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Monday, November 24, 2014

Republican Murals in Belfast

The murals in Belfast and (London)Derry are now as much of the tourist scene in Northern Ireland as the Giant's Causeway. Taxi tours of the best murals out of the 300 or so "quality" murals can be arranged by taxi. Check with the local tourist office for the best deals.

Republican Murals in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Many of Northern Ireland's murals reflect the religious and political divide in the country during the so-called Troubles of the late 1960's to the 1990's.

Not all murals however are political or religious in design and can portray other topics such as social causes, sports and even humour.

Republican Murals in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.


Murals reflect the shared values and beliefs of the communities where they were painted and are mostly found in working class areas. They are often found on the end walls of terraced houses.

Republican Murals in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Britain.


Various books on the subject of murals in Northern Ireland include Politics and Painting: Murals and Conflict in Northern Ireland, Murals of Derry and Drawing Support 4.

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Books on Britain

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sydney Gardens in Bath

Bath’s oldest park, Sydney Gardens, is located behind the Holburne Museum at the end of Great Pulteney Street. Sydney Gardens was designed by the architect Harcourt Masters in 1795 and covers 12 acres. The gardens were purchased in 1909 by the city.

Sydney Gardens, Bath, England

Sydney Gardens became very popular towards the end of the 18th and 19th century and was frequented by members of the Royal family as well as the famous author Jane Austen who lived nearby at number 4 Sydney Place.

Sydney Gardens sign, Bath, England

Today, Sydney Gardens features fine trees, shrubberies, lawns and flower beds, tennis courts and a children’s play area. Sydney Gardens is also popular for its bridge views of the railway line and for the Kennet and Avon Canal which runs through the park. The canal's wide paths are ideal for cycling.
 
Cast Iron Bridges, Sydney Gardens, Canal

Visitors to Sydney Gardens can admire Cleveland House which is located within the gardens as well as nearby Pulteney Bridge and Henrietta Park.

Sydney Gardens
Sydney Road
Bath, North East Somerset
BA2 6NT
Tel: 01225 394041

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Leicester Jain Temple

The Jain Temple in Leicester in the English Midlands region was the first Jain temple built in the west and was completed in 1988. The site was a former church on Oxford Street in the city.

Leicester Jain Temple.

Jainism originated in India and is one of the world's oldest religions. "Jina" means victory over the self. Jains believe that nonviolence and self-control are the means by which they can obtain liberation from the karmic cycle. Vegetarianism and non-violence are cornerstones of Jainism.

There are estimated to be over 1,000 practicing Jains in the city of Leicester.

Leicester Jain Temple.

Jain Samaj Europe
Jain Centre
32, Oxford Street
Leicester
LE1 5XU
England, UK
Tel: +44 (0)116 254 1150

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Books on Britain

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Royal Armouries Leeds

The Royal Armouries in Leeds hosts the national collection of arms and armour and is part of the Royal Armouries museums, which includes the Tower of London and Fort Nelson in Hampshire.

Royal Armouries Leeds.


The collection was moved from the Tower of London to the new building which opened in Clarence Dock in 1996.

Among the themed galleries are exhibits of arms from ancient to modern times, exhibits of arms and armour used in jousting as well as galleries dedicated to hunting, oriental arms and armour, self-defence and peace - a look at a future world without weapons.

The Arena, along the River Aire, puts on occasional jousts and other demonstrations of military skills.

Royal Armouries Leeds


Royal Armouries
Armouries Drive
Leeds LS10 1LT
Hours: 10am-5pm
Tel: 0113 220 1999
Admission: Free

The museum is a 20 minute walk from Leeds Railway Station or can be reached by bus.

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Books on Britain

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dove Cottage

A must-see attraction in the Lake District especially for poetry fans is William Wordsworth's Dove Cottage, where he wrote his classic "I wandered Lonely as a Cloud."

Dove Cottage, near Grasmere, Lake District.


This quaint whitewashed house near Grasmere was Wordsworth's first home in the Lake District, where he stayed between 1799 and 1808.

Dove Cottage is now owned by the Wordsworth Trust, the cottage is full of Wordsworth memorabilia, including the poet's ice-skates, his passport, a pair of his reading glasses and a portrait of one of his favourite dogs, Pepper, given to him as a present by Sir Walter Scott. Also on display is the Grasmere Journal, written by his sister, Dorothy, with whom he lived, wrote and gardened in the cottage.

Dove Cottage
Grasmere, Cumbria
LA22 9S
Tel: 015394 35544

Access
Dove Cottage is on the A591, the main Kendal–Keswick road through the middle of the Lake District.

Driving from the south, exit the M6 motorway at junction 36 and follow the signs for Kendal, Windermere and Ambleside.
From the north, exit the M6 at junction 40 and follow the signs first to Keswick, then to Grasmere/Ambleside.

The nearest train station is Windemere 8 miles away. There are buses running past Dove Cottage from the station: #555 or #599.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Cleveland House in Bath

The Bath Locks are a series of locks situated on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Bath, England.

Bath Locks

Above the top lock, the Kennet and Avon canal passes through Sydney Gardens where it passes through two tunnels and under two cast iron footbridges. Cleveland tunnel, which is 173 feet long, runs under Cleveland House. A trap-door in the tunnel roof was employed to exchange paperwork between clerks above and barges below. Cleveland House (formerly called "Canal House") was until 1864 the headquarters of the Kennet and Avon Canal Company. Cleveland House was built between 1817-20 by John Pinch. Cleveland House is now occupied by offices and is a grade II listed building.

Cleveland House, Bath, UK


Nearby cast iron bridges in Sydney Gardens date from 1800.

cast iron bridge, sydney gardens, bath England

Visitors to Cleveland House should take in the nearby Holburne Museum of Art as well as Jane Austen's former residence at 4 Sydney Place.

Cleveland House
Sham Castle Lane
Bath
BA2 6NU


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Belfast Central Station

Belfast Central Station in Belfast, Northern Ireland is the city's main railway station.

Belfast Central Station was last refurbished in 2003.

Belfast Central Station


Regular Enterprise trains from Belfast Central Station run to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.

There are also trains operated by Northern Ireland Railways to Bangor, Carrickfergus, Derry, Larne, Newry and Portadown.

Belfast Central Station, Northern Ireland

Belfast Central Station is one of the four railway stations in Belfast. The other three stations are: City Hospital, Great Victoria Street and Botanic.

Great Victoria Street Station is nearer to Belfast city center than Belfast Central. Your train ticket can be used for a free ride into town on any Metro bus.

Belfast Central Station

Belfast Central Station
East Bridge Street
Belfast
Translink

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