5 Budget Family Holiday Destinations in the UK
Oct14

5 Budget Family Holiday Destinations in the UK

The UK can be a bit a burden to the family traveller.  Quite frankly, it’s expensive to get around the region.  Hotels, fuel, and the attractions all chop at the wallet faster than they should in the UK.  Families in particular can be quite burdened by travel in the area.  But still, there are places throughout the UK that can make fore both exciting and inexpensive destinations for families.  Below I have listed what you can expect to be the best inexpensive UK family holidays in 2014. Llandudno, Wales The town of Llandudno makes for a great family destination in general.  There are plenty of different things to do here and a great atmosphere too.  One can hike or take the trolly up the hill above town, or lay around the beach front and beautiful pier, or explore the carnival that often occupies the town in the summer months.  If you’re into castles, you’re not far at all from Conwy, which is brilliant.  Moreover, you’re not too far from Snowdonia national park if you’re up for some hiking. Cumbria, England Although the Lakes District can be a tad expensive, if you do it right it doesn’t have to be.  Once could easily spend time hiking and cruising the parkways well not setting their pocketbooks on fire.  Choosing good, cheap accommodation is often key when travelling as a family and a place like the Grasmere Independent Hostel in Cumbria certainly helps make that possible. Seton Sands, Scotland If you’re up for a bit of a caravaning experience, it might be good to get up to Scotland.  Though the country might be famous for its gloomy weather, it’s not as bad as it’s made out to be, especially not here in Seton Sands.  This is a favourite destination among caravan travellers in the UK, and for good reason.  Though the beach is rocky, the scenery is amazing, and to top things off you’re not all too far from Edinburgh if you’re hoping to escape for a day trip into the history and culture of Scotland’s biggest city. Dorset, England Speaking of caravaning, those who take up the activity in England tend to head straight towards Dorset.  The beaches just outside of town are about as close to sandy as they come in the UK, and if you’re an outdoors type, the scenery is legendary out here.  On the other hand, if you’re a bit of a history nut, the old town bathes in a rural story well worth hearing.  This really is the English countryside at its best. Belfast, Northern Ireland Look, I know this isn’t your typical destination, and I know...

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London’s East End
Jun18

London’s East End

By Courtney Savoia A good distance from the typical tourist offerings in London and the gleam of Parliament’s lights, lies the East End of London, surrounded by the river Thames. A cultural hub that showcases the customs, traditions, cuisine and style of those immigrant groups that settled in this area centuries ago continues to thrive to this day. An eerie presence forever lurks in the air, reminiscent of the despicable acts performed during Jack the Ripper’s 1888 Autumn of Terror. As visitors step off the tube and exit into the streets, they are transported back in time to the “Old City” and can follow the footprints of history to unlock all of the secrets this area has held for ages. Jack the Ripper tours are offered every evening at dusk, as a professional guide shares the stories of each victim near the location they were slaughtered. Meeting across from the Tower of London, the guide will bring participants along Jack’s vicious path in the Whitechapel neighborhood and will make at a stop at the famous Ten Belles pub, where two victims, Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly, were seen drinking with Jack before there gruesome murders. For two hours, participants will enter in the mind of this notorious killer and walk the streets where he reigned as they are led by their enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide. The 19th and 20th centuries brought in waves of immigrant groups hungry for work and a better life, as they fought to make it in the East End. Irish, Jewish and Bangladeshi immigrants flocked to the area in search of jobs in the textile and clothing industries. Low-cost tenements and hostels soon became overcrowded and plagued with disease as they groups settled in. Today, this area has transformed and is teeming with cultural influences that continue to re-define its image. North of Whitechapel, visitors can travel to the center of the Bangladeshi community, referred to as Brick Lane for a authentic taste of all this community has to offer. Restaurant owners can be seen standing outside their establishments and inviting customers to have a meal at one of the many curry houses to sample some of London’s best Indian dishes in an inviting atmosphere. Brick Lane Market is open every weekend and offers produce, clothing, accessories and jewelry by contemporary designers. With music playing in the background and the offerings of young, vibrant artist groups, this area promises a truly sexy and flavorful atmosphere. During my semester in London, where I was given the proper amount of time to feel like a resident, as opposed to a visitor, traveling to the East End became one of my fondest memories. My favorite professor took my Shakespeare class to this area one cold winter night to open our eyes to a London we were not used to and may have not gotten the chance to...

