Aberdeen City guide, including Aberdeen Hotels

Aberdeen, in the heart of Scotland’s Grampian Highlands, is an ideal destination for art, history and culture that is slightly off the beaten track. Scotland’s third largest city was inspiration for the well known Scottish folk song The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen which portrays a well worn Scottish theme: that of extreme homesickness when away from my “home native land” and celebrates the spectacular phenomenon of Aurora Borealis. Places of interest: Aberdeen was established in 1179, and her fortunes were transformed by Robert Bruce’s 1319 Charter, in recognition of his gratitude to the people of Aberdeen who had sheltered him during his campaign against the English. Since 1509 when the renowned University of Aberdeen was established, Aberdeen has been …

A Quick History of Sydney for Prospective Travelers

As the state capital of New South Wales (http://www.visitnsw.com.au) in Australia, Sydney is certainly full of rich history that any traveler would like to discover for themselves. Established in 1788 when Briton Arthur Phillip claimed Australia for England, Sydney has grown to be one of the more famous cities in the world, boasting over four million people for the population. Situated along the Sydney Harbor, Sydney is known as the ‘Harbor City’ in which travelers and residents can enjoy such sights as the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge. A previous host of the Summer Olympics, Sydney is certainly creating a destination for the travelers of today and the future. The indigenous Australians once roamed the lands of Sydney and …

A Guide to Traveling London through King’s Cross Station

For visiting London, proximity to King’s Cross is the perfect location. An intersection of six tube lines, including the Northern, Picadilly, and Circle Lines, to name a few, can get you virtually anywhere from King’s Cross. King’s Cross is also a train terminal, in the case that you are planning to visit the north of the UK. But let’s not get off track and get back to seeing London via King’s Cross. London, the cultural melting pot that it is, offers amazing and varied shops of anything you could desire. Located near the major shopping zones of London, both commercial and artisan, King’s Cross is a convenient place for a shopping tour in London. The city is also a magnet …

A Cornish Pilgrimage – Falmouth

The road veers right and begins the steady climb to the heady heights of Pendennis Point. My modest car huffs and puffs as traffic files patiently behind me. A barrier to my left clouds the seascape and the temptation to peep is too immense. I stop the car and stride eagerly to the wall and peer over. The scene is impressive, revealing a small section of old Falmouth harbour. A vast warship, presumably undergoing maintenance prior to setting out to defend the shores dominates the visible harbour view. As the road continues to twist and climb en route for the summit, hungry seagulls swoop overhead, groups ever-increasing as we approach the peak and assembled tourists. Surprisingly, parking is free, hence …

16 Things To Do In Belfast, Ireland

If you are looking for a nice get-a-way weekend, with all the charm of a country town and yet all the opportunities of a thriving city, then Belfast is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy life! Belfast is the second largest city in Ireland, Dublin being the largest, and with a population of over 200,000 it is filled with the charm of an old town shipping port alongside a thriving metropolis. Belfast originated centuries ago as a shipping passage through the Irish Sea, protected on one side by Ireland and the other by England. Today it is quickly gaining the reputation as being the place to go for “a break”, even more than Glasgow or London! Once you get …

Compton Castle

Compton Castle, three miles west of Torquay, has belonged to the Gilbert family – with one long interruption – since the early fourteenth century. The Gilberts are famous for their role in the age of exploration, Sir Humphrey Gilbert discovering Newfoundland in 1583. Occupation descended to impoverished tenant farmers who could not afford any fashionable rebuilding, and for this reason the castle is one of the few to survive more or less intact but remarkably unspoiled. Disregarding its later defenses for a moment, Compton originated as a typical West Country manor house. It is centered upon a fourteenth-century hall which, having fallen into ruins, was rebuilt on its original lines in 1955. Otto Gilbert added the west wing containing the …

Colchester Castle

Colchester reached the peak of its importance before the Romans came. A city for veterans of the Roman army was established here, dominated by a temple of the deified Emperor Claudius. Queen Boudicca razed it to the ground in AD 61 but a new city soon rose from the ashes. Colchester Castle, near the center of the walled town, has by far the largest ground area of any keep in England, measuring 150 by 110 feet. William the Conqueror founded a castle here soon after the Norman Conquest and the keep may have been started following a Danish raid on the town in 1071. The masonry is certainly early Norman – note for example the herringbone work in the fireplaces. …

Christchurch Castle

Christchurch was in the beginning called Twineham and Richard de Redvers, Earl of Devon, in all probability founded its castle in the region of 1100. The town is noted for its priory church, a gem of Norman architecture, but close by stands the Norman House, which is as well of great interest. This ruined building contained the hall and solar of the castle, both apartments standing higher than an unvaulted undercroft. The original doorway, once upon a time reached by an outside staircase, marks the junction flanked by the two rooms, which were only divided by a wooden dividing wall. A number of two light windows enriched with chevron ornament lighted the hall. Two of them pierce the wall in …

