearted, Henry II and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The White Tower – Keep/Donjon

The White Tower, a keep, was also known as a donjon and in medieval castle was the strongest structure containing lodgings which were appropriate for the lord. According to Allen Brown, a military historian he states that `the great tower – the White Tower’, was also by virtue of its strength, lordly accommodation and majesty, the donjon was par excellence and being one of the largest keeps in the Christian world, is described as `the most complete eleventh century palace in Europe’.

The Tower of London is considered as one of the most popular attraction for tourist and has been a tourist attraction since the Elizabethan period when it became one of the sights of London and foreign visitors related about it.

Painting of  Tower of London
Royal Menagerie and displays of armour were the most popular attractions while the Crown Jewels also drew much interest which has been on public display since 1669. The Tower gained popularity gradually among the tourist through the 19th century in spite of opposition from the Duke of Wellington to visitors with the number of visitors reaching very high by 1851, which give rise to the erection of a purpose built ticket office. Towards the end of the century, there were over 500,000 tourists visiting the castle every year.

Location very Convenient 

Between the 18th and the 19th centuries, this magnificent building was slowly utilised and demolished and only the Wakefield and St Thomas Towers survived. The tower’s location at London is very convenient and the site is a five minute walk from the underground station of Tower Hill where trains and Dockland light railway also stop near the tower.

Bustransports are available to reach the tower together with riverboats which stop at the Tower Pier. Besides these, taxis, bicycles and foot power are also good means of reaching the tower. Driving is not much fun due to the location in the Congestion Charging Zone with limited parking facilities. It is open all year round with the exception of Christmas holiday and New Year.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Cotswold - An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Cotswolds is located in south central England with the Cotswold Hills which is a range of rolling hills that rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to escarpment such as the Cotswold Edge. This is above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale and the area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone creating a kind of grassland habitat which is rare in U.K, and is quarried for golden coloured Cotswold stone.

In 1966, it was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is considered to have some amazing features from the local Cotswold stone and the rural landscape have some stone built village, stately homes and gardens as well as historical towns. The Cotswold is an area of England somewhat the size of greater Tokyo which is popular with English as well as tourist from all across the globe.

The name Cotswold is attributed to the meaning `sheep enclosure in rolling hillsides where the term `wold’, means hills though the English Place Name Society, for several years have accepted the term Cotswold derived from Codesuualt of the 12th century or other variation, the etymology of which was given as `Cod’s-wold’, which is Cod’s high open land.

Gentle Hills/Sleepy village/Typically English 

It is well known for its gentle hillside, sleepy villages and being typically English. One will find some of the famous cities like Bath, well known beautiful towns – Cheltenham with hundreds of amazing villages like Burford and Castle Combe.

The local honey coloured limestone found here is used for everything right from the stone flooring in the houses to the tiles on the roof and the area has a magical uniformity of architecture. The amazing honey coloured towns and villages of the Cotswold appear as if from the 21st century from another era which is characterized by gentle dynamism together with vibrant festivals and lively galleries with liberal endowment of intriguing museums.

Occupying an area of around 800 square miles across five counties like Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, the region of `wolds’ or rolling hills as it is called, is one of the biggest of the thirty eight Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty –AONB in England and Wales.

Drystone Walls in Fields

One will find the `Drystone walls’ all over in the fields and most of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries as a matter of considerable skill since there is no cement to hold the wall in shape.

These represent a unique historical landscape with a major conservative feature which is still used by farmers to enclose their sheep and cattle. During the medieval period between the 13-15th centuries, the native Cotswold sheep were very popular throughout Europe and were known for their heavy fleeces with high quality wool which were priced very high.

The revenue generated from the wool trade enabled the wealthy traders to leave their mark by building fine houses together with beautiful churches which were known as `wool churches’.Besides the amazing countryside, one will also find interesting places to explore which include magnificent castles, ancient churches, stately homes with historic houses and glorious gardens.

