United Kingdom Travel Guide

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York's Viking Festival is All Kinds of Amazing

March 16, 2015 at 7:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

Vikings in York? Who goes to the historical, quintessential British town to experience… Norway? Well, to be fair, the vikings dominated Britain a millennium ago, and Jorvik, modern day York, was among the vikings’ largest cities—and if they weren’t defeated by by the Anglo-Saxons a certain city might be called “New Jorvik.”

Although many Brits blame the vikings for pillaging, stealing their women and supposedly burning down London Bridge (none of which are true), York celebrates their viking heritage and each year holds a viking festival at the city-famous Jorvik Viking Center, which you can visit any time of the year.

We recently attended the festival (₤10 admittance to the Viking Center or ₤18 to participate in all city-wide attractions), and here’s what we loved:

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Live the Lives of 'Doctor Who' in Cardiff with This Set Tour

March 9, 2015 at 4:18 PM | by | Comments (0)

It may come as a surprise that the long-running Doctor Who show--a quintessential British thing--isn't filmed in London but rather the Welsh capital of Cardiff, which is known for sheep, rugby, and an Elvish language, not the TARDIS and Whovian village of Leadworth (actually the nearby Welsh town of Llandaff.)

The four-hour tour, part bus and part walking, and run by Brit Movie Toursmore than 20 famous filming spots in Cardiff like where the rift cracked open, Amy Pond's village, Rose Tyler's workplace and spots inside Cardiff Castle which are typical off-limits. Stemming beyond Dr. Who, the shows also ventures to spin-off sites where Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures actually took place.

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Whoo Wants to Go to The Owl Pop-Up In London?

March 3, 2015 at 9:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you’re in London later this month, there’s a secret owl pop-up event taking place in the Soho neighborhood. Yes, you read that correctly: A SECRET OWL POP-UP! Consider this your rare chance to learn about these birds of prey and support owl sanctuaries.

From March 19-25 from 8:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., people can meet Annie the Owl and her parliament (look it up, bird nerds), Darwin, Ruby, Cinders, Winston and Hootie. Although these are owls are used to mingling with the public – they’ve attended TV shows, weddings and county fairs – they’ll be escorted and protected by professional falconers.

Originally, event organizers planned to serve cocktails at the pop-up, but animal welfare groups raised a stink about pairing birds and booze. So in the spirit of animal safety, smoothies will instead be served.

So far, 64,000 people have applied for tickets for the highly sought-after chance to sip smoothies in the company of live owls. Tickets cost 20£ each and include entry, one smoothie and two hours of quality owl time. All proceeds from the event will be donated to a local organization dedicated to the conservation of owls in the UK.

[Photo: Annie The Owl]

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The Ultimate Souvenir: Here's Where You Can Buy #THEDRESS

February 27, 2015 at 8:11 PM | by | Comment (1)

Yesterday, the world was gripped by a freak social media phenomenon that is now known simply as #THEDRESS. Every millennial (and their parents and people in between) will remember where they were on February 26 when they first saw #THEDRESS (on the couch), which social media platform they first saw it on (Twitter) and the colors they saw will be forever burned into their minds. (Blue and black y'all.)

But #THEDRESS wasn't simply just some random old dress. It's an actual dress for sale from Roman Originals, a British clothing manufacturer. According to this NY Times article on the social media freak out, #THEDRESS was responsible for about 60 percent of the company's business since yesterday. K#%@^&@!!

If you want a piece of this social media history, you can buy it online for just 50 pounds or you can hit up one of the many stores located throughout Great Britain.

Yup, that's right. This dress is not some special piece of fashion art. If you're traveling somewhere in England or Wales, you'll be able to pick it up, especially now that #THEDRESS has been moved to the store windows, accompanied by the hashtag #THEDRESS.

And we hate to break it to you white and gold people, but #THEDRESS is BLUE AND BLACK. The end.

[Photo: Swiked/Tumblr]

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London Announces Plans to Expand the Tube's Service to 24-Hours

February 23, 2015 at 1:40 PM | by | Comment (1)

On the heels of its plan to add bicycle superhighways to its streets, London has announced that it will expand many Tube rail services throughout the city to run 24-hours.

The move comes as part of a government plan to boost the economy and live up to its 24-hour vibe. It's also good news for travelers, who will be able to avoid costly taxis when enjoying the city's nightlife.

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London is Adding Bicycle 'Superhighways' In and Around The City

February 17, 2015 at 1:52 PM | by | Comment (1)

Bike sharing systems are nothing new, but now the powers that be in London are taking things to the next level as they are busy approving and installing superhighways meant just for bicycles.

Just the other day the city and the Board of Transport just gave the okay to spend around $240 million on new spiffy bike lanes that are intended for bikes and only bikes—like no cars allowed. Much of the spending will be focused on two new routes—these are those superhighways—that will run both up and down and across central London.

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Where You'll Find the Best Live Music in Glasgow

January 30, 2015 at 3:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

Long ago, Glasgow suffered from a bleak reputation ripe with liquor, drugs, and general abandonment, as a seemingly bastard child from England.

But Glasgow is currently in the midst—and it has been for about a decade now—of a musical renaissance that Time magazine has likened to Motown in Detroit.

Nearly every bar features live music and some even hold weekly open-mic nights. In fact, in Glasgow, it’d be difficult to find a place that does not showcase at least a few gigs per week.

If you’re looking to find the spots that launched indie bands like Franz Ferdinand, Frightened Rabbit, and Chvrches into indie stardom, here’s a little list of the spots to visit.

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How to Do London Fashion Week Without Being a Fashion Week Crasher

Where: Strand, London, United Kingdom, WC2R 1LA
January 27, 2015 at 5:57 PM | by | Comment (1)

You may fancy yourself a fashion maven but perhaps the bigwigs running London’s Fashion Week didn’t get that memo. If you’re not a fashion industry insider but still want to hang out with your fellow fashionistas, here’s an alternative for you: London’s Fashion Weekend.

Held at the close of Fashion Week at Somerset House (virtually next door to The Savoy hotel), this is your chance to take in the catwalk shows, shop at plenty of pop-ups, get makeup and hair consults and ponder the trends of the season while sipping on a glass of bubbly.

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5 Best Bars to Get Drunk at in Newcastle

January 26, 2015 at 8:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Newcastle upon Tyne is known for stag parties, scantily dressed men and women (in the middle of winter), and general hedonism revelry. It’s also home to the UK's version of "Jersey Shore", called The Geordie Shore. If you're heading here, you're pretty much DTF--down to find...a good bar to drink at. So please, allow us to help you.

Here are 5 bars to get drunk at in Newcastle:

Where to go for live music? The Cluny.
Hiding in the Ouseburn Valley, it's not the easiest to reach, or even find, the pub, but, once you do, it's worth the rocking. The part music venue, part theater, full-time bar hosts loads of events almost daily, including beer festivals. The tap list is extensive with a ton of craft brews from around the world.

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Now You Too Can Go 'Into The Woods' With The Dover Castle Tour

January 20, 2015 at 4:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

Into The Woods, the cinematic adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical, isn't just racking up award nominations this month, it is also being honored with its own tour.

To commemorate the movie's UK release, one of Into The Woods' filming locations has created themed tours that give fans a chance to walk in the footsteps of the film's stars, including Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine.

This special location, Dover Castle in Kent, is prominently featured in the Rob Marshall-directed musical. It was used as the prince's castle, the setting for an earthquake scene, and as the backdrop for Cinderella's wedding.

The cinematic tours of Dover Castle will run on Saturday, Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 and will be conducted by an English Heritage guide who worked with the film company. Adult tickets are £19.50. To book, visit english-heritage.org.uk.

Into The Woods isn't Dover Castle's only shot at the big screen. It will also be featured in the upcoming feature films Avengers: Age of Ultron and Hollow Crown.

[Photo: IMDb]

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What Ridiculous Foods Would a Glasgow Chip Shop Fry For Us?

January 19, 2015 at 6:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

Scotland is no stranger to fried foods. In fact, the country could probably contend, and win, the fried-food competition at the Texas state fair. So we thought it’d be fun to put a Scottish chippy to the test--What ridiculous foods would they fry for us?

For a country that treasures the deep-fried Mars Bar, we decided to test the limits of a chippy menu, using a few Glasgow chip shops as the guinea pigs.

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No TP in the Toilet? Virgin Trains Has You Covered

January 7, 2015 at 2:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Man boards train. Man gets bathroom urge. Man races to train bathroom to relieve self… Man realizes there’s no toilet paper.

Such was the predicament of 16-year-old Adam Greenwood who was making the long haul from London Euston to Glasgow on Virgin Trains last month.

But instead of flushing himself down the toilet in shame, as the rest of us would, being a millennial he tweeted his situation to the company.

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