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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Magic Mushrooms

The most common type of magic mushroom found in the UK in early-late autumn is the Psilocybe semilanceata or the liberty cap, noted for the "nipple" at the top of the head.

These mushrooms, photographed at Cadbury Castle, grow on grassy meadows where cows and sheep have grazed and appear between September and November.



Magic mushrooms are an illegal Class A drug in the UK, since the Drugs Act of 2005 closed the loophole where fresh ones were legal but dried ones were not. The effects of a trip on dried mushrooms or shroom tea can be described as giggly and mildly trippy. Side effects can include paranoia and a bad stomach.

Magic mushrooms are normally dried out at room temperature over 24-48 hours on a sheet of newspaper or a clean towel or put them in a closed plastic container with some silica gel. Cracker dry is the usual description for the shrooms to be ready to ingest. Fresh magic mushrooms only stay fresh for a little over 3 days.

Magic mushrooms contain the psychedelic chemicals psilocybin and psilocin and should always be taken with care and in small quantities.

If you begin to feel unwell or upset eat something and drink a fresh juice like orange juice to bring you down.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Explore @Bristol

Explore @Bristol just north of Millennium Square on the Harbourside in Bristol is an interactive science centre aimed at children of all ages.

There are 300 interactive exhibits and displays as well as a 90-seater planetarium, cafe and shop.

Planetarium @Bristol

Fun permanent exhibits include All About Our World, All About Us and Animate It! including sets from the Wallace and Gromit movie A Matter of Loaf and Death.

At-Bristol's educational programmes are linked to the National Curriculum from Foundation stage to post 16.

The centre also stages regular temporary exhibits.

@Bristol
At-Bristol
Anchor Road
Harbourside
Bristol
BS1 5DB

Access

Bus #8 or #9 from Bristol Temple Meads Station.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral is rightly celebrated as one of the UK's most beautiful churches.

The cathedral was built between 1175 and 1490 and is the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, who resides at the nearby Bishop's Palace. There is evidence that there has been a church at this site since the 8th century.

Wells Cathedral

The magnificent West Front, which dates from around 1230, is one of the largest galleries of medieval sculpture in the world. From the bottom, biblical scenes are depicted rising to kings, bishops and angels until the twelve apostles and Christ at the very top.

Wells Cathedral

The magnificent Chapter House (1306) has a series of worn steps up to this most sumptuous meeting room. The octagonal shaped room was used (and still is on occasion) to discuss cathedral business. Before the stairs to the entrance to the Chapter House is the Wells Cathedral clock which is said to be the second oldest clock in England after the clock in Salisbury Cathedral and was probably built by the same clock-makers as the two clocks are very similar in style.

Chapter House, Wells Cathedral

The spectacular Scissor Arches were a medieval solution to sinking tower foundations and were inserted in the 14th century to stabilize the structure.

Scissor Arches

The Scissor Arches support the weight of the central tower.

Wells Cathedral

The church holds assembly for the nearby Wells Cathedral School, which was founded in the 10th century to educate choristers.

Wells Cathedral

The cathedral has a friendly shop and Chapter Two cafe and restaurant located on the first floor of the New Entry Cloister.

Wells Cathedral
Cathedral Offices
Chain Gate
Cathedral Green
Wells
Somerset
BA5 2UE
Tel: 01749 674483

© Britain-Visitor.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lyme Regis To Seaton Undercliffs Walk

The 7-mile (11km) walk between Lyme Regis and Seaton is part of the much longer South West Coast Path through the Undercliffs National Nature Reserve and can easily be done in a day.

Lyme Regis To Seaton Undercliffs Walk

The path passes through beautiful and varied countryside including woodland, grassland and wheatfields. There are occasionally spectacular views of the sea in Lyme Bay as you walk. The frequent landslides and general inaccessibility of the area have created a fascinating natural habitat, full of interesting plants and animals. Look out for the wonderful ferns, ash and field maple.

Lyme Regis To Seaton Undercliffs Walk

The walk is described as moderate/strenuous but there are few, if any really steep climbs, and the whole journey was easily accomplished by my eight-year-old. Allow for around 4-5 hours if you have frequent stops and walk at a leisurely pace. Walking boots and a stick may come in handy as the path can be muddy. Bring food and drink for your journey.

Lyme Regis To Seaton Undercliffs Walk

The path is signposted from the car park near Lyme Regis Bowling Club and continues up the cliff to a flat grassland with views back into Lyme. The longer middle section leads through luxuriant woodland criss-crossed by streams. Towards Seaton, the path emerges onto the cliff top of Haven Cliff and leads out to Axe Cliff Golf Course and the Axe Bridge (Britain's oldest concrete bridge dating from 1877).

