07 July 2015

Galleries and Museums In the North of England


Are you are wondering what to do over the weekend or where to go for your summer vacations without having to spending too much? Why don't you consider exploring places in the North of England? Galleries and museums situated in that part of the country are bound to leave you fascinated and stunned. You can take your family on a historic excursion and visit these galleries and museums, which will prove to be a great trip for the children. You can get to all of these destinations quickly, affordably and safely by train. 





The cost of train tickets will vary depending on your departure destination, but you can usually save by booking in advance. Here is a list of 5 must visit galleries and museums in the North of England:
 
The Pencil Museum

You begin with entering a replica of Seathwaite mine, which is popular known as the origin for graphite. From there you will embark upon a journey on the history of the pencil. One of the mesmerizing historic importances of the pencil was the manufacture of 'secret pencils' by the British government and M19, which held a secret map and compass to help stranded pilots. They have a kids' art studio which will keep your little ones occupied as you browse through the museum and marvel at its wonders. Visit them for more information or bookings.

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The Royal Armouries Museum

It is home to over 75,000 world-renowned objects and it houses UK's national collection of arms and armour from the past. This magnificent array of weaponry is displayed in five impressive galleries: Self Defence and Hunting, War, Tournament and Oriental. It displays armour and weapons, which were used in the early ages by medieval knights as well as modern-day soldiers. There are artefacts that come from different empires and golden ages for instance the Ottoman Empire, Japan, India, Europe and the Wild West. The museum holds an interactive programme of daily events which includes talks and tours and combat demonstration to give you and your family an insightful experience about the specific weapon or armour used in that specific time. 
 
Yorkshire Museum

This stunning Georgian building is home to some of the greatest collection of Britain's finest archaeological treasures, which include rare animals, birds and fossils, which date back to more than 1000 years. Medieval artefacts from the Roman Empire, Viking Era and Anglo-Saxon include items such as jewellery, mosaics and silver show their lifestyles and rich culture, which surrounded them. From swords, amazing warrior stones, detailed plant fossils to life size statues, hand crafted pottery and battle-axes, you will be left spellbound by all these historic objects. The museum has fun activities for the kids in each of its gallery; there is also a trail that you can follow around the museum and its grounds. 

The museum facade is often illuminated - see below


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Royal Pump Room Museum

This bizarre establishment was built by Isaac Shutt in 1842, and is considered one of Europe's strongest sulphur well, which tells the story of Harrogate as a premier spa building. It was reopened in 1953 and since then has served its purpose as a museum and invites people to its absurd spa treatments. The water in these wells is popularly known to have healing qualities that cure anything from lumbago to gout. To know more about this spa building visit their site.

Streetlife Museum

Situated in Kingston upon Hull, it is a transport museum, which dates back to the early 20th century, which includes epic and vintage modes of transportation. Take your children down memory lane of transport history, which is over 200 years old. Let them experience the smells, sights and sounds of the past as they walk down the 1940s replica high street and board a train to enjoy a carriage ride. The museum is popularly known to house veteran cars, horse driven carriages, trams and bicycle gallery.


02 July 2015

An Adventure on the South Cornwall Coast

Looking for a summer vacation spot? You should definitely be considering the South Cornwall Coast! This area in the far southwest of England has a long history that includes both a Celtic heritage (it's the mythical birthplace of King Arthur), as well as a smugglers' history. It's easy to access by trains, buses, or cars from other parts of England, and it's easy to get around the county as well—and although you might hear some Cornish speech or see some bilingual road signs, don't worry: everyone speaks English as well. That said, Cornwall has a unique flavor of life not found elsewhere in England.

So what should you do while you're there?
Visit the Seaside

This one is pretty obvious. Although many counties in Britain border on the ocean, South Cornwall has coastline down to perfection. You'll find plenty of beautiful beaches, as well as sweeping coastal vistas that will delight the photographer or naturalist. You've got plenty of options for beaches, which is part of what makes this such a perfect summer retreat. If you're looking for a pebble beach, a sand beach, a beach where you can take your dog, a beach where you can take your kids, or something else, you're guaranteed to find a place that feels like paradise. Don't forget the sunblock!
Take a Hike

But Cornwall isn't only home to beaches; instead, a lot of the land offers spectacular and rugged hiking spots which range from beginner trails to expert ones. Head to Dartmoor National Park for some lovely hiking in the interior of the county. Or hike all or part of the Southwest Coast Path, one of the most beautiful and well-marked long-distance trails in England, where you'll pass by quaint little towns and sweeping coastal vistas that will have you fumbling for your camera every few steps.
Head to Land's End

If enjoy photography or you're really into walking, you should head to Land's End, the place farthest in the southwest in all of Britain. This is the starting point of the trail to John O'Groat's—the longest thru-hiking trail in Britain—but you can also just head to Land's End to enjoy the scenery, snap some pictures, maybe take a day-hike, and drive off to wherever's next! And hey, when your friends ask you where you went on your trip, it's easy to point it out on a map.
Chase the Legends

As mentioned, Cornwall is the mythical birthplace of King Arthur. Tintagel Castle, the place where Geoffrey wrote in the 12th century that Arthur was conceived, is located on the northern coast of the county, but head out into the countryside and you can imagine tales of chivalry and magic. Not doing it for you? Head back to Penzance for some of its festivals—the Midsummer's or Winter Solstice festivals might set the mood
Need to brush up on your King Arthur myths? Watch Merlin, which is available for free streaming on Netflix. You'll need to use a VPN to hide your true location if you want to stream Netflix from outside the US, but it's easy to set one up and you'll have all the magic with you on your vacation.
Become a Pirate

Okay, so maybe you won't become a pirate in modern-day Penzance, but you can check out its plethora of interesting buildings, including its Town Hall and the Egyptian House—and the fish and chips are to die for. The town can also make a good base for exploring places like the Isles of Scilly, which you can easily reach by ferry. These islands are home to some beautiful beaches, and there tend to be fewer tourists here than there are elsewhere. Bonus: from Penzance, you can also view St. Michael's Mount out at sea!
Work up an Appetite

When you go to Cornwall, you're definitely going to want to try all the local dishes. Of course, you're going to encounter a lot of seafood, from fish cakes to creamy fish stew. But there's more to the cuisine than just that! Grab some Cornish pasties, small pies full of meat, potatoes, and vegetables and in the words of the Pasty Muncher . . . munch on!

Or get the squab pie, which is made of mutton, onions, and apples. Or try the Hog's puddin', a kind of thick, white, and spicy sausage. Finish off your meal with some saffron cake or a heavy fruitcake called hevva cake. Whatever you choose, you're in for a real treat.
Whatever you're looking for in a vacation, whether it's relaxation or historical exploration, South Cornwall is sure to have something for you. From the friendly locals to the delicious seafood to the beautiful coastline to the… Well, there's a lot that's going to make this vacation truly, shall we say, magical—even if you don't happen to meet Merlin.



01 July 2015

On the road to Marrakech - travelling to Morocco


If you’re lucky enough to be jetting off the sunny, spectacular and diverse cultural land of Morocco, it can help to get a detailed overview of what the country has to offer.



Morocco is located in North Africa and has many different customs in comparison to the UK and Europe. Here is some vital information, provided by the beautiful Marrakech hotel Riad el Zohar covering everything from the people of Morocco to the climate and food options. Enjoy your trip!

Moroccan Climate and Environment

There is a notably diverse climate in Morocco that you will gain familiarity with should you choose to travel across the entire country. 

Some parts of Morocco are affected by the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Coast which is cooler and slightly wetter. Other parts of Morocco, particularly in the South, feature arid and incredibly hot desert and mountain regions. 

There are plenty of different climates you are likely to experience, so this should encourage you to bring clothing to suit all types of weather. Bottled water is a must wherever you go to ensure you stay hydrated. You should also be prepared for extreme conditions which can change dramatically on the odd occasion.
The beauty of the Moroccan environment cannot be ignored, with the stunning central valley’s featuring swatches of farmland and produce that supply markets across Europe. 

While there’s little to interest a tourist around these locations, it is certainly an excellent geography lesson that gives you a better idea of where a selection of European ingredients are sourced. 

The People of Morocco

It is vitally important to understand that Morocco is an Islamic country, with Islam playing an integral role in the laws and culture of Morocco. Many beliefs are based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhamad, written in the Koran. 

Orthodox Muslims will pray five times a day in accordance with the five pillars of Islam, feast during Ramadan and practice charity. You will almost certainly witness the locals taking part in these duties during your visit. It is very important that you respect this.