You could shop at some of the oldest chartered weekly markets and also visit some market towns to shop or indulge in some leisurely ramble or have a traditional meal at the pub. Cotswold is an amazing destination with plenty to explore.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cornwall, England

Cornwall – A Land with Spectacular Coastline & Beauty

Cornwall is a land which has been defined by its spectacular coastline that tapers out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a ceremonial county as well as unitary authority area of England in the United Kingdom and is a peninsula which is bordered towards the north and west by the Celtic Sea, towards the south by the English Channel and to the east by the county of Devon over the Tamar River.

Its granite cliffs of Land’s End, picturesque harbours, with its wide sandy beaches of the north coast have made Cornwall an amazing holiday resort for a very long time. Besides this it also has a rich cultural heritage which has left a lasting impression on the landscape.

The ancientstones, to the ghost of the mining industry give one a feeling of being in another location and not in England. Cornwall has a population of around 536,000 inhabitants, covering an area of 3,563 sq. km and Truro is the administrative centre and the only city in Cornwall though there is town of St. Austell which has the largest population.
Tradition Homeland of the Cornish People

It is the traditional homeland of the people of Cornwall which has been recognized as one of the Celtic nations that has retained its cultural identity and reflects its history. The area was first inhabited in the Mesolithic and the Palaeolithic periods and continues to be occupied by the Neolithic as well as the Bronze Age people which later on were occupied by Brythons that had distinctive cultural relations with the neighbouring Brittany and Wales. While on a trip to Cornwall with family or friends there are several places of interest which are worth exploring.

Sites Worth Exploring 

Land’s End is one of the West Country’s awesome natural settings together with great places to dine and shop as well as other exciting pay as you go family attractions.

Kernow Coasteering is another place of interest and a most westerly coasteering centre. Coasteering is one of the fastest growing adventure activities in UK and one can take a tour to get a taste of life on the edge and an opportunity to experience the Cornish coastline up close.

The granite cliffs at Lands’ End form some of the best coastline and an adventure with ultimate experience at Kernow Coasteering.

Geevor is another site set amidst 67 acres on the North Atlantic coast and is one of the largest preserved mine site in Cornwall reflecting its outstanding collections together with listed buildings which tells of its industrial mining past and has also made the Western Gateways to the Cornish Mining World Heritage site.

The Levant Steam Engine is located on a cliff edge which is five miles from Land’s End and the oldest beam engine in Cornwall. It is being driven by steam, credits of which go the extensive program of restoration and rebuilding by the National Trust as well as the members of the Trevithick Society.

Porthcurno Telegraph Museum which is an award winning museum set in Porthcurno valley, chronicling the fascinating and unusual story of the people from the Victorian times to World War II. Besides these, there are several more sites which can be explored and gain more knowledge about Cornwall and its heritage.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace – Official London Residence of the Monarch

Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and the principal work place of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837 and is presently the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. The palace is located in the City of Westminster, between The Green Park, Hyde Park and St. James Park and is the centre of state occasions as well as royal hospitability.

It is the main focus for British people during times of national rejoicing. The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace can be visited by the tourist though it has been in use for several official events and receptions held by The Queen.

The Palace has 775 rooms which include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. With regards to measurements, the building across the front is 108 meters long with 120 metres deep which includes the central quadrangle and 24 metres high.
Initially it was known as Buckingham House, and the building which forms the main palace was a huge townhouse which was built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham on a site with private ownership which lasted for around 150 years.

Venue for Royal Ceremonies/Investitures/State Visits

Buckingham Palace’s 19 state rooms, ballroom and gardens are open for tourist during August and September when the Queen undertakes her annual visit to Balmoral. The State rooms have some of the Royal family’s priceless treasures like the painting and the finest French and English furniture. People can visit the spectacular Palace Ballroom and the Palace gardens and get glimpses of the west front of the Palace and the lake.

Visitors need to book their tickets in advance to visit the State Rooms, Ballroom and Garden. The Palace is a working building as well as the central point of Britain’s constitutional monarchy housing the offices of those supporting the day to day activities and duties of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh as well as their immediate family.

