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Places to visit in United Kingdom

United Kingdoms is one of the oldest countries in the world with its history dating back many millennials. So, it’s no surprise that there will be numerous attraction in the UK, which date back to pre-historic, ancient, medieval and modern times and can be visited even today. And the country does not disappoint. You can visit the mysterious Stonehenge. It is probably one of the oldest and intact monuments of the pre-historic ear. Or the Buckingham Palace, the royal residence of Queen Elizabeth built in 1703. It holds within it hundreds of years of history, conspiracy, secrets and untold stories. You can visit the Key gardens one of the most renowned and largest botanical gardens in the world. Its classified as a heritage site and is home to many millions of rare and exotic plants. Visitors can explore here many unusual trees and plants such as the Madagascan baobab and walkway built upon the trees.

10 National Parks

Often, aspiring travellers reduce the Great Britain to a handful of experiences – drinking ale, enjoying pub life, and munching on fish and chips. Believing that there’s not much to do, they end up prioritising travel to more ‘interesting’ countries and unwittingly end up missing out on the fantastic experiences that these countries have to offer! 

With wildly dramatic landscapes, stunning mountain ranges, breath-taking cliffs, and so much more, the National Parks in Great Britain are certainly worth a visit. Here’s a list of 10 beautiful national parks that offer a diverse range of experiences for you to enjoy!

1.Cairngorms National Park

2.Dartmoor National Park

3.Snowdonia National Park

4.New Forest National Park

5.Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

6.Exmoor National Park

7.Norfolk Broads National Park

8.Brecon Beacons National Park

9.Northumberland National Park

10.Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Cairngorms National Park:

If your heart belongs to the mountains, then there’s no way you can leave Cairngorms National Park out of your travel plans. Apart from offering views to die for, this national park offers a range of amazing experiences for you to enjoy. If you visit this national park during the winter months, you can participate in adrenaline-pumping activities like skiing, ice climbing, and even rock climbing. In fact, if you can wrangle it, you certainly should head here during the winter as you’ll get to experience artic-like conditions – a fun experience for those who consider themselves staunch survivalists!

If you’re visiting with friends, you’ve simply got to head to the Edradour Distillery to enjoy a delicious glass of single malt. This is an experience worth boasting to your friends about – after all, how many times do you get to pull a Ron Swanson and spend time at a Scottish distillery?

Dartmoor National Park:

The Dartmoor National Park is a place where history meets the present, letting you feel as though you’re slightly suspended in time, while surrounded by an unforgettably beautiful landscape. The national park should be marked as a dream-destination for anyone who enjoys a good stroll, and that’s because its winding trails take you through some of the most well-known spots that’ve made this park so popular. For instance, ever thought you’d get a chance to walk around Neolithic tombs? Have you always wanted to stand in front of the Bronze Age stone circles? Do you love mildly-spooky abandoned farmhouses? You see – the Dartmoor National Park offers myriad experiences.

While in the area, you should also check out Castle Drogo (before you ask, it’s not about Khal Drogo), the Buckfast Abbey, and even Haytor if you love rock climbing.

Snowdonia National Park:

The Snowdonia National Park doesn’t just sound like the name of a medieval fantasy-slash-magic world, it also looks like it. Climb the iconic Snowdon mountain to marvel at panoramic views of seemingly endless greenery around you. Make sure you take an entire day out of your itinerary to do this because it can take anywhere between 5-7 hours to climb all the way to the top and back. Of course, you can always take the Snowdon Railway and reach the peak in just an hour, but why on earth would you want to miss out on what could very well be the most beautiful walk you’ve ever enjoyed in your life?

While in the Snowdonia National Park, you must also visit the Conwy Castle, Harlech Castle, and Caernarfon Castle to marvel at these ancient buildings that have stood the test of time.

New Forest National Park:

The New Forest National Park, located in New Forest, is one of the most beautiful national parks in England, with stunning forests and open lands. One of the top experiences that you can enjoy here is riding a horse through the forest to spot wild birds and ponies. If you’re someone who loves surrounding yourself with luxury, then you must stay at the Limewood Hotel – they’ve got a really nice cookery school and if you’re travelling with your significant other, taking a few lessons can be a really enjoyable experience for the two of you. Make sure that you try fly fishing at the River Test before heading down to the nearby deer sanctuary. 

An experience that you definitely cannot miss out on is visiting the New Forest Lavender Park, especially when the flowers are in full bloom. Go during dusk so that the dominant colour in the area is purple – this won’t just let you take beautiful pictures but will also let you feel like you’ve stepped into a magical land.

Finally, don’t forget to go to the New Forest Paddle Sport Company to enjoy a bit of paddling!

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park:

If you’re a fan of outdoor activities like camping, biking and hiking, then you’ve got to go to the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. Stay in a tiny tent with your partner and wake up to the smell of dewy grass and campfire. You can also enjoy a range of water activities such as paddle boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, sailing and windsurfing, provided you don’t visit the park during the rainy season. Cycle through the beautiful landscapes and watch unforgettable sunsets, book a spot on the Loch cruise with all your friends, or enjoy a fun ride on the water bus! 

If you’re a fan of wildlife, you’re in for a treat! Keep your camera ready because you just might spot a red deer, red squirrels, wood warblers, Ptarmigan, black grouse, and more! 

Exmoor National Park:

The Exmoor National Park is located in England, but you’d probably be forgiven for thinking it’s in Scotland if you’re basing your judgement on the pictures alone! With beautiful mountains and cliffs that overlook open landscapes, you’re likely to fall in love with this national park the minute you lay eyes on it. Make sure you take a walk down the South West Coast Path because it overlooks crystal clear blue waters and it’s a view you’ll remember forever. You should also make sure that you walk through the Valley of Rocks because the landscape is filled with ancient geological features and adorable wild goats that might just come up to you to say hi. Watersmeet is another great spot for a walk thanks to the stunning waterfalls and woodland area that surrounds it.

Norfolk Broads National Park:

The Norfolk Broads National Park is home to a wide range of animal species, so if you’re looking for a traditional national park experience that includes a bunch of furry friends, then this is certainly a place to add to your list. You’ll get to see the largest butterfly species in Britain, along with hawker dragonflies and Swallowtails. You can also try your hand at freshwater fishing and see if you get lucky! 

Brecon Beacons National Park:

When you’re in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the first place you must head down to is the National Showcaves Centre of Wales. The extensive cave network is a joy to navigate and you’ll find that even underground, nature can look absolutely remarkable. While in the area, head down to the local dinosaur park and give your children another thing to marvel at. Pen y Fan, a part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, is a great place to enjoy a scenic hike with your family – you’ll truly feel blessed to be there. 

If you go to the Brecon Beacons National Park, you must also make it a point to check out the Afan Forest Park, Llyn Cwm Llwch, Tretower Court and Castle, and the National Trust.

Northumberland National Park:

Have you always wanted to lie down under the open sky, gazing at stars as you fall asleep? Well, then you’ve got to visit the Northumberland National Park and do just that! With one of the largest sections of protected dark sky, this national park is the best place to drag your sleeping bag to just so you can watch the highest number of stars you’ve seen in your life. While this experience is open to everyone, we believe that couples travelling together would probably enjoy this the most!

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park:

It’s time to head away from the mountains and rolling landscapes and straight to coastal areas for some seafood and stunning views! The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park offers exactly that. Stay in traditional fishing villages and explore all the hidden coves along the golden beaches. You’ll find majestic cliffs in this area as well, and these certainly make for a good picnic spot. One of the top experiences to look out for while in this area is spotting dolphins, sea creatures, seals, birds, and even sharks basking lazily in the sun! Yes, you can do so from the coast itself, however, your chances are far better if you take a boat out on the open waters. 

If you’re travelling with children (or managed to hold on to some healthy childish wonder), then you’ve got to go to the Oakwood Theme Park to enjoy the rides. Enjoy a stroll down the Pembrokeshire Coast path, take in the views at Barafundle Bay, and head down to Skomer to spot puffin and birds! 

So, there you have it! These are some of the best national parks in Great Britain, and if you’re travelling to this part of the world, then you should definitely add them to your list of places you must visit before you leave! Whether you’re travelling with friends, a loved one, or your family, these national parks offer ample experiences for everyone to enjoy. Check out our UK Holiday Packages, and start planning your trip of natural wonder with Thomas Cook.  

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Best Cities to Visit in North England

Planning to visit the North of England, but confused which cities to pick? Fret no more! We at Thomas Cook India have curated the ultimate list of cities to visit in Northern England. We will tell you all about the cities, giving you a glimpse of what makes people around the world flock to these places.  

From Manchester with its footfall frenzy and wild shopping scenes to the charm and serenity of York, Newcastle, and Lancaster, in this list you will find all the cities that must be visited when on a trip to England. While some cities offer great adventures, others will leave you spellbound with their cultural heritage and magnificent monuments. All in all, each destination on this list of cities to visit when in the North of England, has something extraordinary for its visitors. 

Let us quickly take you through the cities in the North of England we have lined up for you today: 

1. Manchester, the Capital of the North  

2. Leeds, an escape to everything green

3. Liverpool, the Beatles and the football stories 

4. Lancaster, a cyclist’s dream-come-true 

5. York, the quaint city 

6. Newcastle, for the connoisseur in you  

7. Windermere, home to the largest lake in the UK  

8. Chester, the walled city  

Manchester, the Capital of the North  

Manchester is one of the most versatile cities in the North of England offering its visitors a plethora of experiences. The music scene in Manchester is something to look out for when in the city. A-list bands and musicians perform every now and then in the various musical festivals organized in Manchester. Also, since the place and its people cannot function without variety, you will come across music of various genres being played here. 

Manchester is also a haven for shopping lovers. It is paradise for people who like to stock up on designer wear as well as those who prefer collecting indie products and supporting local makers and artists. The shopping centres and arcades sprinkled across the city speaks for how much of a shopping destination the city of Manchester is. Consider walking into the Manchester Art Gallery to collect some of the finest artefacts and accessories created by local makers. 

A visit to Manchester is incomplete without delving into the various scrumptious meals the place has to offer to you on a platter! Add on your to-do list, a stopover at Ancoats, also known as Little Italy. Once there, pile up your plate with some of the most delicious pizzas and pastas that you can find in the whole of England. 

Leeds, an escape to everything green

Anyone looking for a weekend gateway, when in the United Kingdom, must take a trip to the gorgeous city of Leeds. If you are doing Leeds with family, then consider Harewood House and Gardens to stun you into disbelief with its spectacular architecture. Their art collection is sure to leave each one of you impressed, especially furniture made in the style of Thomas Chippendale. The half-dozen galleries in Leeds City Museum may also be something you would want to add to your list of activities to do with family when in Leeds. 

For those craving greenery and all things natural, Leeds has several parks to offer. From the outstanding Roundhay Park with its picturesque country pubs for a relaxing afternoon, to Woodhouse Moor with the greenest spots in the city only a mile away from Leeds City Centre, this city will satisfy the Thoreau in you by offering you such exquisite greens to walk around. 

If you are visiting Leeds with children or wildlife enthusiasts, then you might want to plan a visit to Tropical World, the Leeds Zoo, for a day. Be sure to walk through the Rainforest floor leaf-cutter ants and the enormous arrowhead plants. In the creature corner, you get to spend time with some slithering mortals like iguanas and snakes. Refresh yourself during the wildlife tour with some of the best coffee served with love at the Tropical World Café. 

Liverpool, the Beatles and the football stories 

When in the stunning city of Liverpool, keep your afternoons off for some museum hopping and your late evenings free for some pub crawling. If you love the Beatles and their Hey Jude or I Want To Hold Your Hand, then you must walk into the Beatles Story Exhibition when in Liverpool. This museum dedicated to the fabulous four is on almost every music lover’s must-visit lists. Even if you are not a fan of the Beatles, travellers say that the exhibition is absolutely delightful and worth a visit.  

And when you find yourself in Liverpool, how can you not visit Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool Football Club. This stadium is the seventh largest in England. You might want to take a tour of the stadium to get to know more about the history of the club. During this tour, you will also be allowed to peak into the changing rooms and the press box. As a part of the tour, you will also be allowed to sit in the Kop! 

Lancaster, a cyclist’s dream-come-true

Lancaster is a cycling enthusiast’s paradise. Once here, you can paddle down the various cycling routes offered by this city in the North of England. Make sure you try out the courses around the city as well as the country side and the coast. While biking around, be sure to visit the Lancaster Charter Market. This is a street market that hosts several stalls through the day, ranging from food stalls and confectionery stations to shops where you can get pottery and ceramics. If you have always wanted to try the famous North African Coriander Bread, then you might get lucky in the Lancaster Charter Market. 

The Cottage Museum in Lancaster sees hordes of visitors through the year, and that too for valid reasons. Expanding across five floors, the Cottage Museum allows you to catch a sight of the Victorian way of life. It is an 18th Century museum and definitely on our list of must-go-to-see-places when in Lancaster. 

York, the quaint city 

To see the beauty of York in all its majesty, you should cruise along the River Ouse that cuts through the city. This experience is bound to be a quaint one, and so be sure to carry your camera with you. As you sail through the course of Ouse, you will see some of the best sights of York, the most popular being the Millennium Bridge. After the cruise, you might also want to go for a solo walk or a romantic one with your partner on the path by the river. You can also stop by the Clifford’s Tower, climb up to the top to get the most dazzling panoramic view of the cityscape. 

Fun fact: York was once under the rule of the Danes. To explore this Danish history of the city, you might want to visit the Jorvik Viking Centre. This centre offers the visitors a sneak peek into the Viking lifestyle. You will be taken on carriages that have speakers in them guiding you through the entire setting. 

Newcastle, for the connoisseur in you

The foodies have so much to nibble on and gobble down when in Newcastle. From Indian street food to an authentic English breakfast that does not miss out on the baked beans or the fried mushrooms, you will find all sorts of food in Newcastle. Sauntering along the Tyne Bridge, you might want to walk into a pub called The Redhouse for some of the most delicious quick bites, especially their pies. When around the Tyne, also be sure to visit Sage Gateshead for all that jazz, literally! 

For lovers of contemporary art, Newcastle in northern England has some cool galleries that you can drop by. The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is one such stop. What previously was a flour mill has been reconstructed into a hub for art lovers and art makers alike. The other experience that is absolutely unmissable in Newcastle is the live theatre. By the quay, you get to experience some of the finest theatre as well as stand-up events. 

Windermere, home to the largest lake in the UK

Any fans of Beatrix Potter in the house? If you too grew up on stories of the Velveteen Rabbit, then Windermere is definitely one of the places you would want to spend a few days in. The Lake District National Park, with its ice-cold ribbon lakes, is a popular tourist destination. Also, owing to its rugged terrain, the place is a hiker’s delight. Windermere is also home to the largest lake in the United Kingdom, Windermere Lake. Walking around it can be a treat to the eyes as well as the soul. 

The most popular walks around Windermere are Orrest Head, with its striking scenes of the rocky horizon, and School Knott with its famous circular walk. Make sure you slip on a comfortable pair of shoes that take care of you and ensure you have a smooth walking experience along the beautiful city. 

Chester, the walled city  

When planning a trip to the North of England, you cannot give the city of Chester a miss. Chester was once a Roman fortification, and hence is called the walled city.  Consider taking a walking tour of it to discover the city’s Roman heritage. What is more, you and your travel companions can take this walk with an authentic Roman soldier. 

Chester has several beautiful experiences to offer to its visitor. Among this, the most sought-after experience is walking through Chester Rows with its galleried alleyways, and then shopping from the various stores strewn along their entire length. If you would like to gawk at some of the most gorgeous half-timbered houses in the world, then Watergate Street in Chester is the place to be. Some of the most prominent of these half-timbered houses is God’s Providence House and Leche House, built in 1652 and 1579, respectively. 

When in Chester, you must pay a visit to the Chester Cathedral. Apart from the history it cradles in its heart and the splendid architecture that it unveils, the Cathedral is also known for its Choir. The Early Decorated Choir leaves visitors gasping for breath owing to its magnificence. 

The cities in the North of England and all of their charms await you. If you are having trouble planning the trip, let us assist you. We at Thomas Cook India will help you plan your next vacation to one or all of these cities! 

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Epic Festivals in Manchester

Manchester hosts a range of exciting festivals that offer great music, amazing food and art, which is why if you’re planning a trip to this city, you must make sure that you plan your trip in a way that it coincides with these festivals. 

Here are a few festivals that are held in Manchester that you just cannot miss:

Sounds of the City

Sounds of the City is one of the biggest music festivals in Manchester. This year, it offers an exciting line-up that includes Razorlight, Foals, Crowded House, Kaiser Chiefs, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, The Streets, Hacienda Classical, DMAs, Lewis Capaldi, and more. 

Where: Castlefield Bowl, Rice Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4JR

When: 1 July 2020to11 July 2020


If you’re someone who’s always felt immensely intrigued by the universe, then the Bluedot festival is perfect for you. The festival is marketed as a festival discovery, with its program spanning across science, arts, music, food, film, culture, and even technology. You can expect the music line-up to be quite stellar, with artists like Bjork, Groove Armada, Tangerine Dream, Roisin Murphy, EOB, Metronomy, Squarepusher, and more. 

Where: Jodrell Bank, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL

When: 23 July 2020 - 26 July 2020

Manchester Pride Festival

The Manchester Pride Festival celebrates the city’s LGBTQ community and is one of the most vibrant festivals in the city. This internationally acclaimed festival includes events like the Gay Village Party, the Candlelit Vigil, Manchester Pride Live, the Superbia Weekend, and the Youth Pride MCR. 

Where: Mayfield, Fairfield Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M16 8FT

When: 28 Aug 2020 - 31 Aug 2020

Parklife Music Festival

While it’s an independent music festival, the Parklife is one of the biggest ones in Manchester. This year, the festival boasts of a great line-up in the form of DJ Khalid, Tyler the Creator, Fatboy Slim, Green Velvet, Anderson. Paak and the Free Nationals, Eric Prydz, Subfocus, Lucky Dave, Too Many Man, Mahalia, Romy, Artwork, Black Josh, Dimension and more. 

Where: Heaton Park, Prestwich, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M25 2SW

When: 13 June 2020 - 14 June 2020

Manchester Gin and Rum Festival

The Manchester Gin and Rum Festival lets you sample a myriad of different gins and rums, while also having your fill of street food and live music performances. Do expect to be treated to a vibrant experience that will stay with you for life. Keep in mind that your ticket price includes not just the privilege of entry, but also a Gin and Rum festival satchel, a Copa glass, and even a Gin and Rum guide for you to peruse. Additionally, you’ll also get two miniature bottles and a metal straw that you can use throughout the festival. 

Where: Manchester Cathedral, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 1SX

When: 27 Mar 2020to28 Mar 2020, 18:30 - 23:00

Manchester Animation Festival

If you’re a fan of animated films, or simply love to explore different types of art forms, then you must head down to the Manchester Animation Festival. This festival is a hotspot for the biggest animators in the UK and extends an open invitation to the internal community of graphic designers and animators. Apart from watching a range of animated films, you’ll also get to meet panels of artists and animators and ask them questions about their journey in this industry. 

Where: HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN

When: 8 Nov 2020 - 11 Nov 2020

After All Festival

The After All Festival celebrates everything that is innovative and exciting in Manchester. This year, the festival will include a range of great artists like Bones Shake, INEGO, Leah Karis, The Maitlands Mississippi Riot, The Last Clouds, The Any Numbers, Ian Lockett, Valve, Pave, Charlie Mechan, Mark Pratt, Jouska, Broomhead, and the Pagans SOH. One of the things to keep in mind about this festival is that the proceedings go to the Make a Wish Foundation and Musicians Against Homelessness. If you book your tickets in advance, they will cost around £10 - £12, however, if you buy your ticket on the day of the festival itself, then it will cost £15.

Where: Various venues, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1JN

When: 17 May 202015:00 - 22:00

Manchester International Festival

The Manchester International Festival is one of the most popular festivals in the city, and often offers world premieres and great events for people to enjoy. From art exhibitions to cultural events, film screenings to musical performances, you can experience a wide range of wonderful events at this festival. As this is one of the largest festivals in the city, do keep in mind that you should book your tickets in advance as it they may be sold out as the date approaches. 

Where: The Manchester International Festival takes place across a range of venues that are spread all over the city.

When: 1 July 2021to18 July 2021

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Castles in North England

When you think of a trip to England, the first few things that come to mind are tea, the pub culture of the country, the Big Ben and Madame Tussauds, and maybe Fish & Chips. But if you want to take the road less travelled, if you want a quieter vacation that is away from the city, one that offers you a doorway to the past, then look no further than the castles of Northern England. 

The northern region of England has some of the most majestic castles in the country. Even the ones that are currently uninhabited or have turned into ruins are iconic structures that must be explored. These give you a glimpse of medieval England, its architecture and culture that has persisted through centuries. Taking a tour of these castles is the best way to steep yourself in the history of a country that was once a great empire. 

Let us quickly take you through the most majestic castles of North England that should be on your list of places to visit when in the UK: 

1.Alnwick Castle

2.Bamburgh Castle 

3.Dustanburgh Castle 

4.Barnard Castle 

5.Brancepeth Castle 

6.Durham Castle 

7.Hylton Castle 

8.Edlingham Castle 

9.Warkworth Castle 

10.Aydon Castle 

11.Tynemouth Priory and Castle 

12.Prudhoe Castle 

13.Muncaster Castle

1. Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle in the north of England is the most iconic castle in the region. It was first constructed after the Norman Conquest, and today is the second largest occupied castle in the country. The Duke of Northumberland calls the Alnwick Castle home. Even if you have not travelled to the Northern parts of England, chances are you have seen this castle. The Alnwick Castle has appeared in movies, the most popular being the Harry Potter series. Remember Potter’s first lesson of Quidditch? It was shot outside the Alnwick Castle! 

Visiting the Alnwick Castle is not only about seeing and admiring the architecture of the place, but also appreciating the fine art and the vintage furniture that adorns its rooms. When at the castle, also make sure you spend some time at the Alnwick Garden and its expanse of green gorgeousness. 

2. Bamburgh Castle 

A castle atop a plateau overlooking a sea, Bamburgh Castle in northern England leaves visitors captivated each time. The castle’s main chambers were constructed during medieval days, which should tell you plenty about the history this castle has seen and now holds as a memory. For instance, according to historical accounts, the Bamburgh Castle was the first castle in England to come under siege because of gunpowder weaponry. 

Apart from being placed so scenically, which is definitely the main reason why visitors make it a point to visit this castle, Bamburgh castle is also artfully decorated. There are thousands of artworks, ceramics, and armours on display. Also be prepared to hear several stories about the Castle with some even featuring dragons and dungeons! 

3. Dustanburgh Castle 

Once upon time, the Dustanburgh Castle was one of the most imposing and majestic castles of England. It was built in 1313, and many believe that Lancaster’s Earl Thomas constructed this grand fort to send a message across to his rival, King Edward, the Second. Like the Bamburgh Castle, Dustanburgh Castle also suffered during the War of the Roses. 

Today the Dustanburgh Castle stands as a ruin, though a stunning one, since it is situated along the coastline of Northumberland. For an even more spectacular view, make sure you climb up the tower at the castle. Walking around the Dustanburgh Castle is also a tranquil experience and might conjure up in your mind scenes from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. 

4. Barnard Castle 

In the county of Durham, you will find the Barnard Castle. This castle built in as early as the 12th century, is named after its creator, Baron Barnard de Balliol. The Barnard Castle was sold in the 17th century, after which it was neglected, subsequently, turning into a ruin. Nonetheless, the exotic location of the castle is what makes it a must visit when travelling in northern England.  

Barnard Castle’s gardens and the River Tees that it is located along, make the fortress a delightful destination for explorers. After the tour of the castle, you might also want to walk down to the market town nearby for an experience of a different kind.  

5. Brancepeth Castle  

Built sometime around the 12th century, Brancepeth Castle is one of the most ancient castles in northern England. The palace is situated four miles from Durham County. Brancepeth Castle was built to be a military fortress. Today, the castle finds itself on the Heritage at Risk list, a register of all the heritage buildings, from castles and places of worship to gardens and parks which have been evaluated to be in need for conservation and maintenance. 

You can book a tour of the Brancepeth Castle, which will mainly include visiting its medieval rooms and the office chambers. This tour is usually an hour long. 

6. Durham Castle 

Durham Castle has been occupied since the 11th century. Today, the castle serves as home for students studying at the University College. The area in and around Durham Castle has been acknowledged as a World Heritage Site. Opposite the Castle, you have the Durham Cathedral which is open to visitors and offers free entry. The Durham Castle also featured in the first Harry Potter movie. 

Provided that there are no private events planned, the Durham Castle is open for tour. If you want to know about the castle’s rich history and legacy, then a guided tour is the best way to see it. There are many activities that are arranged here for families. You will have to book in advance to be a part of them.  

7. Hylton Castle 

A castle built with wood originally, the Hylton Castle today is one of the most beautiful stone fortresses in England. It was built by the Hilton family following the Norman Conquest, and therefore is named after them. In the west façade of the castle, you will find some devices that have been maintained since the castle was first built. This means, these articles are more than five hundred years old. To a history buff, that is enough reason to pack their bags and head to the castle! 

The lush green plot surrounding the fortress is called the Hylton Dene. Tourists love spending time here too where they get to relax after a tiring touristy day. The St. Catherine’s Chapel near the castle is another spot you must visit.   

8. Edlingham Castle 

The leaning tower of Edlingham Castle makes it one of the best three castles of Northumberland. This castle is situated on a hill overlooking the River Coquet. It sits like a crown on the hill, making it a scenic site that tourists love clicking pictures at. The Edlingham Castle was one of the many fortresses built to protect Alnwick from the Scots. The castle is maintained by the English Heritage. 

When visiting the Edlingham Castle, it is suggested that you wear waterproof shoes. After the tour, you can also visit the church of St. John the Baptist, an 11th century church with a rare tunnel vault and circular columns. 

9. Warkworth Castle  

Travelling 20 minutes from the Edlingham Castle, you come across another one of the best three castles in Northumberland, that is, the Warkworth Castle. This castle is considered one of the firmest in the North of England. It is believed to have been constructed in the 12th century by a Scottish prince, Prince Henry. The castle is today maintained by the English Heritage.

If you want to click the most perfect picture of the Warkworth Castle, try to take it from the River Coquet. The castle’s Lion Tower, which was built in the 15th century, and the remains of the Carrickfergus Tower and the Little Stair Tower, are major spots that should not be missed when touring this castle. 

10. Aydon Castle 

A Grade I listed building, the Aydon Castle or Aydon Manor, makes for a perfect picnic spot with friends and family, especially because of its walled orchard. The fireplaces within the fortified manor are unmissable. Some of these fire nooks date back to the 13th century. The secluded area where the Aydon Castle is located adds further to its charm. A mile from the Aydon Castle, you can also visit the remains of Onnum Fort on foot. 

11. Tynemouth Castle 

Do you want to see a castle on a rocky headland? We are assuming you are screaming out, “yes right now!” The Tynemouth Castle oversees a pier called the Tynemouth Pier. The castle is built around a monastery that is believed to have existed in its place. The fourteenth century gateway and the curtain wall constructed in 1296 are the two attractions that keep people coming to this castle again and again for a tour. 

12. Prudhoe Castle 

Bursting with stories, the Prudhoe Castle must make it to the list of the most famous castles in North England. Situated in Castle View, Prudhoe Castle is a cherished monument in Northumberland. The tower walls that surround the Georgian manor must not be overlooked when strolling around the castle. 

Things to do at the Prudhoe Castle include fun activities with family like picnics at the designated spot, shopping for English Heritage mementos, and indulging in some light snacks or a steaming cup of coffee. 

13. Muncaster Castle 

The Muncaster Castle sits nestled within one of the most idyllic sceneries of Northern England. The Castle is inhabited by the Penningtons. The Pennington family has called this castle home since the 13th century. It is believed that this castle stands on Roman remnants. There are a lot of fascinating stories around the castle, some true and some fictitious, yet all very intriguing. 

The Muncaster Castle is often known as a house of history. Apart from that, visitors flock to this castle because of its view of the Ravenglass estuary. A tour of the castle will give you glimpses of how England must have been during the medieval times. Believe it or not, the castle organises ghost huntings twice a year. If you plan in advance, then you could be a part of this unusual adventure activity. 

Northern England, with its many castles, makes for a popular tourist destination. But the region is not limited to that. This part of England is also known for its shopping, nightlife, football culture, and gently sloping green fields that soothe your senses. If you are having trouble planning your trip to North England, let the team of experts at Thomas Cook India help you out. Visit our website and take the first step to a perfect holiday! 

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Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is a classic British clipper ship, and the only one of its kind in the world today. Built way back in 1869 on the River Leven in Scotland, she (yes, a ship is always female) was among the last tea clippers to be built. She is also believed to be one of the fastest, with years of design development coming to fruition in her construction. Cutty Sark marks the end of an era as sailing ships made way for steam propulsion.

Location: The Cutty Sark is permanently moored at the dry dock in Greenwich, London.

Timings: You can visit Cutty Sark between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm every day.


It must have been a pretty exciting time back then, right? The race for tea and the lives of the people who lived and worked on the ship in their quest to make the most profit. Here is what you can look forward to on your visit to the world’s only undamaged tea clipper:

  1. A free audio guide: Pop on the audio guide and get all the grisly details of Cutty Sark’s past. Murder, mutiny and everything in between. 
  2. Walk the main deck: Take a stroll along the main deck and marvel at the complicated rigging that sailors would climb on in their search for land. Imagine you are one of the clipper’s famous captains and take over wheel. Steer through imaginary seas and look out over the hull of the ship as waves crash over the deck.
  3. Cutty Sark had her own figurehead, Nannie: Discover the story of Nannie and learn how she became the famous figurehead – the carved wooden figures that adorn ships’ prows – of Cutty Sark. 
  4. See the Long John Silver Figurehead collection: Cutty Sark also has the world’s largest Merchant Navy figurehead collection. Learn all about Long John Silver and how he came about this nickname.
  5. See the ship’s bell: Well-maintained since it last rang, the original bell on Cutty Sark’s deck is quite a sight.
  6. Enjoy the view: What if you’re not at sea? You can still enjoy stunning views across the River Thames. Gaze at the London skyline and see if you can spot famous landmarks.
  7. Look around the hull: When you touch the Cutty Sark you will be touching a part of history. Walk around the copper hull and understand what made it the fastest ship of its day.
  8. Marvel the original structure: More than 90% of Cutty Sark’s original structure has been preserved. Go back to 1869 and observe how the crew lived and worked as you meander through the ship.
  9. Spend time with costumed characters: Enjoy the interactive tours and meet the costumed characters from Cutty Sark’s past like the ship’s owner Jock Willis, or even the ship’s cook.
  10. Step inside the Captain’s Cabin: Discover the captain’s quarters and understand how the man-in-charge lived and worked.
  11. Don’t miss the Cutty Sark Theatre: Make time for the Cutty Sark Theatre where you can watch stand-up comedy and musicals. Don’t forget to watch the daily screening of a film on Cutty Sark’s 150 years of existence.


For a fee you can explore and enjoy the piece of history that is the Cutty Sark.

Adult: £12

Child: £6.50 (aged 5 to 15)

Family tickets: £20 (one adult and two children), £29 (two adults and up to two children)

Recommended for:

You wouldn’t want to pass up an opportunity to see the world’s only surviving tea clipper to have sailed the seas. It is a piece of history, a bit of craftsmanship and plenty of thrills, all rolled into one,


Interesting facts about the Cutty Sark

What mysteries does the world’s only surviving tea clipper hold? Does it have tales that no one knows? Read on to know more.

