September 13, 2009

Scotland Vacations

Scotland offers the most glorious scenery in the United Kingdom making it an incredible vacation destination. Many tourists choose Edinburgh for their main destination, while others choose something a bit different. The following takes a look at vacations in Scotland and some of the things to do while in Scotland. I also looks at the Wickerman Festival.

With an immensely diverse countryside the list of activities is endless. Mountain climbing is highly popular, as are hill walking vacations. The most popular holidays are fishing or golf. With the country of Scotland being the home of golfing it is not surprising that you are never too far from at least one world class golf course. With the Rivers Tay, Spey and Tweed you can be certain of an amazing days fishing. But what if you want an alternative vacation?

An increasing number of families are choosing music festivals their annual vacation. Even though the majority of music festivals are incredibly large with a focus on making cash, you can find a small number of music festivals geared towards families, such as the Wickerman Festival and Tartan Heart.

The Wickerman Festival is an yearly music and arts festival is held on farm land near the village of Dundrennan, Dumfries & Galloway approximately 5m from the town of Kirkcudbright in Scotland. The festival celebrates the cult classic film, “The Wicker Man” which features appearances by Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward, Ingrid Pitt, Britt Ekland and Diane Cilento.

The first Wickerman Festival was held in the year 2002 and was organized by a local man called Sid Ambrose. With little experience of arranging an event of such magnitude it is a surprise that it still exists, especially when you consider the present economic climate. The Wickerman Festival has altered slightly each year and, like the movie, has a cult following.

The festival is immensely family friendly it features numerous activities for children for example, various fairground rides, a mountain biking trek, workshops and face painting. This fact can be proven easily by searching Yahoo, Google and MSN for photos of Wickerman Festival 2009 or simply pop along to the official Wickerman Festival Gallery.

Not too far from the site of the festival is the small village of Kirkudbright which was where many of the movies locations can be found for example Harbour Cottage (the bakery) and High Street Gallery which was used for the post office and sweetshop. You will find that there are a great many places worth visiting in the region and it is well worth taking a short break here so that you can visit all of the tourist attractions. Popular places in which to stay include Castle Douglas and Dumfries. Scottish B & B accommodation is always top class and is also very affordable and much less expensive than staying in a hotel in Scotland.

May 12, 2009

Dundee, Scotland

Dundee has been the site of a settlement ever since the time of the Picts. The city, the 4th largest city in the whole country, has had a long association with commerce and trade. The three primary industries, in the city, were “journalism, jam and jute”. Although the city can be described as post-industrial it has a mixed economy and a large proportion of its inhabitants are employed in the manufacturing industry (by comparison to elsewhere in Scotland), about 13.5 percent. Over recent decades the tourist industry has started to become an important part of the city’s economy and there are a growing number of guest houses and Dundee hotels providing bed and breakfast accommodation in Dundee and in the following text I introduce you to three Dundee attractions; Sensation Science Centre, Verdant Works and Discover Point Visitor Centre:

The Discovery in Dundee

Discover Point Visitor Centre

Discovery Point is a incredibly interesting and award-winning Dundee attraction which introduces the events of one of the most adventurous voyages of exploration ever carried out, the story of the world famous Antarctic explorer, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and the famous ship used, the RRS Discovery. On the twenty first of March, nineteen hundred and one, the Discovery was launched from Dundee’s Panmure Shipyard. Captain Scott and his crew set off for Antarctica on the sixth of August 1901, reaching their destination in January nineteen hundred and two. The RRS Discovery is the most prestigious element of the centre having been fully renovated outside and in. Narrow passageways and steep stairs can cause difficulty in getting around with those with mobility problems, luckily, you will find that there is an audio visual presentation on the dockside.

The Sensation Science Centre

If you are in search of a tourist attraction that the whole family can enjoy, then Sensation Science Centre in Dundee is the perfect solution. Sensation Dundee is the only science centre in Great Britain which is focused upon the five senses of the body. You are able to discover the wonders of sciences through use of the human body’s senses through over eighty interactive exhibits. Visitors will also find live science shows and demonstrations, which show how ordinary household ingredients can be utilised to amazing effect. Budding surgeons are able to try their hand at keyhole surgery. Sensation brings science to life in a large number of highly fascinating ways.

Verdant Works

Verdant Works was, at one time, a working jute mill. At it’s peak, during the eighteen sixties and seventies, the jute industry in Dundee employed approximately fifty thousand folk in more than 60 factories spread across the city. These days, Verdant Works brings this industry to life, through a variety of displays including, interactive computers, original machinery and film shows. This remarkable museum was once home to three immense steam engines running 70 looms and nearly 3,000 spindles. There was also five hundred workers working there, spinning and preparing jute for it to be weaved in another factory across the road. Renovation of the jute mill started in 1992 and it opened its doors to the public for the very first time the 16th of September nineteen ninety six.