It is also the venue for all their Royal ceremonies, Investitures and State Visits, which are all organised by the Royal Household. Though the Buckingham Palace is furnished and decorated with many priceless works of art of the Royal Collection and also one of the major collections in the world, it is not an art gallery or a museum.

State Rooms – Used By The Queen/Members of the Royal Family

The State Rooms are used regularly by The Queen as well as the members of the Royal Family for official and State entertainment and forms the nucleus of the working Palace. There are over 50,000 people who visit the Palace every year as guests to lunches, dinners, banquets, receptions and the Royal Garden Parties.

Those visiting the Palace on invitation, the first steps are into the Grand Hall and up the curving marble stairs of the Grand Staircase. With portraits which are still seen on the walls, as they were during the times of Queen Victoria.

The Throne which was sometimes used during the reign of Queen Victoria for gatherings as well as a second dancing room is dominated by a proscenium arch which is supported by a pair of winged figures of `victory’ holding garlands above the `chairs of state’.The Queen conducts all the special occasions like Jubilees and receives loyal addresses in the Throne Room, which is also used for formal wedding photographs.

The Ballroom – Largest Multi-Purpose Room in the Palace

It was said that the original palace of George IV lacked a large room for entertainment which was fulfilled by Queen Victoria by adding in 1853-5, which at the time of its constructions was the largest room in London.

The Ballroom was 36.6m long, 18m wide and 13.5m long and is the largest multi-purpose room in the Palace which was opened with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War in 1856. Along the East Gallery, the Queen and her State guest process to the Ballroom for the State Banquet which normally takes place on the first day of the visit.

Prominent people are invited as guest who have trade or other related associations with visiting country which include members of the Royal Family, the government and other political leaders, High Commissioners and Ambassadors.

The Queen’s Gallery – Space Dedicated for Exhibitions

Presently it is being used by The Queen for State banquets as well as other formal occasions like the annual Diplomatic Reception which is attended by 1,500 guests, a formal occasion wherein The Queen meets every head of mission accredited to the Court of St. James and for the diplomats, it is one of the highlights of the annual diplomatic social calendar.

The Ballroom has also been used on various occasions as a concert hall for memorial concerts as well as performances of arts. It is also the regular venue for Investitures which are usually twenty one a year, with nine in spring, two in summer and ten in autumn.

Other interesting areas are The Victoria Memorial which is the golden statue of Queen Victoria that is in front of the Palace facing The Mall. The Queen’s Gallery, is a space which is dedicated for exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection, a wider collection of art and treasures that are held in trust by The Queen for the Nation where only a small part of it is on display which are continuously rotated making it worth visiting and glimpsing them again.

Monday, October 13, 2014

London Eye

London Eye
London Eye – Popular Giant Ferris Wheel

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel which is a modern and a very popular tourist attraction. This amazing structure adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens which was previously the site of the former Dome of Discovery, on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminister Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth.

It is a giant observation wheel that is 135 metres tall structure built as a part of London’s millennium celebrations. Known as the Millennium Wheel, the official name was originally the British Airways London Eye, then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye between January 2011 and August 2014, the EDF Energy London Eye and is presently known as the London Eye.

Towards late January 2015, the London Eye would be sponsored by Coca Cola. The overall structure has a diameter of 120 metres and when it was erected in the year 1999, it was one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheel with its height surpassing by the 160 m of Star of Nanchang in 2006, 165 m of Singapore Flyer in 2008 and 167.6 m of High Roller – Las Vegas in 2014.

Highest Public Viewing Point in London

It has been supported by an `A’ frame only on one side unlike the taller Nanchang and the Singapore wheels and the Eye has been described as `the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel’, by its operators.Presently it is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel offering the highest public viewing point in London, till it was superseded by the observation deck by the 245 metre on the 72nd floor of `The Shard’ that opened on 1st February 2013 to the public.

It is one of the most popular paid tourist attractions with over 3.5 million visitors annually in the United Kingdom with several appearances in popular culture. Architects like Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Steve Chilton, Malcolm Cook, and Mark Sparrowhawk together with the husband and wife team of David Marks and Julia Barfield had designed the London Eye.

It was Mare who was responsible for the construction management while Hollandia was the main steel work contractor with Tilbury Douglas as the civil contractor. Tony Gee & Partners, Consulting engineers, designed the foundation works and Beckett Rankine designed the marine works.

London Eye 1
Constructed in Sections/Assembled on Piled Platform in Rivers

Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners helped in The Tussauds Group in obtaining planning as well as the listed building consent in altering the wall on the South Bank of the Thames and also examined and reported the implication of a particular Section 106 agreement which was attached to the original contract.

Thereafter they also planned and listed building consent application for permanent retention of the London Eye which also involved the co-ordination of an Environmental Statement together with the production of a planning supporting statement with details for the reason of its retention.

Tensioned steel cables support the rim of the Eye resembling a huge spoked bicycle wheel with eighty spokes connecting the rim with the spindle. Lighting was redone by Color Kinetics with LED lightning in December 2006 to enable digital control of the lights, opposed to the manual replacement of gels over fluorescent tubes.

The wheels which were constructed in sections were floated up the Thames on barges and then assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river and once the wheel was finalised, it was lifted into an upright position by a strand jack system made by Enerpac.

Amazing Construction with Awesome View

At first it was raised at 2 degrees per hour till it had reached a 65 degree and then left in that position for a week with engineers preparing for the second phase of installing the structure. It was a European project with major components from six countries, where the steel came from the UK and fabricated in The Netherlands by the Dutch company, Hollandia.

The cables were from Italy while the bearings were from Germany – FAG/Schaeffler Group, the spindle and hub was cast in the Czech Republic. The electrical components came from the UK and the capsules were made by Poma in France and the glass for all these came from Italy.The construction of the observation wheel took over a year and a half for completion for which over 1700 tonnes of steel were used for the structure with more than 3000 tonnes of concrete used for the foundations.

The capsule accommodating around twenty five people were transported all the way from France by train through the Chunnel with each egg shaped capsule being eight metres long weighing five hundred kilograms. Its twenty five meter long spindle has been built in Czech Republic and its rim diameter around two hundred times the size of a bicycle wheel.

The observation wheel tends to turn slow enough for the passengers to embark while it moves where a complete turn takes around thirty minutes. With its amazing construction of the glass capsules on the outer side of the rim, passenger can have an awesome view of 360 degrees over London.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Liverpool, England

Ian Moran/Getty
Liverpool – The Most Splendid Setting of English City

Liverpool, a city in Merseyside, England lies on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. The Mersey Estuary which divides Liverpool from the Wirral Peninsula and the boundaries of Liverpoolare adjacent to Bootle, Crosby and Maghull towards south, Sefton to the north and Kirkby, Huyton, Prescot and Halewood in Knowsley towards the east.

It was a borough from 1207 and a city from 1880. Towards 2011, the population was 466,415. Liverpool is described as the most splendid setting of any English city, at 176 miles towards northwest of London and situated on the Liverpool Bay of the Irish Sea, it is built across a ridge of sandstone hills which rise to a height of about 230 feet above sea level at Everton Hill.

It represents the southern boundary of the West Lancashire Coastal Plain, Being a historical part of Lancashire, Liverpool’s urbanisation and its expansion enhanced its status as a major port which included the participation in the Atlantic slave trade. Moreover, Liverpool was also the port of registry of the ocean line, the RMS Titanic together with several other Cunard and White Star ocean lines like the RMS LUSITANIA, Olympic and Queen Mary.

 Liverpool’s status as a port city has been responsible to its diverse population which historically came from a wide range of people, religious as well as culture, especially those from Ireland.

Home to Ancient Black African/Chinese Community

Liverpool, England
Besides this, the city is also a home to the ancient Black African community as well as the oldest Chinese community in Europe. The natives of Liverpool are called Liverpudlians while colloquially as Scousers.

The word Scouse seems to be a synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. Liverpool’s wealth as a port city helped in the construction of two major cathedrals which dates from the 20th century namely the Anglican Cathedral, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott which played host to the annual Liverpool Shakespeare Festival and has one of the longest naves, the largest organs, the heaviest as well as the highest peals of bells in the world.

The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral on the other hand, which is on Mount Pleasant, near Liverpool Science Park was first planned to be much larger, according to the original design of Sir Edwin Lutyens, though only the crypt got completed and the cathedral was finally built in a simple design by Sir Frederick Gibberd.

Though it is built on a smaller scale than Lutyens’ original design, it is capable of incorporating the largest panel of stained glass in the world. Hope Street, the road that runs between the two cathedrals is a pleasing coincidence to believers and the cathedral is colloquially referred as Paddy’s Wigwam because of its shape.

The World Capital City of Pop

The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007 and held the European Capital of Culture title with Stavanger Norway in 2008. It has also been listed as `the World Capital City of Pop’ by Guinness World Records, by the popularity of The Beatles as well as the other groups from Mersey beat period and much later who have made their contribution to its status as a great tourist destination. Tourism is the main economy of Liverpool.

 Many areas of Liverpool city centre were listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004. Liverpool is also the home of two of its Premier League football clubs namely Liverpool and Everton where matches between the two are known as Merseyside derby and the world famous Grand National also takes place annually, on the outskirts of the city at Aintree Racecourse.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Isles of Scilly – Group of Small Islands

 Isles of Scilly – Group of Small Islands
Isles of Scilly also known as Scilly Isles form an archipelago off the south-western tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. It is a group of around 50 small islands with many more islets lying around. Though the Isles of Scilly are a part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, with some of the services combined with Cornwall, the island has had a separate local authority since 1890 and with the passing of the Isles of Scilly Order in 1930, this authority has the status of a county council which is presently known as the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

The administrative centre is on St. Mary’s which is the largest island in the group. The Duchy of Cornwall is in possession of most of the freehold land on the islands and tourism is a major part of their economy besides farming and agriculture. Nestling around 35 miles off the coast of Cornwall, these islands are amazing and outstandingly beautiful, unspoilt and not crowded making it a different world from the everyday life. Natural England has declared the Isles of Scilly as National Character Area.

Island Comprising of Granite

The islands comprises of granite which are a continuation of the granite masses of the Cornish mainland reaching an elevation of around 165 feet on St. Mary’s with dangerous rocky coast having many reefs.

 The island’s climate being exceptionally mild, the mean monthly temperature varies from 45 to 65 degree Fahrenheit, with their flora and fauna much different from the English mainland, with many flourishing subtropical plants. One will find seals that live on the rocks and islets and a variety of seabirds, the roseate tern being the rarest British breeding terns while the Manx shearwater, its only British breeding site in the island.

Prehistoric remains in the form of barrows and rude pillars are there on the islands. The island was given to the abbot of Tavistock in Devon by Henry I, during his reign in 1100-35 and in the 16th century it was the crown property and leased in 1571 to Francis Godolphin who in 1593 built Star Castle above Hugh Town.

Island Controlled by Monarchy Supporters, 1642 - 51

It was during the English Civil Wars, 1642 – 51, that the island was controlled by monarchy supporters causing severe damage to Dutch ships by the navy. The Netherlands had declared war against the islands in 1651 after being rebuffed for demands on reparation for losses and thereafter control of the island was gained by Parliament’s supporters. The war ended subsequently and a formal peace treaty was not signed till April 17, 1986.

 Five islands only are inhabited namely St. Agnes, Bryher St, Mary, Tresco and St. Martin’s. Most of the locals reside on St. Mary, which has a harbour at Hugh Town as well as a museum of Scilly history and prehistory. Hugh Town, the capital is between two sandy beaches and one can find the Tourist Information Centre at the top of Porthcress beach. Bishop Rock Lighthouse towards the island’s western end is an excellent example of the 19th century civil engineering. A ferry service to Penzance is available on the mainland and flights connect the islands to the Land’s End.