Author Archives: Cathrine

About Cathrine

I'm from Norway and have worked for VisitBritain since March 2004. I work in our Contact Centre and all Danes and Norwegians are "in my hands". If you visit our shop in Stockholm I'll help you with tips and ideas for your journey. We have a lot of practical information and of course different products that will make your visit better. I also help out with different exhibitions which I think is really fun. I lived for a year and a half in Hampshire County and this is still my favourite part of the rural Britain with green rolling hills, houses with thatched roofs and flowering gardens. Like so many Norwegian I'm fond of the dry, British humour. Then of course, a perfect day would have some nice shopping, lunch at a local pub, an afternoon visit to a quirky museum and a good night out with live music.

Hampshire County- green, cosy, picturesque and close to London.

Just one hour drive from London this beautiful county will offer the best of England! If you are looking for the typical green, rolling hills, farms and small villages, you’ve come to the right county.

Start out in Farnham, a cosy market town with a small castle and one of England’s finest streets, the Castle Street, lined with beautiful Georgian buildings. Just outside the village is  a beautiful bird park, the Birdworld, with flamingos, talking parrots and strange birds.  Also visit the ruins of Waverley Abbey, Britain’s first Cistercian Abbey, dated back to 1128.

Heading south, take the A325 passing the RAF-camp of Bordon and then the tiny roads to the pretty, old town of Selborn. This small village of stone houses has a famous church (for what I don’t remember, but there’s the base of the 1400 year old yew tree in front of the church, that might have been the reason.) The village also host a tiny museum of the 18th century Natural Historian and ecologist Gilbert White. There’s a pottery, a nice pub – the Selborn Arms and a local store. No pictures are found, this is a place not many tourists visit and that’s just why you should go there!

From Selborn follow the B3006 and it will eventually lead you to Chawton, home of famous author Jane Austin during her last years. You can visit her house and have a cup of tea at Cassandra’s Cup, the Tea Room across the road.

Further on to New Alresford, a former stop for coaches driving between London and Southampton. Check out their antique shops and great pubs and take a walk along the famous watercress fields. You can search for more information about New Alresford previously on the blog.

Spend a good time in England’s first capital, Winchester. The grand cathedral is beautiful and has a good range of quality stores. Winchester has several famous boarding schools with Winchester College as the oldest continuously running school in England. Jane Austen is buried in the impressive cathedral and the town has several award-winning tea-rooms, gastro-pubs and restaurants. Try out the local pub, The Eclipse Inn at 25 the Square! Winchester also claims to have King Arthur’s Round Table on show. Stay in the old Mill YHA or enjoy some of the nice small hotels around.

If you’re a cricket fan, don’t miss the village of Hambledon near by. It says it’s the “cradle of cricket” and that the local Hambledon Cricket club in late 18th Century “raised the sport to an art” and formed the now known rules of the game.

A 10 min. drive away you’ll find Marwell Zoo with its snow-leopards, giraffes, tigers, monkeys and rare breads not found anywhere else. For the tiny ones there’s also a small fun fair.

So, buy yourself a good map, rent a car and start exploring the Hampshire County. You will not regret it!

Find Hamphire County on our Britain map.

Cathrine

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Filed under England, Food & Drink, For families

Borough Market, a food lovers heaven!

Cheese stall at Borough market

Cheese stall at Borough market

Borough Market is London’s oldest food market dating back 250 years. Situated under the London Bridge on the South Bank of London, this is a feast for both eyes and tummy! The market is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and is probably the areas most popular place for a lunch out.

Shoppers at Borough market

Shoppers at Borough market

Oyster chef in action!Workers from offices and stores in the neighbourhood enjoys a standing lunch of delicious soups and pies, fabulous sandwiches and toasts. The Roast to Go seems like it’s worth standing in line for and even on a cold, rainy day the oyster chef was busy.

If you pass over to the Green Market opposite the meat and fish hall you will find not only fruit and veggies but delicious cakes and pastries and mountains of handmade chocolate.

Don’t miss the hot freshly pressed juices or the pancakes,- delicious!

Cathrine

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Filed under Food & Drink, London

GO GREEN – take a walk!

Sustainable tourism is the thing! You can ease your conscience after flying by walking through Britain’s beautiful cities.

Did you know that it takes 16 minutes at medium pace walking from Piccadilly Circus to Hyde Park Corner and you burn approximately 70 calories?

From Piccadilly Station in  Manchester to the shopping and restaurant-area Exchange Square it takes you 15 minutes to walk. If you’re heading to Old Trafford football stadium it takes an hour but you’ll save enough calories (267) to enjoy a pint after the game.

