Posted by 07heaven on July 28, 2016
Fancy a trip to Scotland? Look no further than the Scottish Borders. Home to no fewer than four abbeys, and with many castles and stately homes peppering the beautiful landscape, the Sottish Borders is a must-visit for history fans, nature lovers and anyone who loves a good view.
Cycling and Walking
There’s a plethora of opportunities to get out your hiking boots or bicycle in the Scottish Borders. Mountain bikers especially should head to Glentress, near Peebles, for the flagship 7stanes trail.
If you’re in or near the village of St Boswells, you can’t miss out on Scott’s View. A favourite of iconic writer Sir Walter Scott, the viewpoint looks over the valley of the River Tweed, rolling farmland and the Eildon Hills.
St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve
You’ll see all sorts of nature at St Abbs Head, from seabirds and butterflies to flowers and marine life. St Abbs Head is one of the best known Berwickshire coast landmarks, and it was formed by an extinct volcano. The sheer cliffs offer spectacular views of the coastline – try a National Trust for Scotland guided walk to get the best out of a visit.
Now a ruin, Melrose Abbey was founded in the 12th century. Richly decorated and thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart, the abbey is a wonderful day out for anyone interested in history, architecture or just wonderful photo opportunities.
Traquair House and Brewery
The oldest inhabited house in Scotland, Traquair has stood for nearly a thousand years. It’s been a favourite of kings and refuge for Catholic priests – and is home to a spectacular brewery that was working when Mary Queen of Scots visited in 1566. Although it fell into disuse for a couple of centuries, the brewery was rediscovered in 1965 and now produces award-winning Scottish ales.
Posted by 07heaven on July 26, 2016
One of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world, Stonehenge has inspired visitors for, quite literally, millennia. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1986, it’s a must-see for everyone who visits Wiltshire, with a designated visitor’s centre nearby to help visitors understand the spectacular structure.
Stonehenge’s History and the Stone Circle
Stonehenge is thought to have been built in several stages, with the first monument built around 3,000 BCE and the famous stone circle erected in about 2500 BCE. Burial mounds were built nearby during the Bronze Age. Stonehenge is the only surviving lintelled stone circle on the planet, and the stones themselves were brought to the site from distances of over 150 miles; the bluestones came from as far as Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, west Wales! Additionally, the stones are interlocked at precise points, which is unseen at any other prehistoric monument.
Step back into the Wiltshire 4,500 years ago when you visit the five Neolithic house replications that stand outside Stonehenge’s visitor’s centre. They’re furnished with replica artefacts such as pottery and axes, and visitors can watch volunteers demonstrate ancient skills and activities such as rope-making and grain grinding.
The Visitor’s Centre: ‘Standing in the Stones’ and Exhibitions
The visitor’s centre hosts a 360-degree audio-visual view from inside the stones, and takes viewers through time – watch the seasons and summer and winter solstices pass in front of your eyes. You can also learn about the life of local Neolithic people through the artefacts at the Stonehenge exhibition, and visit the Wish You Were Here exhibition, which celebrates the way Stonehenge has been experienced by generations of visitors.
There’s not technically a museum on the Stonehenge site, so consider visiting nearby Salisbury Museum’s collection of south Wiltshire artefacts and finds from excavations at Stonehenge, which range from prehistoric times onward. Alternatively, visit the Wiltshire Museum in the ancient market town of Devizes, which tells the story of Wiltshire and Devises, and also hosts award-winning displays of gold dating back to the time of Stonehenge.
Posted by 07heaven on July 21, 2016
The Tate Modern opened in 2000 as a dedicated gallery for contemporary art. The iconic Bankside Power Station was redeveloped, with its machinery removed and the building stripped back to its original brick and steel structure. After a decade and a half of enjoying its place at the top of the UK’s most-visited attractions lists, the Tate Modern underwent a revamp and recently reopened after a new extension that saw even more of the building converted into space for art. A new tower, Switch House, was added, which increased the gallery’s size by 60%. Overall, the Tate Modern gallery now houses work from over 300 artists from around 50 countries.
The Tanks were used as an oil store while the gallery was a power station, and the enormous circular stations are now the first spaces permanently dedicated to performances, video installations and interactive art.
Artist and Society Tour
If you’re new to the Tate Modern or just want to learn a little more about contemporary art, take the 45-minute Artist and Society tour, which is focused around the gallery’s Artist and Society display. Held daily, led by the gallery’s expert guides and asking whether art can change the world, there’s no booking necessary for small groups – just arrive and enjoy!
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
Explore the history of ‘black art’ within America’s history with Soul of a Nation, which spans the period from 1963-1983, beginning with the establishment of the Spiral art collection and continuing through the black civil rights movement. The exhibition is open until October 2017.
Bloomberg Connects Drawing Bar
If you’ve been inspired by the art on show, try one of the gallery’s digital sketch pads to make something of your own. You never know, you could exhibit at the Tate one day…
A new partnership between the Tate and Hyundai has inspired the Hyundai Commission, which will give new and upcoming artists the opportunity to create artwork specifically for the Tate Modern’s iconic Turbine Hall. The collaboration runs until May 2025, so you have plenty of time to plan your visit!
