United Kingdom Travel Guide

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Goodbye Pop Art, Hello Rock Art: The Rolling Stones Debuting Major Exhibition(ism) In London

Where: Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, London, United Kingdom, SW3 4RY
July 7, 2015 at 12:25 PM | by | ()

You can’t always get what you want… unless what you wanted was a ginormous exhibition, called Exhibitionism, dedicated to one of the most iconic rock bands of all time: The Rolling Stones.

If that's the case, you're in luck.

Opening on April 6, 2016 at the iconic Saatchi Gallery in London, Exhibitionism will be on display until September 2016. The Rolling Stones-centric exhibition (get it?) is the culmination of three years' worth of work, conducted with full support from the Stones’ Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. Each member has been heavily involved with the curation of the project, which will take over the entire two floors of Saatchi Gallery and include nine distinct galleries, each with their own theme, spanning over 1,750 square meters (almost 19,000 square feet).

Don’t worry: they aren’t planning to paint it all black. Exhibitionism will bring together more than 500 original artifacts, including dressing room and backstage paraphernalia, rare instruments played by the Stones, original stage designs, recognizable clothing, personal diaries, poster and album artwork and rare audio tracks and videos.

What we’re most excited for? That would be the “unique wraparound cinematic experiences that celebrate every aspect” of the band’s career. We aren’t sure what that even means, but we’re envisioning a giant timeline that creatively wraps the walls of Saatchi Gallery with interactive elements along the way. (Don't, like, quote us on that.)

Exhibitionism promises to be the most in-depth, immersive peek inside life with The Rolling Stones to date. While this project is ultimately something that will bring greatest satisfaction (#reference) to fans of the Stones, it looks like it will be an entertaining and informative look at the music industry in general and what makes it all work.

After the initial showing at Saatchi Gallery next year, the Stones plan to take Exhibitionism to 11 other cities around the world over a four-year period. It will become the largest touring experience of this kind to be staged by a band or musical artist. You can purchase tickets for Exhibitionism at www.stonesexhibitionism.com beginning this Friday, July 10.

Wild horses couldn't drag us away.

[Mick Jagger photo via Flickr]

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Here's How easyJet Wants to Use Drones and 3D Printers for Airplane Maintenance

June 12, 2015 at 9:05 AM | by | ()

Drones: What are they good for? Spying on neighbors, mostly. Also for maiming Enrique Iglesias.

But now it looks like drones may have a new purpose: helping to maintain airplanes. And their accomplice in this task? The 3D printer.

Per Bloomberg, low cost carrier easyJet just announced they'll embrace some innovative technological approaches to help keep passengers and planes safe. The plan is for drones to check out planes on the ground as part of regular inspections and maintenance. If you think about it, it makes good sense—another eye on things from above certainly can’t hurt.

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Gazing at Gowns at the Fashionable Fashion Museum in Bath

Where: Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath, United Kingdom, BA1 2QH
May 29, 2015 at 11:00 AM | by | ()

We’ve decided to make it our life’s work to unearth pockets of hip in cities that are not necessarily known to be hip. Bath is a prime example of this. Before we went, we knew it had Roman ruins, quaint houses and medieval churches. What we did not expect to find was plenty of stylin’ boutique hotels, a modern thermal spa and, of all things, one of the top-ten fashion museums on the planet, as gauged by CNN.

The Bath Fashion Museum displays both regular collections and special rotating exhibitions pulled the museum's archives and other sources. Below is a run-down of what you'll find until January 2016.

Georgians – Dress for Polite Society, appropriate since much of Bath was built during this 18th-century time period, is a collection of clothes that run the gamut from very, very full-hipped frocks to modern interpretations of the Georgian era by names like Vivienne Westwood (in the form of a bodacious purple gown) and Alexander McQueen.

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Bathing in Bath: Check Out These Amazing Options at Thermae Bath Spa

Where: Hot Bath Street, Bath, United Kingdom, BA1 1SJ
May 21, 2015 at 4:00 PM | by | ()

We’re open to a debate about this, but we think most people trek to Bath to see the (admittedly impressive) Roman Baths. But if you’re one who prefers to take the waters instead of merely see the waters, Thermae Bath Spa might be for you.

The Spa is actually not one big building but a combination of five restored buildings and one new build that uses the façade of a listed townhouse clad in Bath stone. This main building – the newbie – is the New Royal Bath and it is all glass and LED lighting, full of curves and cubes that complement the architecture of the original buildings. This is the spot where you’ll primarily check in, change, soak and sweat. There’s also a laid-back café here.

New Royal Bath Minerva Pool

After you’ve changed and psyched yourself up to be seen in public roaming around in a bathing suit, you have a decision to face: Do you head first to the Minerva Pool – a large temperate-temperature swimming pool with whirlpools and a lazy river feature; the four kitted-out Aroma Steam Rooms in varying degrees of degrees and with a huge fiber-optic-lit rainfall shower that mists and then storms; or the open-air Rooftop Pool (pictured at page top) that looks out over Bath whether it’s day or dusk? Tough call.

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Beatles Ice Cream in Liverpool

May 18, 2015 at 4:34 PM | by | ()

For the hard-core Beatles fans, touring the childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon isn't the only thing you should do when visiting Liverpool. There's also the Cavern Club where the boys played in their early days (due to decay it had to be rebuilt in the 1980s but they used a lot of the original bricks downstairs) as well as the Beatles-themed hotel Hard Day's Night.

And there's also the Albert Dock, a collection of old shipping docks and warehouses that was once a very downtrodden part of Liverpool, which has been revitalized into a peppy tourism center, complete with an outpost of the Tate Museum, a ferris wheel, the Merseyside Maritime Museum and of course, Beatles everything from the pick up point for the Magical Mystery Bus Tour to The Beatles Story, a one-stop shop for Beatles fans which includes a living history tour, the Fab4Store gift shop and the Fab4Cafe.

And it is downstairs here in the cafe where you'll be able to taste some Beatles ice cream.

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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 | ()

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 | ()

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 | ()

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 | ()

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 | ()

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 | ()

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 | ()

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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