Archive for January, 2013

A Musical Tour of England in Honour of The Brits!

Saturday, January 26th, 2013
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First hosted in 1977 and held on an annual basis since 1982, the Brits are the most prestigious awards in the British music industry and the equivalent of the American Grammys. A look back through the list of Brit Award winners reveals not only a distinguished group of talented musicians and vocalists, but also the rich diversity of musical Britain.

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Although there are certain towns and cities in the United Kingdom that are regarded as music hot spots, such as Manchester and Liverpool, there are many other locations around the country that have produced Brit Award winners.

Based on the home towns of past and present winners and nominees, a tour of the United Kingdom leads to many places of great interest for the intrepid tourist.

Liverpool

"It's In My Ears And In My Eyes!"

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Before the advent of Brit Pop during the nineties, Liverpool was undoubtedly the biggest producer of musical talent in the country and will forever be synonymous with The Beatles.

The Fab Four won the Brit Award for Best Album in 1977 and the city of their birth is still recognised the world over for its musical heritage, with a number of music festivals still taking place here every year.

In addition to its musical connections, Liverpool is second only to London in terms of the number of museums and galleries that exist in the city. The city also hosts some great tours, including the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, jump on the tour bus and see all of the places associated with the fab four including their childhood homes and where they formed the band. The tour ends with a stop at the famous Cavern Club, great hotels in Liverpool are easy to come by so you could even turn your trip into a city break by staying over and enjoying the great night life.

Manchester

Influenced by The Beatles, Oasis dominated the nineties and were one of the architects of the rise of Manchester as a music powerhouse.

For a city that is drenched in modern culture, Manchester has a long and interesting history and today, is an eclectic mix of skyscrapers and Victorian splendour. As to be expected for a city with such a musical heritage, Manchester has a thriving nightlife scene.

It is not just the major cities of the UK that have been responsible for producing successful music stars. A number of Brit Award winners have their roots in the nation’s smaller towns.

Lowestoft

Lowestoft beach

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The recipients of three Brits in 2004, rock band The Darkness hail from the delightful seaside town of Lowestoft, in Suffolk. With an excellent sunshine record and Blue Flag beaches, Lowestoft is a great summer holiday destination. In addition to its many traditional gift shops and cafes, the town is also home to the major theme park, Pleasurewood Hills.

Pontypridd

Tom Jones 01

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For stunning scenery, tranquil villages and fascinating history, South Wales is hard to beat. One of Wales’ most famous sons, Tom Jones, was born in the village of Treforest, Pontypridd.

Pontypridd is located in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taff, one of the most beautiful scenic areas in South Wales and a place where traditional Welsh values are still proudly upheld.

Bangor

Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, North Wales

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Up in the north west of Wales, the tiny city of Bangor can lay claim to being the birthplace of Brit winner Duffy. Despite its city status, Bangor is one of the smaller urban areas in Wales. Bordered by the mountains of Snowdonia National Park, Bangor boasts some fine scenery and the town itself is delightfully pretty.

The nominations for the 2013 Brit Awards are another testament to the geographical diversity of the UK’s musical talent. Towns and cities represented by this year’s nominees include Brighton, London, Stoke-on-Trent and Teignmouth in Devon.

Embarking on a tour of the United Kingdom, specifically taking in the birthplace and home towns of Brit Award winner and nominees, is a fine way of taking in the rich diversity that the country has to offer.

If you feel inspired to visit any of these fantastic British destinations head to TravelSupermarket for all your trip needs, from great deals on car hire to cheap hotels.

