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Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 Olympic Torch Relay Nottingham to Derby

Yesterday was Day 42 of the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay from Nottingham to Derby via Bolsover, Calow, Chesterfield, Matlock, Chatwsorth House, Darley Dale, Bakewell, Buxton, and Ashbourne.

The torch travelled north from Nottingham to Bolsover then west via Bakewell and Matlock through the Peak District to Buxton, then south to Derby.



In Derby's Darley Park a large crowd enjoyed performances by Loick Essien, the Landau Forte Youth Theatre and the Derby Today performers during the evening.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub London

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub (see below) was rebuilt shortly after the Great Fire of London in 1666. There has been a pub at this location since 1538.  Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is notable for its lack of natural lighting inside which produces a sort of gloomy charm.

In Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, posted plaques show famous people who were regulars. Several famous literary figures are associated with Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese including: Mark Twain, Oliver Goldsmith, Alfred Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dr. Samuel Johnson.

Charles Dickens was also known to visit the establishment frequently and it was famously alluded to in Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities.

The pub is currently operated by the Samuel Smith Brewery.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub London

The entrance to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (see below) is located in a narrow alleyway and easy to miss, but upon entering, visitors will realise that the pub is larger than it appears from the outside and has numerous rooms.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub London

All the monarchs who have reigned in England since the pub's opening  are listed to the right of the door (see below).


Some of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese's interior wood panelling is from the nineteenth century, and some of it may be older, perhaps even original. The vaulted cellars (see below) are believed to have originated from a 13th century Carmelite Monastery which once occupied the site.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub London

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is  located at 145 Fleet Street, on Wine Office Court in London. Visitors to London may also want to check out the nearby St Paul's Cathedral or the Tower of London.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
Wine Office Court, 145 Fleet Street
City of London, London
EC4A 2BU
Tel :020 7353 6170

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese map

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Roman Legions in Britain in York Caerleon and Chester

There were three permanent military fortresses in Roman Britain each serving as a base for a Roman legion: these were Caerleon (Isca) in Wales, Chester (Deva, pronounced "Dewa") in north west England and York (Eboracum) in the north east.

The Legio II Augusta was based in Caerleon, the Legio IX Hispana at York and the Legio XX Valeria Victrix stationed in Chester.

Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon

Each city has museums and other attractions dedicated to the lengthy Roman presence.

The Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon is free and the visitor is treated to a treasure trove of artefacts from the Roman period (see below).

The Caerleon Fortress Baths is another interesting museum explaining the history of the legion's large bath-house.

In York, there is the Roman Bath Museum (Tel: 01904 620455) and in Chester the Dewa Roman Experience and the Roman Ampitheatre.

Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon

The artefacts at the Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon include a mosaic floor (see below).

Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon

Visitors to the Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon can also view a reproduction of a Roman military barracks (see below) where the soldiers lived.

Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon

National Roman Legion Museum
High Street, Caerleon, Newport
NP18 1AE
Tel: 01633 423 134
Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon Map


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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Olympic Torch Relay From Salford To Leeds

Today is Day 37 of the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay from Salford to Leeds via Trafford, Moss Side, Rusholme, Longsight, Levenshulme, Stockport, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Huddersfield, Brighouse, Halifax, Bradford, Keighley, Skipton, Ilkley, Headingley, and Richmond Hill.

The torch will cross the Pennines from west to east and spectators will be hoping for some dry weather after the recent heavy downpours. The weather forecast is for dry and cloudy weather with a little more sun in Yorkshire.



In Stockport, the torch relay will pass Stockport Town Hall, Stockport College, through Stepping Hill and arrive in Hazel Grove at around 9.13am.

An event in Leeds' Temple Newsam Park including live performances from the Friendly Fires, Little Comets and Tribes will take place from around 1pm to 9pm with the Olympic torch due to arrive on stage at around 7.30pm.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Finding Somewhere To Stay in London

Booking a hotel in London
Finding somewhere to stay in London can be a challenge. Hotel and Bed & Breakfast rates are high in the British capital, as is room occupancy especially in the peak summer period and during such big events as this summer's Olympic Games.

