VisitBritain

QUOTH THE RAVEN
Tower of London saved by bird birth
02 AUG 2019: According to legend, if the ravens at the Tower of London ever leave, the Tower will crumble and a great harm will befall the kingdom. “Fear not,” advises Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), “for the ravens have been feathering their nests and have ensured there will always be corvids ruling the roost at the famous fortress." MORE

STEEP IN WALES
The steepest street
17 JUL 2019: A street in Wales has been designated the steepest in the world after a successful campaign by residents. The title comes at the expense of a street in New Zealand, which has apparently been eclipsed in the steepness sweepstakes. MORE

CANTERBURY
The small city of prayer, stone and waterways
17 JUL 2019: Pushing off from the small landing beside of the Old Weavers Restaurant in ancient Canterbury, our skipper, Peter Banks, steady’s the flat-bottomed boat with long wooden oars. The water is crystal clear; green river grass wave in the strong current. MORE

Y YOU VISIT YORKSHIRE
The ABCs of Britains theme park
16 JUL 2019: With more visitors annually than all of Disney’s global theme parks combined, Yorkshire has been called “Britain’s theme park.” Such is the bounty of the northern UK county that it is distinctly subdivided into north, south, east and west regions, with such diversity that visitors will find unspoiled countryside, vibrant urban environments, 160 km of coastline, as well as ample art, culture, heritage, and sport, plus food and drink ranging from simple pub grub to Michelin-starred cuisine, and local gin to traditional ale. MORE

WAVING THE FLAG
Canadians find Love is Great in Britain
08 JUL 2019: New research shows that Britain is the most popular European destination for North American LGBT holiday-makers, beating the seven other countries surveyed to the top rank. Britain also scored highly with Canadian LGBT travellers on welcome, with 95 percent agreeing that Britain is a “LGBT-welcoming place to travel.” We recently met with Paul Gauger, Senior VP Americas, who leads VisitBritain’s Love is GREAT campaign MORE

CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Arts fest helping bring Belfast together
25 JUN 2019: Canadians continue to discover Northern Ireland in droves, with the latest numbers revealing that 66,000 visitors from this country made the journey in 2018 – an 8 percent increase on the year before, according to Tourism Ireland. Moreover, one in four Canadians who travel to the Republic also make the journey north to take in cities like Belfast and (London) Derry, plus the Antrim Coast and Giant’s Causeway, making Canada the fourth largest overseas market for the region. MORE

SHOW ME THE WAY
Touring routes a great way to wander in Wales
13 JUN 2019: Wales is a “huge nation with lots to offer,” says Visit Wales exec (and proud Welshman) Rob Jones. And there’s no better means of experiencing it, he adds, than via The Wales Way, a group of three national touring routes launched late last year that showcase the country’s most epic landscapes, fascinating history, coastlines and attractions. MORE

PILOT PROJECT BREWING AT LGW
Starbucks testing reusable cups
11 JUN 2019: Starbucks and environmental charity Hubbub are launching a trial program to lend passengers at Britain's Gatwick Airport reusable cups while waiting for their flights in hopes of cutting down on waste. MORE

FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH
Faint of fork no longer fear British cuisine
03 JUN 2019: VisitBritain is in the mood for food. The tourist board is eager to tout its edible delicacies and drink, and at the same time, offer the travel trade tangible opportunities to help clients match their culinary interests with a visit to Britain. MORE

CHASE THE CHEESE
Canadian wins Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake
31 MAY 2019: It may be a surprise to know that a Double Gloucester can reach a speed of almost 115 km an hour. This information is of greater value to those who take part in the annual Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake near Gloucester in England. Every year a large round of cheese, up to 4 kg (9 lbs) is released from the top of a hill. The cheese gets a one second head start and then participants chase it to the bottom of the hill. The goal is to get there, unharmed before the dairy product. This year, the person who did so is Toronto resident Mark Kit.  MORE

ITS TIME TO SEA SCOTLAND
2020 tunes in on coast and waters
30 MAY 2019: With over 800 islands, it’s only natural that Scottish tourism would eventually cast a line to its coastal heritage. As such, VisitScotland has declared that 2020 will be the Year of Coast and Waters. “If you look a map, you can see how close you are to the sea at pretty much all times,” observes the tourist board’s Michael McCuish. MORE

PLYMOUTH ROCKS
U.K. city set to make most of Mayflower milestone
29 MAY 2019: It seems odd that a historic city like Plymouth is considered an “up and comer” on the UK tourism scene, but with the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to North America on the horizon next year, the southwestern city is readying for a moment in the spotlight that will give the world a chance to see a city that is clearly on the rise. MORE

REDISCOVERING NORTH WALES
The artisan food route
28 MAY 2019: People understand that good food means local food and that the quality of the landscape has a direct bearing on the taste. Cradled within four mountain ranges and a 250-mile coastline, it’s little wonder that a wealth of award winning food producers have been born out of the diverse and picturesque landscape of North Wales. MORE

VICTORIA DAY
Two hundred years since birth of the monarch
27 MAY 2019: Friday (May 24) was the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of Great Britain's most important monarchs, Queen Victoria, and visitors to London can explore her life and legacy with the London Pass that gives access to over 80 top attractions in the UK's capital city. The pass includes a range of sites with close connections to Victoria, allowing visitors to learn more about the iconic monarch through several of the locations that shaped her life. MORE

ON THE FRINGE
Britain is brimming with edgy entertainment
24 MAY 2019: Whether it’s a celebration of live theatre, dance, arts or comedy, fringe festivals can be found in nearly every corner of Britain. Visitors are invited to laugh along with the nation’s finest comedians as they prepare for their major tours, take in the sounds of up-and-coming musicians and discover new takes on some of the finest theatrical works. Packed with live entertainment and clever improvisation, these are some the best Fringe Festivals to enjoy this summer: MORE

A RARE PIECE OF BRITISH HISTORY
On display at Hampton Court Palace
23 MAY 2019: Following a three-year conservation project by Historic Royal Palaces, the stunning “Bacton Altar Cloth” will go on display at Elizabeth I’s former home, Hampton Court Palace, alongside the iconic “Rainbow” portrait in which it may once have featured. Opening on 12 October, this exhibition is included in palace admission. MORE

BREXIT, WHAT BREXIT
British tourism keeps calm and carries on
21 MAY 2019: Tourism to Britain continues to be unaffected by Brexit, at least when it comes to long-haul visitations – including Canada – says the country’s tourist board. MORE

QUICK AND EASY
ePassport makes entry to UK easy for Canadians
21 MAY 2019: Citizens of the US and Canada are among seven countries who can now use ePassport gates, giving easier and faster entry into the UK. The expansion of the ePassport gate eligibility is set to significantly reduce lines and improve the flow of passengers as well as the overall experience at the UK border. We had an opportunity to use the newly installed ePassport gates at Gatwick on Friday and the difference is amazing.  MORE

LOVE OUT LOUD
Birmingham set to celebrate Pride
17 MAY 2019: Birmingham Pride, Britain’s largest two-day LGBTQ+ festival, will take place May 25 and 26 with more than 70,000 people expected to attend. The massive attendance has prompted organizers to shift to a new site just outside the city’s Gay Village this year, providing more space for music, cabaret and a host of LGBTQ+ friendly events, including performances from an array of big-name artists, up-and-coming stars and local talent. MORE

ROYAL TREATMENT
VisitBritain welcomes the world at Explore GB
16 MAY 2019: It was a good week to be in Britain for ExploreGB, VisitBritain’s flagship travel trade event (May 8-10). Harry and Meghan conveniently had a baby, Brexit was on a relatively low boil, Liverpool and Tottenham both staged comebacks for the ages to qualify for the Champions League soccer final (against each other), and it didn’t snow. The locals were most excited. MORE

ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Made for shopping
15 MAY 2019: Royal Tunbridge Wells is a town founded by aristocracy, with a prestigious prefix awarded by Edward VII in 1909, which gives it an enviable reputation. It’s also renowned for its shopping because it offers a truly unique experience! The old town centre is crammed with independently owned boutiques selling items just as desirable as those found in Harrods. MORE

SHEFFIELD PARK AND GARDEN
Acres of landscape garden bordered by historic parkland and woodland
14 MAY 2019: Sheffield Park, an informal Grade 1 listed gardens in East Sussex, lies in the valley of the River Ouse and was first sited in the 11th century Domesday Book. The ornamental gardens originally formed part of the estate of the adjacent Sheffield Park House, a privately owned neo-gothic country house that rises above the gardens. It, overlooking the panoramic lake, like a fairy-tale castle with its fine tracery window. MORE

THE BEST PLACES FOR A CAFFEINE HIT IN LONDON
13 MAY 2019: Brits drink an estimated 95 million cups of coffee every day and across London there are a host of exceptional coffee outlets that have perfected the fine art of creating the perfect brew. From using carefully selected seasonal coffee beans from around the world to roasting them in-house, expect specialty coffee experiences. MORE

COVENTRY CATHEDRAL
10 MAY 2019: The Cathedral Church St Michael – better known as Coventry Cathedral – is a Grade 1 listed building. It replaced the 14th century St Michael’s Cathedral, destroyed in a German air raid in 1940. Architect Basil Spence’s radical modernist design for the new building caused controversy when it was revealed in 1950. Rather than rebuilding the cathedral Spence’s design built a new structure beside the ruins of the bombed Cathedral. The juxtaposition of the two is breathtaking. MORE

THE SPIRITUAL HOME OF BESPOKE
Savile Row. The name alone evokes images of style, tradition and refinement.
09 MAY 2019: Since the first tailor moved into Savile Row in 1785, the neighbourhood has been applauded the world over as the place for handmade suits, created from the finest fabrics, by the most skilled of craftsmen, for the most discerning gentlemen. MORE
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