A Central Location For Your Conference In East Anglia

The East Anglia region is certainly one of varying contrasts, stretching from the North Norfolk coastline down to the county of Essex with its close proximity to London. Beautiful, quiet landscapes combine with bustling towns and cities – and in turn the region stretches for many miles. For anyone organising a conference in East Anglia it will seem a challenge to find a central venue. Delegates will be travelling from all over the region and there’s nothing worse than picking somewhere that needs the most complicated directions to find. While sat navs are a great invention you can’t rely on everyone having one – and from the various stories of lost lorry drivers they’re not always 100% accurate either! For …

Three Popular Women Senior Golf Courses

For years, women have been playing golf and the senior golf pros prefer courses that are not as long as the men’s courses. They prefer courses that are considered “linked”. There are three popular courses for women, although there more these three are the top of the list. The Chisholm Trail, Bandon Dunes and the Royal Links are the three top golf courses, which have shorter distances and are not as tricky as what the men play. One golf course the women want to stay away from is Whistling Straits. They do not feel this is a friendly course to play. The Royal Links in Las Vegas is friendly golf course for women. The course is shorter and if the …

Canterbury Castle

Considering the level of bombing sustained by the city in 1942, it is a miracle that so much of medieval Canterbury survives. Among the many attractions are the ruined castle keep and a large part of the city wall. Indeed, though incomplete, the wall of Canterbury ranks among the foremost in England. The shape of the defenses was determined in the third century AD. The Roman wall enclosed an oval area nearly two miles in circumference, and the medieval wall follows exactly the same line. However, very little Roman masonry survives because the wall was rebuilt from the 1370s, when a French invasion seemed imminent. More than half the circuit is preserved, extending from the site of the North Gate …

Hertford Castle

Hertford was one of the burgs founded by King Edward the Elder during the English re-conquest of the Danelaw. It was no doubt soon after 1066 that William the Conqueror raised the castle beside the River Lea. In general form, Hertford Castle resembles Berkhamsted – a motte and bailey once surrounded by a double moat, with much of its flint curtain still standing. The earthworks of the castle do not compare favorable, since the motte is surprisingly small and the moats have long been filled in. Royal expenditure is recorded in 1171-74, and the curtain probably dates at least partially from that time. The octagonal tower at the south angle of the enclosure is a later medieval addition. Like Berkhamsted, …

Hereford Castle

Hereford means “army ford”, a reference to the turbulent days of its foundation when the Kingdom of Mercia was pushing westwards into Welsh territory. Excavations have uncovered the Saxon town rampart. For centuries the English settlers and the Welsh beyond the River Wye were uneasy neighbors, and in 1055 the town went up in flames. Harold Godwinson, later King Harold, drove back the invaders and rebuilt the shattered defenses. In Norman times, the enclosed area doubled in size and a walled circuit replaced the earthwork defenses from 1224 onward. Hereford rebuffed a Scottish army in 1645 but fell to Parliament at the end of the year. Damaged during these sieges, the city wall suffered the common fate of demolition and …

10 Things to Know About Ireland

Ireland has long been an island divided, but is starting to make a serious comeback. Here are 10 things to know about the Emerald Isle. 10 Things to Know About Ireland An island located close to Britain, Ireland has been in nearly constant conflict with its neighbor. Alas, things have changed dramatically in the last ten years as have Ireland’s fortunes. Religious violence seems to have tapered off and economic growth is some of the strongest in Europe. Here are ten things to know about the amazing country of Ireland. 1. The island is split between two countries, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. 2. Prior to 1921, the entire island was part of and controlled by Britain. 3. …

Goodrich Castle

Goodrich Castle is the most splendid in the county of Herefordshire and one of the best examples of English military architecture. It is still impressive despite its ruinous state. The castle is perched on a rocky spur above the River Wye, four miles southwest of Ross-on-Wye. Godric’s Castle – no doubt named after Godric Mappestone, who held the land nearby – is first recorded in 1101. Nothing is left of Godric’s stronghold but within the bailey, very close to the later curtain, rises a well-preserved though relatively small Norman keep. Henry II took over the castle and the keep is generally attributed to him, but the royal accounts record very little expenditure here. The keep is a tall, square tower …

Ben Nevis – a brief history of Humans on the Mountain

If you are planning to attempt to walk up Ben Nevis this summer there are some interesting facts you might like to know. Standing at 1,344 metres high (or 4,408 feet) Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, and as such is the major challenge for any UK climber or walker. It is also a challenge for people to get into the record books by attempting the climb in peculiar ways! For the novice or non serious walker, once this peak has been achieved you can sit back and hang up your walking boots knowing that you have beaten the ultimate walk (as far as height is concerned, anyway). Ben Nevis, translated from the Gaelic means ‘Mountain …