Lyme Regis To Seaton Undercliffs Walk

It was in the Haven Cliff area that Britain's largest recorded landslip occurred in 1839. The Bindon Landslip drew thousands of curious Victorian tourists as 15 acres of land slipped seaward creating a huge chasm and the outcrop known as Goat Island in the bay.

After refreshment in Seaton, walkers can continue 2 miles onto Beer or return by CoastlinX53 bus to Lyme Regis and marvel at how far you have just tramped.

Lyme Regis To Seaton Undercliffs Walk

South West Coast Path

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Heather Jansch

Born in the greater London area, sculptor Heather Jansch now makes her home in Devon and is famous for her figures of horses and now other animals done in driftwood from the Devon coast and fallen oakwood collected around her country home.

Heather Jansch

Heather's love of horses saw her first make a living painting equestrian commissions, then experimenting with horse sculptures from wire before moving on to the larger wooden forms, which have made her fame and fortune.

Heather Jansch

Heather's studio in Olchard north of Newton Abbot can be visited each year during the Devon Open Studios event, which was held this year from 5-20 September.

Heather Jansch

In 1999 Heather was part of the millennium exhibition "The Shape of the Century - One Hundred Year of British Sculpture" which brought her work to a wider, international audience.

Heather Jansch

Heather Jansch
Sedgewell Coach House
Olchard
Sandygate
Newton Abbot
Devon TQ12 3GU
Tel: 07775 840 513

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Southgate Shopping Centre Bath

The first phase of the redeveloped Southgate Shopping Centre in Bath opened on November 4.

Southgate Shopping Centre Bath

Designed in the same style as the Georgian palaces in the city centre, the Southgate Shopping Centre is being built in three phases. Phase two is slated to open in May 2010 and the final phase should be complete in the autumn of 2010 when the new Debenhams department store is ready.

Southgate Shopping Centre Bath

The usual giants of the British High Street are here including Boots, Sainbury's Local as well as designer stores such as H&M, Calvin Klein and Azendi.

Southgate Shopping Centre
Tel: 01225 469061

The 850-car capacity car park in on St James Parade. Both the new bus station and Bath Spa train station are located next to the mall.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beer In Winter

Beer in November is pleasantly free of the summer crowds. On a recent visit we saw only a party of high school kids on a geography field trip inspecting the cliffs on the beach.

Beer In Winter

The spectacular bay was whipped by the wind and waves and is an amazing sight in winter.

To keep warm we huddled in front of the wood fire in the Anchor Inn to enjoy a lovely pint and an excellent 5 pound lunch.

Beer In Winter

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Friday, November 13, 2009

St Stephen's Church Bristol

The Grade 1 listed building St. Stephen's Church is the parish church of Bristol and located in "The Centre" in the old City.

The building dates from 1470, though there has been a church on this site since the 11th century.

The great storm of 1703 greatly damaged the structure and was subsequently restored over the following years.

St Stephen's Church Bristol

St. Stephen's spire is 152ft (46m) high and contains 12 historic bells. Noted tombs in the church are those of explorer Martin Pring (1580-1626) and the 14th century merchant Edmund Blanket.

St. Stephens Church
21 St. Stephens Street
Bristol
BS1 1EQ
Tel: 0117 927 7977

St Stephen's Church Bristol
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pero's Bridge Bristol

Linking Queen Square and Millennium Square on Bristol's waterfront, Pero's Bridge is a pedestrian, bascule (moveable) bridge at St Augustine's Reach in Bristol Harbour.

Pero's Bridge, Bristol

The bridge, which was designed by Irish artist Eilis O'Connell and built by Ove Arup & Partners in 1999 is named after "Pero" the black slave of local merchant John Pinney (1740-1818).

Bristol's wealth as a port was built up on the back of the slave trade and the naming of the bridge after a former slave is recognition of this.

John Pinney's former 18th century residence is now a museum - The Georgian House - at 7, Great George Street, just off Park Street. Pinney's elegant, six-storey, townhouse was built between 1788 and 1791.

Pero's Bridge, Bristol

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

X39 Bristol-Bath Bus

The X39 is the main commuter bus linking Bristol and Bath. At peak times the X39 runs approximately every 12 minutes along the Upper Bristol Road from Bath Bus Station to Bristol.


X39 Bristol-Bath Bus

Journey times are approximately 30 minutes and if you are making a day trip it is cheaper to buy a return ticket. There are no services on Sunday.