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Celebrating Burns Night

Friday, January 25th, 2013
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Today marks the much-celebrated Burns Night in Scotland where the nation celebrates their national poet who was born on January 25th 1759. Burns was born in Alloway near Ayr and during his life wrote numerous songs and poems which are still part of modern Scottish life today. His works received some attention during his life but it was not until the centuries following his death when his poetry has become even more popular. Why not have a look at our Scotland cottages for a Burns Night break?
Ayr

A traditional Burns Supper

Dinner on Burns Night is no regular affair with the traditional meal becoming a spectacle in its own right.  The meal begins with cock-a-leekie soup, the Scottish national soup of chicken and leeks.  As you’d expect, the haggis is the main event of any Burns supper and is served with neeps and tatties.  The haggis is paraded around the dining hall preceded by a piper while a whisky bearer ensures glasses are suitably filled for the forthcoming toasts.  The haggis is raised before the waiting diners who respond with rapturous applause.  Clootie dumpling rounds off the meal before an evening of traditional music and entertainment.

Poetry, song and dance

As soon as the meal is over guests take it in turns to recite or sing a Burns classic.  Parties tend to become rowdier as the evening and whisky consumption goes on with a rousing rendition of Auld Land Syne to finish the evening.  Some parties also include traditional Scottish dancing with the Dashing White Sergeant and Gay Gordon a popular choice.  Download the Burns Night iPhone App from Scotland.org which offers you 558 of Burns’ poems and songs and a handy glossary to interpret the Scots dialect.
Burns_nite_01

Last minute breaks to Scotland

There’s nowhere better to celebrate Burns Night than in Scotland whether you’re a Scot returning to your roots or just looking for an unusual evening of history and merriment.  So, why not have a look at our Scottish cottages which are available this weekend?  Book now and you could be celebrating the national Bard later tonight!

 

Choose a cosy Scottish cottage.

Choose a cosy Scottish cottage.

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Fantastic Discounted Winter Days Out

Thursday, January 24th, 2013
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At this time of year, when everyone is watching the pennies and pounds, many attractions are offering discounted winter entry prices to encourage you to part with your hard earned cash. Not only can you make a great saving, but visiting in the winter often means that you can escape the crowds too!

Portmeirion Village

Portmeirion

Portmeirion is a stunning tourist village in North Wales. It was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and built in the style of an Italian village. Portmeirion welcomes thousands of tourists every year who flock to see the intriguing buildings, gorgeous gardens and stunning coastal views that are made even more spectacular on a cold, crisp winter’s day.

Portmeirion

During the winter, Portmeirion is offering entry for just £2 per adult until 1st March 2013 when you fill in their online form, saving you £8 per adult on the normal admission price. If you are looking for a bargain, Portmeirion is a great place to pick up vastly discounted pottery in their seconds factory shop.

Chester Zoo

 

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is one of the most fantastic zoos in the country, with more than 110 acres to explore and over 8000 animals including 400 species of rare, exotic and endangered wildlife. Walk through the bat cave, marvel at the lions and tigers and see the zoos newest addition, a baby elephant born just this week! There is always something new to see at Chester Zoo and it is a wonderful day out for both old and young.

Chester Zoo

The zoo is open every day from 10am except from Christmas Day and Boxing Day and is a must see on a trip to Chester or nearby North Wales. During the low season, admission for adults is just £16, saving £4 on the usual admission price.

York Castle Museum & Yorkshire Museum

 

York Castle Museum

If you are planning a trip to York and want to learn more about the history and heritage of the city of York or the county of Yorkshire, a visit to both of these museums is a must! The York Castle Museum focuses on the everyday life of York’s people throughout the ages and includes a recreated Victorian street and a prison. The Yorkshire Museum is a fantastic place to see archaeological treasures and fascinating displays including many rare animals, fossils and birds.

York Castle Museum

By purchasing the special £10 dual ticket you can get admission to both York Castle Museum and the Yorkshire Museum and save £6 on the general admission price.

Beamish

 

Beamish Town High Street

Beamish is a huge open air museum situated in County Durham. There is something for both old and young at Beamish, with an Edwardian high street, home farm and pit village amongst some of the highlights. During the February half term Beamish are offering special discounted admission prices, with adult entry discounted to just £8.75 for adults and £5 for children.

