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Monday, October 28, 2013

Virgin Records Celebrates 40 Years of Disruption

Richard Branson's Virgin Records turns 40 this year and, to celebrate it's '40 years of disruption', has announced a string of gigs in the basement of Victoria House in aid of War Child, on Southampton Row in Central London. Artists performing included The Strypes and The Kooks, who both played acoustic sets to audiences of around 250 people earlier this week. Other artists, including Laura Marling, Jake Bugg, Emilie Sande, Professor Green, PiL and Boy George are also appearing in venues across London, such as KOKO and Shepherd's Bush Empire, for anniversary shows.

Over the past 40 years, Virgin Records has signed some of the biggest names in music, including the Sex Pistols, the Spice Girls, Iggy Pop, Genesis and Daft Punk. It has been one of most controversial record labels over the past 40 years, having fully supported the Sex Pistols throughout their disruptive and controversial career, unlike many other labels would have done. 

The record label has also set up a pop-art exhibition in the basement of Victoria House, which aims to be a recreation of the original Virgin Records, particularly of the moment that Virgin launched the Sex Pistols' album, 'Never Mind the Bollocks'. The original shop was opened in 1973, on Oxford Street. The exhibition includes many original and rare photos, prints and memorabilia of Virgin artists. 

© Britain-Visitor.com

Wembley Park Station

Wembley Park Station is a station on the London Underground in north west London.

Wembley Park Station, London

Wembley Park Station is on the Metropolitan and Jubilee Lines of the London Underground network. The Wembley Park Station was redeveloped during the construction of Wembley Stadium, which opened in 2007.

Wembley Park Station, London, UK

Wembley Park Station is the nearest station to both the new Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena.

Tube train at Wembley Park Station, London

The following London buses call at Wembley Park Station: the 83 between Ealing Hospital and Golders Green, the 182 from Brent Cross to Harrow Weald, the 206 from Kilburn Park to Wembley Park , the 223 between Harrow and Wembley Central, the 245 from Alperton (on the Piccadilly Line) to Golders Green and the 297 between Ealing Broadway and Willesden Bus Garage on Pound Lane. Both the 297 and 83 buses run 24 hours.

Wembley Park Station, west London

Wembley Park Station
Bridge Road
Google map of Wembley Park Station

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Arctic Monkeys at Earl's Court 25th October 2013

On the 25th of October 2013, 20,000 people gathered at Earl's Court Exhibition Centre to watch the penultimate gig of the venue's lifetime. Arctic Monkeys appeared on stage at around 21:00, following support from The Strypes, to applause and cheers that I'm surprised didn't crumble the soon-to-be-demolished 1930's venue.

Arctic Monkeys at Earl's Court 25th October 2013

The lighting display throughout the show was phenomenal, adding to the simple, yet hugely effective stage design. Arctic Monkeys are at the peak of their career, having had 5 number one albums in the UK and headlined the biggest music festival in the world, Glastonbury, this summer.

Arctic Monkeys at Earl's Court 25th October 2013

Arctic Monkeys at Earl's Court 25th October 2013

After an hour and a half of performing, Arctic Monkeys left the stage and the audience, who flooded out of the venue and into the West Brompton and Earl's Court underground stations, taking over the Central and West London branches of the District and Piccadilly lines.

Sadly, plans to demolish this incredible venue have been finalised.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bike in Bath

Bike in Bath is a public cycle hire service scheme in the city of Bath. Bike in Bath offers a real alternative to the car for short trips around town. Bike sharing schemes such as Bike in Bath are a highly practical form of urban transport in terms of time and cost. Bike in Bath's four docking stations, located at important arrival points and city centre locations, offer residents and visitors an environmentally-friendly, pleasant and practical alternative to walking or driving as well as an exciting way to explore Bath’s places of interest.