The bus runs Bath - Saltford - Brislington - Bristol Temple Meads Station - Bristol Bus Station near the Broadmead Shopping Centre.

The less frequent 339 and 649 services also connect the two cities and have Sunday services.

First Somerset and Avon Buses
Badger House
Oldmixon Crescent
Weston super Mare
BS24 9AY
Tel: 0845 606 4446

Books on Devon & Cornwall

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

National Cycle Network Sustrans

The National Cycle Network grew out of the work of Bristol-based Sustrans, the UK's leading sustainable transport charity.

The first official part of the National Cycle Network was the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, a 13-mile traffic-free bicycle trail along a disused railway linking the two cities.

National Cycle Network Sustrans

Money provided by the UK National Lottery lead to the growth of the network which now stretches 12,000 miles across much of the country. The network is signposted using a white bicycle symbol on a blue background with the route number indicated in a red box.

National Cycle Network Sustrans

The ceramic map showing the route (pictured above) is in the waterfront area in Bristol near Pero's Bridge.

Cycling in Devon

Sustrans
2 Cathedral Square
College Green
Bristol
BS1 5DD
Tel: 0117 926 8893

© Britain-Visitor.com

Monday, November 9, 2009

John Wesley's Chapel

The New Room in Bristol is the oldest Methodist chapel in the world, built in 1739 by the Wesley brothers John and Charles.

Downstairs is the chapel where Wesley would preach and the building (which was extended in 1748) was also used as a meeting house, school and dispensary for the early Methodists.

John Wesley's Chapel

Upstairs on the top floor is a museum and the former living quarters of John and Charles Wesley and a number of fascinating pictures, papers and other personal items, including John Wesley's bed.

The first floor gallery has an organ and looks down on the pulpit and a clock given to the chapel by John Wesley.

John Wesley's Chapel
John Wesley's Chapel
The New Room
36 The Horsefair
Bristol
BS1 3JE
Tel 0117 9264740
Hours: Mon-Sat 10pm-4pm

The historic building is within walking distance of the Broadmead shopping area. Admission free.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bishop's Palace Wells

The fortress-like Bishop's Palace in Wells, just opposite Wells Cathedral, is the 800-year-old home of the Bishop of Wells.

Bishop's Palace Wells

The palace has 14 acres of gardens both within and outside the palace including the springs which gives the city its name.

Bishop's Palace Wells

Bishop Jocelin Trotman began building the palace and deer park in 1206. Visitors enter the palace through the Gatehouse via a portcullis and drawbridge. Within the palace the ruined Great Hall acts as a decorative feature to the lovely gardens. The Bishop's private chapel dates from the late 13th century and is a gem.

In the Outer Gardens the springs, which give the city its name, pour out 100 litres per second into a well pool, from where the water flows into the moat to and then into the River Sheppey.


Bishop's Palace Wells

The Bishops Palace
Wells
Somerset
BA5 2PD
Tel: 01749 988111

The palace opens from 10.30am

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

White Hart Hotel Wells

The White Hart Hotel in Wells, just a short walk from Wells Cathedral, is a 15th century coaching house.

There are 15 bedrooms in this historic AA two-star hotel. Brufani's Restaurant at the hotel is well known for its excellent food.

White Hart Hotel Wells

White Hart Hotel
Sadler Street
Wells
BA5 2RR
Tel: 01749 672056
Map of the White Hart Hotel

Books on Devon & Cornwall

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Autumn Leaves

The autumn leaves near the Jane Austen Centre in Bath make a pretty sight but they can be very slippery underfoot after a shower. Please take care when walking.

Autumn Leaves

Unlike in other countries, the autumn leaves are allowed to fall naturally in the UK and trees are not lopped of their leaves in late summer.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jane Austen Centre Bath

The excellent Jane Austen Centre in Bath is well worth a visit and not just for fans of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century novelist.

Jane Austen Centre Bath

Austen spent a number of years in Bath and two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion have the city as a setting.

Jane Austen Centre Bath

A visit to the centre includes an interesting introductory talk before the visitor is free to explore the many exhibits relating to Jane Austen and her times. These include clothing, ladies' fans, letters and everyday household items.

There is also a small book shop and gift centre on the ground floor.

Jane Austen Centre
40 Gay Street
Bath
BA1 2NT
Tel: 01225 443 000

Hotels and Guesthouses in Bath

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Images of Bath Abbey

As the showers ceased for a while and the weather improved in the South West yesterday, Bath Abbey looked beautiful in the sunshine as seen from the terrace at the Roman Bath.

Bath Cathedral

Images of Bath Abbey

Images of Bath Abbey

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