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Friday, May 22, 2015

Kirkstall Abbey

Leeds is a city rich in history. The Royal Armouries Museum hosts the national collection of arms and armour taking the visitor back in time through the history of conflict and war, which some would argue, is the history of humanity itself.

Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds.

The National Coal Mining Museum reveals the history of this once vital British industry that provided the fuel to power the nation's once great manufacturing.

The most impressive medieval structure in Leeds is the beautiful Kirkstall Abbey, founded by Cistercian monks from Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, and one of the best-preserved medieval abbeys in Britain.

Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, UK.

Kirkstall Abbey was built between 1152 and 1182, many of its buildings still survive virtually intact up to eaves level. Dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539, the buildings gradually began to fall into disrepair but attracted artists such as J. M. W. Turner who came to paint the romantic ruins.

Across the road from the abbey, the Abbey House Museum, once the abbey's gate house, contains meticulously reconstructed shops and houses that evoke Victorian Leeds, and displays that give an interesting insight into monastic life.

The ruins were also the perfect back drop for outdoor performances every summer at the Shakespeare Festival which ran from 1995 until 2009.

Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, UK.

Other Cistercian monasteries in Britain include the ruins at Fountains, Netley, Rievaulx and Tintern.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thai by the Weir in Bath

Thai by the Weir is a restaurant in Bath next to Pulteney Bridge which overlooks the weir and serves a classic Thai menu.

Thai by the Weir, restaurant, Bathy, Somerset

Thai by the Weir may have the lowest prices for Thai food in Bath, as can be seen from the 6 pound lunch menu as advertised above. The lunch menu includes the green curry with chicken dish seen below.

Alternatives for Thai food in Bath include Yum Yum Thai, which is only slightly more expensive. Visitors to Bath may also wish to take a cruise down the River Avon on the nearby Pulteney Cruisers.

Thai by the Weir
16 Argyle Street
Bath, Avon
Tel: 01225 444834

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Sky Garden 20 Fenchurch Street

London's roof garden scene went up a notch recently with the January 2015 opening of the Sky Garden. Billed as "London's highest park", it occupies the top floors of the new skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London, more popularly known as the Walkie Talkie thanks to its convex outline.

Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street, London.

While anyone can roam the verdant confines of the Sky Garden, adding another landmark to London's list of sights, visits must be pre-booked online at least 3 days in advance*. The tickets for the Sky Garden are free of charge, however, in contrast with the nearby Shard.

Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street, London.

There are 360°  views across London and visitors can easily pick out the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament among other famous London landmarks in the distance.

Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street, London.

The Sky Garden is open 7 days a week and includes the Fenchurch Street Bar and Grill, the Darwin Brasserie and the Skypod Bar.

*Tickets are only valid for the date and time stated on the ticket and have a time limit of 90 minutes from time of entry. Weekdays: 10am-6pm (last booking slot 4.30pm); Weekends 11am-9pm (last booking slot 7.30pm)

Monument tube station is the closest station on the District & Circle Line. Fenchurch Street Station is also near by as are Bank (Central Line) & Cannon Street (District & Circle Line).

Sky Garden Walkie Talkie Building.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

The Gherkin London

30 St Mary Axe, aka The Gherkin, due to its distinctive shape, is a 180m-tall skyscraper in London that stands on ground that was formerly occupied by the Baltic Exchange building. The Gherkin opened as the Swiss Re Building in 2004 and completed the redevelopment of the old Grade II listed Baltic Exchange, which had been damaged by a huge IRA bomb in 1992.

The Gherkin London.

The Gherkin was designed by Norman Foster and has become an icon of London's contemporary architecture. The building is known for its eco-friendliness and energy saving design.

The top (40th) floor is an exclusive bar for tenants and their guests with spectacular 360 degree views over London.

The Gherkin changed hands in 2007 for a record £630 million, making the skyscraper Britain's most expensive office building at the time.

The Gherkin London.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park in Greenwich, east London, is the oldest of London's Royal Parks and today forms part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site.

Greenwich Park, London, UK.

Greenwich Park was a former royal hunting ground and was enclosed way back in 1433.

Nowadays, the roughly rectangular-shaped Greenwich Park covers 74 hectares (180 acres) and has beautiful views over the River Thames and Canary Wharf on a clear day from General Wolfe's statue.

Deer were first introduced by King Henry VIII in the sixteenth century and small herds of Fallow and Red deer still live here. The brick wall that surrounds much of the modern park was added by James I in the early 17th century. The public were first admitted in the 18th century and Dr. Samuel Johnson recorded his visit.

Greenwich Park, London, UK.

Greenwich Park is the perfect place to take a break between visiting Greenwich's other attractions, boasting three cafes, London's longest herbaceous border, a herb garden, a bandstand and a children's playground.

Other things to see in Greenwich include the Cutty Sark, Greenwich Market, Greenwich Foot Tunnel, the Greenwich Meridian at the Royal Observatory on the hill in the middle of the park and Nelson's Ship In A Bottle by Yinka Shonibare outside the National Maritime Museum.

Greenwich Park is open from 6am to 7pm daily (later in the summer months).
SE 10 8QY

Greenwich Park, London, UK.


By tube go to North Greenwich Station on the Jubilee Line then the 188 bus to Greenwich Park gate. There are main line trains to Greenwich, Maze Hill and Blackheath. Other London buses passing Greenwich Park include the #53, #54, #177, #180, #199, #202, #286, #380 and #386.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wimbledon Common

Wimbledon Common is an extensive area of heath and woodland that covers over 1100 acres in south-west London. Wimbledon Common is just south east of Richmond Park and separated from it by the A3 (Kingston by-pass).

Wimbledon Common, London, UK.

Wimbledon Common and Putney Commons to give the area its full name is made up of three distinct and labelled areas: Putney Heath, Putney Lower Common and Wimbledon Common.

Wimbledon Common has a long and varied history and is the home of the Wombles, a children's TV series. The Windmill Museum, housed in an early 19th century windmill, is dedicated to windmills and milling and also has exhibits on local history and the Scout movement - Robert Baden-Powell wrote parts of his book Scouting For Boys on this spot.

Windmill Museum, Wimbledon Common, London.

Wimbledon Common is now crisscrossed with paths and bridle ways and is also popular place for joggers, cyclists and other sportsmen and women including enthusiasts of football, rugby, Aussie Rules, Ultimate Frisbee and golf.

Most of the common has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation, making it one of London's best parks to relax and reconnect with nature.

By public transport Wimbledon (District Line, Tram Link and mainline trains), Putney (mainline) and East Putney (District Line) are the nearest railway stations. Follow Wimbledon Hill north to Wimbledon Common from Wimbledon Station. Bus #93 goes to Wimbledon Common War Memorial and on to Putney Heath. The Windmill Car Park is a large car park if you arrive in your vehicle.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yum Yum Thai restaurant in Bath

Yum Yum Thai is a Thai food restaurant in central Bath. Yum Yum Thai is located conveniently on Kingsmead Square and is open 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner.

yum yum thai restaurant exterior, Bath

Yum Yum Thai serves wonderful Thai food in light and relaxed surroundings. Yum Yum Thai features free range chicken and their New Forest Pork and beef are sourced locally. Yum Yum Thai's dishes are free of MSG and their wines and coffee are all organic. Yum Yum Thai also offers veggie options for most dishes.

yum yum thai restaurant, lunch menu, Bath

Yum Yum Thai's lunch menu offers good value at ₤6.95, including the green curry with chicken dish seen below.

yum yum thai, green curry with chicken

Visitors to central Bath may also want to see the nearby William Herschel Museum or St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Bath.

Yum Yum Thai
17 Kingsmead Square
Bath, Somerset
Tel : 01225 445253

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