WalkIt is a website that shows how long time it takes you to walk between different addresses in major cities in the UK. You will find out how many calories you burn and how much CO2 you save compared to taking the underground or bus! You can also choose between direct routes, less crowded routes and routes with low pollution.

 Check out WalkIt here!

Go green – go walking!

Cathrine

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Filed under For families, Nature & Heritage, Sports & Activities

King Arthur’s Labyrinth in Mid Wales

Almost every part of Great Britain will claim the right to the famous King Arthur and his knights. And no wonder, it is a fantastic story and a great piece of British history.

In Corris near Machynlleth and Dolgellav in Mid Wales, you will find King Arthur’s Labyrinth. I must admit that I do not really believe the King himself entered these dark caves, they’re a vast quarry, but it’s rather spectacular! The underground labyrinth is  reached from Corris Craft Centre in Corris. You can go by train to Machynlleth and then by local bus to Corris.

You enter the caves  by boat through a great waterfall. Well inside the caverns of the labyrinth you will hear stories about King Arthur and his men and other ancient Welsh legends. There are dragons and giants, battles and adventures. The hooded guide will lead you through the labyrinth and – hopefully – back out to daylight!

A great day out for the whole family that I highly recommend!

Cathrine

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Filed under Nature & Heritage, Wales

ABBA World in London.

Swedish pop wonder ABBA became world famous in the 1970s with hits like Waterloo, Dancing Queen and Fernando. After that, the band reaped success after success, and is still the second best-selling popular music group in the history of recorded music, with only the Beatles before them.

Now, almost 40 years later, the group back with a bang in the new exhibition ABBA World . The exhibition opened a couple of weeks ago in London, Earls Court. Since their first glory of fame with Waterloo in Liverpool 1974, London is the first city to show this multimedia experience.  Find 25 rooms filled with videos, pictures, accessories, clothes and off course music, music, music! 3D holographic illusions gives you the chance to perform together with the famous group, and there are lots of other exciting things to see and do. The exhibition is held at Earls Court, Warwick road and closes the 28. March 2010.

We have been getting a lot of question on how and where you can buy the tickets to the exhibition, so we decided to make it easier for you and blog about it. See links to the booking sites below:

Sweden
Norway
Denmark
Finland

When you book, be sure to choose London as city and leave the rest open.

Thank you for the music!

Cathrine

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, London, Music, Film & TV, News

Cool vintage store in Brick Lane, London

Brick Lane is famously known for its cool markets and vintage stores. My colleague and I fell upon this great store when walking to Brick Lane from Bethnal Green tube station on the east side of London. A nice 15 min. walk through this Pakistan-Indian part of London, though a closer station should be Liverpool Street Station or Shoreditch (over-ground trains). Just down the road from the Swedish cafe Fika and the famously know Bagel shop, you’ll find this fabulous vintage store, Rokit -cramped with clothes and accessories.

Lovely dresses, quirky hats and accessories to die for! Real furs also seems to be a big hit, so if that’s your choice for a still cold winter you’ll have several to choose from. The store has both a ladies’ store and a separate men’s store next door.

Rokit is a probably Britain’s largest and best vintage store and they are located not only on Brick Lane but also in Camden and Covent Garden. The stores are open every day. If you can’t go to London, have a look at their website where you’ll find their online shop!

Cathrine

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Filed under London, Shopping

Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms

Recently, on Swedish television, the gripping and gruesome french documentary from the 2nd World War has been shown.  Lately, when visiting London, I felt it was time to visit the “place of action”,- the underground offices used by Sir Winston Churchill and his staff during the 2nd World War.

Finding the entrance is still not easy even if it’s signposted. You have to go to the back of the Horse Guards building and just opposite St James Park at the Horse Guards Road the doors down to these rooms are found.Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms

The Cabinet War Rooms are almost exactly the same as they were left in 1945 and shows the narrow rooms, low ceilings and cramped spaces were British soldiers, politicians and workers spent hours, days and months underground with no fresh air, no daylight and actually no knowledge about what was going on in the streets of London. Though not built as a proper shelter no sound entered. You will see the room were the cabinet were held, with ashtrays for Churchill’s famous cigars everywhere. No time for arguing passive smoking there! You will also see Churchill’s private courter, the office space for morse-coding, map-rooms, kitchen, diningroom and so on.

The Churchill Museum, also underground, shows the life of Sir Winston Churchill through film clips, radio speeches, clothing, newspapers, gadgets and more.

An entrance fee apply. See website for opening times.

Cathrine

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Filed under Attractions & Culture, London