If you are considering having a vacation in Dundee you will find plenty of online hotels and guest houses providing bed and breakfast accommodation in Dundee. You will find a broad listing of Dundee guest houses and hotels on the sites below:

Quality Dundee Accommodation Listings

April 15, 2009


Facts You Need To Know About Cardiff City Breaks

The city of Cardiff is not just the capital city of Wales, bit also it is the most popular tourist destination in Britain other than England’s capital, London. The city is also the biggest city in Wales, however it was only but a pretty small town until the beginning of the 19C. It was during the early 19C that the town of Cardiff became a very busy port involved in the transportation locally mined coal, plus other various local industries. On the 28th of October 1905 King Edward VII of England granted Cardiff city status, however, weirdly, Cardiff only became the capital city of Wales on the twentieth of December nineteen fifty five. Following the declaration of Cardiff as capital it quickly became the perfect place for many national institutions, such as the National Museum of Wales, the Welsh National War Memorial and the University of Wales Registry Building. For a considerable amount of time now the Cardiff industry of IT has seen amazing expansion rates as well as, although to a lesser degree various other sectors of industry, most noticeably in service industries. Tourism has also blossomed and today there are surprising numbers of places offering Cardiff bed & breakfast accommodation.

Cardiff Visitor Attractions

Even though Cardiff has had city status for only 100 years, surprisingly there has actually been a castle in Cardiff for 2,000 years, or thereabouts. The Cardiff Castle which is currently there is, more than likely, the most popular attraction in the city which can be discovered in the very heart of the city centre. Folk can enjoy a guided tour exploring the castle’s interior, and, enjoy a relaxed wander around the breathtakingly picturesque castle gardens. There is also a fairly new Interpretation Centre at the castle which shows the differing stages of development, of the castle, throughout time from the Roman period to the present.

The city of Cardiff also has a respectable number of modern visitor attractions including the wonderful Techniquest, one of the United Kingdom’s leading centres for Science Discovery. At the Science Discovery centre visitors will discover more than 100 hands on exhibits, designed to both fascinate and entertain all age groups. Within the centre there is a planetarium, a lab, a hi-tech Science Theatre and a Discovery Room.

There are many many more attractions to see in Cardiff, so, if you and your family are currently considering spending a few weeks there it is crucial that you reserve your rooms at the earliest opportunity as, sadly hotels and guest houses in Cardiff tend to be amazingly busy and are often fully booked for a long period in advance. If your family is large you might find that apartments in Cardiff turns out to be a less expensive alternative compared to bed and breakfast accommodation.

Quality Cardiff Accommodation Listings

April 7, 2009


Southport is one of my most favorite of northern English seaside resorts. Though the town has made several attempts at trying to compete with nearby Morecombe and Blackpool it has not yet, thankfully, succeeded. I say thankfully as Southport is somewhat unique amongst seaside towns, though it does have a little of the “bucket and spade” approach the town’s main appeal is it’s wholly Victorian look and feel.

Most people who know a little about Southport will, no doubt, be aware that the appearance of Lord Street, the main shopping street in the town, influenced the design of the Champs Elysées in Paris but few people realise that the reason for this is that Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte spent a considerable time living just off Lord Street while evading his enemies.

Yes Lord Street is well known for its wonderful Victorian covered arcades and walkways and the multitude of trees, flower beds and water features certainly make it one of the most pleasant main shopping streets in Britain but Southport has several other areas of beauty that are well worth visiting too.

Top of my best places to visit in Southport is the small village known as Churchtown found a short distance off the main road heading out of the town towards Preston. The appeal of this small village is the multitude of thatched cottages and other “olde worlde” buildings. It is best enjoyed early on a hot summer’s day when there are few people about and you can wander around freely. A walk around the beautiful Victorian Botanic Gardens can be finished off nicely by grabbing a bite to eat in the garden’s cafe, or you could buy something from the nearby shops and picnic in the park!

You will find that Southport bed & breakfast accommodation is reasonably priced towards the lower end of the scale (say 2 star accommodation) but as you go for the more central and larger Southport hotels you will quickly discover how expensive luxury and accessibility can cost. I strongly suggest that you shop around and book as early as possible if you are planning to stay in Southport and the two sites listed below offer comprehensive listings of Southport accommodation: