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Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Islington Manchester

New Islington is a stop on the Manchester Metrolink just outside the city centre of Manchester within easy walking distance of the Northern Quarter and just one stop from Piccadilly Station.

New Islington Manchester UK.

The area has been considerably redeveloped as part of the attempted regeneration of inner city Manchester. Formerly the Cardroom Estate, part of Ancoats, the area was previously an industrial zone of mills located along the Ashton Canal and Rochdale Canal. The name "New Islington" was chosen by local residents as part of this regeneration led by the developers Urban Splash.

New Islington Manchester UK.

Chips is a modernist residential apartment building very much at the centre of the area's redevelopment. The brightly-colored wavy building was designed by architect Will Alsop and is called "Chips" as it looks like three, square cut chips balancing on one another.

New Islington Manchester UK.

Murray Mills, which was one of the first steam-powered cotton spinning factories in the world when it opened in 1804, and once employed over 1200 workers. Now parts of the original brick mill are being preserved and converted into over 120 one, two and three bedroom apartments.

New Islington Manchester UK.

Other developments include the Ice plant, previously an ice storage warehouse and Cutting Room Square.

Buses 216 and 231 run from Piccadilly Gardens to New Islington.

New Islington Manchester England.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ashton's Fish & Chip Shop Stockport

Ashton's Fish and Chip Shop, on the A6 in Great Moor, Stockport, has been serving up delicious fish and chips for a long time now. Most evenings when the shop is open, you are likely to see a queue of regular customers waiting patiently in line for their fix of fried cod or haddock, generous portions of chips, mushy peas, and that most northern of delicacies and acquired tastes, the steak and kidney pudding.

Owner Dave's traditional fish and chips are extremely good and served with a smile.

Ashton's Fish & Chip Shop Stockport.

If you don't want to queue there's a small dining room at the back of the shop.

Ashton's Fish and Chip Shop is on the 192 bus route to Stepping Hill Hospital from Stockport and Manchester, on the opposite side of the road from the Traveller's Call pub. Opening times are limited so please call ahead to avoid disappointment if you are travelling from far.

Further attractions in the Stockport area of Greater Manchester include Stockport Town Hall, Stockport Air Raid Shelters, St Mary's Church, Bramhall Hall, Woodbank Park, Vernon Park, Stockport Market, Fred Perry's birthplace, Woodbank Park, the Viaduct, the Hat Works and Stockport Art Gallery.


Ashton's Fish & Chips
316 Buxton Road
Great Moor
Stockport SK2 7DD
Tel: 0161 487 2760

Ashton's is closed at the weekends and is usually open 11.30am-1.30pm and 4.30pm-6.30pm on weekdays, closing a little bit later at 6.45pm on Thursday and 7pm on Friday. Call to avoid disappointment.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

BBC North Media City Manchester

Fans of long-running BBC Breakfast, which is presented live from MediaCityUK in the Salford Quays area of Manchester, can relax on a replica sofa of the one used in the popular show.

BBC North Media City Manchester

As well as BBC Breakfast, BBC North produces Children's TV including Blue Peter, Sport's programmes including Match of the Day (MOTD), Learning, Radio 5 Live and Future Media and Technology.

BBC's buildings at Media City include Quay House and The Studios where the BBC Breakfast sofa can be found for your selfie.

The nearest Metrolink station to BBC North is MediaCityUK or Harbour City - take a tram from Piccadilly Station on the Eccles Line. The #9 bus links Salford Crescent rail station and Salford Shopping City with MediaCityUK and The Lowry at Salford Quays.

BBC North Media City Manchester

BBC North is close to The Lowry, The Lowry Outlet Mall, and the Imperial War Museum North.

Other attractions within the cities of Manchester and Salford include the Canal Street Gay VillageKing StreetChinatown, the Arndale CenterUrbis, the Royal Exchange Theatre and Manchester Cathedral.

BBC North, Media City, Manchester.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

National Cycling Centre

Much of the success in recent years for British cycling at the Olympics and Tour de France can be put down to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester. Riders such as Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Bradley Wiggins have made their base here.

National Cycling Centre, Manchester

The National Cycling Centre opened in 1994 and has a world class board track as well as a more recent indoor BMX track and outdoor mountain bike trails that run through the green space in Clayton Vale.

National Cycling Centre, Manchester.

The Manchester Velodrome as it was then called, was built for the World Track Cycling Championships in 1996. The velodrome was a central part of Manchester's unsuccessful bids to host the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000.

National Cycling Centre, Manchester, UK.

The track is available for use by riders of all abilities. Regular courses are held for novices to learn how to access the track safely and to ride safely with other solo riders. These novice starter courses feed in to accreditation courses for the over 15's who want to get more involved in the sport.

