Category Archives: Wales

South Wales – a hidden treasure

The Dylan Thomas Statue

Since I have lived in Swansea for almost a year as an exchange student I would like to strike a blow for this coastal city and its surroundings on the beautiful South West Wales coast.

Swansea is the hometown of late poet and writer Dylan Thomas. So for all literature lovers there is The Dylan Thomas Centre to visit. The Centre also have an annual Dylan Thomas Festival during October and November.

My favorite place though is the Mumbles, a seaside resort village on Swansea Bay. The name reportedly means “breasts,” which is suitable considering the two islets peaking out of the water. This little village has numerous pubs and is famous for the Mumbles Mile. The Mumbles Mile is a stretch of pubs and clubs along the coast, nowadays ten, meaning one pint per stop.

Three Cliffs Bay

From Mumbles onwards you can walk along the coast of Gower, visiting around 50 unspoilt beaches, coves and bays. Rhossili beach is my favourite. The beaches also have warmer water than in other parts of the UK which is nice (due to the effect of the Gulf Stream). Some of the beaches are also very popular for surfers.

Along the coast there is high and low tide which is extremely powerful to watch. I highly recommend you go to the beach when the tide is coming in. Have a look at the tide table before you go.

Another thing I enjoyed and had far to many of was the wonderful fudge candy. Nowhere else I have had so creamy, delicious fudge. So stay tuned for fudge stores!

/Camilla, trainee Stockholm office

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Things to do in Britain when you’re stuck

Stuck in Britain because of an ash cloud? Don’t despair – Britain is probably the best place to get stuck in, since it’s full of great things to do all year round. So read this blog post and get inspired!

LONDON

Musicals
Phantom of the Opera, Buddy, La Bohème, Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys or The Lion King – There is simply no better place to catch a musical than in London. And even if you don’t have tickets, there’s always a good chance to find tickets last minute at Leicester Square.

Find out which musical you want to see and if it’s running this weekend on Time Out London.

Storm Exhibition – Right but Wrong
See the highly recommended exhibition “Right but Wrong – The Extended Album Art of Storm Studios and Hipgnosis” at Idea Generation Gallery. The exhibition is open until 2nd of May 2010.

Idea Generation Gallery
11 Chance Street
London E2 7JB
Web: Idea Generation Gallery

London Architecture Walks
If your interested in architecture but not sure what to visit or how, then a guided walk might be the answer. With London Architecture Walks, you can choose a theme like “London Churches”, “Financial London” or “River Thames”. Take your pick and start walking.

Web: London Architecture Walks

Have a pint at a local pub
Relax – there’s nothing you can do about the cloud anyway. So why not have a pint and just let the hours go by for a while? With the Good Pub Guide you can find the best places to find a good pint throughout Britain.

Web: The Good Pub Guide

ENGLAND

Fine Food Market in Nottingham
With almost 40 stallholders from across the East Midlands – selling everything from meat, cheese and pickles, to fudge, cakes, beer and wine – there is going to be plenty of choice for food and drink lovers everywhere. So take yourself down to Old Market Square between 16th and 17th of April and eat your way through British food culture this weekend.

Find more things to do in Nottingham on Visit Nottinghams homepage.

See a Premier League football game
Take the opportunity to see a Premier League football game this weekend. There are still some great matches that aren’t sold out like the derby between Manchester City and Manchester United or Liverpool – Westham and Blackburn – Everton.

Buy tickets on Premier Leagues homepage.

Hadrian’s Wall in Newcastle
You can’t visit Newcastle without walking along designated World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall. This famous 2,000-year-old Roman defence wall stretches from Carlisle in Cumbria to Wallsend in Newcastle going right through the city.

Find more things to do in Newcastle on VisitNewcastleGatesheads homepage.

Shopping in Manchester
Manchester is a real shopping Mecca, and if you’re stranded here – take the time to do some serious shopping. Some good places to shop is The Lowry Outlet Mall at The Quays, the bohemian area Northern Quarter where you’ll find famous Afflecks, or Kings Street with its fashionable shops.

Stuck in Manchester, but don’t have any shopping cravings? Then visit VisitManchesters homepage for more inspiration.

The Harry Potter Sensation
All over Britain you’ll find places to visit if you’re a Harry Potter buff. Take the Hogwarts Express through Harry Potters London & Oxford, find the filming locations for Hogwarts Dining Hall, Hogsmead Station or Diagon Alley and lot’s of other exiting places throughout Britain.

Read the first part of our three part guide to Harry Potters Britain here.

The Beatles Story in Liverpool
While in Liverpool you don’t want to miss The Beatles Story, an interactive museum located at the historic Albert Dock in Liverpool. Join the four lads in their journey from unknown boys to world famous.

The museum is open seven days a week, all year round (excluding December 25th/26th) Opening hours are 9am – 7pm. For information about current exhibitions, admission fees etc, please visit The Beatles Story homepage.