Bike in Bath, docking station, UK

There are four Bike in Bath docking stations in the city of Bath at the following locations:
1. Orange Grove next to the Guildhall– 14 racks
2. Railway Place next to Bath Spa Station – 15 racks
3. Charles Street outside Green Park Station – 11 racks
4. Sydney Place outside the Holburne Museum – 15 racks

Bike in Bath, Somerset, UK

Visitors to Bath may want to cycle to locations such as the William Herschel Museum or the Prior Park Landscape Garden.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brondesbury Station

Brondesbury Station is a station on the North London Line of the London Overground in Kilburn, north west London.

Brondesbury Station, London

Brondesbury Station is close to Kilburn tube station on the Jubilee Line of the London Underground and Kilburn High Road Station on the Watford DC Line of the London Overground.

Brondesbury Station, Kilburn, London

East of Brondesbury Station the next station is West Hampstead and west is Brondesbury Park.

Service run west to Richmond via Willesden Junction and Acton Central, south to Clapham Junction and east to Stratford.

A station has been in existence here since 1860.

Brondesbury Station
Kilburn High Road

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Earl's Court London

The Earl's Court Exhibition Centre has become one of the most iconic venues in London since it was opened in 1937, hosting a huge variety of events, ranging from the Olympics to Led Zeppelin concerts. It has been in consistent use since the 1930s, but plans have now been approved to demolish the venue.  Boris Johnson confirmed the plans to demolish the venue in order to build a new residential and retail estate, which will be finished in 2033. Thousands of music, sport and architecture enthusiasts are outraged and upset about this news, as the Exhibition Centre has become a London landmark over the last 75 years.

Earl's Court London

It is a 20,000 capacity venue, similar to London's O2 Arena, allowing it to play host to the biggest music acts in the world, including Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Madonna and Arctic Monkeys. Arctic Monkeys are due to play two sold-out shows on the 25th and 26th of October, 2013, which are very likely to be the last ever concerts at Earl's Court Exhibition Centre.

Earl's Court London, UK

Monday, October 14, 2013

St George's Church Stockport

If Stockport was a city rather than just a large town, St. George's Church, opposite Stockport Cemetery in Heaviley on the A6 would be its cathedral.

St George's Church Stockport, UK

A large and grand Anglican church, St. George's was consecrated in 1897 and designed in red sandstone by the Lancaster-based architect Hubert Austin (1841-1915). The tall spire of the Grade I-listed church is 72m high and the church can hold over 1,000 worshippers.

The interior has Derbyshire alabaster work, oak fittings and pews and two large stained glass windows.

The grounds of St. George's contain a memorial cross dedicated to local people killed in World War I.

St George's Church Stockport, UK

Stockport's surprising number of interesting places to see include Robinson's Brewery Visitor's CentreStockport Town Hall, Stockport Air Raid Shelters, St Mary's Church, Bramhall Hall, Woodbank Park, Vernon ParkFred Perry's birthplace, Woodbank Park, the Viaduct, the Hat Works, the Three Tunnes and The Cock, Stockport Art Gallery and Stockport Market.

Access - how to get to St George's Church

St George's Church
28 Buxton Rd
Cheshire SK2 6NU
Tel: 0161 480 2453

St George's Church Map

Take a 192 bus along the A6 and get off at the St George's stop opposite Stockport Cemetery.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sensory Garden Bath

A sensory garden is a garden designed to be accessible and enjoyable to both disabled and non-disabled visitors. The purpose of a sensory garden is to provide sensory opportunities for a visitor which he/she may not normally experience.

Sensory Garden in Henrietta Park, Bath

The sensory garden in Bath's Henrietta Park is planted with many sweetly scented flowers and shrubs.

Sensory Garden with flowers, Henrietta Park, Bath

The sensory garden in Henrietta Park in Bath occasionally hosts theatrical performances such as The Wind in the Willows in May 2012.

Sensory Garden flowered path, Bath, UK

Henrietta Park and its sensory garden are hidden away just north of Great Pulteney Street and within easy walking distance of other attractions in central Bath such as Bath Abbey as well as the Holburne Museum.

