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Monday, September 29, 2014

The Beatles Story

Beatles Story museum at Albert Dock on the waterfront in Liverpool is dedicated to the four local lads who took the world by storm in the 1960's.

Together for only 8 years, The Beatles - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison have left a lasting legacy on the world of popular music and attract fans from all over the world.

Beatles Story Liverpool


The Beatles Museum offers a nostalgic insight into the life, times, culture and music of the quartet, with films, songs, lyrics, exclusive photos and genuine artefacts from their time at the top. The headset tour is narrated by John Lennon's sister, Julia.

The Beatles Story has a full-size replica of the Cavern Club in Liverpool and Abbey Road studio in west London, along with the white piano from John Lennon's Imagine and George Harrison's first guitar.

The Beatles Story is split between the Albert Dock site and the nearby Pier Head site which has the Fab4D theater.

The Beatles Story, Liverpool, UK

The Beatles Story
Britannia Vaults
Albert Dock
Liverpool L3 4AD
Tel: 0151 709 1963

Hours: November 1 - March 31 10am-6pm; April 1 - October 31 9am-7pm.
Admission: £12.95

The Cavern Quarter Liverpool

The Beatles Story is a 20 minute walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station or take a Citylink bus. St James Street Station is only 5-10 minutes away.

The Beatles Story includes the Fab 4 store with lots of Beatles' related goods.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Puffins in the British Isles

Puffins (Fratercula), with their colorful beaks during the breeding season and somewhat clownish appearance, are some of Britain's best-loved birds.

Puffin in The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Puffins are seabirds belonging to the auk family and have a predominately black and white plumage. Puffins in the UK are mostly found in a few sites in the north of England, Angelsey in Wales and Scotland.

Puffin in The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Some of the big breeding grounds for puffins in the UK are South Stack in Angelsey, Bempton Cliffs in North Yorkshire, St. Kilda in the Outer Hebrides, the Hermaness National Nature Reserve in Shetland, the Orkney islands and north Devon. Puffins also come to breed along the coasts of Ireland.

Puffin in The Shetland Islands, Scotland

There are believed to be over 580,000 breeding pairs of puffins in the UK. Puffins arrive here for the breeding season from March and April and stay until around mid-August, when they decamp for warmer climes.

Puffin in The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Puffins feed on fish and are particularly fond of sandeels, capelin and herrings. The beak of the puffin allows them to hold several fish at one time which they take back to their chicks.

Puffins in The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Puffins nest in colonies and prefer cliff sides and islands. The male bird of the Atlantic Puffin is responsible for building the nest, though Horned Puffins share this duty between the sexes. The female lays only a single egg during the breeding season. The nests are tunnels or rock crevices.

Puffins in The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Puffins were hunted in the 19th and early 20th centuries for their eggs, feathers and meat and are still taken in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, where hunting is legal. Gordon Ramsey, the celebrity chef, ate puffin hearts in Iceland, considered a local delicacy. The birds are trapped in nets using a technique called "sky fishing."

Puffin in The Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom

The Puffins seen in the photographs below are all Atlantic Puffins or Common Puffin. An adult specimen will weigh around 350-380g and have a wingspan or just over 50cm. Birds are about 32cm in length.

Puffin in The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Their colorful beaks lose their bright colours and become darker after the breeding season ends and the birds moult.

Puffin in The Shetland Islands, Scotland, UK

After the breeding season is over, puffins migrate to the open sea and do not return until the next year.

Puffin in The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Less is known about the life cycles of puffins when they are living on the open sea, where they are solitary.

Puffin on Orkney Island


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Monday, September 22, 2014

St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Bath

The foundation for St John the Evangelist Church in Bath was laid in October 1861, and it was completed in October 1863. The tower and spire were added four years later. St John the Evangelist church was designed by the architect Charles Hansom, who designed some fifty Catholic churches in the UK. Hansom regarded St John's as his best and most rewarding work. St John the Evangelist was built on the site of an earlier priory by the Benedictines of Downside Abbey who handed it over to the Clifton Diocese in 1932.

St John the Evangelist church interior Bath

St John the Evangelist is built in the decorated Gothic style. Bath stone was used throughout the entire building. The stone tower and spire are 222 feet high, the highest in Bath.


St John the Evangelist is located adjacent to the River Avon and near such landmarks as the Empire Hotel and Pulteney Bridge.

St. John the Evangelist
South Parade
Bath
BA2 4AF
Tel: 01225 464471

St John the Evangelist map

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Hermaness National Nature Reserve

As Scotland goes to the polls this week to decide whether it remains part of the UK, it is interesting to focus on The Shetland Islands, that only became part of Scotland in 1468.

Fulmar, Hermaness National Nature Reserve
Fulmar
One of the most beautiful parts of The Shetland Islands is Hermaness, the most northerly headland of Unst, the northernmost inhabited island of The Shetland Islands.

Great Skuas (Bonxie), The Shetland Islands, Scotland
Great Skua
Designated in 1955 as a National Nature Reserve, Hermaness remains privately owned by the Edmondston family, and is world famous for its birds.

Lots of birds, including breeding colonies of Fulmars, Gannets, Great Skuas (Bonxie), Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Puffins and Shags.

Gannet, Scotland
Gannet
The numbers of birds is amazing. Over 25,000 pairs of Puffins breed in the Hermaness area every year, part of the total of 100,000 breeding sea birds in the summer months. The Gannets in Hermaness represent 5% of the entire European population of the birds.

Puffin, Hermaness National Nature Reserve, Scotland
Puffin
Allow 3-4 hours for walking in the area. Access is unrestricted but please follow the marked paths to preserve this unique environment. The cliff-top setting is amazingly beautiful but also hazardous, especially in bad weather. Please take care near any drops and of damaging the delicate bog areas, though part of the path is covered with a boardwalk.

Hermaness National Nature Reserve, Scotland


The summer months in Hermaness National Nature Reserve are noted for their beautiful flowers and plants including bog bilberry, crowberry, heather and mosses. Seals can often be spotted on the rocks below the cliffs.

Hermaness National Nature Reserve, Scotland


Muckle Flugga Lighthouse is a local landmark and is Britain's most northerly lighthouse and dates from 1854, constructed to protect shipping during the Crimean War.

Hermaness National Nature Reserve, Scotland


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