WALES

Millenium Centre
Cardiff’s showpiece arts centre features everything from ballet and opera to hip hop shows and comedy. Known locally as the ‘Golden Armadillo‘, its gigantic bronze-coloured façade inscribed with poetry has made the building an iconic UK landmark.

Historic Pubs
If you like beer and history, Cardiff is the place to go. Many of the ancient pubs of Cardiff actually existed before the city itself. So find a pub, have a pint and take in the historic atmosphere of Cardiff.

SCOTLAND

Glasgow International Festival Of Visual Art
Have you been stuck in Glasgow and love art? Lucky you. Between16 April-3 May you have the chance to see Glasgow International Festival Of Visual Art. Packed with events, talks and tours as well as major world-class exhibitions, some by artists living in the city and others by leading international figures, the Festival is Glasgow’s art scene at its liveliest and best.

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh
If your fond of whisky and happen to be stuck in Edinburgh, I suggest you walk down to The Scotch Whisky Museum. Apparently they just started a thrilling new guided tour where you can take a barrel ride through a replica distillery, hear stories about the craftsmanship of whisky making and get some inside hints on how to improve your palate and lead you to your favourite Single Malt Whisky.

The Scotch Whisky Experience
354 Castlehill, The Royal Mile,
Edinburgh, EH1 2NE

For more information about the opening hours or ongoing events, please visit The Scotch Whisky Museums homepage.

I hope you got some ideas on what to do in Britain when you’re stuck. For further information or inspiration, please visit our homepages:

Sweden: http://www.visitbritain.se
Denmark: http://www.visitbritain.dk
Finland (ENG): http://www.visitbritain.fi
Norway: http://www.visitbritain.no

Enjoy!

– Towe –

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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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Spring is here – So are the Flower Shows!

Spring is here! Well, at least in Britain, which means the air is getting warmer, the trees are getting greener and flowers are popping up everywhere. But not only that, spring also means that the popular British garden shows are back and first up is Cardiff Flower Show in Wales.

Cardiff Flower Show
Between 16th and 18th of April, beautiful Bute Park, beneath Cardiff Castle in Wales turns into an inferno of flowers, trees, gardeners and garden enthusiasts. Cardiff Flower Show is open every day from 10-16.30 and entry tickets cost £10 per day. Kids go for free with paying adult.

Chelsea Flower Show
Chelsea Flower Show, also called the gardeners Mecca, is the biggest flower show in England, attracting thousands of people each year. Walk around among flowers, trees and gardening attires for all tastes at one of Europe’s best flower shows.

The show is held in the garden of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, London between 27th and 29th of May and opens every day at 8am. Please notice, you cannot buy tickets for this exhibit at the entrance, only in advance. Prices vary depending on which day, and time of day, you choose. Please check their website for further details.

Hampton Court Flower Show
In the beautiful park of Hampton Court Palace, the worlds biggest flower show is hosted each year. The park covers 304 hectares and under normal circumstances you’ll find sparkling fountains, an exotic Orangery, a maze and over 200,000 different flowers in the formal gardens of over 26 hectares. During the show, there’ll be even more different types of flowers, plants and garden designs.

The show opens every day at 10am between the 8th and 11tf of July, and closes every day at 7.30pm, except for Sunday, when they close at 5.30pm. Prices vary depending on when you visit the show, please check their website for further details.

Further information
These Flower Shows are only a tiny portion of all the Flower Shows held in the UK during the year, and especially in the Spring and Summer months. Which ever show you pick, you will definitely get an overdose of inspiration for your garden, balcony or window box. If you feel the three featured shows isn’t enough, please click here to find more shows to visit.

Maybe you’re heading to towards Britain at the wrong time but is still interested in some gardening and flowers, or maybe you just want to visit the British gardens in general, then please visit our page about gardens on VisitBritain.se for more information about different gardens, parks and outdoor activites.

Either way, enjoy the spring and the flowers in Britain!

– Towe –

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Top 10 Valentine’s Ideas in Britain


Are you planning to go to Britain for Valentine’s and have no idea what to do with your loved one? Then this Top 10 Valentine’s Day ideas list might be something for you. In the list you’ll find ideas like Balloon rides, Valentine’s punting in Cambridge or a train ride with the Orient Express through the Scottish Highlands.

If you’re more into other outdoor activities, spa weekends or just a nice restaurant to celebrate Valetine’s Day in, visit our See & Do section for some inspiration.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

– Towe –

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Thomas Hindersson goes to Wales, part IV

Swedish radio host Thomas Hindersson continues his journey through Wales. During his last day he travels by train on the Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway and manages to find a local girl to pronounce one of the longest signpost names in the world. (Part I, II and III).

Johannes Karlsson och Thomas Hindersson

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Thomas Hindersson goes to Wales, part III

Our untrained traveler and radio host Thomas Hindersson continues his journey through Wales. He has now come all the way to Snowdonia and to the village Portmeirion on the west coast. Here is yet another travel report out of the ordinary, part III (Links to Part I and Part II).

Johannes Karlsson & Thomas Hindersson

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