Friday, March 31, 2017

Born to Rule: Explore the castles and palaces where royal British children spent their childhoods

Experience the world of a royal childhood by exploring the castles, estates and palaces that played an integral part in the lives of royal children through history.

Sandringham Estate holds many memories for the Royal Family. It is a favourite retreat of The Queen, and the late Princess Diana was born in a cottage located in the estate's extensive grounds. Prince Charles had many childhood adventures at Sandringham House, the much-loved royal retreat, which is a beautiful place to visit. It's only a short trip from King's Lynn station, itself around a two-hour train journey from London.

Both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew were born at Buckingham Palace and it is still where notices of Royal births and deaths are attached to the railings for members of the public to read, despite news likely to appear via social media first! The announcements of the births of both Prince George and Princess Charlotte were presented on an easel just inside the gates that thousands of visitors flocked to see. The Palace, located in the heart of London, is open to the public for several weeks in the summer.

Glamis Castle is one of Scotland's most impressive castles and was the childhood home of the Queen Mother. Built in the late 1300s, and just a 90-minute drive from Edinburgh, the castle still belongs to the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, yet is also open to the public. There are regular scheduled tours, several exhibition rooms and beautiful gardens to visit.

Windsor has a vibrant royal history, especially where young royals are concerned! The grounds of Windsor's Royal Lodge is home to The Little House, a miniature cottage presented to Queen Elizabeth (then Princess) on her sixth birthday, but is not open to the public to visit. Located to the south of Windsor town centre, Windsor Great Park is a well-loved and popular recreational retreat for many families, and has views of Windsor Castle (which you can visit). Windsor is also home to LEGOLAND, where you can see a miniature version of Buckingham Palace, home to The Queen!, 

The first Tudor King of England, King Henry VII, was born in Pembroke Castle, in south-west Wales in 1457. The castle is a historical landmark and was restored to its original glory in the mid-1900s. A must-see when visiting Wales, its exhibitions and guided tours offer a fascinating insight into Britain's history. Be sure to enjoy a cup of coffee on your visit; the castle's café is rumoured to have the best coffee in Pembrokeshire!

Edinburgh Castle, perched high on the hill over the Scottish capital, was the birthplace of King James VI in June 1566. As well as an interesting tour of this Royal Palace where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her only child, James, visitors will experience The Honours of Scotland, which are the nation's crown jewels.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Seven of the Best #OMGB Cultural Experiences

Bursting with unique cultural experiences, Britain offers awe-inspiring and spine-tingling events to fill the senses. Here are just seven of the many #OMGB amazing moments to enjoy.


Watch the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

As you take in the epic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, you’ll be treated to music and entertainment from more than 48 countries. Feel your goosebumps rise as the poignant refrain of the Lone Piper echoes off the castle walls, and enjoy the spectacular fireworks display. Cloaked in ceremony and tradition, 2017’s Tattoo will embrace the colourful theme ‘Splash of Tartan’.
Location: Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Rediscover Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre in London

There is nowhere better to get a sense of what watching Shakespeare’s plays would have been like at the time he wrote them, than at the Globe on London’s South Bank. The original Globe was nearby, but burned down in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII. Enjoy the atmosphere at the modern-day Globe, take a seat in the circular gallery or stand in the yard, and enjoy one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays in the open-air.
Location:  London, England


Discover the magic of Harry Potter

Immerse yourself fully in the boy wizard Harry Potter’s world at the Warner Bros Studio Tour, with its treasure trove of sets and props used in the filming of the movie series. Step inside the Great Hall, walk along Diagon Alley and enjoy a glass of Harry’s favourite tipple, Butterbeer.
Location:  Warner Bros Studio Tour, Leavesdon near London, England.


Celebrate Britishness at the Last Night of the Proms

Walk into the grand Royal Albert Hall to become a part of a longstanding tradition founded in 1895. Hear a wide range of classical music in a season of informal concerts at affordable prices with the BBC Proms from 14 July to 9 September 2017. The eight weeks of concerts culminate in a celebration of Britishness with the famous Last Night performances including BBC Proms in the Park - full of chanting and quirky traditions.
Location: The Royal Albert Hall, London, England


Step in to the birthplace of Britain’s most iconic band

Step into the birthplace of Britain’s most iconic band, The Beatles and explore the Cavern Club - the cradle of British pop music. From jazz to 21st century indie rock, the Cavern Club has nurtured bands from across the eras. But it’s most important sons undoubtedly remain the ‘fab four’. Enjoy live performances from a band recreating the look and sound of The Beatles through the week.
Location: The Cavern Club, Liverpool, north-west England


Watch theatre perched on a cliff top

Make your way down the stone steps and settle in for a performance at the Minack Theatre, carved in to the side of a granite Cornish cliff. Watch Shakespeare or other carefully selected plays performed in front of the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean. If you can tear your eyes away from the performance, enjoy the spectacular panorama of Porthcurno Bay.
Location: Cornwall, south-west England


Travel back in time to Georgian England at the Jane Austen Festival

Be immersed in the ancient city of Bath, as you walk the streets of regency England in this festival scheduled from 8th to 17th September 2017. Be surrounded by elegant dancers at costumed balls, hear Austen’s penned words spoken in the place the author once called home, and don a costume yourself for a promenade around the city.
Location: Bath, south-west England