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Jen Savedra, Editor
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VisitBritain

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Saluting 50 years of Monty Python
22 FEB 2019: “I blow my nose at you [and] I fart in your general direction.” Classic. What could be funnier to my former 13-year-old self than the put-downs from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Python comedy troupe’s first full-length feature film in 1975. MORE

A LONDON PUNK PILGRIMAGE
21 FEB 2019: In my youth, which I now wish was more misspent, I stumbled on to an early punk performance. Armed with a freshly issued VISA and a $200 credit limit, I flew to London where my friend Jane was spending a term off university working in an Aussie bar, the King’s Head in Earl’s Court. MORE

NO FLY DRONES
21 FEB 2019: Britain is extending the no-fly zone for drones around airports to 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) in an attempt to avert disruptions like the December groundings of flights at Gatwick Airport. The Department for Transport says the zone will widen on March 13 from the current 1 kilometre (0.6 miles). MORE

A TRIP LIKE NO OTHER
A Wessex Girl Remembers
20 FEB 2019: Turn back the clock, brew a pot of tea, and hunker down in your favourite chair on this cold winter day to read A Wessex Girl Remembers –Memories of a War-Time Childhood. Canadian travel writer Tess Bridgwater has written her memoirs using a 12 mile radius in the southernmost corner of Wessex she frequented as a 12 year-old growing up in southern England to unravel intriguing historic footnotes of epic proportions. MORE

WELCOME TO WALTHAM
London’s first Borough of Culture
19 FEB 2019: London oozes culture. So much so that it’s easy for visitors (and, indeed, locals) to get caught up in all the great sport, theatre, food, nightlife, markets and other offerings. To that end, London mayor Sadiq Khan launched the London Borough of Culture (BOC) initiative in 2018, with the borough of Waltham Forest being the first to win the accolade for 2019 (to be followed in 2020 by Brent). MORE

DISCOVERING MARC CHAGALL IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE
14 FEB 2019: It is one of my favourite places on Earth. (Well, I guess it has to be on Earth since I have not engaged in space travel.) It is a church, although I profess to no religion. Blink and you might miss it! Even if you do find yourself on the rutted laneway that leads to All Saints Church, Tudeley, in England’s beautiful county of Kent, it is unlikely you will be overly impressed with the unremarkable church that comes into view. Yet this little church is unique and beloved by many, including me.   MORE

GOB SMACKED AT GLENEAGLES, SCOTLAND
13 FEB 2019:“If heaven is as good as this, I sure hope they have some tee times left,” said golf pro Lee Trevino after a round a Gleneagles, located in Perthshire, Scotland. Dubbed “the Palace in the Glenns”, Gleneagles celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2014, which also coincided with it also being the site of that year’s Ryder Cup.   MORE

VISITBRITAIN LAUNCHES CANADIAN TOURISM ADVISORY COUNCIL
13 FEB 2019: Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, has launched its new Canadian Tourism Advisory Council. The aim of the council is to provide strategic advice to help steer VisitBritain’s Canadian strategy by providing industry knowledge and expertise from an unbiased and independent point of view. MORE

THE ROYAL WARRANT
Living a bespoke life
12 FEB 2019: When a Royal Warrant is issued, Dog the Bounty Hunter doesn’t burst through the door, no one goes to jail and everyone profits. The Royal Warrant is the penultimate in celebrity endorsements. They’re also the most valid since those issuing them actually use the product and aren’t paid for their “endorsement”. It’s a way for commoners to access a royal lifestyle. MORE

HOT HOTEL OPENINGS
Checking in with the UK
11 FEB 2019: From B&Bs to inns, country lodges and five-star properties in London and elsewhere, there’s no shortage of accommodation options in Great Britain. Here’s a quick look ahead at some of the new and noteworthy openings expected in the coming months. MORE

THE LAKE DISTRICT
Puttering about in Potter’s place
08 FEB 2019: England’s Lake District is one of the prettiest places I’ve been. It is a place of dreams. Whether we had Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit and her other books read to us as children or our adult reading of period novels, many of us have created a mental image of rural England. The Lake District is that rural, romantic place of literature, movies and imagination. MORE

THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER
Immortalised by Dame Vera Lynn, they are one of England’s most famous sights.
07 FEB 2019: Towering 100-metres over the English Channel, the iconic White Cliffs of Dover are often the first and last view of England for sea-faring travellers. For many the White Cliffs are a clear symbol of Britain in the way the Statue of Liberty defines America. For a few aging natives, the white chalk-face symbolises home and war time defence - even Julius Caesar took a shine to them.   MORE

LONDON FIRST TIMERS
Make the most of a three day visit
06 FEB 2019: With nearly 20 million visitors each year, knowing where to go in London can be overwhelming. New visitors can benefit from ‘The London Pass,’ a three-day itinerary to help every traveller make the most of their first-time London experience. MORE

BRITAIN REMEMBERS
D Day Landings commemorated all year
05 FEB 2019: A significant moment in global history, June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy of the Second World War and this year will see several important occasions to commemorate the historic anniversary in the UK: MORE

SCREEN TIME
Britain set to star on TV and films
01 FEB 2019: Britain is once again playing a starring role in several new major movie releases in 2019, as well as leading the way with some of television’s biggest hits. As in the past, with productions such as James Bond, Outlander and Downton Abbey, the film’s backdrops will surely inspire visitors to head to the U.K. to discover their favourite character’s haunts for themselves. MORE

HISTORIC LIVERPOOL PUBS
29 JAN 2019: Liverpool isn’t noteworthy just for The Beatles, great football, and fabulous cathedrals - its traditional pubs are also justifiably famous and well worth a visit. Here’s a selection of historic pubs that should be on everyone’s drop-in-for-a-pint  list. MORE

FLAVOURS OF INDIA
Brick Lane’s best curry houses
In England, ‘going for an Indian’ has become an essential Friday night dinner tradition, and in London, Brick Lane - the curry hub of the capital - is the only place for it. The curries on Brick Lane, which have more than 50 restaurants on just one street, are truly authentic. In fact, the area is often referred to as Banglatown because of its Bangladeshi eateries.   MORE

AND BABY MAKES THREE
or four, or five
29 JAN 2019: With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan about to add to the increasing patter of tiny feet around royal homes, we thought it would be interesting to visit some of the places (and palaces) in the UK where generations of royal children spent their childhood.   MORE

MICROGAPPING
Give yourself a break
In North America we call them short breaks or weekend getaways, in the UK they call it - microgapping. It’s a short break, with one important difference … a range of experiences and activities that would typically be enjoyed on a gap year, between study and work – right here for the taking. So whether it’s learning how to make your very own bottle of gin, under the expert eye of a master mixer, or taking a riding lesson through London’s Richmond Park, it’s a chance for visitors of all ages to see a new side to Britain.   MORE

PAY THE TAX
But you may get it back
As Canadians have a GST or HST on virtually everything they buy, the British have Value Added Tax or VAT, which is a 20% sales tax charged on most goods. Exceptions are food, books and children’s clothes. The good news - visitors from outside the EU who stay less than three months may claim this tax back.   MORE

GOING SHOPPING
A simple, convenient way to save on what you need to buy in Britain
A very valid piece of advice to anyone planning a trip to Britain is a stop - before you leave - at the VisitBritain Shop which has everything you think you need and stuff you never even thought you needed – but really do. The official shop of the British Tourist Authority, VisitBritain sells all the essentials for a fantastic trip to Britain: tourist attraction tickets, sightseeing tours, London Transport tickets, and airport transfers.   MORE

TRAVELLING AROUND BRITAIN
When it comes to travelling around Britain, visitors are spoilt for choice. Whether they prefer to travel at their own pace by car, enjoy the convenience and value of train travel, or opt for coach or plane, there are plenty of options available. MORE

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Major Milestones in 2019
From flights of fancy to visions of Victoria, 2019 will be a bumper year for significant anniversaries in Britain, with all manner of commemorative events and celebrations planned. Here’s a peek:   MORE

GOOD SPORTS
Games to watch in 2019
Anfield in Liverpool on a Saturday afternoon is my happy place, though other souls might opt for Old Trafford (Manchester United), the Emirates (Arsenal) or even John Smith’s/Kirklees stadium in Huddersfield (we’re looking at you, Sunwing COO Andrew Dawson!). To sure, taking in a soccer game in the U.K. is a cultural experience extraordinaire.     MORE

MYTHBUSTING
Three things to forget about Britain
28 JAN 2019: Don’t get Gavin Landry going about mushy peas. Just the words make VisitBritain’s executive VP for the Americas turn as green as the notorious British in-delicacy. MORE
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