  1. You already know that the Cutty Sark is the world’s only surviving extreme clipper. But do you know that its hull is the same one from its original construction? 
  2. Cutty Sark is 150 years old, and while it served as a British merchant ship, the clipper has docked at sixteen different countries. Its collective voyage distance when added up measures up to two and a half trips to the moon and back.
  3. Cutty Sark was named after a poem by Robert Burns called Tam O’Shanter. Cutty Sark is a short nightie worn by one of the main characters in the poem, a young and attractive witch, Nannie.
  4. Cutty Sark was launched on 22nd November 1869 in Scotland. She set off on her maiden voyage from London to Shanghai on 16th February 1870. On its first voyage, the clipper carried wine, spirits and beer, and came back with 1.3 million pounds of tea.
  5. Cutty Sark was built for a life of just thirty years. But it had other plans and served as a working ship for fifty-two years. Thereafter, it worked as a training ship for another twenty-two years and today it has been open to visitors for sixty years.
  6. Cutty Sark was originally built for the China tea trade, but it ended up carrying lots of other cargoes as well during its career. In seven years, Cutty Sark ferried almost 10 million pounds of tea.
  7. It was the opening of the Suez Canal that ended the need for sailing ships in the tea trade. Cutty Sark was no different and it had to find new work. It moved to transporting various cargoes, including over 10,000 tons of coal and even 45,000 woollen bales.
  8. In Cutty Sark ship designers had perfected clipper ship design and she was one of the fastest ships in the seas. At 14 years, Cutty Sark was captained by Master Richard Woodget and under his stewardship she started recording remarkably fast passage times.
  9. A total of 653 men served on Cutty Sark as a British ship. Most travelled with her just once, a round voyage from London and back again. The youngest was a fourteen-year-old apprentice and the oldest a fifty-six-year-old sail maker.
  10. The ship has seen heavy seas, war, neglect, obsolescence, fire and old age to finally find her resting spot in Greenwich. She survived storms which ripped her rudder off on two occasions, endured a dismasting in the WWI and even faced a terrible fire in 2007. Luckily, just the year before the massive fire, most of Cutty Sark’s original fabric had been removed. So even though the fire was devastating, it didn’t do as much damage as it could have done.
  11. Cutty Sark was sold to a Portuguese firm in 1895 by her ageing owner, John ‘Jock’ Willis, and she was renamed Ferreira. Ferreira swam the oceans for twenty-seven years, after which, there was another exchange of ownership, where she was named Maria do Amparo for several months. 
  12. Cutty Sark houses the world’s biggest collection of figureheads, donated by an eccentric maritime history lover.

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10 Amazing Things

To make the most of any vacation, you must focus your time and energy on gaining experiences that are unique to the destination in question. After all, if you indulge in the same things that you do at home, then the only thing that’s different about the vacation is the geography! You won’t really get anything out of it! 

When planning a trip to Liverpool, keep in mind that this city has a strong cultural heritage and offers a range of unique experiences that can add value to your trip. So, make sure that you add the following to your itinerary for an unforgettable holiday:

1.Visit Albert Dock

2.Go to The Beatles Story

3.Watch a Match at Anfield

4.Enjoy a ride on the Mersey Ferry

5.Shop at Bold Street

6.Merseyside Maritime Museum 

7.Go to the Cavern Club

8.Explore the Baltic Triangle

9.Enjoy a walk at the Sefton Park

10.Marvel at the views at The Radio City Tower

Visit Albert Dock

Albert Dock is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with Grade 1 listed buildings. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Liverpool and offers a range of experiences that you can enjoy. From adrenaline-pumping rides at The Adventure Dock Co. Aqua Park to thrilling escapades at Escape Rooms and club hopping from one great venue to another, there’s a lot for you to do! As Albert Dock influences Liverpool’s culture to a large extent, so you should include it in your itinerary for an accurate taste of the city’s culture.

Address: 3-4 The Colonnades, Liverpool, England, L3 4AA, United Kingdom

Go to The Beatles Story

With one of the most well-known and popular bands originating from Liverpool, it’s hardly a surprise that you’ll fine a dedicated museum that chronicles the journey of The Beatles. There are many different exhibits at the museum, showing not only the band’s history but also focusing on specific niches like rare album covers, their time in India with Ravi Shankar, exhibitions filled with artifacts and much more. Make sure you head down to The Beatles Story to gain insight on how this band became so huge, and enjoy their amazing music. 

Address: The Beatles Story, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AD

Watch a Match at Anfield

Let’s face it, most people who want to visit Liverpool are hardcore fans of the Liverpool Football Club and have spent their lives dreaming of watching a match at Anfield. Plan your trip to coincide with the Premier League so that you can watch your favourite team play and sing songs to egg on the players! In case you can’t make it during the Premier League, don’t be disheartened as you can still book a tour of the stadium and learn everything there is to know about Liverpool FC’s history. 

Address: Anfield Rd, Anfield, Liverpool L4 0TH, United Kingdom

Enjoy a ride on the Mersey Ferry

The Mersey Ferry offers a great experience for tourists who want to enjoy an introspective evening while marveling at views of the city. Choose from a hop-on and hop-off cruise or pick a combination ticket that can give you access to different types of attractions in Liverpool. Make sure you get a ticket to the U Boat Story because you’ll get to explore an old German submarine – an experience that you can only have in Liverpool! 

Address: Mersey Ferries, Landing Stage Pier Head Georges Parade, Liverpool L3 1DR England

Shop at Bold Street

Every city has a shopping hub that captures its spirit beautifully. For Liverpool, that’s undoubtedly Bold Street. This street is filled with independent vendors and businesses, giving you access to unique articles of clothing, accessories and décor items that you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll also find a ton of places selling vintage items, quirky homeware, vinyl records and more. The restaurants, cafes and pubs on this street are also worth stopping by for a great meal and quiet conversation with your partner. Make sure you carry an extra bag with you because there’s no way your shopping experience will leave you empty-handed. 

Address: Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4DJ

Merseyside Maritime Museum 

Liverpool has a very rich history that’s been coloured by its sea-trading legacy. So, if you’re looking for an experience that brings you closer to the city’s culture and heritage, then you must definitely head down to the Merseyside Maritime Museum to have a look an ancient vessels and model ships. You’ll also get to see a range of maritime posters and paintings, along with interesting artifacts such as a lifejacket that was worn by a survivor on the Titanic. Do keep in mind that the entry to this museum is free of cost, and the museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm, so do plan your trip accordingly. 

Address: Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ

Go to the Cavern Club

If you’re looking for a fun nightclub experience, then you must head to the Cavern Club, one of Liverpool’s most influential nightclubs in terms of the bands that have performed there. Apart from The Beatles, the Cavern Club has also hosted major bands like The Rolling Stones, the Kinks and the Hollies. Interestingly, The Beatles have played close to 300 gigs at this club, so it’s certainly an iconic one when it comes to their history and growth. Of course, the Cavern Club also offers a great menu and is a good place for a lovely meal. 

Address: 10 Mathew St, Liverpool L2 6RE, United Kingdom

Explore the Baltic Triangle

The Baltic Triangle is a section in Liverpool that is home to a host of start-ups, art venues and restaurants, which means that all travelers should be able to find experiences that they truly enjoy here. However, don’t just dismiss it as a contemporary space with no deep history. The Baltic Triangle was bombed during World War 2, and the city restored this area and turned into a thriving hub. You can expect to enjoy great street food, amazing music and a bustling art scene that is both provocative and inspiring. You’ll also find a few great nightclubs. So, if you want to enjoy a fun night you can come here and explore what it has to offer. 

Address: Baltic Triangle, Liverpool, UK

Enjoy a walk at the Sefton Park

Not all travel experiences need to be high-octane ones! Enjoy a quiet evening with your significant other while taking a walk through the beautiful Sefton Park in Liverpool. This park is spread over 250 acres and has a myriad of offerings like the majestic Victorian Palm House, the serene Botanical Gardens, and even lovely waterfalls and caves. If you are travelling with your children, you should definitely take them for a visit because there are a lot of swings for them to enjoy. It’s certainly a place to explore when you’re looking for tranquility. 

Address: Mossley Hill Dr, Liverpool L17 1AJ, United Kingdom

Marvel at the views at The Radio City Tower

The Radio City Tower is a great spot to start your vacation in as it gives you a stunning panoramic view of the entire city, letting you get a taste of what you can expect from the days to come. It is 138-meters tall enabling a lovely ride to the top. Pack your camera and make sure you go during sunset so that you can experience the setting sun in a brand-new way, like never before! Do keep in mind that the Radio City Tower is officially called St. Johns Beacon, however, it’s rarely ever referred to as that. Its name comes from the fact that Radio City broadcasts its music from this tower!

Address: St Johns Beacon, St. Johns Beacon 1 Houghton Street, Liverpool L1 1RL England

Liverpool has a range of beautiful experiences for you to enjoy, with something available for every type of traveler. From thrilling rides at adventure parks to tranquil walks in gardens, this city is a great place to spend a few days in and understand the local culture. Whether you’re a fan of The Beatles, the Liverpool FC, or perhaps are just traveling through on your way to a different place, you certainly will not forget your time in this city! Bookmark this page so that you can refer to it while planning your trip! 

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River Thames

At 215 miles, the River Thames is the longest river in all of England and the second-longest in the UK. Its unmistakable winding path, the London Bridge connecting its two banks and the numerous attractions alongside make it a destination in itself when you are in London.


River Thames flows through all of London and also other counties, such as Oxford, Reading, Henley and Windsor.


The River Thames will always be there for you to experience. If you are looking for cruises on the river, there are hop-on, hop-off boats that sail every 40 minutes.


When in London, you must go on a sightseeing cruise on the River Thames. The experience is glorious, and you will come back with numerous memories. The complete stretch is 180 miles from Gloucestershire to East London. However, since we’re only considering London, the short journey is from Richmond to Greenwich.

As you walk or cruise along the river, you will cross various bridges and will see some great spots, including typical touristy hangouts, popular art galleries, bars and pubs, and garden oases as well. While there is no way you can do it all in one day, here are a few things that you can expect to be able to experience.

1.Become one with nature at the Kew Gardens.

2.Stop for a meal at Banyon on the Thames.

3.Spend a few hours at Battersea Park and Peace Pagoda.

4.Try your hand putting in the Park.

5.Stop at the Tate Britain and see some fine art.

6.Wander through Victoria Tower Gardens.

7.Explore Westminster on foot.

8.Take selfies against Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, etc. You are a tourist, remember?

9.Stroll along the Southbank with your special someone.

10.Stop at the London Eye, visit the aquarium, and peer into the London dungeons

11.Walk along Victoria Embankment.

12.View the neoclassical Somerset House.

13.Stroll past the National Theatre and the OXO Tower.

14.Quench your thirst with a cocktail at the Rumpus Room.

15.Spend a few hours admiring modern art at the Tate Modern.

16.Step back in time at Shakespeare’s Globe.

17.View one of London’s most notorious prisons, the Clink Prison Museum.

18.Pick up some knick-knacks at Borough Market

19.Head over to the Sky Garden and take in the magnificent views of the city.

20.Explore St Dunstan’s in the East on foot.

21.Walk up to the Tower of London and take some selfies against the Tower Bridge.

22.Wander around St Katharine Docks.

23.Reward yourself with a pint at The Dicken’s Inn or unwind at the Medieval Banquet.

24.Go pub hopping (you’re on vacation) and get yourself another pint at The Prospect of Whitby in Wapping, one of London’s oldest pubs.

25.Step away from all the hustle-bustle at the Crossrail Place Roof Garden


There are cruises on the River Thames every 40 minutes. Your ticket price depends on whether you take a single ticket, a return or a rover for 24 hours.


Journey Adult (16+ years) Child (5 – 15 years)
Westminster/London Eye to Greenwich From £13.25 From £8.50
Westminster to Tower From £10.75 From £7.00
Tower to Greenwich From £10.75 From £7.00


Journey Adult (16+ years) Child (5 – 15 years)
Westminster/London Eye to Greenwich or Vice Versa From £17.50 From £11.25
Westminster to Tower or Vice Versa From £16.00 From £10.75
Tower to Greenwich or Vice Versa From £16.00 From £10.75


Adult (16+): £19.50

Child (5-15): £12.75

Infant (0-4): £0.00

Family (2A + 3C): £39.00

Recommended for:

The River Thames is one of the highlights of London. If you like floating along a river and watching the city glide past slowly, then we recommend the river cruise. Else you can walk along its banks and take in the wonders of one of the cleanest rivers of the world.

Interesting facts about the River Thames

Whether you manage to get on to a River Thames cruise or not, the river will accompany you on many of your other trips around London. Here are a few interesting nuggets about the water body that you might not know.

  • It is thought that the name Thames finds its origins from the Celtic name Tamesas, meaning ‘dark’.
  • About 2/3 of all of London’s drinking water comes from the Thames.
  • The river originates in a meadow in Gloucestershire.
  • There are 45 locks along the entire length of the river.
  • You can cross from one side of the river to the other using any of the over 200 bridges.
  • The longest bridge is the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, at 812 metres.
  • Back in the summer of 1858 Parliament had to be suspended because the smell of the sewage in the river was terrible. But at least that finally propelled the politicians into constructing London’s sewer system.
  • There are about 125 species of fish in the tidal Thames alone.
  • Dolphins and porpoises have often been seen in central London, where they travel in search of food.
  • The river sees a species of critically endangered European eels migrate up every summer.
  • Did you know that the boat chase scene from ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ was filmed at Tilbury Docks in Essex, even though the movie was set in Venice?
  • King Henry III was given a polar bear as a gift from Norway in 1252. He kept it in the Tower of London, and it was often let out to swim and catch fish in the Thames.
  • In 2006, a Northern Bottlenose Whale swam up the Thames and got the whole city excited.
  • The Thames used to freeze quite often. In 1607 London organised its first ‘Frost Fair’ with food stalls, sideshows and games too.
  • Back in 1683-84, during ‘The Great Frost’, the river was frozen for two months, with the ice growing 11 inches.
  • French Impressionist Claude Monet has painted The River Thames three times.
  • A rare breed of seahorse has been spotted in the Thames giving environmentalists hope that more may be living near Greenwich.
  • It is believed that the author of ‘The Wind in the Willows’ was inspired by the river.
  • The famous shape of the river has also been its undoing when, during the Blitz, Luftwaffe bombers used this very shape to locate prime targets in London.
  • The stretch of the river running through Oxford is called the River Isis.

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Royal Opera House

You will find the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, all under one roof at the Royal Opera House in London. Imagine watching all this art, in one place – truly, every art lover’s dream-come-true.

Location: The Royal Opera House is in the district of Covent Garden, London.


The Royal Opera House is open all days of the week, giving you an opportunity to walk its hallowed halls and enjoy art at your convenience.

Mon - Thurs: 9:30am to 5:30PM

Fri - Sun: 9:00am to 5:00PM

You will need to keep aside about 2.5 hours to see the entire place.


The Royal Opera House has a multitude of experiences to offer its visitors – from spectacular performances, amazing interactive events, delicious food and drink, and just the right location to spend a relaxed day. Here are the top highlights that you can experience while here:

1. Learn about the history of the Royal Opera House: Did you know that the current Royal Opera House was the third building to be built on the same spot? The first was the Theatre Royal, built in1732 which functioned as a playhouse for 100 years. The second structure was built in 1809 after a fire destroyed the theatre. This too was destroyed, once again by fire in 1856, and the next one (the one still standing) was built in 1858. It was named Royal Opera House in 1892.

2. Feast your eyes on the stunning architecture: The curving forms, the large staircases, the decorated columns and massive domes are all characteristics of the Baroque style of which was yet to become vogue. In 1999 the structure was reconstructed to make it more accommodating and convenient for patrons.

3. Watch the Royal Ballet perform: The Royal Opera House is the official home of the Royal Ballet. When in London, do try and time your vacation with a performance of the renowned ballet company. Check out their website to know their schedule in advance. If you can, do watch Sleeping Beauty, the first performance of the ballet company at the Royal Opera House.