National Cycling Centre, Manchester, UK.

The velodrome hosts regular competitions including next month's World Masters Track Cycling Championships 2016 from October 1-8.

The National Cycling Center also has courses in basic bicycle maintenance and has facilities for other sports such as futsal, badminton, netball, handball and basketball.

The Velopark Cafe on site serves tasty refreshments after a hard day's cycling. It is also possible to book a weekday tour with the possibility of seeing Team GB training. The tour takes in the facilities at the National Cycling Centre and the British Cycling Hall of Fame, the Reg Harris statue and the Beryl Burton display.

Velopark Cafe, National Cycling Centre.

National Cycling Centre
Stuart Street
M11 4DQ
Tel: 0161 223 2244


From Piccadilly Gardens take bus number 216 to Sportcity (10 minutes). By Metrolink to Velopark Station. The National Cycling Centre is a short walk from Manchester City's Etihad Stadium and the Manchester Tennis and Football Centre.

National Cycling Centre.

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Books on Britain

Monday, September 19, 2016

Snowdon Mountain Railway

Snowdon Mountain Railway in North Wales has been celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. The Snowdon Mountain Railway is one of several scenic railways in Britain.

Snowdon Mountain Railway began in 1896 and the 4.7-mile (7.2-km) railway has transported passengers from Llanberis, at the foot of Snowdon, to the 3560-foot (1085-metre) summit of the mountain (the highest peak in Wales) ever since (despite a fatal accident on its very first journey).

Snowdon Mountain Railway, Wales.

In fact, so popular has the railway become that around 130,000 people ride the trains in season and advanced booking is usually necessary. The railway is now owned and operated by British Heritage plc.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway is Britain's only rack and pinion mountain railway, and also has the nation's highest station, perched just below Snowdon's summit. On clear days the views over the surrounding Snowdon mountains are simply spectacular. An interesting new visitor centre has recently opened at the top station.

Snowdon Mountain Railway, Wales.

Given the local geography it comes as little surprise that the railway is operated in some of Britain's harshest weather conditions. Services are stopped in cases of extreme weather, with the line remaining closed in the winter season from November through to mid-March. Steam and diesel locomotives hauling individual carriages take about an hour to complete the journey from Llanberis along a single track narrow gauge line.

Those lucky enough to have tickets on "The Snowdon Lily" or newer "The Snowdon Mountain Goat" carriages will be pushed by one of the railway's original 1896 steam locomotives.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway connects with the Llanberis Lake Railway at Llanberis Station on the A4086.

Online Ticket Prices
Adult: (16 years+)
Return From £29.00
Child: (3 - 15 years)
Return From £20.00

Snowdon Mountain Railway
LL55 4TT


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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Jane Austen's House Museum

Jane Austen's House Museum is located in the village of Chawton near Alton in Hampshire. The museum occupies the 18th-century house (also known as Chawton Cottage) in which novelist Jane Austen spent most of the last eight years of her life. Jane Austen lived in the house with her mother, sister, and a long time family friend from 7 July 1809 until May 1817. Shortly before her death she moved to lodgings near her doctor, where she stayed for six weeks before she died. The Jane Austen House Museum is a Grade I listed building.

Jane Austen's House Museum, Winchester, UK.

Upon her arrival at Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen had already written three novels in draft form: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. These novels may have been revised at the cottage prior to their publication. In addition, Austen wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion while living at the cottage.

Jane Austen's House Museum.

Jane Austen's House Museum is located near the A31/A32 roundabout in the centre of Chawton Village. Visitors to Chawton may also like to visit nearby Winchester and view the magnificent cathedral in which Jane Austen is buried.

Jane Austen's House Museum
Chawton, Alton
GU34 1SD
Tel: 01420 83262

Hours: 10.30am-4.30pm

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bela Bartok Statue in Onslow Square

A life-size statue of the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok (1881-1945) stands in Onslow Square a short walk from South Kensington underground stationin London. The bronze statue on a granite base is the work of Hungarian sculptor, Imre Varga.

Bela Bartok Statue in Onslow Square, London.

Bartok visited London on a number of occasions from 1922 on. His stayed at 7 Sydney Place in South Kensington, which was the home of Sir Duncan Wilson and Lady Freda Wilson at the time. A blue plaque at the house records his stays while performing in London.

Bartok is shown in the statue wearing a trilby and overcoat. There are other statues of Bartok by the same sculptor in Brussels, Budapest and Paris.

Bartok is considered one of the most important classical composers of the 20th century. His work is full of the rhythms of Hungarian folk music, which he studied, recorded and collected during his time in Europe. Bartok fled his native country for New York in 1940 to escape the Nazis.

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