You cannot visit a mosque in morocco unless you are a Muslim, which is unfortunate considering the beautiful artistry that lies within these stunning buildings. Some historic mosques allow for visitors, so if you are particularly interested in this you should do some background research early on.
Morocco is a liberal Islamic country, meaning it follows the laws of Islam strictly. Alcohol is sold but at an expensive price and with high restrictions. Hotel bars and upscale restaurants will almost always serve alcohol however. 

You should not offer alcohol to a Muslim, yet you will likely find many Moroccan residents welcoming you for a drink, which is a good way to make friends. 

Moroccan Cuisine

The food in Morocco is somewhat different in comparison to other countries in that you won’t find too many Middle Eastern specialities on the menu. There are certain mainstays that will almost always feature on these menus, including kefta, couscous and tagine typically served with vegetables, fish and meat. Tagine is meat or chicken baked in a clay dish accompanied by a thick and incredibly tasty gravy. 

You certainly won’t get western style portions of meat, so don’t expect them! The more expensive the restaurant, the more likely you are to be treated to a much larger portion of meat. The dishes are usually mild to spicy, so don’t be too worried if you’re not a fan of hot food.





Less stress on a long coach journey

Although a lot of the fun is in the journey, sometimes it can be hard to find fun in a long journey, particularly if you’re accompanying hyper children or you happen to have a couple of noisy passengers joining you on the trip. The important thing is not to get stressed and to take the journey one step at a time. If you are sat there for hours on end cramped up with a bunch of strangers you don’t really know, you’re going to get a little sick and tired of it. 



But you can’t let it get to you! Take a deep breath, sit back, and use our list of top tips for helping to reduce stress on your long coach journey.

Take a breath of air at a rest stop


It really is better to make good use of the rest stops you are given, even if you don’t need to buy snacks or use the facilities. Getting out of your chair and just stretching your legs reduces the chances of your muscles cramping up and the fresh air will do wonders after tasting the same air for a few hours on the coach journey. It might not sound like a lot but it really helps!

Plenty of water and snacks


Hydration, hydration, hydration! If you are stuck on a long journey with little to no water, guaranteed you will spend the most of it feeling thirsty. Keep a few different drinks in your hand luggage if you prefer having a choice, or even bring a flask of tea to enjoy on the trip!
No long distance journey is complete without a few snacks and while the coach may take a few pit stops, it is always good to come prepared. Plus in a worst case scenario, you can always hand them out to young children to quiet them down a little, if the parents are happy with it.

Calming music or music that you enjoy


No super loud screaming music or rock music. Remember that there are other people on the coach so you would do well to respect that they might not like hearing tinny rock music from someone else’s headphones. Quiet or calming music is best as it also helps to reduce stress.
Why not download a few audio books to listen to on the way? It will give your eyes a rest, but your brain will still be working to keep up with the story.

Reading book or Puzzle Book – No Phone!


Every bookaholic will bring their trusty kindle or one or two thickset paperbacks to a holiday trip, particularly if there is a long coach ride involved. If reading fiction is not your thing, try an informative booklet about the place you are visiting, or a puzzle book to test your knowledge!

Try not to use your phone as it can give you a headache, especially if you are straining in the dark to read it.

Pack prepared!


Anything could happen on this coach journey so it is good to be prepared. Spare socks, a towel (courtesy of Douglas Adams), hand sanitizer and paracetamol or ibuprofen are all neat little extras that you would do well to pack, just in case. It is also good to pack plasters and tissues, as chances are if you didn’t pack tissues, you will certainly need them, at least that is how it always works out in my experience!

Take a Nap


If you’re feeling bored and stressed, why not settle down for a nice nap. Bring some noise cancelling headphones and an eye mask if you want complete peace and quiet, but make sure that you’ve cleared up your space first. You might end up napping the whole way there and you don’t want to be in a mad rush to collect all your things when the bus driver is calling everyone off!

Of course a lot of our tips are dependent on your individual situation; for example, if your coach is an overnighter, it might just be better to pop some headphones in and try to sleep it out. It all depends. Or why not spend the journey thinking of all the amazing things you’ll be getting up to on your upcoming holiday and making a plan of where you want to go and what you want to see, it’s up to you!

Article provided by www.bestlondoncoachhire.co.uk, a Capital City branch of the Coach Transport Group.