Henrietta Street
Tel: 01225 394041

Henrietta Park map

© Britain-Visitor.com

Books on Britain

Monday, October 7, 2013

Physical Energy Statue Kensington Gardens

The Physical Energy Statue in Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park, commemorates Cecil Rhodes the diamond magnate & imperialist active in southern Africa.

The bronze equestrian statue of a naked rider shielding his eyes against the sun, while looking into the distance, was erected in 1907 and is the work of George Frederick Watts (1817-1904). A cast of this statue is also located at the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town, South Africa.

Physical Energy Statue Kensington Gardens

Other famous sculptures in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens include the Peter Pan sculpture by Sir George Frampton, The Arch by Henry Moore and Isis Statue by Simon Gudgeon.

The Albert Memorial is close by to the Physical Energy Statue.

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Books on Devon & Cornwall
Hotels and Guesthouses in the UK
Hotels and Guesthouses in London UK

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Skips In Britain

As British as fish and chips and red pillar boxes? A true British icon to rank with the Sunday Roast and K6 telephone boxes? Yes, the skip is right up there in the top ten of British icons, in my opinion.

Skips In Britain

Houses or commercial premises to be cleared? Right, soon enough a bemused and lost-looking driver with a skip appears. It might be blue, yellow, green, white whatever, but a dependable steel box appears outside the property to be torn down and sacked, so that's a very green light for anyone in the neighbourhood to dump all their un-wantables. Just don't let the skip-renters see you!

Remember that 1980's concrete-lined Russian washing-machine your brother gave you up in Manchester, and leaked from the get-go? Where did it go? The skip in Archway, though it took three of us to get in there. A-level revision papers and folders? Your ex-tenants' bed sheets and plastic bin liners of shredded wallpaper? That wooden ramp for the wheelchair for Grandad? Yes, you guessed it...the skip.

Skips In Britain

What happens to all the stuff that get's bunged into skips across the UK? Is it recycled? You would expect not, and that Grannie's old chamber pot and your 1970's record collection ends in landfill off the Essex coast, or does it?

Well yes and no is the answer. The best waste management companies in the UK promise to recycle 80% of your skip: things such as bricks, cardboard, metals, wood etc with less than 20% going into landfill. The worst operators will just toss the lot.

Skips In Britain

An empty skip weighs about 250kg.

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Books on Britain

Saturday, October 5, 2013

National Express Coaches

National Express is a subsidiary of National Express Group plc, which is a international public transport company headquartered in Birmingham that operates bus, coach, rail and tram services in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Spain, Portugal and Morocco as well as long-distance coach services across Europe. National Express began life as the state-owned National Bus Company which decided in 1972 to bring together the various scheduled coach services under one brand. Initially called National, the National Express brand was first used in 1974.

national express coach, heathrow airport

National Express offers standard routes to destinations across the UK as well as shuttle and airport services. National Express coach routes often pass through several town centres, which can lengthen journey times considerably. However, shuttle services operating at least once an hour offer faster direct routes. National Express operates a number of airport services including service to East Midlands, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted airports.

national express coach, heathrow airport, london, uk

National Express tickets are available in a variety of ways and different pricing schemes. Booking on line at www.nationalexpress.com is easy. Traditionally, however, tickets are sold through National Express ticket offices located at coach stations, or by third-party agents including travel agents around the country. In general, tickets are sold at the 'Standard Fare' or at 'Advance Fares' when booking in advance.

Customers looking for a discount may want to consider a coachcard. National Express currently offers four different coachcards. These include:
the Young Person Coachcard – for those under 26 or full-time students of any age. This card allows for one-third off the standard fare;
the Family Coachcard – which enables one child (ages 3–15) to travel for free with one full fare paying adult (or 2 children with 2 adults);
the Senior Coachcard – which allows for one-third off the standard fare;
and the Disabled Coachcard – which also allows for one-third off the standard fare.

