Lessons in the "WeekendBreaks" Category

Hidden London!

Today let’s talk about hidden London. By that I mean parts of London that are hidden away; yet are literally right in front of our eyes when walking around the capital city...

Cabmen’s shelters in London are, to the untrained eye, green sheds. Introduced in 1875, they were used as a refuse for horse drawn cab drivers to eat, drink and take shelter from the weather. Today, just 13 remain. Whilst taxi drivers still use them today, so can you!

Category: London / Secret Places to Visit / Tourism

A visit to an airport

Today, let’s talk about a visit to an airport. Many of us are likely to visit one when we go on holiday. Others who don’t jet-off are likely to pick someone up or drop them off at the drop off zones outside most airports. These days many airport owners make a killing by charging exorbitant car park fees, both for short stay and long stay car parks. People are encouraged to take the bus or train to avoid this.

Category: Transport / Airports / Terminals

A visit to Edinburgh

Today, let’s talk about a visit to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It’s a popular place to visit and many tourists do indeed visit the city and surrounding area in droves. Many Europeans fly in to Edinburgh Airport on budget airlines, together with people from all over the world.

Edinburgh Castle overlooks the city. Visitors who wish to visit the castle can see the former royal residence and its military barracks. It is also the birthplace of many Scottish Kings and Queens.

Category: Scotland / Edinburgh / Places to visit

Places to visit in England: South West England

Craggy coastlines, sweeping beaches, glorious green fields, historic houses and rolling hills make up South West England. The region is also known as the ‘West Country’. Certainly, it’s the perfect place for almost any kind of holiday.

It’s largely rural and still relatively unpopulated. Taking in the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly the area is steeped in legend, monuments and mystery.

Most people will probably associate Cornwall with the legend of King Arthur who was born in Tintagel on Cornwall’s northern coast. There are many legends about Camelot, the Holy Grail and King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur.

Cornwall was the last stronghold of the Celts in England and evidence of even older Neolithic communities’ remains, most famously at Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Other eras have left their monuments as well, from Salisbury’s medieval cathedral and Bath’s Roman Spas to the fossils of Dorset’s Jurassic coast.

Category: Places to Visit / England / South West England

A visit to Vienna!

Most people who visit Central Europe like to visit Vienna. Known as the ‘music city’ the city has class, culture and charm. Vienna has imperial grandeur! It is the capital city of Austria. Former capital of the Austrian Empire it then became part of the Austro Hungarian Empire. The Habsburg family ruling in Vienna and its Empire for centuries until Austria was defeated at the end of the Great War when its monarchy and Empire was broken up.

Visit the Habsburgs Imperial Palace. It is one of the largest palaces in Europe and was the seat of the Habsburg family who spent their winter months here. The famous Schőnbrunn Palace that’s located on the outskirts of the city was until 1918 the summer residence of the Habsburgs.

Category: Central Europe / Places to Visit / Vienna

Places to visit in England: East Anglia

Today let’s look at the region of East Anglia in England. The area covers the East of England and includes the counties of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. In fact, if you want a short break, be it a weekend away, a week or more then why not try East Anglia?

It has many seaside resorts dotted all along its coastline that all have caravan parks to stay in. In Norfolk there are the delightful Victorian resorts of Hunstanton and Cromer. The former is near Sandringham where the Queen lives for part of the year. You can also visit Sandringham Gardens. Hunstanton faces west even if it’s on the east coast!

Top holiday seaside resorts include Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Southwold is very traditional. Further south are the Essex seaside resorts of Walton, Frinton, Clacton and Southend.

Category: Places to Visit / England / East Anglia

A visit to Prague

Hands up those of you that have been to Prague. I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t - such is its popularity with visiting tourists. So why do people go there?

There are undoubtedly a 101 reasons why you should visit Prague - such is its charm. For those who haven’t, it might just be worth booking a trip there. For those not exactly sure where Prague is - let me inform you that it is in the Czech Republic, which is in ‘Central Europe – The Heart of Europe!’ It is the capital city.

Without further ado let me take you on a leisurely stroll around Prague… Known as ‘the Paris of the East’ and as ‘the city of 100 steeples’, its crowded old cobblestone streets serve tourists 365 days a year. It constantly tops other top European cities to visit - like London, Paris, Budapest and Vienna.

Dozens of airlines fly to Prague, often with cheap airfares, making it a bargain place to visit. From children to old age pensioners, the city is a huge hit with all ages. Prague offers tourists so much more than people expect.

Category: Holidays / Czech Republic / Prague

J’adore Blackpool, Chuck: YouTube lures the French to the British seaside resort

British seaside resort Blackpool is hoping to attract a throng of French visitors after relaunching itself as a romantic and sophisticated holiday destination. Tourism chiefs have harnessed the power of YouTube with a new 90-second film that’s artfully shot. Its images include the town’s famous tower, trams and fairground. It features the dulcet tones of a pretty French girl Valerie in a chic Parisian style art deco cafe in Blackpool.

The mini drama, entitled ‘Blackpool - J’aime la Tour’, (I love the tower) aims to put the resort on the map as greater numbers of French tourists are predicted to visit the UK this year on the back of a strong euro. The promotional video shows the French girl’s fear of leaving Blackpool – the town she has fallen in love with. The film uses stylish flashbacks of Valerie enjoying the resorts attractions with her Lancastrian boyfriend before she orders a Lancashire hotpot* in French in a cafe in Stanley Park, Blackpool.

Category: Leisure / Holidays in UK / Blackpool

Bratislava old and new

Today we are looking at the Slovak capital Bratislava. Let’s start with its Old Town. Dating from the 15th century, its centre has largely been preserved and is a positive delight to see. It has charm!

Since the collapse of communism and gradually since independence the Old Town has seen much reconstruction. Today it has many highly popular coffee shops and bars to visit. During the summer months the streets are packed with bar terraces, which bring the Old Town alive. One can sit, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or have a beer and watch the world go by.

There is also the Bratislava Summer Festival where one can see street entertainers, exhibitions, open air opera, orchestras and music festivals. In wintertime when it snows the Old Town becomes a winter wonderland. The narrow streets give one a glimpse into the past right here in the present. December sees the Christmas market in the Old Town. It offers visitors a multitude of unusual gifts to buy, hot wine and excellent foods.

Category: Central Europe / Slovakia / Bratislava

A visit to Bratislava

If you fancy visiting Central or Eastern Europe, would like a refreshing change and an interesting place to visit, then could I suggest Bratislava in Slovakia? It’s smaller than nearby Prague, Budapest or Vienna but is most certainly worth a visit, as many visitors have recently discovered.

The Slovak capital city, which is situated on both sides of the river Danube, has had its name since 1919. Previously it was known as Pressburg by the Austrians and Pozsony by the Hungarians. In fact, many Austrians and Hungarians still refer to the city using these names. It was also known as Possonium in Latin.

Today Bratislava has a population of 430,000. It is the youngest capital city in Europe. Bratislava is situated on the edge of the small Carpathian Mountains; to its west is the Austrian border; to the south is the Hungarian border.

Category: Central Europe / Slovakia / Bratislava