United Kingdom Travel Guide

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Heathrow's Brand New 'Transportation Screens' Have Instantly Become Our Favorite Airport Amenity

April 24, 2015 at 8:50 AM | by | Comment (1)

Have you ever landed in a destination for the first time and debated between taking a train and a taxi? Would a taxi be faster? Would a train be cheaper? Is traffic bad? When's the next train?

Well, in a move that could potentially set a new standard in airport service, Heathrow Airport is now helping you answer that question. Europe's busiest airport has installed digital smart screens at baggage claim that display taxi and train information in real time, including prices, traffic, and travel times that will help passengers make the best decisions for onward travel.

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Why Visiting Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road is Something Every Beatles Fan Should Do

April 21, 2015 at 1:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week's Jaunted Field Trip will be coming from London and Liverpool. Got a question about either of these cities? Let us know and we'll answer it for you. Don't forget to check HotelChatter's latest news from London and Liverpool too.

Liverpool is known all over the world as the birthplace of The Beatles. (And #scousebrow. Look it up.) Obviously, a large portion of the city's visitors are there to see what The Beatles saw in their formative days.

And there's a lot left to see, although most of it has been prettied up, such as the Albert Docks, which houses a Beatles visitor center, and The Cavern Club, where the band played in its early years. (The Cavern Club actually had to close down in the 1980s, but it was rebuilt using a lot of the original bricks.)

Of course, Beatles-themed tours are plentiful, ranging from the Magical Mystery Tour (a two-hour sightseeing bus tour) to the The Beatles Fab Four Taxi Tour (a private taxi tour.) But only one tour can get you inside the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

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How to Upgrade to First Class on Virgin Trains (And Get Free WiFi)

April 20, 2015 at 4:48 PM | by | Comment (1)

Train travel isn't as, shall we say, theatrical as plane travel — but it is much more convenient. No security hassles, no lost luggage problems and no anxiety attacks about take-off and landing. (Oh, is that just us?)

Also, getting upgraded to First Class is way easier, especially if you're riding Virgin Trains in the UK.

Here's how you do it:

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What to Eat on Charlotte Street in London

Where: Charlotte Street, London, United Kingdom
April 16, 2015 at 1:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week's Jaunted Field Trip will be coming from London and Liverpool. Got a question about either of these cities? Let us know and we'll answer it for you. Don't forget to check HotelChatter's latest news from London and Liverpool too.

Like any bustling metropolis, there is no shortage of good places to eat in London. But Charlotte Street in the city's Fitzrovia nabe has some of the trendiest restaurants and bars all within a few blocks of each other. And since the street is conveniently located near the Goodge tube stop, it's a cinch to get to.

Here's a shortlist of where to pop into when visiting Charlotte Street:

· Charlotte Street Hotel: Located across from the famous Fitzroy Tavern, which inspired the neighborhood's name, the Charlotte Street Hotel has the Oscar Bar & Restaurant is open all day serving meals, snacks, afternoon tea and cocktails. Grab a chair on the slim patio at the entrance and indulge in some casual people-watching. (And yes, Oscar is named after Oscar Wilde who frequented the Fitzroy Tavern.)

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Snap a Selfie Onboard a Virgin Atlantic 787, Then Facebook It for Free

April 8, 2015 at 3:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Selfie sticks may be increasingly banned at destinations, but the original handheld selfie is still very much alive, even in the air. Beginning this month, Virgin Atlantic is offering "#SkyhighSelfie spots" onboard the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Virgin Atlantic teased the #SkyhighSelfie spot as early as October 2014, when their 787 made its inaugural flight from London to Boston. Now, finally, the spots are up and available, which look to be located on walls near the galleys.

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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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