Monthly Archives: December 2013

Weekly City Spotlight: Liverpool


Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building

Liverpool is a fantastic location for a city break, situated in the north west of England in the County of Merseyside.  A UNESCO World Heritage City, Liverpool welcomes thousands of visitors to its endless attractions including its amazing Waterfront, St George’s Quarter and Cathedral, as well as its many museums and galleries and fine examples of architecture.  A key location for those with an interest in sport, the city is home to both Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs, with Aintree Racecourse which holds the Grand National each year also proving a popular attraction.  In addition to offering excellent shopping facilities at the Liverpool One complex, Liverpool is famously known as the home of The Beatles, and today offers visitors a lively and varied nightlife with a wealth of restaurants, clubs and bars, many offering live music.
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Burning of the Clocks Festival – Brighton


Burning of the Clocks Parade

One of many festivals held in Brighton, the Burning of the Clocks event took place on the 21st December, a tradition which began in 1994.  On this, the shortest day, the people of Brighton and Hove construct lanterns from paper and willow and gather together as a parade takes place through the city streets, before marking the end of the year with a lantern bonfire on the beach.

With over 2,000 parade performers taking part in the family event, elaborate costumes with clock face detailing are worn to represent the passing of time and the Winter Solstice.  Along with the lantern bonfire, each year a large sculpture is created to reflect a given theme, which is set alight as part of the show of fire, with the event culminating in a stunning firework display and live music providing for a lively atmosphere to these festivities.

This year however, the fire show and firework display had to be cancelled due to the high winds and the safety problems these posed, but thousands still braved the extreme conditions to witness and participate in the lantern parade, which began in the New Road area and ended in Madeira Drive, with this year’s theme focus being The Deep.

This unique event is organised by Same Sky, which is a community art charity based locally in Brighton, and brings together the culturally diverse communities of Brighton and Hove for this vibrant and dynamic celebration.

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Weekly City Spotlight: Lincoln


Aerial View of Lincoln and Lincoln Castle

The beautiful and historic city of Lincoln is an ideal location for a city break, where visitors can enjoy a range of attractions such as the Castle, the Cathedral and The Collection which encompasses the Usher Gallery and City and County Museum and is home to some fascinating exhibits from Lincolnshire’s past.  Situated in the county of Lincolnshire and part of the East Midlands, as well as being famous for its Christmas Market, Lincoln is also the home of the RAF Red Arrows.  Guided walks of the city and Cathedral are on offer, in addition to the opportunity to learn more about Lincoln’s history and landmarks with a trip on the Tour Lincoln sightseeing bus.  An amazing array of buildings of historic significance and beauty can be found in this popular city location.

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Top UK Festivals for 2014

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If you are planning your motorhome holiday for 2014 why not take a look at some of the top festivals being held in the UK during 2014. From culture to sport and music there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Scotland’s Momentous Year

In 2014 Scotland has many special events including a referendum on independence. For visitors the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are a major draw between 23 July and 4th August. Even if you don’t have a ticket there will be a tremendous atmosphere in the city itself. The Queen’s Baton Relay will be travelling around Scotland in the 40 days leading up to the Commonwealth Games and is also fun to watch.

Scotland’s other major events include the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn when Robert the Bruce defeated the English. This celebration from 24 -30 June is well worth the journey. Edinburgh International Festival is held each August in the city and is full of cultural activities. The famous Fringe Festival and Literary festival are held at the same time and are really popular. For golfing enthusiasts the Ryder Cup is being held at Gleneagles in September 2014.

Food, Music, and Remembrance

There are lots of other festivals in the UK during 2014. In September the Abergavenny Food Festival is one of the best in the UK and perfect for tasting regional specialties. For literary fans the Hay Literature Festival is renowned and has a wide ranging programme of events in May. The centenary of Dylan Thomas is being commemorated in Swansea with a number of events. Music has both classical and popular festivities during 2014. There is Glastonbury Festival in June which is renowned, and also the famous Proms in London during the summer. 2014 is also a very special year when the centenary of World War One is commemorated in many ways. Throughout the UK there will be exhibits and other events which can be seen via the Imperial War Museum website.
Wherever you travel in the UK during 2014 there are many events and festivals to plan into your motorhome holiday.

Weekly City Spotlight: Lichfield


Aerial View of Lichfield

The historic city of Lichfield can be found in the County of Staffordshire, situated to the North of Birmingham, and dates back to 669 following the arrival of Chad of Mercia.  With many places of interest to visit, this charming city offers a wealth of fine architectural delights, with areas such as the Market Square and Cathedral Close the location of many. With attractions including the stunning Cathedral, Erasmus Darwin’s House and Samuel Johnson’s Birthplace Museum, Lichfield also offers plenty of open spaces to explore, with Beacon Park hosting a range of events throughout the year.   With excellent shopping facilities set in beautiful surroundings, Lichfield makes an enjoyable and relaxing city break for all.

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Lincoln Christmas Market

Lincoln Cathedral overlooking Castle Square

Lincoln Cathedral overlooking Castle Square

Commencing on the 5th December, the 31st Lincoln Christmas Market took place in the centre of Lincoln, with the cathedral and castle providing a stunning backdrop to this event.  The start of the eagerly awaited Christmas spectacular experienced a slight delay, the result of the strong winds which hit the area as the stallholders and organisers prepared to open the 4 day annual Christmas Market.

With the original Christmas market consisting of just 11 stalls, this famous festive attraction now offers nearly 300 and welcomes over 250,000 visitors, to enjoy its traditional, contemporary and cultural delights.  One of the largest Christmas Markets in Europe, visitors to Lincoln soaked up the atmosphere whilst buying those special and unique gifts for loved ones, sure to make their day this Christmas.  With an array of local arts and crafts, including John Bangay’s stall who sells souvenirs and prints of Lincoln, and is one of the original 11 line-up from when the market began, to delicious treats such as traditional sweets and cheeses, pastries and liqueurs, the market had something for everyone.  With live entertainment taking place across the 4 days, as well as fun rides, Christmas crafts and stalls for the children, the Market, as always, made for a real family treat.

With Lincoln proving such a picturesque city, there is also plenty to explore in this historic location, details of which can be found in our City Spotlight blog coming soon.

Next year’s event dates are yet to be released but the market is usually held three weeks before Christmas.

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Weekly City Spotlight: Leicester


Leicester’s Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower

The city of Leicester is located in the East Midlands of England, on the River Soar and close to the National Forest.  With a wide range of attractions, Leicester is a historic place to visit, steeped in Roman history, with numerous museums including the New Walk Museum and Jewry Wall, as well as the recent and fascinating discovery of Richard III’s final resting place.  The Cultural Quarter provides for the opportunity to explore galleries and exhibitions, with the amazing Curve Theatre a sight to behold. Leicester is also a prime shopping location with High Cross and the Haymarket Shopping Centre, as well as catering for those looking for something different with The Lanes, St Martin’s Square and Church Gate home to many specialist shops and hidden retail treasures.  With the Grand Central Railway offering a step back in time to the magnificent age of steam, there are also many architectural delights to enjoy in this culturally diverse city.
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