This writer found the service between Heathrow and Bath to be quick (about 2 hours) and reasonably priced (around ₤30 return for an advance fare booked online). Amendable fares are slightly more expensive.

© Britain-Visitor.com

Friday, October 4, 2013

Spitalfields Winter Festival

Taking place from December 6, to December 17, 2014 the Spitalfields Winter Festival is an end of year musical celebration not to be missed by London residents and winter visitors.

Spitalfields Winter Festival, London

Taking place at several Spitalfields locations in east London including Spitalfields market, Christ Church Spitalfields, Shoreditch Church (St Leonard's), Galvin La Chapelle restaurant and Rich Mix in Bethnal Green, the festival "explores the area's hidden corners" with early and contemporary music, musical tours, opera for under 2s, and free events which bring together global and local artists.

Spitalfields Winter Festival, London

Spitalfields Music
61 Brushfield Street
E1 6AA
Tel: 020 7377 0287

Spitalfields Winter Festival, London

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

George Frederick Samuel Robinson

George Frederick Samuel Robinson (1827-1909) was Marquess of Ripon and Viceroy of India (1880–1884).

George Frederick Samuel Robinson, London

A blue plaque at Turners Reach House in Belgravia, Chelsea, near the River Thames and Battersea Park, acknowledges the life and achievements of this amazing politician and man.

Ripon was born at 10 Downing Street, London, the second son of Prime Minister F. J. Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich.

Flats in Turner's Reach House are now worth over 4 million pounds, which gives some idea of the wealth of the occupiers in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Staircase House Stockport

Staircase House in Stockport in Stockport Market is a restored 15th century townhouse which contains a Jacobean cage-newel staircase, which is one of only three in the UK. Staircase House is a Grade II-listed building.

Staircase House Stockport, Cheshire, UK

The staircase was installed by the Shallcross family who owned the Staircase House from 1605 to 1730.

Staircase House has been restored since the mid 1990's when it was targeted in arson attacks by local vandals.

Blackshaw's Café, which opened its doors in 1860, is now part of Staircase House, which also has a small souvenir shop.

Further places of interest to visit in the Stockport area of Greater Manchester include Robinson's Brewery Visitor's CentreStockport Town Hall, Stockport Air Raid Shelters, St Mary's Church, Bramhall Hall, Woodbank Park, Vernon ParkFred Perry's birthplace, Woodbank Park, the Viaduct, the Hat Works, the Three Tunnes and The Cock and Stockport Art Gallery.

Access - how to get to Staircase House

Staircase House
30-31 Millgate
Tel: 0161 218 1460

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 1pm-5pm; Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 11am-5pm
Admission: £4.45 for adults (audio guides are available in a variety of languages).

Staircase House Map

Take a 192 bus to Stockport Merseyway Bus Station, then follow the signs to Stockport Market.

Hotels and Guesthouses in the UK
Hotels and Guesthouses in Manchester UK

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wembley Central

Wembley Central Station on Wembley High Road is on the Bakerloo Underground Line of London's tube system, the London Overground and also has infrequent Southern (from Milton Keynes and Watford Junction to East Croydon) as well as a few London Midland services from London Euston to Birmingham New Street.

Wembley Central Station, London

The area around Wembley Central Station has a long-established neighbourhood of mainly South Asian residents from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The Ealing Road (A4089) running down to Alperton Station on the Piccadilly Line has many Indian and Pakistani run shops selling Indian groceries, saris and medicines as well as some excellent South Asian restaurants including specialist vegetarian eateries. This is the place in west London to pick up real Indian incense, spices, coconuts, Vicco toothpaste or a traditional sari or salwar kameez.

Wembley Central Cash and Carry

The Wembley Central Mosque is on your left as you walk down Ealing Road.

Frequent buses run from Wembley Central to Wembley Stadium, bus services from outside Wembley Central Station include the 18, 79, 83, 92, 182, 204, 223, 297 and N18.

Wembley Central Mosque, London

Google map of Wembley Central

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