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Photo Corner: Titanic Memorial, Southampton, UK
Jun08

Photo Corner: Titanic Memorial, Southampton, UK

By Matthew Adams This is the Titanic memorial in Southampton, which includes the architect of the great ocean liner that went down in the Atlantic in 1912. The Titanic was one of two Olympic class ships, 45,000 – 48,000 ton ocean liners which were the largest ships to have been constructed by 1912. Their size and extravagant interior décors were unmatched. The photo was taken from Southampton’s East Park, a good picnic spot with rose gardens, tennis courts and cafes, which is just around the corner from the new SeaCity Museum that was opened for the 2012 Titanic anniversary in Southampton. For the anniversary a scale outline of the Titanic’s hull was painted across the park along the path leading up to the front of this memorial. For further details on the new SeaCity Museum, and other Southampton destinations, check out this Vagabundo article. ———————————————————————————————————————————— About the Photographer Matthew Adams is a freelance writer that has produced a variety of articles for various publications such as Swing Golf Magazine, the Washington Post and other travel websites. Matthew also has his own golf blog athttp://amateurgolfer.blogspot.co.uk/....

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Photo Corner: Liverpool Cathedral
Apr13

Photo Corner: Liverpool Cathedral

by Brendan van Son I didn’t go to Liverpool expecting to have so many great photo opportunities. I had never thought of Liverpool as a photographer’s destination, but I was wrong. I was constantly bombarded with photo opportunities in the city, and one of my favourite places to shoot was Liverpool Cathedral. This cathedral is massive and the inside is very impressively woven in beautiful stonework. While taking this photo I wanted to show the scale of the building. Where normally I might try to avoid putting people in a photo like this, I made sure that a couple people were in the frame to give some scale to the shot. If you head to Liverpool at some point make sure you stop in at the cathedral and be sure to have a peek...

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Playing the Tourist Close to Home – London, U.K.
Mar22

Playing the Tourist Close to Home – London, U.K.

By Karen Cripps ‘Why are you going to London?’ several friends asked – they are used to our more exotic travels. But if you think about it, this is a bizarre question: London is one of the most incredible cities in the world. For us it is only a two-hour train journey away, and yes in some ways that makes it less exciting than boarding a plane and heading to a far away land. But nevertheless, it seems bordering on rude to be dismissive of the culture or history or beauty of your own country, just because it is your own country. We made our way to Knightsbridge for lunch at Heston Blumenthal’s newest venture. Dinner is in the rather luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel, with views overlooking Hyde Park: it felt like we had stepped into a fantasy bubble floating above reality; a world where the word recession does not exist. Although a set lunch menu does make it a more accessible option for us regular folk, who may not have the bank balance to match our aspiring taste buds. I took my seat overlooking the restaurant – I love nothing more than a side order of people watching with lunch. I tried not to feel self-conscious as I admired Mulberry handbags and large diamond collections (was it obvious that my jeans were from H&M?) And I watched in fascination at the seamless operation of the restaurant, each person sticking to their very distinctive role: one to bring the bread, one to serve the wine, one to discuss the menu with you, and so on; it is the restaurant version of a Japanese production line. Heston takes traditional dishes, dating back to the 14th century, and gives them a 21st century twist – such as, a ragoo of pigs ears or bath chaps. On the menu, there is a description of each dish, outlining its historical roots (1750 for the pigs ears), which adds a quirky element to the lunch experience. The restaurant has only been open 12 months but has already received a Michelin star; my non professional food critic eyes were happy to agree with the award. As we left the restaurant, we took in the sumptuous decor of this expensive hotel (£12,000 for the presidential suite anyone?) I made an excuse to go to the ladies one last time, so I could pamper myself with posh hand cream. We set off towards the Victoria and Albert Museum, arm in arm, slightly giddy from a lunchtime glass of wine. The busyness of London always intrigues me: where is everyone going in the middle of the day on...

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