Tag Archives: wales

Take a leap: Unique things to do in Britain

It would be a shame not to do a post with a mention that today will be a one in 1460 year opportunity. Most people wouldn’t so much as bat an eyelid at it, but as it’s something special  so rare I thought I would suggest unique things that you can do in a day around the UK to celebrate its uniqueness!

England- For those residing in London, chances are the most time you will get to day is to have a drink, so to make it a unique one and head to St Pancras’ Station to drink Champagne at the World’s longest champagne bar. For more Capital adventures, why not try something for free, The British Museum is free to enter, or perhaps you want to challenge yourself and climb up St Stephen’s Tower (most commonly known as Big Ben Tower!). In the North, see art with a difference at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, or head to Grizedale Forest in the Lake District for a walk where interesting sculptures blend into the surroundings. Afternoon tea at Betty’s Tea Shop in York is also a wonderful experience for the traditional scone, cream cake and tea fan. Kick back and enjoy friendly service whilst tucking into Britain’s best afternoon treats.

Scotland- Standing at one of the UK main island’s most northerly points, John O’Groat’s is an experience that everyone should aspire to have. Despite being dubbed “a seedy tourist trap” by the Lonely Planet guide, I actually quite liked the town. It’s unspoiled; you can watch the puffins and seals playing down by the water, enjoy and ice cream and above all just watch the sea. If this is too much of a trek for you, there are plenty of exciting things to do in the Scottish Cities. Visit the Wallace Monument in Stirling, or climb up to Edinburgh Castle for the sound of bagpipes or a view of the city. For an Island visit, go to Orkney to see the oldest building in Britain.  Skara Brae which was built in 3500 BC is the most complete Neolithic village in Britain. For a sweet tooth, head to Aberlour in Moray to the place where Walker’s shortbread is manufactured and sample some Scottish Whiskey at the same time.

Wales- Today is traditionally known as a day when women can propose rather than the other way around. So if you’re recently engaged or planning on a proposal, why not get married in a cave? Dan Yr Ogof caves can legally hold weddings in their Cathedral cave. If not getting married, then just visit anyway! Another interesting trip out in Wales, is a boat trip out to Caldey Island to the monastery. Dotted around the island there are many interesting little things to explore such as beaches, plants, a light house, the old priory and the monastery itself. Urbanites around Wales may however prefer something a little more city oriented. Don’t worry Wales has that too! Watersports in the city are available in every manner. Take an afternoon off and go kayaking, canoeing, rafting and windsurfing at the International Sports Centre. At night do something different and take the Creepy Cardiff tour. See some of the best attractions in the city whilst learning some haunting facts.

Portmerion village: find a piece of Italy in Wales

Portmerion village is located in North Wales and was originally designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. William-Ellis admitted his liking for the Italian fishing village of Portofino and wanted to recreate the Mediterranean ambiance a little closer to home. Nowadays it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North Wales, and is well known for being the set of many TV series such as ‘The Prisoner’.

The village was built between 1925 to 1975, and in these 50 years that it took to construct, the style is said to have influenced late 20th century postmodernism in the world of architecture, as well as incorporating the work of other architects.

The village has many fascinating buildings and sights to see: the remains of a medieval castle set out in the woods, brightly coloured cottages, and an Italian style piazza. Portmerion is also known for its exotic wildlife, as well as a important collection of rhododendrons. It is set on the coast and on a bright and sunny day one might be mistaken for not realizing they are in Wales!

If you want to stay in this delightful little village, Portmerion offers self catered cottages and a hotel as well as a spa. Day trips are permitted and there is an entrance fee into the village.

For more information, check out Portmerion’s website.