4. Book yourself a spot to watch the Royal Opera perform: Opera has been performed at the Royal Opera House since the 19th century but it was always traveling troupes. The Royal Opera came into existence after WW II when there was felt a need for a resident opera company that would perform in English.

5. Tour the Royal Opera House: If the ballet and opera were fascinating, you can learn more about the fascinating London performing art venue by taking either of the two available tours.

a) The Backstage Tour lasts about 1.5 hours and includes visits to the backstage and Front of House areas. A tour guide will take you through the history of the venue and its current productions. If you are lucky, you may even get to see the Royal Ballet in a classroom.

b) The Velvet, Gilt and Glamour Tour is shorter at 45 minutes and this will take you through the venue’s architecture and history. You will get to see the Royal Retiring Room, which the members of the royal family still use today.

6. Feast your taste buds: There are a few cafes and restaurants where you can stop for a coffee or a drink. You can also turn the visit into a special occasion and enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner. If you are planning on visiting these places while at a show, do reserve your spot in advance.


Ticket prices to the Royal Opera House depend on which performance you are there to watch. Typically, you will need to pay about £18 - £34 per person.

Recommended for:

If you love performing arts and you are in London, you must keep time aside to visit the Royal Opera House. The location is convenient, and you will find there us much to do there, whether you decide to see a ballet or an opera, take a tour of the stunning premises or simply enjoy a good meal.

Interesting facts about the Royal Opera House

The centuries-old Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is considered to be one of the world's leading opera houses. Did you know these facts about this incredible London institution?

1. Third time lucky: The current structure is the third building on the same site. The first two were gutted in disastrous fires in 1808 and 1856. The current building was finally a fireproof building that was built in 1858-9. While today's façade, foyer and even the auditorium go back to 1858, nearly every other element of the current complex of buildings dates traces its origin to between 1996 and 1999.

2. A list of impressive 'firsts': The Covent Garden location is the site of various firsts in opera and ballets. Pygmalion, performed in 1734, is the first 'ballet d'action', which is a ballet presented like 'classical ballet', with a story told through dance. Several other first performances, including many of Handel's operas, such as Ariodante, Alcina, Il pastor fido and Semele were also conducted here.

3. The piano was played for the first time in public here: The first-ever public performance of a piano in England was at here on 16 May, 1767 when Miss Bricker sang a piece from Handel's Judith accompanied by Charles Dibdin.

4. The opera house has also witnessed a few remarkable goodbyes: Actress Sarah Siddons gave her final performance at the Royal Opera House in 1812. Her emotional farewell speech is said to have lasted 10 minutes. In 1833, Edmund Keane had a stroke on stage while playing Othello. His son was on stage with him and carried him off stage.

5. The Royal Opera House was the first theatre to use limelight: Limelight was invented by Sir Goldsworthy Gurney in the 1820s. A mix of oxygen and hydrogen was forced through a pipe to produce a flame. Adding quicklime to it produced a very bright light. Limelight was used for the first time in 1837 by theatre manager William Charles Macready to spotlight one particular player on the stage.

6. It's been used as a furniture store and a dance hall: During the WW I, the theatre was used by the Ministry of Works as a furniture repository. During WW II, the same structure was converted into a dance hall. It was only after the war that the decision was made to establish the Royal Opera House as a permanent year-round destination of the opera and ballet companies.

7. It's not actually all that big: Stepping inside the auditorium of the Royal Opera House we assure you will take your breath away. But you’ll be surprised to note that with its seating capacity of 2,256, the Royal Opera House still ranks sixth in London's theatres.

8. Let's go outside: You can enjoy Royal Opera House performances through various innovative means now. Companies are opening up the Royal Opera and Ballet shows in cinemas, on television and via radio broadcasts. You will also find links on YouTube.

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The Pendle Hill Experience

What makes Pendle Hill an experience worth taking part in? Well, there are plenty of reasons! From the true tale of the Pendle Witches to how the Quaker Movement came into being, Pendle Hill will open up a completely new world of wonders for you. Those who love loitering around in the countryside and find joy in lively towns, this is an experience you just cannot miss out on. Many people think that the history of Pendle Hill is still in the making. By visiting the place, you will be adding to its story, and so, becoming a part of this destination forever. 

If you plan on visiting Pendle Hill during your stay in England, then read on to find everything you need to know about this tourist attraction. 


An untamed place in east Lancashire, England, Pendle Hill serves as an enchanting destination for any traveller who loves exploring mysterious lands on foot or on bicycle. The popular towns around Pendle Hill include Clitheroe, Burnley, and Nelson, which also make for good holiday destinations. 


Cycle Circuit 

Open 7am to 10am every day, except Saturdays 

On Saturday, open from 7am to 9am 

Note: Cycle circuit is not accessible to the public on days it is booked out.


The Pendle Hill is a delightful place for people who love to pedal and to walk around. The highlights of the Pendle Hill experience include:

1. The Steven Burke Cycle Circuit 

In July 2014, the Steven Burke Cycle Circuit saw the light of day. The cycle circuit is named so to honour the famous Olympic Gold Medallist from Colne. The centre facilitates cycle training for both children and adults. When not reserved, the Steven Burke Cycle Circuit is open to the public. You can take short rides meant for beginners or take part in the professional cycle races. The circuit is 1.1km long and access to it is absolutely free.

2. Pendle Cycle Tour 

For a harder cycle circuit, go for the Pendle Cycle Tour. It is a 17-mile route, that is not only challenging, but also gives you some of the most stunning views of the countryside. If you want to pass through some scenic villages sprinkled across a cycling trail, then take this on-road route for your cycling experience at Pendle Hill. The ride can take up to 4 hours, and so beginners may want to skip it. 

3. The Walking Route 

A 45-mile long circular walk, the Pendle Way is one of the major attractions at Pendle Hill. The walk is divided into eight sections. Each of these sections, have distinct experiences lined up for you. While one segment features the lairs where the Pendle Witches practised their witchcraft, another part hides the spot of the Spectral Horseman. Strewn across the eight sections of the Pendle Way are gorgeous moors, hills with spectacular views, iridescent waterfalls and the earliest churches that you will ever set eyes on. 

4. Pendle Leisure Trust 

Want to get pampered after walking the Pendle Way or cycling one of the routes at Pendle Hill? The best place to do so, is the Pendle Leisure Trust at Colne, in Lancashire. To take the plunge, literally, visit the Pendle Wavelengths in Nelson with your family. Here you can swim, while your children can enjoy roof-high waterslides. A two-hour spa appointment awaits you at the Inside Spa in Nelson, which involves eight multi-sensory spa experiences. Enjoy a relaxing foot spa, which is highly recommended after a crazy trekking experience at Pendle Hill. 


The Steven Burke Cycle Circuit is free for the public. However, on days that it is booked out, access will not be granted.  The walks and the cycling routes too are free of charge. 

Recommended for:

While Steven Burke Cycle Circuit is recommended for both children and adults as well as beginners and pros, the Pendle Cycle Tour with its challenging terrain should be avoided by novices. Why not go for the walking tour instead? The Pendle Way is for everyone! The only thing to keep in mind is that the tour covers different types of landscapes, each with its own tests. For instance, there are muddy stretches that you will have to cross, and so you might want to wear waterproof boots that are sturdy. Also pick waterproof clothing, carry a map of the route, a compass, and ensure you have enough time in hand for the walk to be truly memorable. 

Interesting facts about Pendle Hill 

Here are some facts and mysterious stories about Pendle Hill that will fill you with wonder and make you want to visit this place immediately: 

1. The Pendle Witches 

Pendle Hill is overflowing with mysteries! The Hill is considered to be the abode of the Pendle Witches. In fact, the whole of Lancashire is called Witch County! In 1612, these witches were tried for witchcraft, and then executed, which makes Pendle Hill an eerie attraction among tourists, flocking to this destination from all parts of the world. Today, you can even shop at Witches Galore, a store in Pendle that sells goodies which will both thrill you and send a shiver down your spine at the same time! You can find a whole lot of gruesome gifts that you can buy for your friends and family, from Halloween outfits to postcards and pictures. 

2. Home to wolves and wild boars

Pendle Hill was once a hunting ground, full of wild boars and wolves. Today, the place is still untamed which lends it a rustic appeal. With hamlets all around and a landscape that is a blessing to anyone who loves taking challenging walks, Pendle Hill is a place straight out of an Emily Bronte novel. The rumours of it being haunted only add further to its attraction among travellers.

3. The Quaker Movement 

George Fox hiked to the Pendle Hill summit in 1652 and was so inspired by its breath-taking beauty, that he established the Quaker Movement. The Quaker Movement is also referred to as the Religious Society of Friends. The members of the worldwide Quaker Movement did not believe in religious ceremonies and were of the opinion that Presence is in each one of us. They were persecuted for their ideas. Nonetheless, their views and philosophies spread across Britain in the 1650s, and within less than a decade, there were 50,000 Quakers. A whole movement happened because one man climbed the Pendle Hill, so you can easily imagine what power it holds! 

4. UK’s biggest free walking festival 

The Pendle Walking Festival is a participatory event that takes you around various locations in Pendle. The admission is free, but if you decide to get a guide (which is recommended for a better experience), then you will be charged. The price varies on a day-to-day basis. There are a variety of walks that one can go for. You have easy walks for all ages and abilities, and some challenging ones like the Pendle Way.

5. Other fascinating facts 

The Pendle Hill, apart from the walking and cycling experience, also allows the visitors to see one of the world’s last working mill engines. It is also home to Britain’s single longest canal. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal, built more than 200 years ago, is one of the most charming waterways in the country. If you want to follow the canal on foot, then you can choose from a variety of Tacklers Trail options available.

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Imperial War Museum

A family of museums that tells the story of how war affects human lives and moulds the world we live in; the Imperial War Museum is a must-visit for everybody. Some people wrongly assume that the IWM was built to exalt wars and glorify violence. Created immediately after the Battle of the Somme, the notion behind IWM was not to deify battles; instead it was built to commemorate the lives lost. The First World War was still on, and it was unanimously decided that there needed to be a museum which would pay homage to the British lives lost to war and also tell people through the collections and stories, about how war can change the lives of everyone involved and their families. 

Though the premise of the three museums and the two historic sites of IWM and their collections are heart-breaking, it is necessary that people visit them to understand the dark phases our shared human history has passed through. 


IWM London:  A Grade II listed building, IWM London is located on Lambeth Road, Central London. 

IWM North in Manchester: The fifth branch of Imperial War Museum, IWM North is a unique water-front destination, located in Trafford Wharf Road, Greater Manchester. 

IWM Duxford: Situated in Duxford, Cambridge, IWM Duxford is the largest aviation museum in the country. 

Churchill War Rooms: The underground Churchill War Rooms, which were used during the Second World War as a wartime bunker, is located in King Charles Street in London. 

HMS Belfast: A light cruiser built for the Royal Navy, the HMS Belfast today is an anchored museum that you can visit at The Queen’s Walk in London.


Here are the timings for all the five centres under IWM –

Center Locations Open & Close Times Closed on
IWM London 10 AM to 6 PM 24 to 26 December
IWM North in Manchester 10 AM to 5 PM 24 to 26 December
IWM Duxford 10 AM to 4 PM, (airspace open till 5 PM) 24 to 26 December
Churchill War Rooms 9 30 AM to 6 PM (last entry at 5 PM) 24 to 26 December
HMS Belfast 10 AM to 5 PM (last entry 4 PM) 24 to 26 December

The museums under IWM are usually crowded, and so to ensure you do not spend the entire time queueing up at the ticket office, get your tickets online. You will get a 10% discount which makes it a win-win situation. 


Museums tell us everything about our past, from details that should be glorified to truths that require severe condemnation. IWM is no different. While some of its many exhibits will tell you the heroic deeds of people who fought against evil, others will show you the horrific face of hate. The most intriguing items in IWM’s display include: 

  • A piece of the iconic Berlin Wall saved after the Fall of the Wall
  • Original Nazi propaganda posters
  • A pair of shoes from a Nazi concentration camp  
  • A broken window frame from the World Trade Centre 
  • A Nazi bomb detector 
  • A letter from a nine-year-old named Alfie who wanted to volunteer for the British army during the First World War 
  • Mangled remains of a car destroyed during a suicide bomb blast at the book market in Baghdad 


The prices for entry to the museums and the historic spots are as follows: 

IWM London:  Free admission 

IWM North in Manchester: Free admission 

IWM Duxford

Type Online advance (with donation to the IWM)  Online advance (without donation)
Adult (16 to 64 years):  £18.90 £17.10
Child (under five):  Free  Free 
Child (between 5 and 15 years):  £9.45 £8.55
Family 1 adult and up to 3 children:  £33.30 £30.15
Family 2 adults and up to 6 children:  £49.50 £45
Concessions (Senior 65+/student/disabled): £15.12 £13.68
IWM Member:  Free  Free 

All children up to the age of 15 years must be accompanied by an adult.  

One carer entry is free for each disabled person 

Churchill War Rooms: 

Type Standard
 Adult (16 to 64 years):   £23
 Child (under five):   Free 
 Child (between 5 and 15 years):   £11.50
 Family 1 adult and up to 3 children:   £42
 Family 2 adults and up to 6 children:   £60
 Concessions (Senior 65+/student/disabled):   £18.40
 IWM Member:   Free 
 Art fund member:   £11.50

All children up to the age of 15 years must be accompanied by an adult.  

One carer entry is free for each disabled person 

HMS Belfast: 

Type Online On the Day
Adult (16 to 64 years):  £17.10 £19
Child (under five):  Free  Free 
Child (between 5 and 15 years):  £8.55 £9.50
Family 1 adult and up to 3 children:  £30.60 £34
Family 2 adults and up to 6 children:  £44.10 £49
Concessions (Senior 65+/student/disabled):  £13.70 £15.20
IWM Member:  Free  Free 
Art fund member:  £8.55  £9.50 

All children up to the age of 15 years must be accompanied by an adult.  

One carer entry is free for each disabled person 

Recommended for: 

For those who want to get an idea of how wars are fought, and understand why no one truly ever wins a war, the IWM tour is highly recommended. The original museum, IWM London, has a collection that is of interest to everyone. With warplanes, such as the WWII-conqueror Spitfire, and a more modern airplane, the Harrier Jump Jet, the display will leave you mesmerized. If you want to see an even superior collection of aircrafts used during the wars, then visit IWM Duxford. The Holocaust Exhibition at IWM London will break your heart, but it must be visited to know how hate, if not nipped in the bud, can wreak havoc. 

Interesting facts about the IWM

The IWM museums and its historic sites have several captivating facts that will make you want to immediately add it to your list of must-see attractions. Some of these include:

1. Symbol for a shattered globe 

IWM North, which was built in 2002, is designed by the renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. While designing the museum, Libeskind wanted it to represent the horrors of war. This is why, the IWM North’s building is shaped like a shattered globe that is broken into three pieces, reassembled, but never the same again. Very few people know this, but Libeskind’s parents were Polish Jews who were Holocaust survivors. 

2. A teapot for inspiration

Libeskind, after coming up with the idea of a shattered globe, used a teapot for inspiration on how to design it. He put a teapot in a plastic bag and threw it out of his studio window. Then he went downstairs, collected the pieces and was motivated to create three shards to build the shattered globe.

3. Located on what was previously a bombsite

IWM North stands on a bombsite. Where the building is located today is the exact spot where Trafford Square’s earliest structures, Hovis Grain Silos, were bombed during World War II. When the museum was being built and its foundation laid, anti-aircraft cartridge shell was discovered there along with shrapnel. 

4. The Churchill War Rooms and their secrets 

The basement offices which were turned into Cabinet War Rooms during World War II is open to us today as the Churchill War Rooms. Visiting this historic site means becoming privy to many fascinating war secrets. For instance, did you know that the sub-basements below the rooms were used by switchboard operators during the war to sleep between shifts? They called these spaces “docks”, and rested there instead of going home. All of these operators and typists were women. One of the telephones on display in the Churchill War Rooms has the message, “Speech on Telephone is Not Secret”, which tells you how much emphasis was put on secrecy during the War. 

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Top Attractions in Manchester

Manchester is filled with wonderful attractions for travelers to enjoy, which is why if you’re planning to travel through Great Britain, you should make it a point to stop in this city. Of course, if you’re a fan of Manchester United or Manchester City, you probably already have this city on your bucket list. However, if even you’ve never watched a single football match in your life, a vacation to Manchester is a must for travelers looking for experiences that they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives. Here are some of the top attractions in Manchester:

1. John Ryland’s Library

2. National Football Museum

3. Old Trafford


5. Manchester Craft and Design Centre

6. Northern Quarter 

7. Manchester Museum

8. Victoria Baths

9. Cloud 23

10. Manchester Art Gallery

11. Affleck’s

12. Manchester Cathedral

John Ryland’s Library:

If you’re an avid reader, you probably just cannot resist the lure of a great library. The John Ryland’s Library is a wonderful place to visit has it holds one of the most extensive collections of books in the whole country. You can easily spend a few hours just marveling at the Neo-Gothic structure of the library, walking from one section of the building to another, taking in the irreplaceable smell of books. Enjoy a quiet moment with your partner at this library as the two of you read old poetry and lovely prose.

Address: John Ryland’s Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester

National Football Museum:

The National Football Museum is a well-known landmark in Manchester and if you’re a fan of football in general, then you must visit this museum. The museum chronicles the history of football in England and even has an extensive exhibit that focuses entirely on the last time England won the World Cup. There is also a skill section in the museum that helps you learn more about improving your own game so, who knows, you might end up surprising your gang back home with a few extra tricks up your sleeve!

Address: National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, City Centre

Old Trafford:

Old Trafford is one of the most iconic stadiums in the world, and it certainly warrants a visit if you’re in the city. Of course, if you’re a Manchester United fan, you’re going to want to visit this stadium. Apart from taking a tour of Old Trafford, you can also spend some time at the gift shop buying presents for your loved ones back home. You should also head down to the Red Café to enjoy a delicious meal while surrounded by different tidbits that chronicle the team’s journey. 

Address: Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Stratford.


HOME is one of Manchester’s most celebrated cultural zones, and it’s a great place to go to if you’re interested in arts and culture. HOME has a range of different experiences for you to enjoy, for instance, there are many great restaurants here that offer delectable meals. The venue hosts frequent plays, art exhibitions, periodic events based on themes, and even screenings of popular plays. A great way to make the most of visiting this place is by ensuring you can spend an entire day here so that you can enjoy different experiences. 

Address: HOME, 2, Tony Wilson Place, First St, Manchester.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre:

The Manchester Craft and Design Centre is located in the Victorian fish market of Manchester, and stands out from its surroundings as it’s a relatively contemporary building when compared to everything else around it. It’s a great place to head to if you want to buy interesting gifts for your loved ones, as many vendors set up their studios and sell ceramics, jewellery, prints, art, sculptures, and more. There’s also a really quaint café here for you to enjoy a great meal. Do keep in mind that the Manchester Craft and Design Centre hosts exhibitions and performances occasionally, so plan your trip in a way that lets you enjoy these things. 

Address: Manchester Craft and Design Centre, 17 Oak St, Manchester,

Northern Quarter:

The Northern Quarter is one of the most exciting places in Manchester as it is home to a range bustling pubs and restaurants, along with market places and arthouses. If you’re someone who enjoys night-outs, and heading to places that are filled with people, then the Northern Quarter might be the right place for you to explore. If possible, try to stay at a hotel that’s close to this area, because you’ll probably want to end each evening by walking to this area and exploring what it has to offer. 

Address: Northern Quarter, Manchester

Manchester Museum:

If you’re someone who loves to explore the world’s history, then you’ve got to add the Manchester Museum to your itinerary. The Manchester Museum’s collection mainly centers around natural history, with many exhibitions that focus on Egyptian mummies, unusual beetles, dinosaur skeletons, and more. One of the biggest highlights of this museum include an exhibit on rare reptiles and frogs, a creepy yet intriguing exhibit. 

Address: Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, The University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester.

Victoria Baths:

If you’ve always wanted to enjoy a great experience at a Turkish bath, you don’t necessarily have to travel all the way to Turkey! If you’re in Manchester, then you’ve got to head down to Victoria Baths, which is a well-known bathhouse. Apart from offering a great bathhouse experience, the Victoria Baths also host theatrical performances, gin and beer festivals, and even weddings. So, if you’re planning a trip to Manchester, do make a point to note whether there are special events that coincide with your trip so that you can make the most of it. 

Address: Victoria Baths, Hathersage Rd, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester.

Cloud 23:

Cloud 23 is a great restaurant for people who want to spend a romantic evening with their significant other, while enjoying a great meal. Located on the 23rd floor, the bar offers stunning panoramic views of Manchester. However, that’s not the only reason why you should visit this place. Cloud 23 offers a range of inventive cocktails that pack a punch. If you’re lucky, you might just run into a footballer or movie star – that’s how exclusive this place is! 

Address: Cloud 23, Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, Manchester.

Manchester Art Gallery:

The Manchester Art Gallery is a free-entry gallery that hosts a lot of exciting exhibitions, and if you’ love exposing yourself to interesting works of art that challenge the way you think, then you certainly should include this place on your list of places to visit when in Manchester. The Manchester Art Gallery has beautiful oil paintings, costumes and decorative arts as a part of its permanent collection, so even if there isn’t an exhibition taking place when you visit, you’ll still have a lot to see!

Address: Manchester Art Gallery Manchester, England, United Kingdom


Affleck’s is one of the most popular spots in Manchester for the alternate crowd, and if you’re looking for interesting fetish gear or even tamer items like DIY jewellery, then you’ll find it with ease here. If you’re interested in an exciting culinary experience, then you should head down to Ginger’s Comfort Emporium for some luxury ice cream. The stores here offer an array of funky clothing, memorabilia and jewellery. Make sure that you do head down to this part of town if you are looking for an unforgettable experience.

Address: Affleck’s, 52 Church St, Manchester.

Manchester Cathedral:

If you’d like to explore Victorian architecture, then you must visit the Manchester Cathedral, which is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The stunning interiors will take your breath away as you sit in the vast Cathedral, exploring your own spirituality. As this is one of the most beautiful areas in Manchester, it often hosts a ton of gigs. So, keep an eye out for the same and see what’s in store for you when you’re visiting the city. Do note that the cathedral shuts at 5:30 on Mondays and Fridays, and 6:30 on all other days.

Address: Victoria Street, Manchester, England, M3 1SX, United Kingdom

Manchester has a range of beautiful attractions for you to explore, so you should certainly ensure that you visit this city while travelling across Great Britain. From art galleries to football stadiums and museums, there is a lot for you to experience, no matter how you picture your perfect evening. Spend at least a few days in this city so that you can make the most of your time in this place, and do bookmark this page so that you can refer to it while planning your trip.

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Arthurs Seat

We may not accept this, but the traveller within each one of us wants to someday climb up an extinct volcano. Visiting Arthur’s Seat will allow you to achieve that secret dream. 

Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park is the crown of an inactive volcano. Reaching the summit means climbing up a hill that is covered by the remnants of a volcano that spewed lava more than 350 million years ago. From the mystery around its name to the belief that the dew surrounding the hill has magical properties on one particular day every year, Arthur’s Seat is a destination filled with enigma and thrill. While these stories will keep you entertained throughout your climb, the summit will give you the most exquisite views of Edinburgh that will leave you gasping for breath. 

Speaking of Arthur’s Seat in his notes on the city, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design". Already intrigued? Keep reading to out find more about how to plan a visit to this beauty of a place that had Stevenson fall short of words.  

Location : Located in Queen’s Drive, Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of a family of hills in Holyrood Park. 


Though it can be quite a struggle, especially when on vacation, the best time to ascend Arthur’s Seat to get the loveliest views of the city, would be before sunrise. While waking up that early might seem like torture right now, once you are up there drenching your eyes with the beauty around, you will be thanking yourself for making that choice. 


When trekking to Arthur’s Seat, you can take various routes, depending on what kind of experience you would like to indulge in and what level of difficulty you are up for. These routes include: 

1. The ancient lava trail:

If you want to follow the remains of the lava that was once spit out by this dormant volcano, then go for the red route. Start from the cark park at Holyrood Palace and follow the path paved in red. This is often described as the most beautiful way to see Arthur’s Seat; however, be warned that the climb on the red route is a bit strenuous compared to the other paths.  

2. The lazy person’s route:

If you want to see what the hullabaloo around Arthur’s Seat is all about, but also want to put in as little effort as possible, then we have just the right route for you. With this route, you walk through the valley of Hunter’s Bog to escape the city and effortlessly head up to the pinnacle. 

3. The direct route:

This route to Arthur’s Seat is for the adventurer amongst us. Begin your walk from the Holyrood Park Road entrance and keep following the trail until you reach Salisbury Crags. The climb is steep and challenging, but isn’t that what keeps the adrenaline pumping?


It is hard to believe, but climbing up to Arthur’s Seat is absolutely free! All you need is to have is time on your hands to explore the beauty of this magnificent site. 

Recommended for:

Anyone who loves climbing up a jagged terrain to reach the summit and see the most splendid views of the city sprawling around it, should visit the Arthur’s Seat. All you need to do is carry a care pack consisting of a bottle of water and a towel to help you in case the sun decides to be unkind during your hike. It should take you two hours to trek to Arthur’s Seat and back, so be prepared. 

Interesting facts about Arthur’s Seat:

The crown of an extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat is bursting with enthralling stories and facts that will leave you wanting for more. Here are some of those:

1. The ambiguity behind its name:

No one knows how Arthur’s Seat got its name. Isn’t that fascinating?! This mystery has resulted in many rumours, each more captivating than the other. Some people believe that Arthur’s Seat is a part of Camelot, the mystical castle of King Arthur and his Knights. There are others who think Arthur’s Seat got its name from Àrd-na-Said, which means height of arrows in Scottish. Regardless of how it got its name, Arthur’s Seat will always be a thing of beauty!  

2. Where the dragon sleeps:

There are legends galore about this destination, which will further fuel your desire to visit Arthur’s Seat. According to an ancient Celtic tale, there was once a dragon that flew over this region. It would eat up all the farm animals and terrorise the villagers by spitting fire. One day, the dragon ate so much that it got exhausted and lay down to sleep, and fortunately for the village folks, it never got up again. The people of Scotland believe that the dragon still sleeps under Arthur’s Seat. Maybe it is time you go and find out for yourself. 

3. Ever heard of cliff-coffins:

While the legends are so fascinating, even true history of the place leaves you awestruck. One of the strangest facts about Arthur’s Seat is that in 1836, 17 coffins were found here. These miniature coffins had wooden figures in them. All the figures were dressed differently. The burial was three-layered, with the first and second layer having eight coffins each, and the third layer having one. Why the coffins were there, no one knows the answer to that yet. Eerie and intriguing at the same time!

4. The May Day Tradition:

According to a Scottish tradition, women would climb Arthur’s Seat on May Day and cleanse their faces with dew which was considered to have magic in it. The dew was believed to keep women younger and their skin safe from acne and blemishes. Wouldn’t you want to go and try that for yourself?

5. Pop culture features for Arthur’s Seat:

Arthur’s Seat has featured in several popular novels, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Jules Verne’s The Underground City. It has also been written about in several of Ian Rankin’s novels. The movies that have filmed their scenes at Arthur’s Seat include, Chariots of Fire, A Better Life, and T2 Trainspotting. 

6. Sanctuary for people who cannot pay their dues:

Ever wondered what happened to debtors in Scotland? Well, some of them were imprisoned at the foot of Arthur’s Seat! People who were charged with not paying off their dues were imprisoned in and around Holyrood Park, and an “S’ was painted at the edge of this sanctuary where they were kept. Only on Sundays, the debtors were free to leave the place and go around without being harmed. 

7. The Prince’s love changed the place:

History has it that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were head over heels in love with Scotland! Quite obviously, Arthur’s Seat didn’t fail to capture their attention too. But Prince Albert was worried about the swamp around the hill and was not happy with how it was getting polluted by the people living in Old Town. To get the area cleaned, he created the Queen’s Drive, from where one could see Arthur’s Seat and revel in its beauty. Maybe we need to thank him for preserving this place for us!

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Movie Buffs

Most people associate Liverpool with football and The Beatles. Only a few, however, think of cultural and heritage sites while planning their trip. Did you know that Liverpool is also a prime location when it comes to Hollywood movies? Directors and set designers find this city incredibly easy to shoot in, which is why so many of your favourite movies from the last decade feature scenes that were shot here. We’re not just talking about movies that revolve around British characters or stories – read on to find out which Liverpool location is commonly used to depict an old-timey New York City!

If you’re a cinephile, you probably make it a point to explore locations that you’ve seen appear in films when you travel. Doesn’t it make you feel a bit closer to the characters you love? While this is a great way to pay tribute to your favourite films, you may find that planning your vacation takes a lot more consideration than it does for others who simply want to visit the known tourist locations. To make your planning much easier, we’ve curated a list of locations in Liverpool that were used to shoot some of the most famous movies in the world. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of the movies that we’ll be covering:

1. Chariots of Fire (1981)

2. Yentl (1983)

3. The Dark Knight (2008)

4. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

5. Nowhere Boy (2009)

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010)

7. Route Irish (2010)

8. Captain America – the First Avenger (2011)

9. Fast and the Furious 6 (2013)

10. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

12. Tolkein (2019)

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Chariots of Fire was one of the most celebrated films of its time, portraying the story of two men who were competing in the Olympics. Its soundtrack is one of the most iconic ones too. While the film was shot all over UK, you’ll find a few hotspots from Liverpool in the film such as the Port of Liverpool building, the Royal Court Theatre, the Birkenhead Woodside Ferry terminal and the Oval Sports Centre in Bebbington. 

Yentl (1983)

If you’re a hardcore Barbara Streisand fan, then you probably love the movie Yentl, which chronicles the story of a woman who dresses up as a man to receive Talmudic education. During the final scene of the movie, the protagonist, Babz, boards an Atlantic steamer to head off to America. However, you’ll be shocked to know that this scene was filmed on Liverpool’s Isle of Man Ferry Boat right on the Mersey River!

The Dark Knight (2008)

Who can forget Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the impact it had in terms of redefining the superhero genre? Now, while Gotham is in America, you’ll find that there are quite a few scenes that were shot in Liverpool. If you’re wondering where to head off to, then it’s the Liverpool waterfront! Re-watch the movie and see if you can spot it!

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Guy Ritchie did a wonderful job of adapting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic character, Sherlock Holmes, for the big screen and many fans loved Robert Downey Jr’s interpretation of the same. If you’re a fan of the detective and want to step into his shoes, then maybe you should visit the Stanley and Clarence docks in Liverpool and re-live the explosive ending of the film!

Nowhere Boy (2009)

Nowhere Boy is based on John Lennon’s adolescence, so it’s no surprise that the movie was shot in Liverpool in some parts. If you want to pay homage to the film and visit all the locations that it was shot in, then you should check out the Woolton Picture House, the Mersey River, Liverpool docks, Liverpool Cathedral, South Brick street, Sacred Heart Catholic College in Crosby, and St. George’s Hall. Make sure you visit all of these spots to truly get a sense of Lennon’s life. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010)

If you’re a Potterhead, you’ve probably planned a trip to key areas in Scotland and London so that you can visit the studios and filming locations there. But what if we told you that the movie was also filmed in Liverpool? Do you remember the high-octane scene when Harry and Hagrid flee the Death Eaters and zoom through a muggle tunnel? That’s the Birkenhead Tunnel in Liverpool. Visit this place and enjoy a moment of pretending you’re a part of the crew, fleeing Death Eaters and trying to get Harry to safety.

Route Irish (2010)

Route Irish is an action film based on a security contractor who’s out to uncover what really happened to his friend. If you’ve seen this, you know that it’s largely set in Liverpool and even features one of the funniest comics to come out of the city, John Bishop. If you want to check out all the places that this film was shot in, then you must head down to St. Brides Church, The Malmaison Hotel, and the Merseyside Dance Initiative, which is located right on Hope Street. 

Captain America – the First Avenger (2011)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe inspired fans across the globe to track character arcs that almost spanned a decade, proving that the fandom is always loyal no matter how much time passes between the beginning of a journey and its end. Captain America – the first Avenger, introduced the man in blue, and the world fell in love with Chris Evans as Steve Rogers. Now, most of the movie is set in America, however, the scenes that show the training center in New York (set in 1940, not the future) were actually filmed at Stanley Dock. Head to this location if you’re an MCU fan who wants to show some love to the franchise!

Fast and the Furious 6 (2013)

The Fast and the Furious franchise is a huge one that’s all set to see its ninth installment launch. If you want to drive your car down the same streets and lanes as your heroes have, then you need to check out Liverpool’s Drury Lane, the Birkenhead Tunnel, and even the seaside resort called Wirral’s New Brighton. As the franchise is vastly popular, these locations in Liverpool had to be closed off during the shooting phase as the stars would attract millions of fans. 

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit follows the story of its titular character who’s traveling to Russia in order to check up on Cherevin, a businessman. However, while doing so, he uncovers a secret terrorist plot and ends up being part of a rip-roaring adventure that revolves around stopping the same. There are many different locations in Liverpool that were used to create scenes for the film. Some of these include the Canada Boulevard, the Birkenhead tunnel (which features in a ton of movies, as you’ve already read), and the Liverpool Waterfront, which is a World Heritage Site. 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fans of Harry Potter have another reason to rejoice – the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was partly shot in Liverpool! The movie follows the journey of Newt Scamander as he embarks on an adventure to re-capture magical beasts that have been unleashed in New York City (unwittingly by them, of course). You’ll be surprised to know that many of the New York scenes were filmed in Liverpool. So, grab your Nargle and head down to St. George’s Hall and the city’s cultural quarter. 

Tolkein (2019)

Tolkein is a biographical film based on the life of J.R.R. Tolkein, the author of the Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. The movie focuses on the author’s early life, depicting his childhood and his time spent as an English teacher. For those who didn’t know, the author had enlisted in the First World War and lost loved ones – all of which features in the film. The movie ends with him feeling inspiring to write The Hobbit, and is a must-watch for fans of both, the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Locations like the Town Hall and St. George’s Hall were used in the film. 

With so many exciting locations for you to check out, there’s no way that you can get bored when visiting Liverpool. Make sure you include all of these places in your itinerary and bookmark this page so that you have something to refer to while you’re planning the trip. 

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Liverpool Cathedrals

Liverpool is a city with multiple cultural heritages and while you’re planning your trip to this bustling city, you must also add the two iconic cathedrals it has to offer to your itinerary. This is because these cathedrals can act as the perfect spot to introspect and look back on your travels, while also enjoying a deeply spiritual experience. 

Liverpool has two main Cathedrals – the Liverpool Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Now, don’t think that just because you’ve visited one, you can do away with the other as both have completely different architecture, histories and overall vibes. Additionally, the journey to these cathedrals is also worth the effort as you’ll get to see picturesque landscapes on the way and marvel at the beauty of Great Britain in general.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is an iconic building to say the least, as it does not look like most cathedrals – the exterior is quite modern and reflective of the era that it was built in, the 60s. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is the seat of the archbishop of Liverpool and its design underwent multiple changes, with a total of four different architects presenting designs at different periods. However, since nothing really came to fruition, the local authorities launched a competition to design the cathedral, and finally, Frederick Gibberd won the contract.

Highlights of the cathedral:

  • The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King houses the crypt of Sir Edward Lutyens, the renowned architect. Tourists can visit the crypt to pay homage to the man. 
  • The cathedral is made entirely with concrete, which is what contributes to it having such a distinct look. 
  • The interiors are made with white marble that was sourced from Skopje, Macedonia, and this is offset by stained glass art in three colours, red, blue, and yellow to represent the Holy Trinity. 
  • Music plays a huge role at this cathedral, and you must time your visit to coincide with a choir performance to make the most of your visit. 
  • The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Liverpool. 
  • There is a gift shop in the cathedral’s premises and you can get adorable presents for your family or loved ones waiting for you at home.
  • The cathedral is disabled-friendly. 
  • There is a café located in the premises of the cathedral for visitors to enjoy a delicious supper or brunch. 


The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is located at Cathedral House, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 5TQ.


The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King opens at 7:30 am and closes at 5:30 pm. However, do keep in mind that the timings can vary with the weather, which is why it makes sense to check the website or call before you visit. 

Additionally, it pays to note that Lutyen’s crypt is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the last visit scheduled at 3:30 pm.


You can enter the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King without having to pay for a ticket. However, if you want to visit Sir Edward Lutyen’s crypt, then you must purchase a ticket for £ 3. Do keep in mind that family tickets are priced at £ 8. 

Nearby Attractions:

When planning a visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, plan your itinerary in a way that you can visit the following nearby attractions:

  1. Victoria Gallery and Museum 
  2. Liverpool Everyman
  3. The Florist
  4. Fly in the Loaf
  5. Liverpool’s Craft Beer Experience tour
  6. Junkyard Golf Club

The Liverpool Cathedral

The Liverpool Cathedral is the largest cathedral in England, and the fifth largest one in Europe. With a construction period that spanned between 1904 and 1978, the cathedral reflects Victorian aesthetics. Interestingly, like the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, the Liverpool Cathedral’s design and construction was also up for grabs as a result of a competition set up by authorities. When 22-year-old architect Giles Gilbert Scott won, many locals raised questions as the architect had never really designed anything in his life, apart from a pipe rack. 

Highlights of the cathedral:

  • The Liverpool Cathedral stands at 189 meters, and is the tallest cathedral in the world.
  • You can take a trip to the top of the cathedral in order to enjoy a beautiful 360-degree view of the city.
  • The Liverpool Cathedral has two cafes within its premises for patrons to enjoy a warm meal at after a morning filled with prayer and light – The Mezzanine Café and the Welsford, which offer the delicious traditional Sunday roast dinner.
  • The Liverpool Cathedral is home to the heaviest peal of bells, so make sure that you check out the same.
  • The cathedral is also disabled-friendly, ensuring that people from all walks of life can access the cathedral.
  • You can enjoy a guided tour of the cathedral and find out more about the city of the building.

Location: The Liverpool Cathedral is located at St James Mount, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 7AZ. 


The Liverpool Cathedral opens daily at 8 am, and closes at 6 pm. The timings can sometimes vary based on the weather which is why you should check the website for updates. 


The Standard ticket is priced at £ 6 while the family ticket is priced at £ 16. Additionally, the concessions ticket is priced at £ 5. 

Nearby Attractions:

When you plan a trip to the Liverpool Cathedral, you should also make it a point to visit these nearby attractions:

  • St. James Mount and Gardens
  • Chinese Arch
  • China Town
  • Liverpool Biennial 
  • The Bombed-Out Church
  • Hot Water Comedy Club

These cathedrals are integral to the locals in the city and when you’re visiting Liverpool, you definitely need to visit these cathedrals in order to get a sense of the city’s energy and history. 

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Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Art lets you explore a range of emotions and subjects without truly stepping out of your own world, which is why it’s such a great medium of communication to explore while travelling. As someone planning a trip to Great Britain or just Scotland, you absolutely must consider being a part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (or ‘The Fringe’, as locals call it). 

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world and typically spans over 25 days (give or take a few days each year based on the performances scheduled). With a range of performances across categories like comedy, cabaret, theatre, children’s shows, music, opera, events, exhibitions, spoken word, dance and more. This means that there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. 

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival was established in 1947 with just 8 theatre companies performing at the time. During this period, the International Festival had already booked most of the conventional venues in Edinburgh, which is why these theatre companies had to resort to unconventional venues and open invitations to all. This established the heart of the festival, with performers today enjoying bragging rights over snagging unconventional spaces and audiences invited to see free performances at certain parts of the festival (along with paid ones, of course). 

Interestingly, as The Fringe was such an unknown entity, much of its early years of existence have faded into oblivion with no official records. However, in spite of that, word-of-mouth contributed to the festival growing larger each year and seeing a larger number of audiences as time went on. This itself is a testament to the fact that the festival offered interesting content for audiences to explore – something that the mainstream festivals at the time were failing to do.

During the 60s and 70s, when travelling to Europe became more mainstream and the Free Love culture was in the air, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival truly exploded into fame. The festival developed major street credentials and became the go-to festival for artists, musicians, audiences, and people who wanted to explore alternate culture. While the festival was largely organized by students at the University of Edinburgh, it eventually became such a huge event that a separate governing body was developed in 1969. Now, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest festival in the world that’s dedicated to arts, with millions flocking to it each year. 


The festival occurs all over Edinburgh, Scotland, with performances and stalls all over select streets, paid venue spaces (such as the Underbelly, Gilded Balloon, Assembly, Pleasance, and others), and public spaces.


The Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place between 7th – 31st August, with no specific timings for when you can attend the festival. However, do keep in mind that different shows and performances will occur at specific times, and keeping tabs on the same via the Fringe’s website will help you plan your trip more effectively. 


You can expect a range of great experiences when you visit the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Some of these include:

  • Over 3,500 exciting shows to watch across different genres and media styles.
  • Free performances in the form of street performances and street theatre that last for 30 minutes.
  • Living statues that will certainly bring a smile to your face when you watch them come to life.
  • Portrait artists and caricaturists who can create stunning pictures of you to share with your loved ones at home.
  • A range of services such as hair braiding, palm reading, massages, balloon modelling, henna artists, face painting, and more.
  • A range of market stalls that offer interesting tchotchkes and souvenirs that you can take home for your loved ones to enjoy.
  • Amenities set in place to ensure that people with disabilities can also move around within the festival venues (and from one venue to another), making this a highly inclusive festival.
  • Separate quiet areas to relax if you get overwhelmed by the bustling crowd – a great way to make introverts feel at home!
  • Sensory backpacks for children and adults on the Autism spectrum to enjoy the festival without feeling overwhelmed.


Prices: Ticket prices range from being free to £25, depending on the shows that you want to see.


Free tickets give you access to free shows, while other show-related tickets will only give you access to the show you plan to see. 

Recommended For: 

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is recommended for people across all age groups, as there are separate art shows and installments for children all over the city, making the festival a great space to introduce your child to art and self-expression. Additionally, the fringe is also appropriate for people with disabilities as there are plenty of accessible toilets, transport options as well as ramps for people to use. Apart from sensory backpacks that are appropriate for people across the Autism spectrum, you can also pick up tools that empower hearing impaired people to enjoy the festival too. 

Furthermore, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a great artistic experience by exposing themselves to great works of art, in the form of music, theatre, film, and more. If you happen to be in Scotland in August, there’s no way you can miss out on attending this festival.

Interesting facts:

  • In 2018, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival featured 55,000 performances that spanned across 3,548 different shows.
  • The festival was first established in 1947 and is still going strong.
  • Comedy legends like, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson performed at the Fringe in the 1960s!

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a huge opportunity to expose yourself to new forms of expression and increase your understanding of the human experience. As a traveler, isn’t that exactly what you want? While planning your trip to the Great Britain, do consider heading there in August just to be able to be a part of one of the most iconic arts festivals in the whole world! 

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British Museum

You cannot possibly visit London and not make a trip to any of its museums. While there are quite a few, we recommend the best museum in London, The British Museum. A treasure trove of art, culture and human history, this is a must-visit for anyone interested in mankind’s journey through time. There are over 500 years of artistic inspiration, from across the globe, for you to feast your eyes on.

Location: The British Museum is located in Great Russell Street London


It is open all days of the week.

Daily hours: 10.00 am to 5.30 pm

Fridays: 10.00 am – 8.30 pm (only certain galleries)

The museum remains closed on 1 January, Good Friday, 24-26 December every year.


Seeing the museum in its entirety requires several hours, over several days. If you are on a tight schedule, you can plan your visit carefully and make sure that you don’t miss most of the important exhibits. Here are the highlights that we recommend.

Ground and lower floors

The Sloane Astrolabe (Room 1)

The astrolabe was crafted around 1300; this makes it the earliest and also the largest English astrolabe to have survived since the Middle Ages.

The Holy Thorn Reliquary (Room 2a)

This lavishly-decorated reliquary contains a single thorn that is believed to have been taken from the biblical crown of thorns.

Bust of Ramesses the Great (Room 4)

This bust of one of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs is part of a larger statue which weighs 7.5 tonnes.

The Rosetta Stone (Room 4)

You cannot leave without viewing the key that helped unlock the hieroglyphic language of ancient Egypt.

Assyrian lion hunt reliefs (Room 10)

Feast your eyes on some fine art originating from the ancient Mesopotamian city of Nineveh.

Parthenon sculptures (Room 18)

Ancient Greek sculptures carved about 2,500 years ago.

Hoa Hakananai'a (Room 24)

This statue is oftentimes called 'the finest example of Easter Island sculpture'.

Aztec serpent (Room 27)

A double-headed serpent sculpture from the 15th or 16th century made mostly of turquoise pieces.

Tang ceramic tomb figures (Room 33)

This set of 13 earthenware figures from China is believed to be from the 8th century.

Cloisonné jar with dragons (Room 33)

The enamel technique on this jar was developed in 15th-century China.

Upper floor

Mechanical galleon (Room 39)

Constructed around 1585 in southern Germany, this mechanical table ornament performed an amazing set of movements.

Lewis Chessmen (Room 40)

Don’t miss a chance to see the most famous chess pieces in the world.

The Sutton Hoo ship burial (Room 41)

These artefacts of the Sutton Hoo burial date back to 7th century Britain.

Jade terrapin (Room 43)

This beautiful terrapin, carved from a single piece of jade, was discovered at the bottom of a well.

The Hinton St Mary Mosaic (Room 49)

This artefact dates back to the 4t century and is one of the earliest surviving depictions of Christ.

Basse Yutz flagons (Room 50)

These sophisticated ceremonial drinking vessels were manufactured in the 5th century.

Mold ceremonial gold cape (Room 51)

This cape dates back to the European Bronze Age and is a fine example of prehistoric sheet-gold working.

Oxus treasure (Room 52)

Feast your eyes on these gorgeous pieces of gold and silver metalwork dating back to 5th to 3rd century BC.

The Flood Tablet (Room 55)

This tablet describes the meeting of Gilgamesh with Utnapishtim, who had been forewarned of a great flood.

Royal Game of Ur (Room 56)

A board game played in early 3rd century BC and popular across the Middle East.

Mummy of Katebet (Room 63)

This surprisingly well-preserved mummy and her accessories date back to 1300 BC.

Sphinx of Taharqo (Room 65)

This statue was discovered in Temple T at Kawa.

Samurai armour (Room 92–94)

This complete, matching set of armour was manufactured for a member of the all-powerful Mori family.

Lower floor

The Ife Head (Room 25)

This brass casting is believed to be 600 years old and depicts Ooni, the leader of the West African Kingdom of Ife.

Price: Entry to the museum is free.

Recommended for:

Whether you are an art lover or not, spending a few hours at the British Museum will be one of the best ways to spend some time when in London. This is a great way to discover world history in an interesting manner. And the best part is, that admission is free.

Interesting facts about the National Museum

A trip to the British Museum is a must for those looking for a quick trip into mankind’s past. Whether you manage to spend all the hours you need or not, here are some interesting nuggets about the museum.

  • This British Museum was established in 1753 and opened to the public on 15 January 1759.
  • The museum was originally set up to showcase the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, a physician and collector, who wished for the artefacts to last after his death.
  • The museum opened with over 400,000 books and antiques that he had collected from Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Middle East, and America.
  • The oldest artefact in the museum is a stone-chopping tool that is believed to be almost 2 million years old!
  • At any point only 1% of the museum’s collection is on display to the public, and that’s 80,000 objects!
  • Did you know British street artist Banksy once tricked the museum and they displayed his ‘Early Man Goes to Market’ in their Roman Britain collection?
  • The museum has collaborated with Google to store images and information of about 2 million objects online.
  • The Rosetta Stone is of granite and weighs about 760 kilograms
  • During WW II precious artefacts, such as the Rosetta Stone, were shifted to secret locations for their safety.
  • The British Museum is the world’s largest and it covers over 92,000 square metres.
  • When the ‘Treasures of Tutankhamun’ was opened in 1972, almost 1.7 million visitors saw the temporary exhibition. This is the most successful exhibit ever in British history.
  • All the marble sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens have been removed and brought to the Acropolis Museum and other museums around Europe for their conservation.
  • The only surviving life-sized cartoon by Michelangelo, ‘Epifania’, is at the British Museum.
  • Every year over 5 million visitors walk through the corridors of the museum, making it the third most visited museum in the world. Did you know that the Louvre in Paris and New York’s Metropolitan Museum are the contenders for the top two spots?

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Alnwick Castle

When in Northumberland, England, the one castle that is on everyone’s list is the Alnwick Castle. This is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country. It is home to the Duke and the Duchess of Northumberland. The iconic castle is a favourite spot, not only because of its rich history, but also because of the fact that the Harry Potter series have been filmed here. The Alnwick Castle conducts various events inspired by the wizardry of Potter that you and your family can participate in!

Everything you need to know about visiting the castle, its museums and garden, while also taking part in any or all of the events going on, is given below in detail.  


To purchase tickets, or rather, to unlock your tickets to this magnificent castle, visit their official website at alnwickcastle.com. Here you will find tickets to the Alnwick Castle as well as the Alnwick Garden. 


Visitors can access the Alnwick Castle all through the season opening. During this time, the castle can be visited from 10AM to 5:30PM. Here’s a list of all the timings, as provided by the website: 

Place Time
Castle grounds and museums  10.00 am -  5.30 pm
State Rooms  10.30 am  -  4.30 pm
Artisans Courtyard  10.00 am -  5.00 pm
Gift Shop  10.00 am -  5.00 pm
Courtyard Cafe  10.00 am -  5.00 pm
Armoury Takeaway  10.30 am -  4.00 pm
Stables Fryery  11.30 am - 3.00 pm

The last entry to the castle grounds and museums, the State Rooms and the Artisans Courtyard is at 3:45pm, 4:00pm, and 4:30pm, respectively. Also, it is important to note that for various unforeseen causes, the entry timings might change. To be on the safe side, call the official authorities on 01665 511 100 for information before heading out. 


There are two ways of getting a pass to the magical Alnwick Castle. The first way is to avail it at the gates and the other way is to book it online from the official website of the castle. 

The reason why you should go for the second option is;

  • There is usually a huge line at the gates because Alnwick Castle is a prime tourist spot that sees travellers from around the globe on a daily basis. 
  • Apart from the convenience of booking a ticket online, the other benefit is that you get to avail a 10 per cent discount on every kind of ticket when you book online. 

If you are travelling to Alnwick Castle on Arriva bus, then you get an additional 20% discount on tickets to the castle. 


  • Access to Castle (Castle-only tickets)
  • Access to Garden (Garden-only tickets)
  • Access to both Castle and Garden 
  • Harry Potter events (if it is during the season) 

For those with combined tickets, the castle part of the ticket can be unlocked at the castle admissions. Once unlocked, you can visit the castle as many times as you wish within 12 months. 

The ticket to the garden or the garden portion of the combined ticket is valid only for a day. 


The price of tickets to Alnwick Castle vary depending on whether you have booked it online or are purchasing it at the gate. Booking online means availing a 10 per cent discount. Also, prices vary for adults and children, for family, for castle and garden combined, etc. 

Castle ticket prices 

Castle Adult - £15.05 (£16.75 at the gate)

Castle Concession - £12.15 (£13.50 at the gate)

Castle Child (5-16yrs) - £7.95 (£8.85 at the gate)

Castle Child (4yrs and under)- Free

Castle Family (2 adults and up to 4 children)- £41.15 (£45.75 at the gate)

Castle and garden combined ticket prices

Castle and Garden Adult - £25.89 (£28.70 at the gate)

Castle and Garden Concession - £22.15 (£24.55 at the gate)

Castle and Garden Child (5-16yrs) - £11.23 (£12.45 at the gate)

Castle and Garden Child (4yrs and under)- Free

Castle and Garden Family (2 adults and up to 4 children) - £65.41 (£72.50 at the gate)

Recommended for:

The Alnwick Castles and Garden with its history and magic are loved by both adults and children. Because of this, it makes for a fantastic family day out. To ensure that you do not spend most of your time in a line at the gate, it is recommended you book your tickets online. The concession ticket for a disabled person allows one free carer per ticket. Regrettably though, owing to the structure of the castle, there are some parts that are not accessible for disabled visitors. 

Interesting facts about the Alnwick Castle tour 

When visiting the Alnwick Castle, here are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of the tour: 

1. Plan ahead: The best way to ensure that you do not miss out on any of the important attractions when visiting the Alnwick Castle, plan in advance. Go through the official website and do a little research for yourself. You can even make a map of how you would like to explore the castle and its adjoining garden to get the best experience. 

2. Book your tickets online : Many people who visit the Alnwick Castle end up spending most of their time in the lines at the gate or, depending on the rush, may even have to return home disheartened. To avoid this, book your tickets online. This also qualifies you for a 10 per cent discount on all types of tickets, that is, castle-only, garden-only, combined, and concessional. 

3. Check what events are going on: Depending on which time of the year you are visiting the Alnwick Castle, there are various events that you can be a part of. Some of these events include dining events, seasonal events, evening events, etc. There are also different luncheons that are organized at the Courtyard Restaurant on important days like Mother’s Day that you can take your mom to. The menus are usually up on the website along with the additional charges. 

4.  The Harry Potter bonanza: Since the first two Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, were filmed at the Alnwick Castle, there is Potter-inspired entertainment that happens in the castle on special occasions. During Easter Holidays, you can experience a comical performance at the castle by characters based on the film. The days between 24th August and 31st August, which is considered the Wizarding Week, also sees a lot of magical events created around Harry Potter. These experiences are free with admission so you should make sure you don’t miss it if you are visiting the Alnwick Castle during this time of the year.

5. Outdoor cinema: As a part of its evening events for people visiting Alnwick Castle with family, the castle organizes outdoor cinema experiences. Even if it rains, the event continues. The ones who avail a VIP ticket have seating arranged for them. Fret not, the castle allows camping chairs as well as blankets that you can carry along. Before the film begins, you get to enjoy some snacks and can even go for a few drinks at the bar while enjoying the live music. 

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Botanic Garden

Barely 30 minutes from the heart of London is a stunning living paradise of plants and flowers. Botanic Gardens, now called Kew Gardens, is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are looking for the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is a tour we highly recommend. Filled with plants, trees, flowers and also boasting of a research centre, this is as popular among tourists as it is with the locals, some of whom also have annual passes to the gardens.

Location : Botanic Garden is in Kew, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.



The garden opens at 10 am every day. Its closing time varies according to the season.

The Botanic Garden is shut on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.



The Botanic Garden has plenty of attractions for those who are seeking beauty in nature. Here are the top things that you must not miss when you visit this paradise:

Treetop Walkway

The treetop walkway is a 60 ft high circular pathway that takes you to the top of the forest. It could get a little unnerving for those with a fear of heights; just don’t look down. But believe us, if you do climb up, the view and the experience will be spectacular. We recommend it because it takes you away from the crowds.

Palm House

A beautiful structure, the Palm House is believed to be the most important surviving Victorian iron and glass spectacle in the world. The glasshouse contains palms and tropical plants from around the world including from Asia, Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Americas, and the Pacific islands. There is also an underground marine aquarium. You can climb the 30 ft high walkway around the centre portion of the glasshouse to see the tops of trees growing inside the greenhouse.

Waterlily House

Right next door is the Waterlily House. This is much smaller and primarily contains a circular pond with water lilies, ferns, and hanging gourds. If you visit in May/June, you will get to see the giant Amazon water lilies blooming. Take note, the Waterlily House is only open from April to September.

Kew Palace

Kew Palace is possibly the smallest of the British royal palaces, and when you walk through its rooms you will see how King George III lived there in the 18th century. Admission to the palace is included in the ticket price.

The Royal Kitchens

The Royal Kitchens were shut to visitors for nearly 200 years and have only recently been opened. You enter through the kitchen gardens and walk through the four preparation rooms where the bread was baked, the food was stored, and all the washing was done. You will then head into the Great Kitchen where daily meals were served. You can even see the tub in which George III liked to take his bath.

Sackler Crossing

A pretty lake in the middle of the gardens, it is also away from the crowds, which means less noise and more chances of seeing wildlife. There are benches around the lake under the trees, where you can enjoy a nice afternoon picnic.

Redwood Grove

A visit to the Redwood Grove with these towering giants is highly recommended. A mix of coastal and giant redwoods have taken over the space in the west side of the park. You will get a sense of their size only when you see them in person. A circular paved area on the path, 26 ft in diameter, has been marked off to indicate the actual width of ‘Grizzly Giant’, a living giant redwood in Yosemite National Park, USA.

Queen Charlotte’s Cottage

Accessible to the public only on a weekend or bank holiday, that too between April and September, this charming little cottage looks like something that stepped out of a fairy tale. This was used by Queen Charlotte, King George III, and their daughters for having tea during long walks in the garden. Do visit the upstairs room, also the prettiest of them all.

Temperate House

The Temperate House is almost twice as large as the Palm House and it houses over 4,000 plants, some of which no longer grow in the wild. It was under renovation till recently, so you will be among the lucky ones to see the upgraded highlight in Kew Gardens.


You can purchase tickets online at kew.org at lower rates and the tickets are valid for 30 days from the date of purchase.

Onsite prices are:

Child: From £6.00 per ticket

Adult: From £18.00 per ticket

You can avail group discounts on pre-booked parties of 15 people or more.

Recommended for:

Botanic Park is a treat for nature lovers who can spend hours simply walking through this massive spread of nature’s splendour. You can take a break from your hectic sightseeing and relax in the embrace of nature while you catch your breath.

Interesting facts about Botanic Garden

Home to the world's most diverse collection of living plants and a scientific research centre of international renown, the Botanic Garden is the perfect day out.

  • The garden was established in 1759 by Augusta, the dowager princess of Wales.
  • Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The park is spread across 300 acres and has over 100 attractions to boast, including a Japanese Garden, the Palm House and the Temperate House, as well as several woods.
  • You can hop on to the train that moves around the park regularly, but it has separate fees.
  • You can purchase annual passes to Kew Gardens.
  • The Princess of Wales Conservatory maintains 10 of the world's climatic zones.
  • Don’t miss the 59ft (18m) high Treetop Walkway, which offers a bird's-eye view of the gardens.
  • The Great Broad Walk Borders houses more than 60,000 plants.
  • Kew Gardens contains over 28,680 taxa of living plants, a herbarium that has approximately seven million dried specimens, and a library boasting 130,000 volumes. There are also innumerable archived materials, periodicals, and prints and drawings.

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Romantic Places to Visit

Nothing beats exploring a brand-new country with someone you love – you’re guaranteed a lifetime’s worth of memories tinged with romance, happiness, and the thrill of adventure! If you’re an avid traveller who believes that life itself is a journey, then who better than your partner to accompany you on all your travels? 

Great Britain is filled with a myriad of stunning locations that are perfect for romantic partners to explore together. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping experiences or languid walks in gorgeous country sides, Great Britain can offer both, and much more! So, with your mind all set to start planning that next vacation, it’s time to find out exactly which destinations you’ve got to mark on the map!

Here’s a quick snapshot of all the destinations we’re talking about:

  1. Fairy Pools, the Isle of Skye
  2. The Cotswolds (especially Bourton-on-the-Water)
  3. Portmeirion, Wales
  4. Windmere, Lake District
  5. Butley & Orford Oysterage, Suffolk
  6. Thermae Bath Spa, Bath
  7. Arthur’s Seat + Northumberland, Edinburgh
  8. Durdle Door, Dorset
  9. Three Choirs Vineyards, Gloucestershire

Fairy Pools, the Isle of Skye:

The Isle of Skye is perhaps one of the most iconic locations for cinephiles, with the popular Game of Thrones series shot here on occasion. Even though this popular destination is in danger of transforming into a bit of a tourist cliché, you’ve definitely got to add it to your itinerary. Just picture mossy-green landscapes juxtaposed against stark white fog, rolling hills that stretch out as far as the eye can see, and grey skies that offer a beautiful contrast to the greenery you see around you. 

The Fairy Pools is a collection of rock pools with crystal clear water and tiny waterfalls that not only offer a visual treat, but an audio one as well if you love the sound of rushing water! Dive into these semi-shallow pools with your loved one and don’t forget to snap a few pictures for your social media! 

The Cotswolds (especially Bourton-on-the-Water):

If you’ve always dreamed of fairy tale villages with cobbled streets, quaint architecture, and a beautiful river running nearby, then Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds is a lovely place to add to your itinerary. This sleepy village is ideal for travellers who love to occasionally slow down their pace of life and enjoy quiet conversations held over a steaming cup of Joe. Talk a walk over the village’s iconic bridge and find out first-hand why this place is called Venice of the Cotswolds or enjoy a fun evening at the local pub with your partner. 

If you or your partner is an auto-enthusiast, you simply must head down to the Cotswold Motoring Museum to have a look at gorgeous vintage cars. You can also spend a day at Birdland, marvelling at the King Penguins, parrots, owls, and other birds.

Portmeirion, Wales:

If your heart belongs to Italy, and you’re longing for a piece of Sicilian culture even when travelling in a different country altogether, don’t worry because Portmeirion in Wales should have you covered. Known for being built to emulate a classic Italian village, this tourist hotspot is one of the most popular destinations in Wales. This is predominantly because this area offers a range of experiences that appeal to different types of travellers. For instance, if you love brooding landscapes that inspire your inner poet, then you’ve got to visit Moel y Gest. If you’re an animal lover, get acquainted with the gorgeous Black Rock Llamas and hear them bray (and while you’re at it, you must go to the iconic Black Rock Beach). If you want to see how the locals live, then going to the Boston Lodge to meet locals and travellers alike is a great idea. You see, there’s truly something for everyone!

Windmere, Lake District:

The Lake District is absolutely perfect for couples who love to spend time in the great outdoors. This national park is filled with beautiful lakeside paths for you to enjoy long walks and romantic conversations. If that’s not enough, you can always rent out a boat and cruise the river, take stunning pictures of the sky mirrored in the lake, and witness a lakeside sunset that’ll imprint itself in your memories forever. 

Foodies absolutely must head down to the Holbeck Ghyll, a Michelin-Star restaurant that offers splendid meals and sparkling champagne. 

Butley & Orford Oysterage, Suffolk:

Now here’s an option that’s just for all the food lovers out there! If you believe that the meals you eat are a crucial part of the travel experience, then there’s no way you can skip out on visiting the Butley & Orford Oysterage! What makes this a great place for couples isn’t just the 1960s vibe that emanates from the restaurant – it’s the fact that this place is known for mouth-watering unforgettable oysters. You’ve probably heard that oysters are a natural aphrodisiac, however, apart from giving your love life a bit of a boost, they’ll definitely give your taste buds a night to remember. All the seafood offered at this restaurant is locally sourced from the Butley creek. Chomp on your fill, wash your meals down with crisp white wine, and head down to your inn for a fantastic evening in!

Thermae Bath Spa, Bath:

The town of Bath is a great place to have a bath – no, seriously, it’s known for its refreshing spas. Frankly, when it comes to romantic experiences, a soak in a hot tub ranks quite high on the list, which is why this is a great place for you to visit with your partner. Take a dip in the town’s thermal pools while the mineral-rich water helps your muscles relax. The Thermae Bath Spa offers a range of relaxing massages, organic treatments, and even steam rooms for you to truly unwind together. Visiting this town can be a particularly great idea for newlyweds coming off the highs of a Big Fat Indian Wedding and looking for a honeymoon experience that combines romance with relaxation! 

Arthur’s Seat + Northumberland, Edinburgh:

Scotland is arguably one of the most beautiful countries in the world, so if you’re planning a trip that takes you through the Great Britain with your partner, then you certainly cannot skip this country. Potterheads definitely need to head down to Northumberland, which is just a day’s trip away, to stand in front of the magnificent Hogwarts Castle (alright, it’s called the Alnwick Castle in real life). If you happen to visit at the right time of the year, you can enjoy Broomstick flying lessons with your partner and live out all your Potter fantasies together. 

While in Edinburgh, you can head down to Arthur’s Seat, a walk that’s filled with bustling restaurants and quaint streets. Climb right up to the peak and look at the city below you for a lovely experience that the two of you will certainly cherish for life. 

Durdle Door, Dorset:

Durdle Door is one of the most gorgeous beaches in the UK, and it’s the perfect destination for travellers who simply cannot choose between mountain and beachside vacations! This is because it combines a bit of both – you’ve got a stunning white-sand beach, deep blue waters, and stunning hills. You can enjoy a lazy cliffside picnic while looking down at the beach below you, or a beachside bonfire with your partner as the sun sets. At night, both settings are equally lovely as you get to gaze up at a sky full of stars, with the sound of the water adding to the beauty around you!

Three Choirs Vineyards, Gloucestershire:

Vineyards happen to be some of the most beautiful locations, with lovely green landscapes, trees and the open sky – and they offer tons of wine! What could be more romantic that this? Take a fun walk with your partner, sipping exquisite wines and marvelling at the beauty around you. The Three Choirs Vineyards also offer overnight lodging so if you want to stay and enjoy this place to the fullest, you’ve got the chance to do so. If you’re planning your holiday around a birthday or anniversary, these vineyards can be a great place to celebrate the same!

To make sure that your vacation is filled with countless romantic memories and opportunities to strengthen your bond, you’ve simply must head down to these amazing destinations. Bookmark this page so that you’ve got a comprehensive list to refer to when you’re planning all the nitty-gritties of your trip! Furthermore, reach out to Thomas Cook to start planning that perfect romantic getaway. You can either choose from our coveted Holiday Packages or drop in at your closest branch to plan your romantic retreat! 

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20 Most Beautiful Castles

One cannot possibly go to Great Britain and not visit any of its majestic castles. For centuries these structures have played an important role in the development of the nation, and today they are considered to be custodians of England’s long history.

These massive structures, with their imposing stone features and large aristocratic and royal estates, are a treat for the eyes. Some are located out on cliffs and overlooking the sea, while some sit atop mountains, guarding all that lies below it.

Here are 20 of the most beautiful castles that you must add to your itinerary when you visit Great Britain:

1. Windsor Castle – the closest castle to London

2. Norwich Castle – a castle, a palace and a prison

3. Richmond Castle, Yorkshire – the most beloved attraction 

4. Bolton Castle, Yorkshire – the best castle to visit in England

5. Ludlow Castle, Shropshire – a fortress that became a royal palace

6. Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire – restored to its former glory

7. St Michaels Mount – a pilgrimage for believers

8. Leeds Castle, Kent – the most beautiful in England

9. Dover Castle, Kent – the most iconic fort in England

10. Tintagel, Cornwall – perfect for Arthurian enthusiasts

11. Skipton Castle, Yorkshire – built to last

12. Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight – a charming castle

13. Hever Castle, Kent – a fine art collection

14. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland – a stand-in for Hogwarts School

15. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland – one of the largest castles

16. Scarborough Castle, Yorkshire – 3,000 years of history

17. Corfe Castle, Dorset – imposing ruins

18. Warwick Castle, Warwickshire – jousting competitions

19. Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire – a symbol of power

20. Barnard Castle, County Durham – home to ‘sensory garden’

1. Windsor Castle:

This is possibly the closest castle to London, sitting just 20 miles away. 900 years old, the Windsor Castle today is the oldest official royal estate, and it also holds the distinction of being the largest currently occupied castle in the world. Besides the main castle, the grounds also contain a large church, several residences and the royal palace.

2. Norwich Castle:

So much has transpired within the walls of this 900-year-old Norwich Castle. It was originally built by the Normans to serve as a royal palace, but later the castle was used as a prison. Times have changed, and the only residents of the castle are exquisite pieces of fine art and antiques, as well as the collections of the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum.

3. Richmond Castle, Yorkshire:

An inspiring fortress, a majestic bastion and a stunning location – visitors to Yorkshire will not go back disappointed. One of the most beloved attractions in North Yorkshire, the castle will take your breath away and leave you asking for more.

4. Bolton Castle, Yorkshire:

Bolton Castle fulfilled two roles effortlessly – that of a defensive fortress and a luxurious family estate. Many believe that today this well-preserved structure is one of the best castles to visit in England. Its decorated rooms and outstanding features bring guests back to it again and again. When you visit, you will get a chance to see the old kitchens, the great chamber, Mary Queen of Scots’ bedroom, the nursery, the armoury, and even the dungeon.

5. Ludlow Castle, Shropshire:

All castles start off as a stronghold or a fortress. Some, like the Ludlow Castle, are lucky to improve and get converted into a royal palace. What was once constructed to hold back the Welsh, today is a monument that is open for all to enjoy.

6. Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire:

Another ancient castle, the Bolsover castle traces its origins to the 12th century. After years of neglect, the castle was restored to its former glory and today it reflects its earlier days of luxurious living. Visitors to the castle can roam around the grounds and visit the Venus Garden and Fountain that are resplendent in their glory. Don’t forget to visit the castle’s Discovery Centre (located in the castle’s riding stables). You can time your visit to participate in the several events that are held throughout the year.

7. St Michaels Mount:

Story goes that sometime in the 5th century Michael the archangel appeared before a group of people standing on the mount. The site received holy sanctity and a monastery was built in the 12th century. The majestic St. Michael’s Mount is tethered to the mainland by a stony causeway. When the tide rises, the mount gets cut off from the nearby village of Marazion. But this hasn’t stopped believers from making the same journey as the pilgrims did back then to the medieval monastery on the top of the hill.

8. Leeds Castle, Kent:

30 miles from London sits this gorgeous castle. Look upon its 900-year-old structure and you can almost imagine what it must have been like during its heydays. Today this iconic castle is considered to be one of the most beautiful in England. When you visit, you will be mesmerised by the more than 500 acres of beautiful park landscape and formal gardens.

9. Dover Castle, Kent:

This is perhaps the most iconic and the oldest fort in England. Before it became a fort, the site was a stronghold for the Anglo-Saxon forces. It was only in 1066 that William the Conqueror fortified the castle. It contains numerous secret tunnels that visitors can explore. You can also spend hours walking its medieval interiors. If you feel up to it, you can climb the Great Tower and look out at the landscape below.

10. Tintagel, Cornwall:

800 years old and it is still reliving its past glory. This castle’s best connection to legends is with King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. The Earl of Cornwall built this castle to resemble King Arthur’s infamous court at Camelot. But the fascination continues till date. And every summer, the castle attracts thousands of Arthurian enthusiasts who come there to experience the days long gone.

11. Skipton Castle, Yorkshire:

Not a castle to be taken lightly, as its longstanding fortification will tell you. 900 years old and still standing tall, this is one of the most well-preserved and complete medieval castles in England. When you visit, you will find yourself walking in corridors that still speak of the nation’s rich history. Built to last, the castle didn’t buckle even under a three-year Civil War siege.

12. Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight:

This castle has essayed several roles over its long and fascinating history. An armed fortress, a king’s prison and a royal summer retreat are a few responsibilities this romantic castle took upon itself. The charming castle today engages visitors with a museum, an Edwardian garden, and several wonderful events throughout the year.

13. Hever Castle, Kent:

If you like all things beautiful and artistic, you must visit this 700-year-old castle. It is home to a fine collection of beautiful furniture, tapestries, antiques, and an impressive collection of Tudor paintings. On the outside, the castle is surrounded by 125 acres of glorious gardens, including award-winning landscape.

14. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland:

Did you know that this castle was used as a stand-in for Hogwarts School? It was first built right after the Norman Conquest. However, over time, the home of the Duke of Northumberland has been remodelled and renovated numerous times. Its glorious structure makes it popular in films and television shows. You might recall seeing it in feature films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Black Adder and Becket.

15. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland:

If you visit the Northumberland cliffs, you cannot miss Bamburgh Castle. Majestic, awe-inspiring and historic, the castle covers an area of nine acres and is counted among the largest castles in England that are currently inhabited. Sitting 45 metres above sea level, on a throne of volcanic rock, this castle deserves being in your must-visit castles list of England.

16. Scarborough Castle, Yorkshire:

Without a doubt the Scarborough Castle is the oldest in England. In its 3,000 years of history, it has seen wars, sieges and bombardment even, but it has defended the country’s inlet area proudly. This tough history is behind it now and visitors to the castle can climb the embankment and take in the sweeping views of the dramatic coastline below.

17. Corfe Castle, Dorset:

There was a time in its history when nothing could pass by the sharp eyes of the majestic Corfe Castle. The ruins are no less imposing now as they stand guarding the Purbeck marble quarry. This hillside castle is several centuries old and its walls ring with the stories of kings and queens who walked along its corridors.

18. Warwick Castle, Warwickshire:

100 miles from London lies the grand Warwick Castle. The monument is known for its fantastic medieval interior and also great period re-enactments. The families of Warwick were known to throw lavish parties and conduct jousting competitions. The competitions are re-enacted today and are one of the highlights of the castle tour. Besides you, the castle has entertained noteworthy guests, like Edward the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, and even the great Winston Churchill.

19. Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire:

Since its inception, the Lincoln Castle has been a symbol of power. It was created by William the Conqueror who built upon the site of an existing Roman fortification. Not much has changed over the centuries, and even today the castle continues to awe with its magnificence. Visitors to the castle can see an original 1215 Magna Carta that is on display.

20. Barnard Castle, County Durham:

One of the few castles named after a founder, the Barnard Castle sits high on a rock above the River Tees. The castle was built in the 12th century, and later it became the property of Richard III. The castle is most famous for its ‘sensory garden,’ which is home to a variety of scented plants and tactile-rich objects.

If you feel the tug of these noble structures and are keen to learn about their rich history set in stone, then you must plan a visit to England. Pick your dates and allow us to do the rest. From your tickets, to accommodation and even travel within England, we’ll take care of it all.

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Sky Garden

Sky Garden is a beautiful oasis of perennial greenery sitting 155m above bustling London streets. Launched in 2015, it has quickly become popular with locals and tourists alike, who throng to its lofty heights to enjoy a slice of London like never before. 35 floors up on a building locally known as the Walkie Talkie is this public garden that has been brought to life with care and love. Along with some truly spectacular views, Sky Garden also has three floors of landscaped gardens brimming with South African and Mediterranean plants, large observation decks, two restaurants, a bar, an open-air terrace, and a spectacular uninterrupted view of London’s skyline.


The Sky Garden sits on floors 34 to 37 of 20, Fenchurch Street, in the heart of London, also called the Walkie Talkie


You can visit Sky Garden on all days of the week.

Monday to Friday: 10 am-6 pm

Saturday to Sunday: 11 am-9 pm


155m above the city’s skyline sits London’s highest public park, Sky Garden. Aptly called so, as it kisses the clouds, the garden offers unique vistas of the city and is a great place to visit if you love losing yourself in lush greenery. Here are a few highlights of this unique destination that has to figure on your must-visit places in London.

1.The Walkie-Talkie: Don’t miss the unique shape of 20, Fenchurch Street. Located in the financial hub of London, this piece of architectural marvel has been designed by architect Rafael Vinoly and it cost over £200 million. However, the investment has been worth it. Besides the Sky Garden, the shape of the building itself is an attraction – called the Walkie-Talkie as it starts off narrow at the bottom and becomes larger and heavier at the top. The floor plates get larger as the floors go up, making each storey unique. This is the only such building in London, making it a unique landmark and a much sought-after address for businesses.

2.6th tallest building in London: The Walkie-Talkie is the 6th tallest building in London and has 38-floors, of which floors 34-37 are given to the Sky Garden. These 3-storeys offer visitors an open and vibrant place of leisure, exquisitely-landscaped gardens, massive observation decks and an open-air terrace – truly making it a garden in the sky.

3.360-degree of London’s skyline: Stepping out on the observation decks gives you a fantastic opportunity to experience London like never before – 360-degree of unobstructed views of the city’s skyline and its top buildings. On a clear sky day, you will be able to spot Tower Bridge, St. Katherine Docks, the London Eye, the Shard, Wembley Stadium and many other landmarks.

4.Treat your taste buds too: When at Sky Garden don’t miss an opportunity to indulge in some fine dining experiences. You can choose from among four different restaurants – Darwin, Sky Pod, Fenchurch Terrace and the City Garden Bar – located on floors 35 to 37. From delicious seafood, seasonal game and meat, to a bar and a gallery kitchen that offers unobstructed, breath-taking views over the city of London, day or night, you are spoiled for choice.

5.Free entry to Sky Garden: The best part about the Sky Garden? Entry to this lush green paradise is free. You will require tickets if you are planning a day visit. The ticket gives you an hour of roaming around inside the gardens, and you need to book your slot 3 weeks in advance. At the time of booking you need to mention your name and the names of all the people in your group if you are visiting as a family or friends.


Entry to Sky Garden is free, but you will need to book your 90-minute timeslot at least three days in advance online.

Recommended for:

Beautiful views, blooming flowers all year around, gorgeous sunset, live music and so much more. Whatever your preference, there is just so much the Sky Garden offers you.

Interesting facts about the Sky Garden

Sky Garden is a must-visit on your trip to London. The landmark, with its blooming flowers and breath-taking vistas, is iconic. Here are some more interesting facts about the place that you might not know of.

1. You need to book 3 weeks in advance: The only drawback to the Sky Garden is that you need to book tickets three weeks in advance. If you know when you are traveling you will be well advised to book early to get a good slot. However, you can walk in after 6pm on weekdays or 9pm on weekends. Be prepared for a queue though!

2. The Sky Garden is 155m up in the air: The garden is located from floors 34 to 37 of the Walkie Talkie building, giving you amazing views of London. Just hope the weather is on your side though. If you decide to step on to the terrace you’ll find yourself gazing at these sites with no obstruction.

3. You’ll get a 360-degree view of London: To get a 360 view of London’s skyline simply walk inside all around the glass building.

4. Hope the weather cooperates: You get the best London views from the Sky Garden outdoor terrace. However, this is open only if the weather is good and not rainy (which is any day in London!). Also, even if the terrace is open, if the sky is overcast much of London might be covered by clouds.

5. Perfect for a date: The Sky Garden is a classy place to get someone special. You can find yourself a quiet nook and sit with a cocktail looking over the London skyline.

6. There is no dress code: The Sky Garden doesn’t require a special dress code for entry. If you plan on having dinner or lunch though some restaurants and bars are a little stricter. Check before heading over for your meal.

7. Live music: If you visit Sky Garden between Wednesday and Saturday, you can enjoy live music at night. It is quite an experience to sit 155m above the city, sipping on a drink and enjoying the music.

8. Perennial blooms: Sky Garden is an indoor habitat, and this means flowers and trees can be kept in bloom all year round. Whatever the season or weather outside, the garden does not disappoint.

9. Plan your sunset visit: The Sky Garden is a great place to see the sunset. However, when you book your ticket please keep in mind the date you are visiting and check beforehand the time of the sunset in London on that date. Your visit time might be too early or too late for the sunset on that particular day. Use an online tool to tell you the time of the sunset in advance to avoid being disappointed.

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