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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach is the roughly 5 mile shingle beach within the city limits. Brighton's Palace Pier (Brighton Marine Palace and Pier) opened in 1899 and is an iconic structure on the beach.

Brighton Beach.

The British Airways i360 is a newer arrival on Britain Beach near the site of the ruined West Pier.

The 160-metre tall observation tower opened in 2016, and as its name suggests, provides 360 degree views out over the sea as well as Brighton, the South Downs and the surrounding countryside inland. The same team behind the London Eye on the River Thames in London were behind the i360.

Brighton Beach, Brighton, Sussex.

The Palace Pier (www.brightonpier.co.uk) has a number of rides and attractions from traditional fairground favourites like carousels and dodgems to more modern rides such as Galaxia and Turbo Coaster. There's a restaurant (the spiritual home of fish and chips) and a couple of bars on the pier.

Palace Pier on Brighton Beach.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Westgate Canterbury

Westgate in Canterbury is the city's most famous gate and part of the original defensive wall that once surrounded the city. Westgate is the largest surviving medieval city gate in England and a Grade I listed building.

West Gate Canterbury, Kent.

Westgate dates from around 1380 and throughout its long history has stood guard over the road to and from London. Hundreds of thousands of medieval pilgrims must have passed through this gateway into Canterbury, on their way to visit Thomas Becket's shrine at Canterbury Cathedral.

West Gate Canterbury.

Westgate is the only one of Canterbury's seven medieval gates still standing. It is 18m high and built of local ragstone. Westgate replaced a previous Roman gate that had stood on the spot. The structure served as a jail from the 15th to the 19th century.

West Gate Canterbury.

Westgates contain such defensive architecture on its three floors as battlements, machicolations (for pouring boiling oil), a parapet and gunloops.

The site is now part of the larger One Pound Lane development that includes The Pound Bar & Kitchen within the former city jail and police station, adjacent to Westgate, and Westgate Towers Museum & Viewpoint. See www.onepoundlane.co.uk for more details.

West Gate Canterbury.

1 Pound Lane
Kent CT12BZ

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Parrot Canterbury

Medieval beams,  oak floorboards and three open fires welcome you to The Parrot in Canterbury. The Parrot boasts well-cooked, flavoursome food & quality local cask ales.

Parrot Canterbury.

The Parrot is the oldest pub in Canterbury. In fact, The Parrot, which was built in the 15th century, is located in one of the oldest buildings in Canterbury. The Parrot's construction was contemporaneous with the construction of the famous Cathedral towers a few hundred yards away. The Parrot pub was called Simple Simon's until 2008 but was originally called St Radigund's Hall. It was named after the monks of St Radigund at Bradsole near Dover.

Parrot Canterbury.

The exterior of The Parrot can be viewed at any time, but only customers of the pub can view the interior.

Parrot Canterbury.

Visitors to The Parrot should sample the food and ales but should also be sure not to miss the nearby cathedral and Westgate.

Parrot Canterbury
1-9 Church Lane
St Radigans

Tel: 01227 454170
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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Canterbury West Station

Canterbury West Station in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the two main stations in the city, the other being Canterbury East.

Canterbury West Station, Kent, UK.

Canterbury West Station serves trains operated by Southeastern with high speed services to London St Pancras via Ashford International, Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International. There are also trains to London Victoria via Maidstone and Charing Cross via Sevenoaks. Other local services run to Ramsgate and Margate.

Canterbury West Station, Kent, UK.

The station has two platforms: Platform 1 and Platform 2. With services to London from Platform 1.

The first station at Canterbury West was built way back in 1846. Nowadays the station's facilities include car parking for over 100 cars, an ATM, PlusBike bicycle hire and refreshments.

Local buses call at both Canterbury West and Canterbury East stations.

Canterbury West Station.

Canterbury East Station (to the south) is on the Dover branch of the Chatham Main Line. Canterbury East Station is also operated by Southeastern with local stopping trains and a fast train to Dover Priory and services to London Victoria via Faversham and Chatham.

Canterbury West Station, Kent, England.

Canterbury West Station
Station Road West

Canterbury West Station.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Acton Park

Acton Park opened to the public in 1888 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. It is Acton's largest open space and contains many features that make it stand out from other parks, including the 'Twilight Tree', a fantastic playground, a children's centre, tennis courts, a pond, a basketball court and, most recently, a miniature golf course.

Acton Park, London.
Acton Park - http://www.visitlondon.com

The 'Twilight Tree' is a Dutch Elm tree that was carved into a statue of a woman, with a squirrel and a pair of owls above her. The sculpture was originally about 28 feet tall, but has since been cut in half, so the woman and the wildlife and separate statues.

The Twilight Tree, Acton Park, London.
The Twilight Tree - http://www.geograph.org.uk

The South side of Acton Park is an important area for wildlife, as it contains a pond, an elaborate garden and an area that is fenced off purely for wildlife to thrive.

The playground is fantastic and has recently been redesigned to incorporate a huge wooden climbing frame. At the Southern end of the playground is the children's centre which offers a programme for babies and toddlers in the morning, and then an after school club for local schools in the afternoon. They also operate programmes during school holidays.

Putt in the Park is Acton Park's newest edition. It replaced the bowling green and has become a big hit since opening in 2016, as it is also attached to the Acton Park Cafe and they have their own fully licensed bar.
Putt in the Park, Acton Park, London.
Putt in the Park - http://www.puttinthepark.com

Park Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-Dusk
Telephone for the Children's Centre: 020 8743 6133

Acton Park is easily accessible by bus and tube.
Buses: 207, 607, 266, 70 and E3
Tube Stations: Acton Central (Overground) - 2 min walk, Acton Town (Piccadilly Line) - 20 min walk, East Acton (Central Line) - 20 min walk

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Friday, February 24, 2017

The Needles Isle of Wight

The Needles are a row of tall, pointy chalk cliffs that are located off the coast of the Isle of Wight. They are the Isle of Wight's most iconic and popular tourist attraction.

The cliff which gave the Needles their name, being the only needle-shaped rock in the row, collapsed in a storm in 1764, but the name has stuck ever since.

The Needles Isle of Wight.
The Needles
Due to the popularity of the Needles as a tourist attraction, a small amusement park was opened at Alum Bay, where the Needles are located, as well as a chairlift that allows a better view of the Needles than you can get from the headland.
The Needles Isle of Wight.
The Needles chairlift - http://www.theneedles.co.uk
Also located on the headland are the Needles Old Battery, the Needles New Battery, and the High Down Rocket Testing Site. The Old Battery was built between 1861-63, designed to defend against enemy ships.

The New Battery was then built after there were concerns that the firing of the guns from the Old Battery was causing the cliffs below to crumble. The New Battery was built further up the cliffs, and was completed in 1985. Both of the buildings are Grade II listed buildings.

The Needles Isle of Wight.
The remains of the Old Battery - http://www.geograph.org.uk

The High Down Rocket Testing Site was built in the 1950's and was operated in secret. The Black Knight rocket was tested at this site in the 1950's, prior to it's launch in Australia, as well as the Black Arrow rocket in the 1960's.

The High Down Rocket Testing Site played a very important part in Britain's Space Programme, but was neglected after the 1970's and the majority of the buildings were demolished. There is a small museum dedicated to it at the Needles New Battery.

The Needles Isle of Wight.
The High Down Rocket Testing Site - http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk
Alum Bay New Road
Alum Bay
PO39 0JD

Read more on The Needles

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Chief Coffee Chiswick

Chief Coffee is a new, independent coffee shop in Chiswick, London.

Chief Coffee.
Inside Chief Coffee 
It is located just off Turnham Green Terrace, on the site of a Victorian bottling factory. The decor matches it's history, with exposed brickwork, art deco hanging lamps and original wooden ceiling still in place, it has a slightly industrial feel, although it is very light and spacious.

The counter is covered in baked goods, varying from sausage rolls to cakes and cookies. The coffee is also excellent, along with the service.

Chief Coffee.
Chief Coffee counter
The thing that distinguishes Chief Coffee from the next coffee shop, is their pinball lounge downstairs. A hand painted 'Pinball Lounge' sign leads you downstairs, to nine pinball machines which cost nothing to play on. Some of the machines are vintage, from the 90s, and some more recent.
Chief Coffee.
Pinball Lounge at Chief Coffee

Chief Coffee.
Pinball Lounge Sign

Opening Hours
Opening Hours Mon-Fri 8am-5:30pm Sat 9am-6pm Sun 10am-5:30pm

Chief Coffee
Turnham Green Terrace
London W4 1QU

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