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Charlotte

By Charlotte Stamper

Charlotte's love of the UK started as a child, with frequent trips to the North Wales, the Lake District and Scotland. In her spare time she enjoys walking and last year completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. Her favourite place is the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales.

Spotlight on New Sykes Cottages

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
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All of the new cottages that we’re featuring this week would be great for a last minute winter-short break - a lovely way to brighten up the long winter months. Take a look at these cottages that are new to our website and treat yourself to a snowy winter break!

Glyndley Manor Cottages – Stone Cross Near Eastbourne

This lovely detached lodge is situated within the grounds of Glyndley Manor and is set around beautifully maintained lawned gardens, in 17 acres of woodland and fields. The cottage is beautifully finished on the interior, making it the perfect location for a family holiday in the relaxing Sussex countryside. To make your holiday even better, make sure to take advantage of the on-site fishing lake and full-sized outdoor swimming pool!

The Old School Cottage – Tincleton Near Dorchester – Dorset

This delightful attached barn conversion, set in the rural Dorset hamlet of Tincleton, is set in the grounds of the owner’s Grade II listed, 1840 school house – providing serene surroundings to enjoy your time in Dorset. After exploring the beautiful landscape outside of the cottage you can come inside and warm yourself in front of the wood burning fire in the sitting room – is there any better way to spend a winter weekend?

Lavender Cottage – Sticklepath Near Okehampton – Devon

Looking for a winter getaway in beautiful Devon? Why not consider Lavender Cottage, a bright and airy, self-contained apartment adjoining the owner’s home, set high on a grassy knoll overlooking the village of Sticklepath, Devon. This apartment features an open plan living area with lovely views out to the garden, as well as a patio. Lavender Cottages is a great base for getting out and about on Dartmoor, and is just a short drive away from a number of National Trust sites that you’re sure to enjoy visiting.

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Congratulations to Avebury!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
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Avebury, a prehistoric site in Wiltshire, has been awarded second best World Heritage Site for visitors by Which? Magazine. The stone circles beat off stiff competition from the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids and came second only to the Monte Alban in Mexico. Read the full story about how the panel of experts came to their decision on the BBC website.

Avebury in the Evening

Visit Avebury

Visit Avebury today and you’ll find two small stone circles within a larger stone circle together constructed of almost 100 standing stones.  There’s also a museum which documents the archaeologist who rediscovered the stones in the 1930s and a cafe serving delicious local food.  Why not make a weekend of your trip to Avebury and book one of our wonderful holiday cottages in Wiltshire?  Choosing a cottage is a fantastic option if you want to observe the winter or summer solstice at Avebury.

As one of the most important megalithic monuments in Europe and the largest stone circle in the world, Avebury attracts numerous visitors every year.  Despite its popularity, no-one knows exactly why the stone circle was constructed more than 4,500 years ago but it may have something to do with ley lines which converge at the site.  Generations of civilizations have recognised the importance of the circular shape and have been attracted to worship at Avebury.

There’s something for everyone at Avebury; wander the stone circle and enjoy the quiet solitude any time of day or night, take a guided tour of the stones to learn more or visit the on-site museum to recreate life over the centuries at Avebury.

 

Enjoy a holiday in Wiltshire

Avebury is today looked after by the National Trust and English Heritage and we have lots of cottages close to National Trust properties across the south west so you can look forward to great days out during your holiday.

One of our lovely Wiltshire cottages

One of our lovely Wiltshire cottages

After you’ve explored Avebury, there’s plenty more to enjoy during a holiday in Wiltshire.  Discover the pretty towns of Marlborough and Malmesbury both packed with independent boutiques and make the perfect spot for afternoon tea.  There’s also the White Horse Trail which takes you through gorgeous countryside as you attempt to spot all eight of the giant chalk horses carved into the hillside.  Bath, Salisbury and Tetbury are all within easy reach of your cosy cottage and make for a great day out.

Summer Solstice 2010 - Alton Barnes White Horse

If this has got you thinking about a trip to Wiltshire, why not browse our website for inspiration?

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