Two of the main areas where hotels are concentrated in London are around Paddington Station, which is within easy reach of Heathrow Airport on the Heathrow Express and Russell Square, close to the British Museum, which is on the Piccadilly Line direct to Heathrow and also has frequent buses to the airport.

Heading south from Paddington, many hotels can be founded on the north side of Hyde Park in Bayswater, Lancaster Gate and Queensway including the 5-star Grand Royale London Hyde Park and the two-star Classic Hyde Park Hotel. Nearby attractions include Buckingham PalacePiccadilly Circus & Eros, and Little Venice.

Other alternatives are the Marylebone district between Regent's Park and  Marble Arch and the area around Victoria Station and Pimlico where long-distance buses from the continent arrive at Victoria Coach Station and where many hostels aimed at young back-packers are located. Victoria also has rail connections to Gatwick Airport.

King's Cross, also on the Piccadilly Line direct to Heathrow, has gentrified over the years and also has some good accommodation options nowadays. Kensington has many of London's most upmarket hotels including the luxury Royal Garden Hotel and the Kensington Hotel close to the Royal Albert Hall.

The East End has fewer accommodation options than central London and you are further from Heathrow, though close to the 2012 Olympic venues. Things to see and do in the area include the Globe TheatreSt. Paul's CathedralTower of London (and its ravens), Tower Bridge and a pint and pub food at the historic George Inn in Southwark. Double Tree by Hilton is an impressive, modern hotel in this area of the city.

You certainly get what you pay for when booking a hotel room in London and interiors can be small and functional at the lower end of the price scale. Parents with two children may have to book two rooms as there are few rooms available for four people sharing. British interior furnishings such as carpets can also become a bit shabby after extended use and be prepared for such eventualities as wooden sash windows that do not open and bedside lamps with no bulbs. Now smoking is prohibited in hotels, guests are spared the aromas of stale tobacco smoke at least not to mention the hazards of fire.

Booking a hotel online is probably the best option and Booking.com has a large number of hotels in London to choose from. Use our map of London to locate landmarks and accommodation.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Old Trafford Stadium Home of Manchester United

Across Manchester from Etihad Stadium, is Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium aka the "Theatre of Dreams."

Old Trafford is the largest stadium in the Premier League with a capacity of over 75,000 and the second largest football stadium in England after the new Wembley Stadium in London.

Stretford End


The ground in the Salford area of Manchester has been constantly developed since it opened in 1910 and there are plans for future development to take the capacity to over 90,000.

Old Trafford was a venue for the 1966 World Cup and the 1996 European Championships and also hosted the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final. The stadium has also hosted FA Cup semi-finals as well as England internationals, rubgy internationals and other sporting and musical events.

Old Trafford was designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, who was also responsible for Anfield and Goodison park in Liverpool, Arsenal's old Highbury ground in north London and Ibrox Park and Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Manchester United Trinity
Bobby Charlton, George Best & Denis Law


Old Trafford was damaged in World War II and Manchester United played their home fixtures at Manchester City's Maine Road until 1949.

Old Trafford's most famous stand is the West Stand, aka the Stretford End, where hard-core United fans have traditionally gathered.

Old Trafford has a very popular store selling Manchester United licensed goods including shirts, scarves and other football-related equipment and souvenirs. The Old Trafford museum and tours of the ground are also well subscribed and recommended even for non-supporters of the club. If you fancy something to eat during a visit to the museum, the Red Cafe restaurant is located on the third floor of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.

Old Trafford, home of Manchester United


Old Trafford
Sir Matt Busby Way
Old Trafford
Manchester
M16 0RA
Tel: 0161 868 8000
Access

The Altrincham and Eccles lines of the Manchester metrolink serve Exchange Quay and Old Trafford both a short walk from the ground and close to Old Trafford cricket ground. Close to the South Stand is Manchester United Football Ground railway station on Northern Rail's Liverpool to Manchester line, which is only open on match days. The following buses: #255, #256, #263, #53, #69, #84, #250 and #X50 are all handy for the ground.
Google map of Old Trafford


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