The top floor of the Tate is an open viewing terrace offering 360-degree views of London’s skyline. Access is free – just be aware that there may be queues, as the view is as beautiful as the art inside the gallery!
Posted by 07heaven on July 19, 2016
This south of England county has certainly earned its place in history – the first recorded Viking invasion of Britain took place in Dorset, and Weymouth area of Melcombe Regis is one of the points where the Black Death entered England in 1348! Today, Dorset’s known best for much lovelier reasons, such as being the home of spectacular geological features and beautiful coastlines, and as the setting of BAFTA-winning crime drama Broadchurch.
The Jurassic Coast is 95 miles of coastline, which stretches from East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset. With parts of the coast dating back over 185 million years, it’s England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered one of the wonders of the world. Explore the coast by fossil hunting, visiting one of the many beaches and geological sites, or just visit for the stunning views and photograph opportunities.
Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door
A trip to Lulworth Cove is a must while you’re in Dorset. As well as boasting beautiful open coastline with gorgeous sand and pebble beaches and shallow water safe for swimming, it’s home to Durdle Door, the world-famous rock arch. Stop off at the Lulworth Heritage Centre to learn about the geology and history of Lulworth.
Bournemouth and Weymouth
Bournemouth is perfect for a traditional beach holiday. Stroll along Bournemouth or Boscombe Piers, visit one of the Grade I listed churches and try the vibrant nightlife. Alternatively, visit Weymouth for a long walk along Chesil Beach for spectacular views of the sunset.
This 1,000-year-old castle survived the Saxons, was rebuilt by William the Conqueror, was used as a royal fortress for six centuries and withheld siege during the English Civil War. Visit the village while you’re there for some great independent shops and museums.
Spend a day at the beautiful Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve, which has 280 acres of land and coast and is home to a wonderful array of wildlife as well as the spectacular Durlston Castle. You can also see Old Harry Rocks at Studland Bay, three chalk formations marking the easternmost point of the Jurassic Cove.
Posted by 07heaven on July 14, 2016
Visit central Southend for a day at Southend Museum and Planetarium in Victoria Avenue. Explore the museum’s collection of radio and television objects from local company EKCO, or drop in on one of the public talks in the planetarium to learn about astronomy.
If the weather’s fine, head to Hadleigh Castle for stunning views of the Thames Estuary, a close up look at the remains of the spectacular 13th century castle, then stop off at Hadleigh Farm’s nearby tea room and rare breeds centre.
Summer Reading Challenge, Essex Libraries
This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is called The Big Friendly Read, to celebrate the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth. A wonderful, free and fun way to keep children reading through the holidays, there are plenty of prizes to be collected and shelves of books to choose from.
Sea Life Adventure
Walk through the South East’s number one aquarium and stop off at different exhibits to see marine life from all around the world. Get up close to piranhas, rays and sharks or hold starfish at the rock pool. Don’t forget to look at the other animals while you’re there – the lizard trail includes the caiman, tiny yet deadly tree frogs, and snakes. Watch live demonstrations and feedings or wander through at your own pace.
Whether you prefer the sky drop or the dodgems, the rollercoasters or the arcades, Adventure Island is a great day out for the whole family.
Try the puppet festival at on 6th and 7th August on the Royal Pavilion, the Barge Match on 28th August, or just walk along the pier of a warm day for spectacular views of the Southend coast and Thames estuary.
Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park
Spend a day at Marsh Farm and get up close to farmyard animals. There’s over 30 acres of farmland, surrounded by beautiful country park. Explore the Maize Maze, the Magic Show or the Pesky Pet Show while you’re there… There’s also the Outdoor Adventure and summer Kids Fest on Sunday 14th August.
Take the trip to Colchester to visit its wonderful zoo and animals including wolves, penguins, big cats and birds of prey.
Posted by 07heaven on July 12, 2016
One of the most famous museums in the world, and the most-visited attraction in the UK, the British Museum boasts a permanent collection of around 8 million works, believed to be one of the largest in existence. A trip to any one of the exhibits or galleries is the perfect day out for any family, history or classics enthusiast or anyone interested in other cultures and civilisations! Free to enter and open daily, the British Museum really is one of the most spectacular destinations in London.
Follow free trails through the museum for a fun-filled journey around the museum. The whole family can explore the museum’s exhibits and learn as you go. There’s also an app, Baron Ferdinand’s Challenge, designed specifically for families as part of the Waddeson Bequest gallery.
Ancient Egypt at the Museum
The British Museum is home to the largest compendium of Egyptian objects outside Egypt itself, and the collection includes the Rosetta Stone – a stele inscribed with three separate languages that provided the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs – a five-thousand-year old mummy and ancient tomb paintings. Explore the history of Egypt, and learn what daily life was like from anyone from a common Egyptian to the pharaohs.
Ancient Greece and Rome
Roman Britain may have been ruled from Italy, but it was a unique Roman province brimming with its own culture, social norms and religions, and on your visit you can explore artefacts from the Roman occupation of Britain and learn about the mighty Roman Empire and its emperors. Ancient Greece was no less teeming with life and culture: discover the intricacies of Greek mythology, the Persian wars, the original Olympic Games and what everyday life was like for an ancient Greek.
Running until 9th October 2016, this exhibition looks at how money has changed the world we live in, from politics and financial terminology to our personal relationships to money.
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